Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Video games released between 1960 to 2000.

Top classic video games from the early years of gaming. This list contains the best games released on any system (arcade, home consoles, portable devices) from the 1960s through the year 2000 (which for this list would be considered the start of the "modern era" of gaming.) This includes all the essential games from the era of the arcade, as well as the original 8-bit consoles and their 16-bit follow-ups.

Many of the retro games on this list have remained extremely popular to this present day, and are often still played by passionate fans on preserved consoles or on computers via emulator software. Some of these games are part of ongoing franchises that have remained vital to this day, such as the classic "Mario Bros." games, "Legend of Zelda" titles and fighting games like "Mortal Kombat."

Experimental video games have been around since the 1950s, but it was two game breakthroughs in the early 1970s that really brought games more mainstream attention. "Spacewar!," released in 1961, became popular enough to generate about 1500 individual arcade machines, but was so complicated to learn that it failed to really develop mass appeal. The same was not true of 1972's "Pong," from the same creators, that recreated table tennis for arcades and eventually sold nearly 20,000 machines. By the late 1970s, video game consoles for the home were becoming more commonplace, with both the Intellivision and ColecoVision competing in toy stores and introducing many of the titles we're still familiar with today (including the original "Donkey Kong" and "Space Invaders.")

1978 is traditionally considered the start of the Golden Age of video games, particularly in terms of arcade games, with the introduction of numerous beloved retro titles (including "Frogger" and "Galaxian.") Finally, in 1985, Nintendo introduced the first Nintendo Entertainment System to stores, bundled with the game "Super Mario Bros.," a landmark release in console history.
list ordered by

1
2,223 1,393
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

2
2,939 1,253
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

3
3,075 490
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,181 1,244
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,871 1,014
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,589 480
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,950 699
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,473 1,128
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,654 843
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

10
1,897 523
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

11
1,750 783
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,883 453
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

13
1,739 504
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,401 793
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,255 807
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,314 741
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,345 651
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,331 393
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
1,156 507
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

20
930 899
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

21
934 852
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

22
803 739
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

23
1,293 706
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
760 348
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,110 632
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
821 711
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
896 637
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

28
1,002 347
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1985

29
987 596
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

30
593 422
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1989

31
904 523
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
1,027 286
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
647 477
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1994

34
555 696
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

35
666 545
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1979

36
860 378
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
822 567
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,142 317
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
603 579
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
511 305
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
746 268
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added 1984

42
336 306
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added 1989

43
551 489
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

44
534 383
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1993

45
486 623
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

46
1,014 328
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
733 386
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1996

48
603 557
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

49
658 317
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
307 278
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added 1991