Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

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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
2,248 829
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Most Violent Classic Video Games The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

2
1,634 1,090
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,738 918
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,322 347
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,461 783
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
1,989 340
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,511 525
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,162 877
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,288 614
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,473 370
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,405 567
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,424 327
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,293 362
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,079 629
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
982 617
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

18 Amazing Classic Video Games You Can Totally Play On Your Phone Right Now The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

16
1,000 562
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,042 490
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
951 269
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
628 547
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

20
731 647
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

21
737 723
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

22
875 378
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,001 552
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
521 213
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
850 481
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
643 547
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
705 474
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
788 446
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
704 255
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

15 Classic Nintendo Games You Forgot You Loved Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are

30
692 388
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
455 530
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
416 292
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
737 194
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
482 339
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
522 418
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

36
635 257
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
635 421
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
880 206
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
219 164
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

40
445 358
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
468 450
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
348 199
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

43
379 272
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

Bad Video Games You Played as a Kid Because You Didn't Know Any Better The Best Economic Simulation Games of All Time

44
506 184
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
384 498
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
219 153
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

47
493 439
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

48
742 249
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

49
569 288
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

50
491 234
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games