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
1,870 686
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 Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

2
1,444 933
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,526 793
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
1,983 296
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,296 659
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
1,645 297
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,038 736
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,233 465
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,068 533
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,268 297
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,199 494
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,196 280
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
955 527
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,066 293
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
878 522
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

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16
861 474
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
873 423
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
659 618
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

19
782 215
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

20
519 461
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
600 567
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

22
720 332
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
843 489
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
394 151
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
720 426
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
589 458
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
596 407
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
655 403
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
580 205
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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30
406 452
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
474 348
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

32
325 235
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
549 340
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
394 271
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
168 94
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

36
386 295
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
555 168
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
488 208
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
406 138
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

40
529 369
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
403 396
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
352 429
Defender is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

43
660 174
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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44
269 151
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

45
438 372
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! Apr 20 1982

46
302 220
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

47
156 95
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

48
606 214
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

49
416 192
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
444 258
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996