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
2,335 879
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,703 1,127
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,801 950
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,418 366
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,507 816
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,073 355
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,579 544
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,198 909
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,336 651
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,530 391
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,451 595
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,494 347
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,364 377
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,115 656
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

15
1,010 648
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,040 586
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,090 509
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,011 279
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
653 572
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

20
762 675
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

21
763 747
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The 8 Most Dangerous And Deadly Flowers in Video Games

22
921 393
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,052 568
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
552 232
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
881 506
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
662 570
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
739 498
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
814 464
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Most Nostalgia-Inducing '90s Toys

29
738 272
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
723 409
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
442 311
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

32
470 554
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
508 352
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

34
782 206
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

35
536 436
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

The Best Life Simulation Games of All Time

36
670 267
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
658 438
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
925 220
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
463 374
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
489 467
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
233 185
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

42
376 209
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

List of All Mario RPG Bosses Ranked Best to Worst

43
405 288
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

44
536 198
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
391 519
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
785 261
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
235 172
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

48
506 456
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
591 302
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

50
510 245
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games