Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

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List Rules Video games released between 1960 to 2000.

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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
2,263 1,419
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

2
2,995 1,275
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

3
3,145 498
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,214 1,252
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,903 1,025
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,628 485
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,983 709
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,497 1,141
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,933 533
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

10
1,687 856
Doom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

11
1,780 798
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,917 458
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

13
1,768 512
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,427 798
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,278 815
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,332 753
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,372 659
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,355 401
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
944 909
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

20
1,179 514
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

21
945 864
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

22
812 746
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

23
1,316 715
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
773 355
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,131 637
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games