Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

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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
2,538 977
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,865 1,210
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,942 1,031
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,605 401
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,617 884
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,252 388
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,703 590
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,281 985
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,433 711
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,641 428
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,551 641
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,613 376
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,482 416
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,202 699
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18 Amazing Classic Video Games You Can Totally Play On Your Phone Right Now

15
1,090 699
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,116 641
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,171 549
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,113 315
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
809 735
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
696 628
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
810 800
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The Best Las Vegas Casinos

22
984 432
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,136 605
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
602 265
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
934 542
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
708 611
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
779 539
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
857 509
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The 8 Most Dangerous And Deadly Flowers in Video Games

29
800 297
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
773 442
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
483 345
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

32
856 226
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
490 602
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
545 390
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
573 468
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

36
727 296
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
699 470
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
985 245
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
532 496
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
420 235
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
488 408
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
260 226
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

The Most Nostalgia-Inducing '90s Toys

43
440 321
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

44
592 223
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
415 559
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
855 278
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
631 330
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

48
530 490
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
259 205
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

50
541 269
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games