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.

1
2,690 1,073
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,986 1,283
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
2,042 1,109
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,766 426
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,717 928
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,373 424
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,796 634
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,351 1,046
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,520 764
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,754 453
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,623 694
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,706 405
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,574 444
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,267 739
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

Retro Video Games That Were Guaranteed To Ruin Friendships

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1,149 743
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,191 680
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,238 586
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,187 345
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
856 781
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
733 668
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
856 838
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The Best Economic Simulation Games of All Time

22
1,049 460
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,190 650
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
654 301
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
1,000 582
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
750 653
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
817 579
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

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907 541
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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

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870 321
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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526 374
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

31
820 476
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
923 247
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
521 641
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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592 429
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
611 507
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

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780 335
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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745 515
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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1,047 270
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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564 526
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
461 255
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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516 438
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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658 234
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

15 Classic Nintendo Games You Forgot You Loved

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284 257
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

44
476 342
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

45
447 583
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
920 294
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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671 354
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

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558 515
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

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273 232
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

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581 288
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games