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
2,305 862
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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2
1,681 1,110
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,775 936
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,384 358
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,487 804
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,045 349
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,556 536
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,182 896
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,317 635
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,507 383
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,429 583
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,472 339
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,336 371
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,100 644
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
999 634
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

The Most Nostalgia-Inducing '90s Toys The Greatest Survival Horror Games of All Time

16
1,028 575
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,069 502
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
990 274
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
643 559
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

20
752 662
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

21
908 385
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

22
751 736
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

23
1,033 559
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
540 222
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
870 494
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
655 559
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
727 485
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
804 456
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
723 264
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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30
710 400
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
465 541
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
427 304
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
763 200
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
494 345
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
529 427
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

36
653 262
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
908 209
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
649 428
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
453 366
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
227 174
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

41
479 458
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
362 204
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

43
393 279
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

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44
525 190
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
386 506
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
228 161
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

47
769 253
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

48
500 446
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
581 293
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

50
503 236
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games