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
2,789 1,132
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
2,058 1,327
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

3
2,858 448
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,094 1,159
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,759 962
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,446 440
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,842 654
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,386 1,077
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,572 792
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

10
1,807 472
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

11
1,672 722
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,771 422
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

13
1,641 462
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,311 756
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,183 765
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,228 704
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,274 607
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,235 360
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
885 856
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

20
760 691
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

21
876 802
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

22
1,076 476
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,224 662
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
687 311
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,037 598
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
764 673
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
841 593
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

28
932 555
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
912 331
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1985

30
958 256
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
544 389
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1989

32
840 494
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
532 658
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
610 442
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1994

35
627 514
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1979

36
807 345
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
779 527
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,079 280
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
477 266
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
573 540
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
530 450
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
695 243
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added 1984

43
301 268
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added 1989

44
492 354
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1993

45
460 593
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

46
955 302
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
695 363
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1996

48
573 528
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

49
286 243
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added 1991

50
606 297
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games