Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

Ranker Community
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
2,881 1,205
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
2,157 1,363
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

3
2,981 477
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,146 1,210
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,826 996
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,530 464
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,909 678
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,433 1,106
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,623 822
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

10
1,865 501
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

11
1,719 759
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,843 435
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

13
1,706 485
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,362 779
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,222 790
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,277 725
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,314 635
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,296 380
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
912 831
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

20
1,128 495
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

21
908 883
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

22
786 718
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

23
1,266 691
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
733 331
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,077 621
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
804 692
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
882 615
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

28
970 579
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
965 343
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1985

30
574 408
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1989

31
880 510
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
999 273
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
634 463
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1994

34
545 680
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

35
646 534
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1979

36
834 363
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
804 554
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,116 303
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
592 566
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
499 289
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
545 471
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
725 262
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added 1984

43
324 290
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added 1989

44
517 372
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1993

45
473 612
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

46
989 320
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
720 376
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1996

48
594 545
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

49
639 309
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
299 264
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added 1991