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
1,835 674
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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2
1,425 923
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,510 783
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
1,960 294
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,281 655
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
1,619 291
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,022 733
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,220 461
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,256 291
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

10
1,057 529
Doom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

11
1,185 486
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,177 279
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
943 526
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,046 290
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
871 520
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

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16
852 471
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
865 421
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
771 213
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
652 617
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

20
510 460
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
597 565
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

22
714 330
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
832 487
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
384 149
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
714 422
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
585 458
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
591 406
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
652 401
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
574 204
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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30
406 450
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
472 347
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

32
316 234
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
541 339
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
389 271
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
159 92
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

36
379 294
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
549 165
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
528 364
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
402 138
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

40
478 208
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
399 394
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
351 428
Defender is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

43
656 174
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Greatest Fighting Games Ever Made The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

44
262 151
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

45
437 370
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! Apr 20 1982

46
295 219
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

47
150 95
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

48
595 209
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

49
407 190
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
437 256
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996