Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
149.1k votes 9.2k voters 403.9k views 285 items

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
2,589 1,012
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,903 1,234
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,977 1,056
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,653 408
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,651 898
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,294 400
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,735 602
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,304 1,000
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,462 728
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,677 436
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,574 656
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,648 383
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,513 423
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,227 710
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

Retro Video Games That Were Guaranteed To Ruin Friendships

15
1,104 714
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,135 653
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,199 559
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,136 321
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
825 747
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
704 642
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
826 810
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

22
1,004 439
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,155 621
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
613 277
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
950 556
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
721 623
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
793 550
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
875 521
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

29
819 307
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
784 457
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
880 231
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
492 355
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
497 615
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
554 407
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
579 483
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

36
738 311
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
712 486
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,004 252
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
543 503
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
438 240
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
493 420
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
266 240
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

15 Classic Nintendo Games You Forgot You Loved

43
449 329
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

44
609 229
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
424 569
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
880 285
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
645 337
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

48
537 500
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
263 215
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

50
554 276
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games