Video games have come a long way since the early days of Pong and Space Invaders. From the Atari and Nintendo systems of the 1980s to the PlayStation and Xbox consoles of today, video games have become a staple of popular culture. While there are many modern games that are certainly worth playing, there are also a number of classic games that have stood the test of time and are still enjoyable today. In this article, we will be looking at the best 20 classic games ever published.
The Top 20 Best Classic Games Ever
- Super Mario Bros. (1985)
- The Legend of Zelda (1986)
- Tetris (1984)
- Pac-Man (1980)
- Donkey Kong (1981)
- Space Invaders (1978)
- Galaga (1981)
- Street Fighter II (1991)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
- Mega Man 2 (1988)
- Castlevania (1986)
- Contra (1987)
- Final Fantasy VII (1997)
- Chrono Trigger (1995)
- The Oregon Trail (1971)
- GoldenEye 007 (1997)
- Diablo 2 (2000)
- Half-Life (1998)
- The Sims (2000)
- Super Smash Bros. (1999)
Best Classic Games of All Time
Now, it’s time we explained the best classic games ever list.
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. is one of the most iconic and influential video games of all time. Released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), it introduced players to the lovable plumber Mario and his sidekick Luigi as they set out to save Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser. Super Mario Bros. is known for its tight controls, catchy music, and colorful graphics. It spawned countless sequels and spin-offs, and remains a beloved classic to this day.
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda is another classic Nintendo game that has stood the test of time. Released in 1986 for the NES, it introduced players to the hero Link and his quest to rescue Princess Zelda from the clutches of the evil Ganon. The Legend of Zelda was notable for its open world design, allowing players to explore the world of Hyrule at their own pace. It also featured challenging dungeons and puzzles that required players to think outside the box.
Tetris is a puzzle game that was first released in 1984 for the Soviet Union’s Electronika 60 computer. It quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, with versions of the game appearing on everything from the Game Boy to the Apple II. The goal of Tetris is simple: players must rotate and arrange falling blocks to create complete lines. The game’s addictive gameplay and catchy music have made it a classic that is still played today.
Pac-Man is one of the most iconic arcade games of all time. Released in 1980 by Namco, it introduced players to the titular character and his quest to eat all of the dots in a maze while avoiding ghosts. Pac-Man’s simple but addictive gameplay and colorful graphics made it an instant hit, and it has since become a cultural icon.
Donkey Kong is a platform game that was released in 1981 by Nintendo. It introduced players to the characters of Mario (then known as Jumpman) and Donkey Kong, and featured the now-iconic gameplay of jumping over obstacles and enemies to reach the top of the screen. Donkey Kong’s colorful graphics and challenging gameplay helped make it a classic.
Space Invaders is another iconic arcade game that was released in 1978 by Taito. It was one of the first shooting games, and tasked players with shooting down waves of invading aliens. Space Invaders’ simple gameplay and memorable music helped it become one of the most successful arcade games of all time.
Galaga is a space shooting game that was released in 1981 by Namco. It was a sequel to the game Galaxian, and featured improved graphics and gameplay. Galaga’s unique gameplay of allowing players to capture enemy ships and use them as allies helped it stand out from other shooting games of the time.
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II is a fighting game that was released in 1991 by Capcom. It introduced players to a cast of colorful characters, each with their own unique moves and fighting styles. Street Fighter II popularized the fighting game genre and helped create the competitive gaming scene that exists today.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is a platform game that was released in 1991 by Sega. It introduced players to the speedy blue hedgehog Sonic and his quest to stop the evil Dr. Eggman. Sonic’s fast-paced gameplay and colorful graphics helped it become a popular alternative to Nintendo’s Mario franchise.
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 2 is a platform game that was released in 1988 by Capcom. It introduced players to the robotic hero Mega Man and his quest to stop the evil Dr. Wily. Mega Man 2 is known for its challenging gameplay and memorable soundtrack, and has since become a beloved classic.
Castlevania is a platform game that was released in 1986 by Konami. It introduced players to the vampire hunter Simon Belmont and his quest to defeat the evil Dracula. Castlevania is known for its challenging gameplay and gothic horror aesthetic.
Contra is a run-and-gun game that was released in 1987 by Konami. It introduced players to the characters of Bill and Lance as they fought their way through waves of enemies. Contra is known for its difficult gameplay and cooperative multiplayer.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing game that was released in 1997 by Square Enix. It introduced players to the character of Cloud Strife and his quest to stop the villainous Sephiroth. Final Fantasy VII is known for its complex storyline, memorable characters, and stunning graphics.
Chrono Trigger is a role-playing game that was released in 1995 by Square Enix. It introduced players to the time-traveling hero Chrono and his quest to save the world from destruction. Chrono Trigger is known for its innovative gameplay mechanics and multiple endings.
The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is an educational game that was first released in 1971. It simulates the journey of pioneers traveling from Missouri to Oregon in the 19th century. The Oregon Trail is known for its historical accuracy and has since become a beloved classic.
GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter that was released in 1997 by Rare for the Nintendo 64. It introduced players to the world of James Bond and featured both single-player and multiplayer modes. GoldenEye 007 is known for its innovative gameplay mechanics and multiplayer maps.
Diablo II is an action role-playing game that was released in 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment. It introduced players to the world of Sanctuary and the battle against the Prime Evils. Diablo II is known for its addictive gameplay and loot system.
Half-Life is a first-person shooter that was released in 1998 by Valve Corporation. It introduced players to the scientist Gordon Freeman and his battle against an alien invasion. Half-Life is known for its immersive storytelling and innovative gameplay mechanics.
The Sims is a life simulation game that was released in 2000 by Maxis. It allows players to create and control virtual people, or Sims, and guide them through their lives. The Sims is known for its open-ended gameplay and endless possibilities.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. is a crossover fighting game that was first released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. It features a diverse cast of characters from various video game franchises, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu. Super Smash Bros. is known for its fun and chaotic gameplay, and has become a staple party game among video game fans.
What Makes a Classic Game?
Before diving into the list of the best classic games ever, it’s important to define what makes a game a “classic.” What are the characteristics that set these games apart and allow them to endure over time? This section will explore the traits that classic games tend to share, and why they continue to be beloved by gamers years or even decades after their initial release.
Why Play Classic Games?
With so many new video games being released every year, you might be wondering why anyone would bother playing older games that might seem outdated or graphically inferior. However, there are many compelling reasons to revisit classic games, from nostalgia to historical significance to the unique gameplay experiences they offer. This section will explore some of the reasons why playing classic games can be just as rewarding as playing the latest and greatest releases.
The Legacy of Classic Games
Finally, it’s worth exploring the lasting impact that classic games have had on the video game industry as a whole. Many of the games on this list helped shape the genres and gameplay mechanics that we take for granted today, and their influence can be seen in countless modern games. This section will examine the legacy of classic games and why they continue to be relevant and influential decades after their release.
How the Ranking Was Determined
Determining the “best” classic games is no easy task, and different gamers may have different opinions on which games deserve to make the list. This section will explore the methodology used to determine the ranking of the top 20 classic games, including factors such as critical acclaim, cultural impact, and player enjoyment. It will also address some of the potential limitations of such a ranking system and acknowledge the subjectivity inherent in any such list.
The Importance of Preserving Classic Games
As video games become increasingly prevalent and important cultural artifacts, it’s important to consider how we can preserve classic games for future generations to enjoy. Many classic games are in danger of being lost to time. This is because the hardware and software required to play them are now old. This section will explore the importance of preserving classic games, and some of the efforts that have been made to do so, including emulation, remasters, and museum exhibits.
In conclusion, the world of classic video games is vast and varied, offering something for every type of gamer. From platformers and role-playing games to first-person shooters and fighting games, the best classic games have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed by fans today. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a newcomer to the world of video games, these 20 classic games are a great place to start.
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