Few can doubt that the gaming industry made great progress in the last century. Early games were 2D with limited color. Then great titles of the 1990s included fine 3D games such as Mario 64, which added an extra dimension. Whether 2D or 3D these were some of the best titles of the last century.

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros was the first Mario platform title released on the NES. Super Mario Bros had greater impact than most, and started the Mario franchise that goes strong to this day. Essentially, it was a 2D platform game where Mario ran and jumped through the various levels en-route to Bowser's Castle to rescue Princess Peach. It was a big hit on the NES and helped establish the console.

Pac Man

Pac Man was perhaps the most influential arcade game of its time. Namco's classic soon became the arcade game of choice, before being ported over to consoles such as the Atari 2600 where it was a big hit. It is listed in the Guinness records as the most successful arcade game. Many further Pac Man titles have also since been released, which have expanded on the franchise. Pac Man has also featured in an animated series, and in music with albums such as 'Pac-Man Fever' reaching as high as number nine on the charts.


The Russian Pajitnov designed Tetris. Early versions appeared on the IBM PC, before being discovered by the West and Spectrum Holybyte that gained early rights to the game. Players were soon hooked by the immersive gameplay, and Tetris fever gained momentum as a new software blockbuster. However, Nintendo's Game Boy version is considered one of the best Tetris games that ideally suited the console with multiple millions sold. There have also been many variations of Tetris, which have had new features and options added.

Mario 64

Before this, Mario had been entirely 2D. Of course, they were still great games; but Mario 64 on the N64 added a new dimension to the series. Mario games had 3D graphics and levels for the first time. Some new and exciting gameplay elements were also included for this Mario title, with Mario collecting stars to progress through the castle. Unlike previous additions to the series, Mario 64 was not particularly linear as players could play through the various levels included in variable order. Many consider Mario 64 one of the finest titles.


Half-Life was a first-person shooter that added a new dimension to the genre. Half-Life had a compelling plot and story line set in the Black Mesa research facility, and was one of the first to make use of scripted scenes throughout. It became one of the top-selling PC titles, and was also ported to consoles such as the PlayStation 2.

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda games were also some of the best around. First released on the NES in the 1980s, the game soon established itself as one of Nintendo's top titles. The early versions were essentially 2D top-down, but then this changed with the N64 Zelda games that were 3D. Undoubtedly, Zelda titles were the best RPG games that effectively mixed action with the role play element. It is difficult to say which Zelda was the best in the series; however, the first Zelda game on the N64 impressed many fans. Overall, on all the Nintendo consoles Zelda games were among the best titles.


These were a few of the best games of the last century. Tetris, Pac Man, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Half-Life set new standards. Such games are now established series, with new and exciting games further expanding on the classic original titles.