Atari made some of the very fist and best video games. Many of these games went on to be remade into games we enjoy today, and some just remained classics that every little kid loved to play. Wether they were re-made or preserved in their classic state, here is a list of the top ten Atari Games ever made
10) Battlezone (1980) Is the first real attempt at a 3-D game. Atari’s Battlezone features a large and relatively empty flat space surrounded by mountains and other fun things to shoot at. I know many players (me included)tried to abandon the shooting and explore the extent of Atari’s virtual landscape, but I always received a nice reminder from a missile as to the real purpose of the game. This game paved the way for many similar games ten and twenty years later including Star Fox.
9) Space Invaders (1980) was another classic and definitely deserves to be on the Top Ten Atari games list. This game was one of the biggest hits in arcade days, and some argue it even caused a yen shortage in Japan. Whether that is true or not, one thing is certain, this game is the addictive foundation for many games that came in the following years. Space Invaders had quite a following in the early Atari days-it was the game that first launched the Atari into many American homes.
8) Paperboy (1984) This game goes without an introduction. Paperboy was (and still is) one of my favorite games. Somehow Atari turned delivering papers into something every little kid thought was worth paying for in the arcade. This game also had really good looking graphics (for Atari) and sound to accompany them. When it comes to fun, there aren’t very many Atari games better than Paperboy. It was surprisingly difficult however, I don’t remember ever beating this game, but I didn’t mind starting over to play it again.
7) Adventure (1979) was one of the older games made for the Atari, and the first action adventure game. In this game you roam around a series of mazes searching for a chalice while avoiding three dragons. This simple strategy sold over one million units early on in Atari days. This game is also famous for a handful of corks and unique niceties. The dragons in the game look more like ducks, which seems to take away a little bit from the terror of exploring a long maze, but it didn’t take away from the fun. Another notable achievement in this game is the first Easter Egg. Atari (this was on the 2600 now) would not let the designer publish his name at the end of the game for credit, so he hid his name in the game.
6) Centipede (1980) Was the second highest selling game in Atari’s history. On a side not, Centipede was also the first game to be co-designed by a woman, and attracted a large female following. Centipede is very similar to space invasion, only the player shoots a centipede which moves down the screen and breaks into smaller pieces, rather than shooting a large number of ships moving in formation.
5) Star Wars (1983) This was the first in a long line of Star Wars games starting at the Atari. Notably this game had excellent sound and good looking vector graphics that put the player right in the middle of an exciting space battle flying an x-wing. As Luke in his x-wing, you fly around the universe defeating tie fighters with realistic sounds pulled right out of the movie. If Star Wars didn’t have a big enough following already, this game certainly helped fans on board.
4) Pitfall (1982) Is one of the more simple games made for Atari. The player is given the task of running across the screen and jumping over tar pits, scorpions, and crocodiles. This game was addictive and fun and many a player spent hours perfecting their jump. This game was also very popular to the general public, (possibly the most popular game on Atari’s 2600) Selling over four million copies.
3) Asteroids (1979) was another spaced themed shooter. Unlike the other space shooters for the Atari however, Asteroids was the top selling game in Atari history, and the best selling game in the vector graphics era. Perhaps part of this was due to the fact that Asteroids was the first game to allow players to enter their initials on a high score ranking system. This created a competitive aspect of the game that was reproduced by many games to come. Other than that, it was a fun move your ship at a different angle and shoot game.
2) Pong (1972) Pong was not the first video game ever designed (surprising I know, but the first game was a little known space game), but it was the first video game to receive real success, and bring Atari into the industry. Two paddles and a ball are all you need to play this game (or more realistically a left and right button) but this provided hours of entertainment for the video game industry’s first consumers.
1) Gauntlet (1985) was the first attempt at an RPG (role playing game). This famous Atari game featured a warrior class, and Elf, Valkyrie, and Wizard class that explore a dungeon and kill everything in sight. This game was fun to play with up to 3 other people and could be cooperative, or competitive (depending on how much food there is for the player with the lowest amount of life). This game was incredibly fun to play with many players in the arcade, but Atari didn’t realize it’s multiplayer potential until much later. The reason this game makes number one on the list, is not because it sold the most copies, but because it is the most innovative and fun. You can almost literally quest forever after monsters in more dungeons slaying the forces of evil. The four different character classes added a nice variety to the game, and the multiplayer aspect drove it home.