Atari 2600 Top 10 Games
Any "Best of" list is highly subjective, and this one is no different. However, you can't go wrong checking out these ten games (on an emulator, or with the original cartridges).
Adventure (Atari, 1980)
An impressive scope (especially for the time) and many “first-ever” game elements immediately guaranteed this classic game a spot on our Top 10 list. Also our February Spotlight.
Berzerk (Atari, 1982)
You’re trapped in a maze with electrified walls, rampaging robots, and a homicidal smiley-face named “Evil Otto” - oh my! Berzerk is a great arcade conversion and remains a challenge to this day.
Demon Attack (Imagic, 1982)
The game that “out-Phoenixed” Atari’s Phoenix, Demon Attack was (and still is) the most playable - and fun - of the myriad of Space Invaders/Galaga style games for the Atari.
Enduro (Activision, 1983)
Drive across the United States in four days - through ice, fog, and darkness. Fun driving mechanics and a great hook - can you make it all the way? - keep this game on our perennial play list.
Frogger (Parker Bros., 1983)
Perhaps not as fancy as the Arcadia/Supercharger version, but this is the Frogger that most of us grew up with. Also featured in our April Spotlight.
H.E.R.O. (Activision, 1984)
Miners are trapped below, and it’s up to Roderick Hero (“R. Hero”, geddit?) to save the day. Explore twenty caves equipped with limited air, a laser, dynamite, and - oh yeah - a helicopter backpack unit!
Kaboom! (Activision, 1981)
Simply perfect or perfect simplicity? Catch dropped bombs with a water bucket. But don’t blink - Kaboom! is one of the fastest games around. It is also one of the games that greatly benefits from being played on the original paddle controllers, rather than an emulator.
Ms. Pac Man (Atari, 1982)
Ms. Pac Man is both an apology for Atari’s original Pac Man game (which was very poorly made) and a great Pac Man version in its own right. And when done right, Pac Man gameplay just doesn’t go out of style.
Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns (Activision, 1984)
While we don’t much care for the original (blasphemous as that might be), this sequel gets everything right. Run, jump, swim, and fly (with the help of a hot-air balloon) as you explore a huge cave system.
River Raid (Activision, 1982)
Fly your jetplane through a river canyon invested with enemy boats, tanks, helicopters and planes. The temptation to try to get “just a little further” has kept us firing up the game from time to time for 25 years! Definitely worth a look.