At times, the Atari 2600 felt like the Wild West of video games. With less strict regulation on quality assurance and a lack of knowledge from the general public, buying games was a tricky scenario. On one hand, what looked like an amazing experience could turn out to be virtually unplayable. The most famous example of this occurring is with E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which was a mess on release. However, occasionally, players were able to find gems on the Atari 2600 that forever changed the landscape of gaming. With the reveal of the Atari 2600+, you’ll be able to return to these nostalgic experiences and more. This new system will play old Atari 2600 and 7800 games, complete with HDMI support. For anyone looking to feed their nostalgia, here are the top ten best Atari 2600 games.
First up, we have Joust, a game about surviving as a knight on a flying ostrich. Though the premise sounds odd, the experience itself is very fun. Players will need to take out enemies using a lance while collecting the eggs they drop. Overall, Joust handles very nicely for the Atari.
9. Mario Bros
For our next best Atari 2600 game, we have the classic arcade experience, Mario Bros. Though many arcade games had a rough time transitioning to the Atari, Mario Bros was able to capture the original experience without too many problems. It handled well, was fun to play, and didn’t suffer from too many graphical drawbacks, making this a strong contender as one of the better Atari games.
8. Pole Position
Pole Position is a great example of how video games can push a console to new places. Although it looks a bit basic, it’s amazing that they were able to put Pole Position onto the Atari. The perspective of the camera and racing experience were all cleverly implemented with limited resources, making this one of the best ports of an arcade game the Atari 2600 had.
Although Warlords is nothing special to look at, the experience is what makes it one of the best on the Atari 2600. In Warlords, players will need to defend their base from a fireball by blocking it with a shield. In a way, it’s almost like a 4-player version of Pong. This adds up to an intense and memorable experience that would be great to revisit with the new Atari 2600+.
6. Haunted House
Next, Haunted House tasked players with navigating a pitch-black mansion, while avoiding creepy creatures. Rather than an arcade focus, as many other entries have, Haunted House belonged more to the adventure genre. Exploring was fun and a little spooky at times. For all that played, Haunted House was an unforgettable experience.
5. Space Invaders
Moving back to classic arcade ports, we have Space Invaders. Overall, it’s really hard to mess up the simple charm of Space Invaders and the Atari 2600 port did a great job. The graphics were close to the original, albeit much less detailed. Additionally, it was addictive and challenging at times, making it one of the best Atari 2600 games out there.
4. Donkey Kong
There isn’t much to add about this classic game that most people already haven’t said. Donkey Kong strikes a perfect balance between difficulty and replayability, making for an incredibly well-done combination. The Atari 2600 port keeps this spirit alive, albeit with fewer levels and a very odd-looking Donkey Kong.
Frogger is one of the most addictive score-based arcade games out there and one of the best games ported on the Atari 2600. While Frogger‘s simple concept of crossing the road seems a little more straightforward than Donkey Kong, the strategy and timing involved make the experience unforgettable.
Pitfall is a truly phenomenal experience, especially on the limited hardware of the Atari. In this game, players will need to navigate past many dangerous creatures and hazards. Compared to other entries, the graphics in Pitfall are phenomenal for the time, and clearly indicate what’s happening to the player. Although this doesn’t seem like a plus nowadays, back then, clarity in video games was difficult to come across.
Finally, the best game to check out on the new Atari 2600+ would have to be Adventure. In Adventure, players need to navigate a maze-like castle, collect items, and fight dragons. Although the graphics aren’t the greatest in the world, the game was very fun and spawned a whole genre.