The Top Five Atari Video Games of Yesteryear

Atari video games were all the rage when I was a child. Though the video games that Atari put out are unde­ni­ably child­ish in com­par­i­son to today’s graph­ic laden options, they were all we had back then. Amaz­ing­ly, that alone was enough to make the games fun and excit­ing. Hav­ing an Atari meant hours spent sit­ting in front of the tele­vi­sion until Mom or Dad forced you to get up so the machine didn’t “ruin their tele­vi­sion.” Though those years seem very far away, the mem­o­ry of the games are clear in my head. Here are the top five Atari video games of yes­ter­year.

Pong – Pong was the first Atari game to come out and it was a rev­e­la­tion. Though it was the sim­plest con­cept on the plan­et, this game was insane­ly pop­u­lar with peo­ple. Anoth­er great thing about pong was the fact that you could whip some­one else while play­ing. The game of pong was the start of a video game rev­o­lu­tion and addic­tive to boot.

Defend­er – Defend­er on the Atari was one of the first games that actu­al­ly made us won­der about what could actu­al­ly be done with video games. It hint­ed at big­ger and bet­ter things to come, and made the Atari even more pop­u­lar than it already was. I remem­ber spend­ing hours try­ing to beat this game.

Aster­oids – Aster­oids was the first game to actu­al­ly make me want to pull my hair out. The game was mad­den­ing­ly fun, and dif­fi­cult for many. You had to alter­nate­ly thrust, shoot and aim all at one time. Look­ing back, that is rather fun­ny. Today’s games force you to use ten but­tons at a time some­times. Aster­oids was the game that kept me up all hours of the night, and I nev­er did get any good at it.

Mis­sile Com­mand — This was the game that I ignored for the bet­ter part of the first year I had my Atari. For some rea­son it did not appeal to me. Then I actu­al­ly sat down with some­one that under­stood how to play it and I was hooked. Though Mis­sile Com­mand had a delayed reac­tion on me, it is still among my all time favorite Atari games. Odd­ly, it is also the one Atari game that I actu­al­ly got real­ly good at.

Break­out – Now Break­out was a fun video game to be sure. You would bounce a ball (sound famil­iar) and try to break through a wall of dots. Sound pret­ty bor­ing? Not at all. I won­der if I played Break­out today if it would be just as fun as it was back then. I guess maybe our mem­o­ries make things bet­ter than they real­ly were, but it sure is fun think­ing back to those days of Break­out mad­ness.

Atari is secure in it’s lega­cy as the fore­run­ner to the mod­ern video game, and will prob­a­bly nev­er be any­thing more than that. I doubt that Atari will make a come­back in that for­mat. I won­der if Atari has ever con­sid­ered releas­ing those old games in their orig­i­nal for­mats for nostalgia’s sake? I would sure­ly buy one.

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