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[McD] James

What are everyone's favorite Atari 2600 games?

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I don't think I've ever seen this thread here before. Not one of my favorite consoles, but it has a small handful of timeless classics. Yars' Revenge always annoyed me for some reason. ET isn't as bad as people make it out to be. There's worse on the console. 




1. River Raid

2. The A-Team

3. Demon Attack

4. Pitfall

5. Adventure


Least favorite:


1. Fire Fly. Nothing else I've played on the console is anywhere near as awful as this game. My pick for the worst video game of all time. The definition of rubbish. 

Edited by Ajora

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It was well before my time, but I enjoy watching videos about it and appreciate it's historic importance. I think the only 2600 game I've actually played is Pitfall, which was pretty fun. I also have a memory of being blown away by how shit the 2600 version of Pac-Man was when I was little, but I don't exactly remember where I was or how I was even exposed to it. I think it was a TV show that was going through various important pieces of video game history or something.


My dad was 20 when the 2600 came out and he tells me it was amazingly fun for the time, but consoles like the NES pretty much totally obsoleted it. I'm sure avid Atari fans would be enraged by that statement but I'm inclined to agree based on what I've seen. I guess you could say the SNES did the same to the NES, but Atari games just seem to generally fall below my 'minimum threshold' for the amount of audiovisual stimulation/graphical fidelity I want while playing a game. Stuff like Tetris and Pong notwithstanding, of course.

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I never had an actual 2600, but my first console was a 7800, and I mostly had 2600 games for it.  So for me, in approximate order:


1. Beamrider

2. Yar's Revenge

3. Demon Attack

4. Enduro

5. Centipede

6. Barnstorming


Beamrider is probably better on most other systems it's on, but I usually play the 2600 version out of habit.  Sadly I never had it on a cart growing up :(


EDIT: How the hell did I forget Yar's Revenge?!

Edited by Remilia Scarlet

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I am a fan of River Raid, Pitfall, Centipede and i must say atari Pac-Man is alright, it's kinda overhated.
Haven't played adventure yet but it's on my list (oh and the fan made atari 2600 games are very cool)

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My brother's bought an Atari 2600 back in the day, so it was a BIG thing at the time and when I went next door to my friend's house they had a ColecoVision so I got to play Donkey Kong and I remember some D&D like maze game that we played a lot but I don't recall the name.


My absolute favorite was always Asteroids. Played the hell out of that game....


  • Asteroids
  • Defender
  • Missile Command
  • Berserk
  • Adventure
  • Yar's Revenge
  • Mouse Trap
  • Chopper Command
  • Seaquest
  • Star Raiders

As for Yar's Revenge, I found it annoying too until my friend and I started taking turns playing it one day and after awhile it got really fun once I got good at it. Later on, when I was still hot for playing it I rolled the score.


E.T. I had a loan of from a friend. I still fucking hate that game. lol


I also had Swordquest: Earthworld. I could never figure that damned game out. Fuck those stupid contest games.


[Edit] Speaking of Pac Man. Never played that on the 2600. Instead I had the Coleco hand held, tabletop Pac Man that I never got back after loaning it to someone.




Edited by Doom_Dude

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5 hours ago, Remilia Scarlet said:

5. Centipede


I asked for Centipede for Christmas one year but it wasn't to be found. That was one game I wanted to play but never did.

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2 hours ago, unerxai said:

My favorite 2600 game is Megamania by Activision. It also had an awesome commercial.


I managed to get to a million...or the closest you can get to a million before the game freezes.


Other classics that I remember:


Yar's Revenge

Super Breakout, especially the progressive mode (regular Breakout only had 2 levels and ended after you reached 864 points)

Slot Racers

not Pac-Man

Video Pinball

Canyon Bomber



not ET

Space Invaders

Star Raiders

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Berzerk (while not originally built for 2600) was a great Challenging game, (despite the negative horror stories surrounding it) and was well before it's time as far as technology.

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These are all the 2600 games I still play regularly:



Moon Patrol

Dig Dug


Super Cobra

Jr Pac Man

Missile Command





Pole Position

Star Voyager



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I had a lot of Atari games. My uncle gave me his entire collection for free when he "upgraded" to SNES and SEGA Genesis.

I think that was around my 8th birthday. I played a lot of Moonsweeper, Beamrider, Base Attack, HERO and Keystone Kapers,- and all those space simulations were quite addictive as well. Space Shuttle...LOL ! I would never manage to return to earth, I was always lost in space. Adventure was a funny game, too. Your character is just a single Pixel. 




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We had an Atari 2600 growing up, I think we only had about 10 cartridges, but most of the games were quite crappy, Adventure and Phoenix were the ones I played the most, and Asteroids was the go-to game for two players.


Recently I tried to make a game for it, running under an emulator, and it was eye-opening how incredibly primitive the hardware of an Atari 2600 is -- making any kind of a playable game is just incredibly difficult.  It makes you appreciate what an achievement the good games like Pitfall and Adventure really are.

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