Monday, November 28, 2011

Top 5 Best Atari 7800 Titles

I got an Atari 7800 for Christmas one year.  It played games from the Atari 2600, which was cool, but this system was destined for the trash heap of history as Nintendo's NES and Sega's Master System were about to make Atari essentially obsolete.  Here are the top 5 games I remember playing on the old 7800.

5: Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One on One (1987) - Often just called One on One, you controlled a cartoonish version of Dr. J or Larry Bird, complete with slam dunks and outside jumpers.  It allowed one or two players, which made for great tournaments among friends.

4: Kung-Fu Master (1989) - To beat this game, you worked through 5 levels of bad guys, each with a boss character at the end.  This game is essentially the Bruce Lee classic movie Game of Death in video game form.  Good playability and it being one of the few side-scrollers let this game creep into the top 5.

3: Galaga (1987) - The single best fixed shooter game of all time, the 7800 version was just about arcade quality, with only minor differences in game play and somewhat inferior graphics.  It's simply one of the most fun games ever produced for this system.

2: Choplifter (1987) - You are a helicopter pilot trying to rescue hostages from behind enemy lines.  Be careful not to land on the hostages or you'll kill them.  Also, don't drop them.  Oh yeah, avoid tank fire and other dangers.  The graphics stunk, but the game play was solid and the game was fun.

1: Joust (1988) - You are a knight riding a flying ostrich attempting to kill other knights by landing on them with your ostrich (rather than, say, stabbing them with your lance).  When you do so, they turn into a giant egg worth points, which are meaningless to game play.  This game had one screen and although it took a certain amount of skill, was not particularly challenging--but something made it fantastic.  Anyone who's ever played this game understands it had a certain quality that makes it infinitely playable.

Despite the 7800 ending up in the dustbin of gaming history, I have fond memories of it.  One game deserves special mention.  I had high hopes for Karateka, which was a side-scroller port from a variety of earlier systems.  Unfortunately, game play was made impossible by the counter-intuitive controls which required you to pull backwards on the control to punch forward, for example.  I am sure none of you had the 7800, and most of you probably never heard of it, but if you have, share any stories or memories you have below, and like us on Facebook.


  1. 7800.....the n.e.s. killer!!!

  2. Right--if it had come out on time, it would have been 2 years ahead of NES in the US.  Still probably wouldn't have mattered, but you've gotta wonder whether that time would have drawn developers to make better side-scrollers, which would have made Atari competitive at least.  R.I.P. 7800...

  3. This is great...found it looking for images of One on One which was also my favorite game along with Joust.  I still remember getting super pissed at Karateka for the stupid controlablity. My still 7800 is in storage...can't seem to part with it.

  4. That damn Karateka--it should have been so good!  Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sharing--so glad to hear you still have your old 7800!  Sounds like you've got a lot of memories attached to it.  I wish I still had mine, but young me dumped it for Nintendo as soon as I could...