Retro Video Games and Consoles
Megalong Games > Atari 2600
The Atari 2600 was the first successful game console. Also known as the VCS for Video Computer System.
It was released in 1977 at a price of $200, but initially it sold slowly. It would have completely destroyed the company, but the new owner, Warner Communications, helped out the system after Nolan Bushnell left. Atari rapidly scooped up licenses, including: Space Invaders from Taito, Pac Man, E.T. (video game), and others. By 1979, it was the best selling Christmas present (and console), mainly because of its exclusive content. Like all consoles, it was badly hurt by the video game crash of 1983, but managed to survive. The Atari 2600 continued to sell in the USA and Europe until at least 1988, and continued to sell in PAL version in Asian nations until the early 1990s. Videogames for it are still made for it today by hobbyists.
Atari 2600 Specs:
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This can be a subjective matter, of course, but Mike Littau conducted an informal 2600 games poll on r.g.v. a few years ago, trying to find answer this very question.
Here are the results, with some slight changes in format:
|Best overall 2600 game:
2.(tie) Solaris,Yar's Revenge
4. River Raid
|Best original idea for a 2600 game:
3. Yar's revenge
4.(tie) Stampede, Kaboom, Kool Aid Man
|Best music or sound for a 2600 game:
1. Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns
3.(tie) Haunted House, California Games
|Best adventure game:
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Haunted House
5. Secret Quest
|Best action game:
2. Demon Attack
3. Missile Command
5.(tie) Chopper Command, Moon Patrol
|Best sports game:
1. Activision Tennis
3. RealSports Tennis
4.(tie) Super Football, RealSports Football, Activision Boxing
|Best racing game:
1. Indy 500
3.(tie) Sprintmaster, Grand Prix
4.(tie) Barnstorming, Slot Racers
|Best graphics for a game:
4.(tie) Barnstorming, Demon Attack, River Raid
|In addition, The 2600 Connection ran an article on the 2600
cartridge "Hall of Fame", listing the best classic 2600 games.
The 2600 Connection Cartridge Hall of Fame (from issue #10):