10. Sinistar

    Great speech.  Feeling of flying freedom.  Simple goal and gameplay, but difficult to master.
9. Asteroids
    As simple as the bass background thumping is, it sets an incredible mood.  This combined with tight thrust contols and bright vector graphics set it above the more bland raster games of the day.  Established vector graphics in the arcade and gave them mainstream appeal, setting the stage for Atari's other vector mega-games.  Before Asteroids, vector graphics were restricted to Cinematronics/ Vectorbeam games mainly, which (except for maybe Space Wars) did not really have mass appeal/distribution.
8. Joust
    Arguably the best 2-player game of the decade.  The graphics were ahead of its time.  I was never very good at this game, but loved playing it nevertheless.
7. Pac-Man
    Played the heck out of this as a kid.  Basically I can play until I get tired of playing.  Sometimes the great gameplay is lost in the redundancy and over-exposure of the game.
6. San Francisco Rush
(Atari Games)
    THE best driving game released thus far. Speed Freak was ahead of its time.  Pole Position was revolutionary, as was Daytona USA.  SF Rush simply takes what made Daytona USA great and made everything better -- force-feedback controls, realism and flowing graphics, etc.
5. Tron
    Simply awesome.  Four different games in one.  The light cycle is my favorite level, yet it's the hardest to complete.  Great movie and great game to compliment it.  Discs of Tron was also good, but more difficult and not as fun (for me anyway).
4. Defender/Stargate
    No use in ranking them seperately.  Very similar, great games.  Stargate was more advanced and more difficult, but also a little better in my mind.  Defender was still the one that looked like it was plucked out of 1983 and planted in 1980.  Spotting it sitting next to a B&W (or B&W w/ color overlay) game in the arcades simply heightened this effect.
3. Star Wars
    When it was released, no game in the arcade could compete with the 3-D speed of this game.  Few match its intensity to this day (especially the ventilator shaft approach).  The movie speech and awesome flight controller only added to the greatness of the game.
2. Robotron: 2084
    Lose yourself in a cloud of grunts, hulks, psyconic blasts and come out unscathed and firing away, leaving everyone who is watching you play shaking their head.  This game is pure intensity. Berzerk on acid.
1. Tempest
    Beautiful graphics, tight/super fast controls, and furious gameplay.  THE best game of all time.  The fact that it had such an accident-prone monitor and the lengths that operators (pushed by the demand of the public) were willing to go to keep working Tempests in the arcade serves as testimony to how great a game it is.  My fingers would get so sweaty I had to wipe them between webs to keep a good spinner grip.  3-D warping and escaping the spikes is a huge adrenaline rush.  A screenshot of the game should be next to "adrenaline" in the dictionary.

Go to previous page