Have you ever noticed how often modern magazines release "Top 10 lists?" "Top
10 games of all time," or "Top 10 consoles ever!" As a classic gamer, you may
have noticed that games and systems released prior to 1985 rarely appear.
No Atari machine or game ever makes it, even though the 2600 is one of the
most important systems in the history of gaming. (Of course, Atari usually does
make it to the "Worst game or system of all time" lists and E.T. and all Jaguar
games take the top slots.)
So, to counter all those ridiculous "Top 10 of all time lists" that
continually omit the important Atari systems, The Atari Times presents its
(totally unbiased!) list of the greatest consoles of all time!
10. Magnavox Odyessy & Odyssey 2
See? I told you The Atari Times
was unbiased! And here's our proof! These Magnavox
systems are where it truly started for home gaming. We game fans owe a great
debt to Ralph Baer and his "Brown Box."
9. Mattel Intellivision
This system is always forgotten about by the modern magazines. I guess they have this odd
notion that the Sega Genesis was the first 16-bit console. Not a lot of
classic games, but the control pad makes it memorable.
8. Coleco Colecovision
This one gave Atari a kick in the keister. Accurate conversions of arcade classics made
this a must have, but the controller leaves a lot to be desired.
7. Atari XEGS
Atari tried to stretch it's 8-bit line of computers a little farther, but the fact that it has a
light gun, keyboard, and hundreds of games available make this line an
important piece of hardware.
6. Atari 5200
Trying to innovate, Atari revamped it's 8-bit computer into a sleek sexy console with superior
graphics to compete with Coleco and Mattel. Few would argue for the
non-centering sticks, but it's hard to argue against how nice the games
5. Atari 7800
Combining the best of both worlds with even better graphics
than the 5200 and including the much desired backward compatibility of the 2600,
the Atari 7800 battled its way into the mid-80's against the likes of the NES
and Sega Master System.
4. Home Pong
One of the hottest toys after the release of arcade Pong. Before the days of the 2600, practically everybody who is anybody had one of these.
3. Atari Jaguar
What more can be said about this console? It was the first 64-bit system and it was Atari's last. It has
many stinkers, but many gems too. As the most powerful Atari system ever,
this one has more than earned it's place in history.
2. Atari Lynx
Before Nintendo released the black and white GameBoy, Atari was about to release the COLOR Atari Lynx. Featuring superb
graphics and gameplay the likes you'd only see on much higher end consoles of
the day, the Atari Lynx remained the most powerful exclusively handheld unit for
1. Atari 2600 VCS
As any true video game fan knows, the Atari 2600 sparked
the imaginations of hundreds of millions and kicked off what is now a MULTI-BILLION
dollar industry. How this system is not even included on other Top 10 lists is a
complete mystery. (Well, maybe not if you consider the "suck up" factor. There
is no Atari left for the mags to suck up to.)
Classic games such as Adventure, Asteroids, Missile Command, Space Invaders,
Pitfall, Pitfall II, Centipede, Kaboom!, River Raid, Warlords, Breakout, Ms.
Pac-Man, Empire Strikes Back, Space Shuttle, and dozens of others put this
system at the top of video game history.
Innovation in game design and technology came from the Atari 2600. Were it
not for this step in video gaming, we wouldn't have the Marios, the Halos, or
the Grand Theft Autos we are so enamored by today. And we think the legacy of
the 2600 deserves to be remembered just as fondly as those systems released
after 1984. Shame on anyone who would choose to forget this most important