Favorite Games List – Atari 2600

The Favorite Games List was a recurring feature originally published on Trevor Trove. This installment originally debuted on November 8, 2015

A couple months ago, I started what was intended to be a regular series where I wrote about my favorite games, system by system. But then Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain happened and I neglected the site for a while. As my November challenge of a post a day continues, I thought it a good time to bring that one back. Previously, I covered my super early (pre-Windows) years of PC gaming, so this post will introduce the console side of things.

Unfortunately, as my family moved on to the Nintendo Entertainment System, our Atari (with that sexy wood paneling) and its games were tragically sold off at a yard sale before I was old enough to assert how much I would one day want it (our ’69 Camaro and pool table were similar sold off, much to my dismay). As a result, this wasn’t a system I was able to go back and revisit. I don’t even know what games we had apart from the highlights I’m listing here. So here we go. The best games of…

The Atari 2600

Pitfall – This is the Atari game I have the most vivid memories of playing. Moving that joystick and jumping over the pits and alligators, thus cementing my love of platforming games at an early, early age.

Frogger – My dad and I would take turns with the joystick to see who could get farther. I was always amazed when he’d make it to the end of a level when I wouldn’t even make it across the road. But then again, I was a three- or four-year-old and he had about a 30-year head start on hand-eye coordination skills.

pole position.jpg

Pole Position – Another game with memories tied to my father (somewhat of a trend in my early years). My dad has always been a racing fan. Sundays were often NASCAR days at my house. He worked weekends so he’d tape a race on VHS and then watch it when he got home, fast-forwarding to the good points: lead changes, accidents, etc. So Pole Position fit right in with the kind of game he’d enjoy.

Pong – The game that started a revolution. I obviously wasn’t around for the original incarnation of this classic in the 70s, but I definitely remember sitting around our big game room television as a family, taking turns playing each other in Pong. I’m pretty sure my wins against my younger sister were clean, but I’m guessing those against my parents were probably a result of them letting me win to avoid little Trevor temper tantrums.

I definitely don’t recall us having the most infamous of Atari games: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. I didn’t even see the movie until a 10th grade Spanish class. We might have had some of the other classics like Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Missile Command but I remember those much more as Arcade cabinets than something we played in the comfort of our own home. And I’ll touch on Arcade games in another installment. Let me know in the comments if you had any Atari favorites (or if you were even alive back then).

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