The Atari 7800 is more than a throwback, it’s a return to playing on an absolutely classic system. Depending on your age, it might be retro or it might be nostalgic for you to play the Atari 7800. Regardless, playing the best Atari 7800 games is a ton of fun.
The third Atari system, coming after the Atari 2600 and 5200. This is a classic system from the 1980s, with a controller that simply had a joystick and two buttons to hit. This allows for simple and quick-paced gaming. Of course, one of the main goals of the Atari 7800 was to make a higher quality video game system. They nailed that and more, making the Atari 7800 iconic for years to come. It also didn’t hurt that a lot of the games for the Atari 7800 were classic, arcade-style games that could be played at home.
With so many great things about the Atari 7800, it’s important to also know the best Atari 7800 games, and here they are:
The Best Atari 7800 Games
First on our list of the best Atari 7800 games is Beef Drop.
Beef Drop is just about as simple a game as exists. Yet, just like a basic app on your phone, Beef Drop is surprisingly addictive and fun to play. As far as the actual gameplay goes, it’s just as simple as it sounds. Your job is to make as many burgers as possible. Of course, that’s deceptively simple. You have three enemies to fight, including Mr. Pickle, Mr. Egg, and Mr. Hot Dog.
Easy enough to play, and just as exciting, Beef Drop is a great game for anyone who is looking for a classic arcade-style video game.
When it comes to arcade games, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are far and away the most iconic. Everyone knows them, has played them, and loves them. When it comes to the Atari 7800, Ms. Pac-Man is the best iteration of this iconic game.
As far as retro experiences go, none beat playing as Ms. Pac-Man. Going around, dodging ghosts, eating as much as possible is exciting even today. Being able to reverse things and eat the ghosts is satisfying for everyone. The best part is that Ms. Pac-Man isn’t an easy game. It takes some strategy and skill to get through from one level to the next. At the end of the day, Ms. Pac-Man is a can’t miss game.
For anyone who is sick and tired of boring NBA 2K games that let you play basketball, but don’t let you fight, Basketbrawl is the best option for you. There are also plenty of elements to Basketbrawl that will remind you of NBA Jam, but at the end of the day, Basketbrawl is its own thing entirely. It’s a unique game that is great for casual gameplay and groups.
Basically, Basketbrawl is what it sounds like. You play basketball, but you can also get into physical fights with your competition. If the game isn’t going your way, just punch your opponents to change your luck. Who said that cheaters never win?
Kung Fu Masters
A list of the best Atari 7800 games would not be complete without Kung Fu Masters!
If you’re looking for an arcade-style fighting game that has good graphics for the era and a fun set-up then Kung Fu Masters is a great choice of game. The basic goal is to save your girlfriend by going through different levels with your Kung Fu skills. It’s fun, brightly colored, and simple to play, which makes it a great entry point for retro video games.
This is a fairly simple game. You won’t find combo moves here or special power-ups. Instead, you’ll face off against the enemies with only the ability to kick or punch. You get multiple lives and can even play Kung Fu Masters as a multiplayer game.
Fatal Run is one of the most unique games ever made for the Atari 7800. Most Atari 7800 games are one genre, if that, and are decidedly like playing an arcade game on a home console. Fatal Run, on the other hand, blends racing games and the post-apocalyptic genre, while taking a step up from the classic arcade-style game that you see in most Atari 7800 games. The best part is that it holds up today.
The game itself is based around Earth having collided with a comet, and you have to deliver a radiation vaccine to the survivors of that collision. There’s just one added issue, aliens want control of Earth, and they’re trying to stop you from completing your mission. It’s exciting and challenging in the best way possible.
Alien Brigade is one of the last titles to come out for the Atari 7800, as the system’s run was coming to an end. Still, they weren’t phoning it in with Alien Brigade. You can play Alien Brigade with either the joystick or the Atari Light Gun. Either way, it’s just about the best retro option available to you. With multiple different difficulty levels, you can even play the game through multiple times without worrying about being bored or doing the same thing over and over again.
Alien Brigade is a first person shooter, where the basic idea is that aliens are possessing the bodies of dead soldiers, a bit like John Carpenter’s The Thing. You need to go around killing the aliens and preventing them from possessing the bodies of different soldiers.
One on One: Dr J vs. Larry Bird
Most games of the one on one pick-up basketball games are only half-court sets. Playing full court is just too much running. One on One: Dr J vs. Larry Bird uses this format of basketball and converts it into a video game, only playing half-court, rather than a full court, five on five game like you would normally see today. In the game itself, you can play as Larry Bird or Julius Erving (Dr. J), as the title suggests.
This is a one on one game that you’re playing, but it is challenging or fairly realistic to actual basketball itself. You can get called for fouls and being overaggressive can lead to issues. Of course, that isn’t to say there aren’t opportunities to play more aggressively. It’s not unheard of the break the backboard with your shot, for instance. All in all, this is a great game to play on your own, but it’s even better to play with a friend or a group of friends in a tournament setting.
If Basketbrawl is a blend of fighting and basketball, then what does that make Ninja Golf? It’s a ton of fun to start with. Basically, Ninja Golf is a golf video game. It just differs in the fact that there is a live dragon and ninjas trying to attack you. That’s a normal and reasonable game.
What makes Ninja Golf special is that the idea is so out there that it’s incredibly exciting a fun to play. It brings that spirit of an arcade-style game that most people like about Atari 7800 games. It just does so with such an imaginative and wacky game idea that you simply can’t ignore Ninja Golf. There are even multiple different types of courses and enemies that you have to fight off.
Poll Position II
Poll Position II is one of the best racing games to come out on the Atari 7800, with realistic graphics, crisp courses, and strong gameplay. The bright colors of the game are in stark contrast to a lot of modern racing games, but that’s great for the player. It’s fun and exciting, which makes it one of the most enjoyable racing games that has ever been made.
Poll Position II comes with multiple new levels from the original Poll Position, which is shows tons of improvement on. This includes several new levels and explosions. Plus there are new graphics, adding to the overall landscape. This is a game best played in a group of people, because while it is simple it’s also a ton of fun and great way to get some retro competition in.
If Rampage seems familiar, it’s because of the movie of the same name by Dwayne Johnson. That just goes to show the staying power that Rampage has had over the years. If you go back to the game for some nostalgic fun, you’ll see why. You take on the role of one of three people who has turned into a giant animal. Those giant animals are similar to King Kong, Godzilla, and a giant Wolf Man. Your goal, destroy everything in sight.
As far as the game itself goes, you can play it as a multiplayer game or as a single player game. It feels like a classic arcade game, but with the addition of a lot more destruction. It’s one of the most underrated games to ever come out for the Atari 7800 and is one that every classic video game fan can enjoy.
Last, but not least, on our list of the best Atari 7800 games is Galaga.
Galaga is one of the absolute classic arcade games that has ever existed. Luckily, there is a version of Galaga that can be played on the Atari 7800, which makes this one of the best Atari 7800 games available for nostalgia and retro gaming.
As far as games go, Galaga is fairly simple, as is often the case with great arcade games. It’s a space battle where you shoot at your opposing enemies and dodge them as they attack you. Of course, conceptually, this sounds easy enough. In practice, however, it’s much more difficult to beat Galaga than it sounds. It’s challenging and addictive.
Wrapping Up The 11 Best Atari 7800 Games
As of right now, you can nab an old Atari 7800 on Amazon!
What did you think of our list of the best Atari 7800 games? Like it, love it, or hate it? Let us know in the comments below.