Jump to content

Top Ten Atari 7800 Games

Silver Back

Recommended Posts

I did an experiment a while back where I ranked my favorite games for the 7800, five different times (weekly) over a month. What I found was that my opinion would change based off what I had played recently, what I had maybe just gotten or was on my mind, etc. Of course this isn't groundbreaking information, I think most people understand that your mood and most recent experiences have an effect on these sort of things. 

Pretty much the same games stayed in the same rough areas, but the  exact order changed every time. I used that information to make my definitive 7800 ranking for all retail games on a different forum. But now I want to add homebrew to the list. 

So here is my top ten 7800 games (right now) based off of what I've played and own. No works in progress or that sort of thing will be included. 

10. Crazy Brix - As a fan of Super Breakout and Arkanoid, I naturally gravitate to this one.  It pays great respect to Atari's past but becomes extremely difficult in later levels. 

9. Donkey Kong PK - This nearly arcade perfect port has so many improvements over the original Atari release that I couldn't list them all here.  Once I converted my broken ballblazer to this there was no going back to regular old Donkey Kong. 

8. Asteroids - When it comes to time spent in my console, no other game comes close to Asteroids.  I'm so glad they went with the "meatball" style asteroids over emulating the vector graphics. 

7. Tower Toppler - I'm surprised that this game isn't more liked.  People actually tell me they hate this game!  Not me though, it's one of my favorites!

6. Ninja Golf - I finally beat this one on the normal difficulty late last year. And yes, I'm going to try for the hard mode next!  Silly idea, but lots of fun. 

5. Ms Pac Man - Another game from my childhood, but one I didn't appreciate until I got older.  This is one that my kids and I play together quite often. 

4.Midnight Mutants - I pull this game down every so often and play it until I finish it. I've probably beaten it 4-5 times in my life, and I hope to do another 5 before it's over!

3.Ikari Warriors - Yes this is extremely high on my list and maybe a tad too high, but I love it.  I find the control and challenge perfect and I've been playing it for 2 months now.  And I'm still not sick of it!  That's lasting power!

2. Food Fight - This is such an awesome idea for an Atari game. Some say that Ms Pac Man should've been the pack in, but you could make an argument for Food Fight.  Most people I talk to consider it synonymous with the 7800!  Love it.

And number one....drumroll please...

1. Touchdown Football - Tight control and action that would make John Madden cry...

Okay but seriously, number one is...

1. Rikki & Vikki - I have never been floored so hard by a game on my 7800 as I was by Rikki & Vikki. Had something like this released in 86 or 87 I think it could've sold consoles by itself.  Well thought out puzzles, fun and challenging boss battles, and incredible music makes this a game that's not to be missed. 

So what's your top 10 games?  After reading my list do you think I suffered some sort of brain damage?  Or do you agree?  I want to know!

 :pole_position_blimp: Watch 7800 Pro Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@TheAtariNetwork

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Silver Back said:

And number one....drumroll please...

1. Touchdown Football - Tight control and action that would make John Madden cry...

Interesting! I've never seen Touchdown Football this high on someone's list before, let alone tie for 1st. It was marketed as a "Super Game" but I always thought it was pretty lame compared to 10-Yard Fight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Justin said:

Interesting! I've never seen Touchdown Football this high on someone's list before, let alone tie for 1st. It was marketed as a "Super Game" but I always thought it was pretty lame compared to 10-Yard Fight.

hi guys,


 in my stores when asked about sports games for the 7800, i always pointed out touchdown football. i never got a bad response back. when it was rented, fathers usually bought the game later on, big seller on the holidays.

other sellers, mat mania challenge, pete rose baseball, mean 18, and titlematch pro wrestling. real sports baseball landed with a thud, even though the splash screen was impressive to me, the game it self, BLAH! hat trick did ok because of the intermission.




22735 Congo St. NE, Stacy, MN 55079

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hat Trick feels more like a fancy Pong game than a serious hockey game.  It is fun, though. Touchdown Football is not 10-Yard but is still a fun football game. See, I say I don't like sports games when in reality I don't like more modern sports titles when it is more about statistics, players, and such.  I like sports games better when it is more about the sport.  I could care less who Joe Blow is or how many runs batted in they got.  I love racing/driving games though except for NASCAR related ones.  Like NASCAR, don't care for the games.

I would have to put Asteroids as number 1 favorite for me on the 7800.  I like the little extra space sound effects heard at times.  Gives the game a really nice touch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A top 10 on 7800 ehh? This might be tough for me to list. And I wouldn't say I have a particular order for them either. But these are the games that impressed the heck out of me when I had my 7800 in the late 80s and still impress me today.

Double Dragon - yes I know the music is ear grating and the graphics could be better. But at the time I preferred it to the NES version as I felt the 7800 version was more like the arcade in the level layouts. Plus some of the levels did have some pretty great detail in their graphics and it was really just the character sprites that were lacking most.

Xevious - This was one of the games I got pretty early with my 7800 and I still feel this is the best home port of the arcade game.

Joust - Again, this was an early game I got for the 7800 and after my mom and I had played the 2600 version so much, this was QUITE a step up and still great to play.

Rampage - Again it doesn't compare as well to other releases such as the SMS version, but at the time, it was one of the games I saw coming out soon that made me want a 7800. I played it all the time in the late 80s. But it doesn't get much if any play time these days.

Xenophobe - Again the Lynx version of this just trounces the 7800 version. But between the 7800 and NES versions, I always preferred this one and I still play this game today as I like how quick it plays and find it impressive still.

Food Fight - I had never seen the arcade game when I was kid, but I was enticed by the screen shots on the back of the box back in the late 80s when I bought this. I was NOT disappointed and played it much more than I ever though I would.

F-18 - Yes it is a sad excuse for being a flight simulator. But at the time I found it very impressive and still fun to play given the graphics and the odd stuff I would try and do when playing this game and had a lot of fun playing it and mastering the challenges.

Pole Position II - yes it was the pack-in for the console. But it was also one of the games that made me want the console because I felt at the time that the graphics were amazing! I don't play this one much these days but I sure did when I was kid!

Crossbow - well, it shouldn't surprise anyone that this one is on my list. After all it is indeed part of why I have my online handle. The arcade game was always a fascination to me so when I saw this was on the 7800, I had to have it. And I still play this one from time to time even today. I actually prefer the joystick controls with this game because that was how I leaned to play it in the late 80s when I owned it. I still find this game to be pretty graphically amazing on several of the scenes. The volcano and castle scenes for instance were quite something back then.

Commando - This was NOT a game I originally owned in the late 80s and would only come to know of its existence on the 7800 years later when I got back into retro gaming and started collecting. Not sure how I didn't know about it back then but I did own the 2600 version and played that a bit. But once I got Commando on the 7800, it is and has been my favorite home port of the arcade game. And I'm quite familiar with the arcade game as I own the actual arcade cab. The 7800 version is very close to the arcade gameplay and ups it a bit with the hidden POW spots to find. However, I've found at least one spot where it is easy to just farm enemies over and over so high scores on this game are stupid easy to amass. Still, I play this quite a bit and it is sure to be played at least once, anytime the 7800 is powered up for any extended session of play.

So I guess I lied and I did kinda make this as a top ten with Crossbow and Commando being my two top faves for the system of original releases. The 7800 is easily my favorite Atari console I own and my second favorite console to play and collect for next to my Sega Genesis.


See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the response guys!  Touchdown Football was intended to be a silly joke. It's not tied for my number one, but maybe I didn't make that clear enough. Nothing against it but it's just not a number one game in my opinion. 

@CrossBow I love your list and I've always loved Double Dragon for the 7800!  You do have to cheese opponents with the jumping back kick but I do that with elbow smashes in other versions. Once you understand how the game works it's a lot more enjoyable!

I loved pole position 2 growing up and I found the backgrounds to be incredible. Something about seeing a city scape or ferris wheel come in and out of view while turning excited me. But I was a small child then but I still like the gameplay and backgrounds today. 

Crossbow is a game that my kids love to play with the xe light gun and I enjoy playing it with them.  They were floored by the final boss when we got there finally! 

I wouldn't be opposed to any of the games on your list. They're all fantastic choices. Rampage was a lot of fun when I was a kid.  the concept alone was captivating, but can't hold my attention for very long. 

Thanks again guys for the input and I hope to see more persona top tens!  I love to hear the reasoning!

Edited by Silver Back
Lots of spelling mistakes

 :pole_position_blimp: Watch 7800 Pro Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@TheAtariNetwork

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to spend more time with the 7800.  Here is my list off the top of my head.

7 - Donkey Kong - great fun but really grating sound

6 - Joust

5 - Centipede - the two player co-op mode is over the top fun

4 - Asteroids - the very best home version of Asteroids.

3 - One on One Basketball - the definitive version of an 8-bit computer classic. Really great controls.  I love doing the 360 dunk in the computer's face.

2 - Ballblazer - your NES can't do this as well as the 7800

1 - Food Fight - So much fun.  This game got the short straw getting ported to home systems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@RickR great list. I personally never had issue with donkey Kong's sound but I've heard that opinion enough to know I'm the definite minority there. Joust and centipede are great ports, and 7800 asteroids is one of my all time favorites. 

One on one basketball is fantastic. It was one of the first early basketball games that really felt authentic to me.  Turning your back to your opponent and then doing a spin and a jump shot, or driving to the hoop felt fantastic. Great choice. 

Ive seen ballblazer ranked as number one on quite a few lists and it looks super impressive. But to me, playing against the drones doesn't hold my attention long. It's a game that I need a 2nd player to truly enjoy and for that reason it usually slips outside my top 10. 

And food fight is a choice I just can't argue against. To me it's synonymous with the 7800 library. Thanks for your input. 

 :pole_position_blimp: Watch 7800 Pro Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@TheAtariNetwork

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most fascinating thing about Ballblazer to me is how terrible it is on NES and C64.  The original Atari 8-bit version is smooth as butter, and the 7800 version is pretty much identical.  It makes me wish they'd have just put the dang POKEY in the console so all games could have decent sound and music.  I can definitely see your point about the single player experience.  I probably should rank it lower for that reason. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve Golson who worked for GCC specifically during development of the 7800 has a few insights on the pokey and the console in general. Look up his appearances at gce 2012 and 2014 ( I think) on YouTube. It doesn't explain the reasoning in full for not including the pokey but he does talk about it.  

 :pole_position_blimp: Watch 7800 Pro Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@TheAtariNetwork

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the list from my website based on scores... these are currently the ones I have reviewed for the system- although I think 2 or 3 will sneak their way onto this list soon. 

 1) Rikki & Vikki (Homebrew)
2) Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest (Homebrew)
3) Baby Pac Man (Homebrew)
4. b*nQ/ Q*bert (Homebrew)
5. Pac Man Collection (Homebrew)
6. Frenzy (Homebrew)
7. Beef Drop/ Burgertime (Homebrew)
8. Ms. Pac Man
9. Tower Toppler
10. Centipede


 :pole_position_blimp: Visit Atari 7800 Forever online: https://www.atari7800forever.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...