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The History of the Atari Video Game Consoles

Updated on March 22, 2017

Original 2600

The original Atari 2600 was released in 1977. Several years later a smaller version was released called the Atari 2600 Junior.
The original Atari 2600 was released in 1977. Several years later a smaller version was released called the Atari 2600 Junior. | Source

Atari 2600 (1977)

The Atari 2600 was released in 1977 and it came with two joystick controllers and the video game called "Combat". The system was discontinued in 1990 and it released 560 games. The first gaming console that I ever owned was the 2600 junior model which my grandparents got for me in 1985. Some of the most famous video games of all time were released on this system.

Atari?

Have you ever owned the "Atari Jaguar"?

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Atari 5200 SuperSystem

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem came packed with controllers that had reset, pause and start buttons for the first time on their consoles.
The Atari 5200 SuperSystem came packed with controllers that had reset, pause and start buttons for the first time on their consoles. | Source

Atari 5200 (1982)

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem was released to the public in 1982 and it was the same as the 2600 as far as graphics go. It looked nicer and it had some great new additions which were mostly about the controller. The Analong joystick has pause and reset buttons and a numeric keypad. It was discontinued in 1984 to make way for the 7800. At the time, it was amazing to see a controller or joystick equipped with a pause and reset button.

Top 10 Atari 2600 Games (Video)

Atari 7800 ProSystem

The Atari 7800 ProSystem ha improved graphics over the 2600 console but it was, however, backwards compatible, allowing it to play 2600 and 7800 game cartridges.
The Atari 7800 ProSystem ha improved graphics over the 2600 console but it was, however, backwards compatible, allowing it to play 2600 and 7800 game cartridges. | Source

Atari 7800 (1986)

The Atari 7800 ProSystem was released in 1986 and it was backwards compatible with the 2600 console. The graphics and sound were improved tremendously on this console even though it was doomed because of the emergence of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Several excellent games were released but not nearly enough titles to compete with the NES.

Atari Rating

Cast your vote for Atari 2600

Jaguar Controller

The Jaguar controller had lots of buttons but it was a little heavy and bulky.
The Jaguar controller had lots of buttons but it was a little heavy and bulky. | Source

Atari Jaguar (1993)

The Atari Jaguar was the first 64-bit system and it was released in 1993. This was the last video game system that Atari released other than the CD-Rom add on. The games had superb graphics and they were easy to play. The only complaint I had was the huge controller but as I said the games were top notch for the time. I had the Sega Genesis and Sega CD as well as the Jaguar and to be honest, I liked the Jaguar much better.

Best Atari Jaguar Games

Doom
Myst
Tempest 2000
Wolfenstein 3D
Alien vs Predator
Flashback
Atari Karts
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
Supercross 3D
 
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
 
The list above shows the top 10 Atari Jaguar games ever produced.

CD Add-On

The Jaguar CD attached to the Atari Jaguar much like the Sega C hooked onto the Sega Genesis.
The Jaguar CD attached to the Atari Jaguar much like the Sega C hooked onto the Sega Genesis. | Source

Atari Jaguar CD (1995)

The Jaguar CD released in 1995 and it attached to the Atari Jaguar. The video clips from the games were higher quality than the Sega CD but with only 11 games released and no hard ad campaign, it failed. If Atari had of tried harder with this concept and continued to flow out games for the Jaguar they could have competed.

Atari 5200 Commercial (Video)

Demon Attack

Shoot lasers at hovering demons that increase in quantity as the game progresses.
Shoot lasers at hovering demons that increase in quantity as the game progresses. | Source

Top 5 Atari 2600 Games

1. Ms. Pac-Man (1983) Everyone knows this classic. Ms. Pac-Man eats pellets and ghosts while traveling a maze.

2. Pole Position (1983) One or two player racing game. A pioneer car racing video game

3. Space Invaders (1980) You move horizontally shooting lasers at alien invaders as you dodge the incoming.

4. Demon Attack (1982) Go side to side shooting laser cannons at demons that get ore fast and complex as you advance in the game.

5. Centipede (1982) In this shooter you must destroy spiders, scorpions and of course, centipedes before they combine and reach the bottom of the screen.

Atari 7800 Console Review (Video)

Berzerk

Berzerk is a game in which you must escape a maze as you kill robots along the way.
Berzerk is a game in which you must escape a maze as you kill robots along the way. | Source

Top 5 Atari 5200 Games

1. Frogger (1983) In this classic, your character is a frog and the goal is to avoid dying as you cross past traffic and over river waters.

2. Pac-Man (1983) Made the same as the arcade version other than weaker graphics. Eat pellets and fruit as you avoid ghosts even though you can eat ghosts if you eat power pellets.

3. Q*Bert (1983) You are this weird guy called Q- Bert and you jump around on squares making up a pyramid. Avoid or squash enemies as you light up the squares and advance.

4. Dig Dug (1983) Go under the earth and in the dirt to destroy monsters by tossing rocks on them or inflating them with a pump until an explosion happens.

5. Berzerk (1983) Escape mazes that are loaded with laser- shooting robots. Run or shoot them into pieces.

Jaguar

64- Bit

Donkey Kong Junior

Donkey Kong Junior is about junior trying to rescue his father from Mario which is a big 180 degree turn from the first installment.
Donkey Kong Junior is about junior trying to rescue his father from Mario which is a big 180 degree turn from the first installment. | Source

Top 5 Atari 7800 Games

1. Asteroids (1987) Control a spaceship which can turn and shoot in all directions at flying saucers.

2. Donkey Kong Junior (1988) You Donkey Kong Jr and you must defeat Mario to save your Daddy, DK.

3. Pole Position 2 (1986) 1 or 2 player racing game that has better graphics and more cars than the original.

4. Kung-Fu Master (1989) Punch, kick and jump past karate experts and save the day. Five levels with a boss at the end of each.

5. Rampage (1988) You play as a giant gorilla, lizard or Godzilla looking creature. Destroy cities leaving nothing left as you kill and take damage from the U.S. Military.

Atari Headquarters (California )

Flashback

Flashback is a science fiction game and it had graphics that were far ahead of their time upon its release.
Flashback is a science fiction game and it had graphics that were far ahead of their time upon its release. | Source

Top 5 Atari Jaguar Games

1. Atari Karts (1995) If you have played Mario Kart then it is almost a carbon copy as far as gameplay goes. 1 or 2 players can race each other on several different tracks.

2. Doom (1993) This popular shooter game is played in first person. Kill demons and enter the dark layer to defeat evil with tons of big boy weapons.

3. Flashback (1992) It is a science fiction game in which you have a shield, gun and whip and must battle alien life on a strange planet.

4. Alien vs Predator (1994) You can play as a predator, Marine or an Alien. Kill enemy forces in first person mode. As the Marine you use weaponry but as the predator and Alien you use a different type of weapon.

5. Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (1994) Harry, junior must save his dad. Swing on vines and dodge alligators while getting past the jungle. The graphics and sound effects were excellent on this version.

Top 25 Atari Jaguar Games (Video)

© 2017 Buster Johnson

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    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Leslie, a real nice collection of Atari game' descriptions. I never owned one. But I've had friends who played with them. I've played with similar type games at the neighborhood arcade. And I certainly have my own favorite games I've played over the years.

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 3 months ago from Alabama

      I have many hobbies but I can't shake the gaming bug and it all started with Atari.

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