Playing Atari 2600: A Bucket List for Gamers

Gamers nowadays are spoiled for choice when it comes to gaming platforms, from the latest Xbox and Playstation consoles to powerful gaming PCs. However, for those who are yearning for a nostalgic gaming experience, playing on an Atari 2600 should be on their bucket list.

What is Atari 2600?

The Atari 2600, originally called Atari VCS, is a home video game console released by Atari Inc. in September 1977. It was one of the first consoles to employ game cartridges, which allowed users to switch between different games without having to buy a new console each time. The console was wildly successful, selling over 30 million units worldwide.

Why Play Atari 2600?

Atari 2600 may seem primitive compared to modern gaming consoles, but it has its charm. Here are a few reasons why playing Atari 2600 is worth adding to your bucket list:


For many gamers, playing on an Atari 2600 is a trip down memory lane. It evokes memories of simpler times, where graphics were pixelated and the gameplay was straightforward. This console is a reminder of the early days of gaming, where the experience was just fun and games.


Modern gaming can often feel overwhelming, with endless options, complex controls, and detailed storylines. Atari 2600 games, on the other hand, are straightforward. There are no tutorials, no need for a 100-page manual to understand the game mechanics. The controls are simple, and the objectives are clear. It’s just you and the game.

Historical significance

The Atari 2600 has paved the way for modern gaming. It was the first console to introduce gaming cartridges, which allowed for a more extensive library of games, and made gaming more accessible to the masses. It was also the first console to lead the charge toward virtual reality, with the release of a 3D headset in 1983. By playing on an Atari 2600, you’re echoing the past and connecting to the gaming roots.

Top Atari 2600 Games To Play

Now that you’re convinced that playing Atari 2600 is worth it, it’s time to dive deeper into what games to play on the console. Here are some of the best games to add to your bucket list:


Pac-Man is a classic arcade game that took the world by storm in the 80s. The Atari 2600 version wasn’t as spectacular as the arcade, particularly with its flickering graphics and missing elements like intermissions and the kill screen. Nevertheless, it’s still worth playing for its nostalgically satisfying gameplay.


Asteroids is a space-themed shooter game that has become the epitome of classic video gaming. The Atari 2600 adaptation allowed for four different game variations, ranging from basic to complicated gameplay. Asteroids is a fun game that will challenge your hand-eye coordination and reflexes.


Pitfall! is an action-adventure game that was a popular hit in 1982. The game follows Pitfall Harry, as he swings on vines, jumps over crocodile-infested swamps and collects treasure. Pitfall! is an excellent game with a lovely visual aesthetic and addictive gameplay.

Space Invaders

Space Invaders is another game that revolutionized the gaming industry. The Atari 2600 version wasn’t as sophisticated as its arcade counterpart, but it was still a must-have game for the console that had a great deal of replay value. It’s a classic game that will appeal to anyone looking for some retro-fun


The Atari 2600 may not be a powerhouse compared to modern gaming consoles, but it is significant for its role in shaping the gaming industry, and is a great source of nostalgia for those who grew up with it. Playing on an Atari 2600 should be on every gamer’s bucket list, and hopefully, this article has given you an idea of what games to play on it. So find an Atari 2600 console, plug it in, and let the good time roll.