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Which Companies Made the Best Games?


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Right now I'm collecting Atari, Activision, Coleco, Parker Bros., M Network, and Imagic games. But which companies do you guys think made the best atari 2600 games? I'm thinking about expanding my collection, and would like to know how games from other companies compare with the games I already have.



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Since nobody else is gonna say it, I'll say I'm quite fond of most of the Tigervision releases, in particular Jawbreaker, Polaris and Threshold. But I also enjoy Miner 2049'er and even King Kong is pretty decent.

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Activision, Parker Bros and as long as we're naming some of the less popular companies, I'll admit that I like a bunch of the MNetwork games also. I think Space Attack is very underrated and I like Bump N Jump, Astroblast, and Lock N Chase too. The sports games were good and I can even get into Kool-Aid Man, Tron Deadly Discs, or Dark Caverns for awhile. I will admit some disappointment on Burgertime but for the most part their games were pretty good.

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It's remarkable to me that so many are quick to list several of their favorite 3rd party companies, but only one person mentioned Atari, the company that started it all. Atari produced more than three times as many games as the next prolific company. Among the Atari label cartridges are many, many of the greatest games ever made for the system.


Who among you would feel your collection was complete without Yars' Revenge, Adventure, Warlords, Stargate, Combat, Centipede, Road Runner, Crystal Castles, Solaris, Dark Chambers and far too many other great Atari titles to list here?


I don't deny that Atari had their share of duds. But the number of enduring classics Atari created themselves must not be overlooked. Sure, Imagic and Activision had impressive batting averages when it came to cranking out hit after hit. But for every great game these companies put out -- even when combined -- Atari still had them beat.



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Honestly Ben, I think the reason nobody names Atari is because it's too obvious. If you have an Atari, you have Atari games - it's ubiquitous. Even if you only have 5 games, you've probably got Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Combat, Defender and Home Run. Also, I think the idea of owning a "complete set" of Atari games is far out of reach when you consider they own several of the big 9's and up - Obelix, Ikari Warriors and Motorodeo among them. So I doubt anybody purposefully "collects Atari" but just because Atari made so many titles and had such large production runs on some of the lower rarities, we're all bound to end up with them. In fact it's the very redundancy of the phrase that probably kills people mentioning. I collect Atari for my Atari? Quite frankly it sounds absurd. :lol: But I'll never turn any game for my VCS I don't own, whether it's an "Atari" game or an ATARI game. :D

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I think the best are Activision, Atari, Imagic and Parker Brothers in that order. If it wasn't for HERO, I'd probably pick Atari over all.


I also really like Tigervision games. When I was kid, I would buy their games before any other companies when I could find them. I think it was because of the Maruader box art, I just thought they were a cool company.

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i cant believe 20th century fox hasn't been mentioned. They were one of my all time faves back then, Beany Bopper, Turmoil, Worm War I are some of my all time favortie 2600 games. They also hold the #1 spot, my favorite 2600 game of all time, Space Master X-7. Also, MANY of the new games surfacing these days are old fox games, like the excellent alligator people. On an un-related note, I remember reading that no-one knew what in the world to compare Alligator People too... One need look no further than Fox's own stable, to see many gameplay similarities with Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes. The injector of AP even bears a striking resemblance to the sprayer of Rotbt.


Flash Gordon, Frantic Freddy, Mash (GREAT two player,) Mega Force (Huge game world, Deeds not words! a really fun action game.) Fantastic Voyage, Crash Dive (another game I was severly addicted to, Iloved the sky-to-water effects, and it had the closest thing to Godzilla I had seen in a game at the time :-) )


Alien was a great pac-man type game, I think you would be hard pressed to find a bad game in fox's released line-up. Even Porky's which I'm sure lots of people thought would be a quick cash-in turned out to be a pretty good game, even got decent reviews at the time.


I know companies like Epyx & Konami only made a few games, but I thought all the games they did make were quite well done.


I also feel that every 2600 game Sega made was pretty damn good up to awesome. (Tapper & Tac-Scan & Star Trek are real 2600 high points imho,)

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If I were to compile a full ranking of every game I have encountered on the 2600, a large number of titles made by Atari would be at both the top end (Solaris, Stargate, Yars' Revenge) and bottom end (Star Ship, Pac-Man, E.T.) of the list.


Atari gets excused somewhat for the poor quality of some early games because the system was in its infancy. And it regains every bit of blame it was excused for there, with the abominable Pac-Man and E.T. But Atari also made some really great games throughout the lifespan of the system, both proving that extremely rudimentary games can become classics if the gameplay is good enough, and also surprising us in the later years with the complexity and depth they were able to wring out of the system.


So it's a mixed bag with Atari.


I think the company that had the highest standard of consistent quality in all of its releases for the system is without a doubt Activision, with Imagic close behind. Imagic's games were "flashier" than Activision's, but Activision really pushed what the system was capable of more than anyone else, maybe even Atari themselves.

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1. Activision--I can't think of any Activision games I don't like until the later releases: Ghostbusters, Rampage and Double Dragon.


2. Atari--this is the company that started it all and games like Crystal Castles, Night Driver, Combat, and Space Invaders were truly innovative in their day.


3. 20th Century Fox--has some on the most imaginative games for the system and one of my all time favorites: Turmoil


4. Sega--Tapper is possibly the best arcade port to the Atari 2600.


5. Bomb--Assault and Wall Defender are some of the best games made for the Atari


6. Imagic--again, this company had some truly innovative games.


7. Parker Brothers--Frogger and Frogger II alone make this a great company.


8. Tigervision--Miner 2049er, Threshold, Miner 2049er II, Jawbreaker and King King are just a few of their great titles.


9. Xonox--I really enjoy playing Spike's Peak, Ghost Manor, Artillery Duel, Robin Hood and Tomarc the Barbarian


10. US Games--many of their games seem lame at first, but get addictive.

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