Does Anyone Even Remember the Atari XEGS?

The Atari XE Video Game System, or Atari XEGS, was released in Fall 1987 and sold for $159 shortly after the Atari 7800.  Not many remember the system because the 64-bit Atari Jaguar was released shortly after and was much more memorable. 

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(videogameconsolelibrary)

 Here are the Top 5 Atari XEGS games from that define the system. 


5. Ballblazer

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(youtube)

Sure games like these are no match for the 7th and 8th generation consoles we have now, but there is nothing quite like popping in a game that was made around the time I was born and participating in some good old competitive ball games. The fact that this game was 3-D at all was impressive. I won’t pretend to be a hard core fan of games that are shorter than the lock picking mini game on Skyrim, but I do have respect for the games that started it all. I probably won’t be spending much time playing this again. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t check out the originals. What ever happened to games that just started when you put it in? Why go through 12 unskippable screens and cut-scenes before the game even starts? Oh how I miss the simplicity. (nerdbacon)


4. Star Raiders II

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(youtube)

Star Raiders was the Atari 8-bit home computer's killer app, inspiring Ted Nelson to claim that "The Atari machine is the most extraordinary computer graphics box ever made, and Star Raiders is its virtuoso demonstration game." It was not until many years later that a sequel, of sorts, was released. This Star Raiders II was nothing at all like the original, as it was originally The Last Starfighter, a licensed tie-in to that was rebranded to avoid the stench of the box-office flop. (Maury Markowitz)


3. Choplifter

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(youtube)

Originally Choplifter! appeared on both Atari computers and the Apple II. It's arrival on the XE seemed similar to these computer versions. Its fun to refer to Atari and Apple ][ hardware as "computers" considering the original GameBoy probably had more power under the hood! 1982 was a good year for Choplifter! - it appeared on 6 computers/consoles. Many players will complain about the lack of visual diversity and minimal use of sound. For those folks, we like to remind them the mission takes place at night and it's a stealth rescue mission. Hampered vision and silence can be imagined as part of the "reality" factor. (8bitcentral)


2. Airball

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(youtube)

It's a new fantasy adventure game where you are turned into a pink bubble gum-like ball by an evil wizard. Find your way through 250 rooms of the mansion in search of the spellbook that can return you to human form so you can defeat the wizard! (atariage)


1. Crystal Castles

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(youtube)

Crystal Castles is only a one-player game. If you own an Atari XE or if you ever get the chance to play one, don't miss your chance to own, or at least play, this great, overlooked classic called Crystal Castles! I'm giving it a perfect score because just about every asset of the game stands a head or two above most other Atari cartridges. Whether it's the spectacular graphics, the memorable sounds and music, the unbelievable replay value, the engaging fun, or whatever, Crystal Castles has it all.  Even if you're real familiar with the Atari XE and many of its games, it will probably be hard for you to believe that the creators could fit so many levels, graphics, fun, etc., into just one cartridge like they did with these castles made of crystal. (gamefaqs)

The Author

I've been playing Nintendo since the 90s!