If you’re a fan of classic Atari games or maybe have heard about their history and wanted to check out their catalog then Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection might be for you. Atari is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and they got the masters over at Digital Eclipse to help bring this new collection to fans. It’s one of the finest and most robust game collection titles I’ve played so read on for my review of the PlayStation 5 version.
Atari 50’s presentation is one of the coolest things about this collection. Everything is presented to you in interactive timeline form. All 100+ games are sorted left to right on this timeline along with video interviews, fun facts, photos, old commercials, and more. Being able to read the instruction manuals for the games, listen to interviews about their development, and then jump into the game to play it for yourself is pretty incredible and you really don’t see this much care in most video game compilations out there.
The games themselves have excellent emulation quality even if all of them aren’t that fun to play today. You have titles from the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Arcade, Atari Lynx, Jaguar, and 8-bit computers. Many of the names you’ll recognize like Pong, Breakout, Centipede, and Missile Command along with some maybe you haven’t like I, Robot or Food Fight. You even get six brand-new games that are inspired by some other Atari classics. One of those is a new entry in the Swordquest series, another is a new version of Breakout called Neo Breakout, and another is a four-player tank game called QuadraTank.
While not every game here is a winner and there is a good chance you won’t spend long playing many of these, I just appreciated how well put together the whole thing is. I’m not the biggest Atari person myself but I know great work when I see it and the love put into this is sure to please the die-hard Atari fans out there. It would’ve been nice to get certain other titles from Atari’s past such as E.T. but due to licensing issues they couldn’t be included here.
Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration is one of the best game compilations of all-time as Digital Eclipse proves they are one of the best at what they do once again. It isn’t just the fact that you get 100+ Atari games but that you get them presented to you in such a well thought out way. You get to hear from the people who worked on these games and get the learn the backstory on them before jumping in and playing a game for yourself. This is a must-own for any Atari fan and anyone who is mildly curious about the company’s heritage.
*Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.