National Game Registry: Atari 8-bit Family (400/800, XL, XE, XEGS)

United States Library of Congress


image: Game Consoles

Atari 800
image: Old Computers

Atari 800XL
image: Old Computers

Atari 130XE
image: Old Computers

Atari 5200 SuperSystem
image: Game Consoles

This article features the best games released for the Atari 8-bit Family computer series as selected by the National Game Preservation Board and recommended for permanent preservation by the United States Library of Congress National Game Registry.

System: Atari 8-bit series
Manufacturer: Atari
Debut: 1979
Nation of origin: United States

The Atari 800 and its cheaper counterpart, the 400, marked Atari’s entry into home computers. Although the home computer sector was much more competitive than the gaming console market, Atari was able to claim a piece of the pie and remained a computer power for over a decade. The 400/800 line was the beginning of a series that has come to be known as the 8-bit Family, which also includes the incrementally upgraded Atari XL and Atari XE redesigns. In 1982, Atari converted the 800 hardware into the 5200 Supersystem console, the intended successor to the 2600 VCS console. Unfortunately, 800 and 5200 software was incompatible due to distinct cartridge slot sizes. Atari offered another console conversion known as the XEGS in 1987. This newer console was fully compatible with the 8-bit Family computers as it was really a simple redesign of the Atari XL. The 8-bit Family was very well supported by Atari and third-party developers, resulting in perhaps the strongest library of any Atari system. Inducted games include:

Pitfall II: Lost Caverns


Emulation: National Game Registry recommends Atari800Win for Atari 8-bit Family emulation on home computers.

Visit the National Game Registry to view more inductees.

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