Atari 2600 review: A nostalgic voyage back in time

One of the most well-known old video game systems of all time, the Atari 2600, is said to be an exact copy. It has many good points, such as connecting to HDMI, a real cartridge slot, and working with older systems like the 7800. Read on to discover if Adventure Atari’s new system is good enough to add to your home entertainment system.

The Atari 2600 works well whether you were there in the late 1970s or are interested in the early days of video games. It shows a time when people could develop anything, and technology could have advanced. Game designers were given a blank slate to make all the different kinds of games we play today more than 50 years later. The original Atari is ready to go.

Atari 2600 Price and availability review

With a starting price of $129.99 / £99.99 for the console and an included Atari 2600 game disk, the Atari 2600 is available from big stores like Amazon in the US and UK. It is possible to buy extra games and devices separately. Each game costs $29.99 / £24.99, like Berserk and Mr. Run and Jump. The price is about the same as a RetroScaler 2x and less than what some modders charge for HD conversion changes for the Atari 2600 on the market.


Similar to many micro consoles released in recent years, the Atari 2600+ looks like the real thing, even though it is about 20% smaller and a lot lighter. There is the unique VCS woodgrain finish and the system’s four-switch design, and everything works properly.

As on the original Atari 2600, you can choose games, restart them, and switch between color and black and white. This nice touch makes this machine different from other console re-releases that aren’t nearly as real. The original hardware had a problem with stuck cartridges, but now the port is wider, so that doesn’t happen as often. You can also play games from the 2600 and 7800 systems.

There have been several Atari plug-and-play systems over the years, but only the Atari 2600+ has full HDMI support and the ability to play on a widescreen. A switch on the console lets you change the element ratio from 4:3 to 16:9. A USB-C cord connects to a USB-A port on your TV or computer to power the system. This keeps everything nice and light. Even though it’s a good move, people who want the real power brick must wait.

The technology inside won’t blow you away because Atari’s early games were simple. You can power the Atari 2600+ with a Rockchip 3128 SOC computer, 256GB DDR3 RAM, and 256MB eMMC flash memory. It gives off more than enough power for the Full HD output to enjoy the bright, blocky pictures, harsh bleeps, and bloops without any compression or blurring.

The fact that the Atari 2600+ lets you use the original Atari Joystick Port, which was later widely adopted by other companies like SEGA and Phillips, is what I like best about it. In other words, you can plug in any original Atari accessories you already have and start playing games immediately. The PlayStation Classic and SNES Classic Mini were two re-releases of micro-consoles that used both USB and private ports. I’m glad Atari made the right choice—a close-up of an Atari 2600 game controller.


The fact that the Atari 2600+ can play all of your favorite 2600 and 7800 games in Full HD with widescreen support and minimal power usage at an incredibly low price is its main selling point. The real disk slot is a big plus because it lets you use anything you want instead of what comes with the system.

You don’t have to worry about which Atari games will work with this system. The company has given a full list of 2600 and 7800 games that are compatible, including games made by their name and games made by other companies, like Activision. Most of them have passed, though some, like RealSports Boxing and 007 James Bond, could not be tested due to disc limitations.

The package comes with a 1:1 scale CX40+ Joystick that resembles the tried-and-true single-button remote. Since the Atari 2600 was called the VCS back then, the CX10 is different from the original controller that came with it. Instead, it is a remake of the more famous cross-platform controller. It came out about a year later because it was easier to make and cost less, but it was stronger.


The Atari 2600+ works exactly like you’d expect an old-school system from the late 1970s to: enter a cartridge with a satisfying push, plug in the joystick, and switch on the switch. Plug in the controller, and the game begins right away. I was testing on a 21:9 game monitor, and the picture was changed to fit the aspect ratio without making it look not good.

It made me smile to hear the sound effects that were squeezed so much come through clearer than I’d ever noticed before. It stood out most in Berzerk, where the digital words were as clear as day: “The humanoid must not escape” was now etched in the back of my mind. The stiffness of the CX40+ is unavoidable, even though the title was good then, and Atari did a good job of replicating it in the stick. It meant I had to work harder on some of those lateral moves. The cord is also pretty short, making it hard to sit comfortably on my couch. However, your experience may be different.

It was nice to see that Mr. Run and Jump was the company’s first new Atari 2600 game in almost 30 years. This title was originally made for the old-school system, though it can be played in a much more powerful version on newer hardware. This game is surprisingly hard and addicting, and it’s well worth the price of admission on its own, whether you buy it as part of a package or not. It’s great to see well-made titles for an old system.

The basic Atari 2600+ pack has a 10-in-1 multi-cart that should keep you busy for at least two hours. This has groundbreaking titles like Adventure, Missile Command, and Haunted House, but others can’t get the same amount of love. This is most likely for copyright reasons, but if you expect the best Atari 2600 games right out of the box, you might be disappointed. This is especially true for cheaper Atari Flashback devices with hundreds of installed games.

I have no problems with how well the Atari 2600+ emulates it. Along with the standard sprite showing of the time, everything looks and sounds just like it should. This was done to depict motion; titles like Berzerk, Mr. Run and Jump, and Haunted Mansion do this well—Atari 50 game list. The sound and film quality here are truly excellent. Some games that can be played on an Atari 2600.

Should you get an Atari 2600?

You’ll be happy with what the Atari 2600 game system can do, whether you’re curious about what made the Atari 2600 such a big hit when it first came out more than 50 years ago, or you played it a lot as a kid and want to play some of the games you used to play on it. Emulation is excellent for the price, and the picture and video quality are excellent.

The basic package only comes with ten games, with games like Bezerk and Mr. Run and Jump available individually. Pitfall, Space Invaders, Asteroids, River Raid, Demon Attack, Joust, and Spy Hunter are just a few of the games that helped the Atari 2600 system become famous in the early 1980s.

Still, it’s pretty good considering the Atari 2600’s build quality, the functionality on show, and the fact that you can still add hundreds of supported 2600 and 7800 titles. If you’re not interested in the history of old video games, this bundle won’t do much for you. But this machine has everything you need if you want to party like 1977.

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