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Best Selling Atari 7800 Games

The Atari 7800 gaming console was released 2 years later than its competitors, the NES and the Sega SG-1000, along with 13 games. 

A total of 59 official games were explicitly released for the console; some even became best sellers. So, let’s take a look at some of the best selling Atari 7800 games. 

Best Selling Atari 7800 Games

Best Selling Atari 7800 Games

The Atari 7800 doesn’t have many games made specifically for it, but because of its backward compatibility, it supports hundreds of games from the previous console versions. Here are some of the best selling Atari 7800 games:

  • Centipede(1981)
  • Donkey Kong(1981)
  • Xevious(1982)
  • Pac-Man(1982)
  • Impossible Mission(1984)
  • Karateka(1984)

Centipede (1981)

The first place on our list goes to one of the oldest shooter games ever made, Centipede. It was also one of the last games to achieve enormous success and sales from the golden age of arcade video games.

Centipede is a game with very simple shadows, which didn’t matter much in the early 80s since the gameplay was a lot of fun. 


The game’s goal is to destroy the segmented centipede coming down through a field of mushrooms by firing tiny dart-like projectiles. The “Blaster” that you shoot from is fixed to the bottom of the screen, and it can only move left or right. As you progress through the game, the mushroom count increases, making it even harder to destroy the entire centipede.

Even though it was an older game, Atari decided to port it to their Atari 7800 console because of its popularity and high rankings. Today, Centipede is part of the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Donkey Kong (1981)

Nintendo published the original Donkey Kong to rival the dominance of the Pac-Man game in early 1981. They also attempted to use Donkey Kong to gain a significant position in the North American video game market. 

Because of the game’s uniqueness and excellent reception, the game was also ported to other gaming platforms, including the Atari 7800.


The game introduces Nintendo’s famous character Mario for the first time as he attempts to rescue Pauline from the clutches of a giant gorilla named Donkey Kong. Your goal as Mario is to avoid barrels and other obstacles thrown by Donkey Kong and reach the princess at the top of each level.

Donkey Kong became a worldwide known name for decades, resulting in multiple sequels, the last of which was released in 2018. Estimated numbers sold for the Atari consoles, including the Atari 7800, go well beyond 4 million units.

Read more: Best Atari 7800 Games Review

Xevious (1982)

Xevious (1982)

Many times referred to as the father of vertical scroll shooting games, Xevious was released in 1982 by Namco Limited in Europe and Japan. Atari Inc released the North American version.

Xevious introduced players to vertical scroll shooting games, allowing them to enjoy incredible graphics in the early 80s. 


When first starting the game, you’re in control of an aircraft called Solvalou, which is on a mission to attack Previous enemy forces and stop them from invading and conquering earth. 

The aircraft has two weapon types, a zapper, and a blaster. The first eliminates flying enemies, while the latter destroys ground forces.

Xevious was very positively received by players upon its release, with many impressions left by its incredible graphics and gameplay. The AI was also an impressive feature of the time, delivering complex gameplay and challenging enemies.

Pac-Man (1982)

Pac-Man was released in 1982 for the Atari 2600 console. Because it was backward compatible, it became one of the best selling Atari 7800 games when the console was released.

The game took only six months to develop, and even though it had poor visuals and graphics, it’s interesting mechanics kept players entertained for hours on end. 


The goal is to control the character called Pac-Man and consume all the yellow dots(called Video Wafers) to progress to the next level. While consuming the dots, the player had to avoid the 4 enemy ghosts, for if any of them touched the Pac-Man, he would lose a life.

Pac-Man became the best-selling videogame of 1982, with over 7 million units sold that same year. Even though not originally intended for the Atari 7800, the game remained popular and sold over 8 million units by the end of the 80s.

Also read: Best Atari 5200 Games

Impossible Mission (1984)

Impossible Mission (1984)

Impossible Mission was a game originally developed and released for the Commodore 64 home computer, but it gained success and popularity among other platforms, including the Atari 7800.

Epyx published the game, featuring puzzle-solving mechanics and an adventure, spy-based story. 


At the start of the game, you take control of a secret agent who is trying to stop the evil professor Elvin Atombender from launching his nuclear missiles, destroying the world.

Progressing through the game, you fight robots with different abilities, but the main idea and goal behind the game is to solve puzzles. You have 6 hours to solve all the levels and collect 36 puzzle pieces, which give you access to Atombender’s laboratory.

Impossible Mission became a global success on multiple gaming platforms, including the Atari 7800 console. It was succeeded by Impossible Mission II in 1988, which introduced even more challenges and puzzles.

Karateka (1984)

One of the earliest martial arts games, Karateka, was designed and developed by Jordan Mechner, a Yale University student who created the game on an Apple II computer. The game gained so much popularity that it was ported to multiple other platforms and consoles, including the Atari 7800 in 1987.


The game is based on fighting-style progressions, as the main protagonist battles one individual character at a time to gain access to Akuma’s fortress and rescue the princess. 

You must use tactical movements to defeat the opponents. Akuma is the final character (boss) you must defeat to save the princess.

Total sales of the original Karateka surpassed 500.000 units by the early 2000s, with thousands of copies being sold for the Atari consoles, including the Atari 7800. Since the game was rated such a high success, it received a 2012 remake with advanced mechanics and modern graphics.