Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 Review thumbnail

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 Review

Deep cuts from Atari's retro library

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS4 on

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 is also available for Xbox One

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 is rated Everyone by the ESRB

It's been a couple of years but Atari has finally released volume 3 of their incredible Atari Flashback Classics compilations. This time around, there are a ton of obscure and unreleased games plus the inclusion of over a dozen Atari 5200 games. Let's check it out!

A.J. has been obsessively gaming since the late '80s and is just as passionate about video games in 2022. 🐻

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 screenshot 1
What sound does an avalanche make? Kaboom! (Avalanche)

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 features 50 Atari games for arcade, Atari 2600, and Atari 5200. The first 2 volumes included a great mix of titles that appealed to many kinds of gamers yet the games here are more for hardcore retro enthusiasts. For starters, the included arcade games aren't as well known as Centipede, Asteroids, Warlords, or Missile Command. One stand-out title is Maze Invaders which I have never heard of before. You basically control an oddball who has the ability to shoot certain enemies. Upon collecting all the onscreen fruit, you can exit via multiple doors that lead to different rooms in a massive maze. The combination of strategy and action is superb and I plan on playing Maze Invaders much more. Another great arcade title is Dominos which plays like Snafu and other snake games. Trying to trap your opponent then watching their dominos fall down is super-satisfying. Who says you can't have fun in black and white? v1d30chumz 3-238-199-4

Moving on to the included console games, it's great to see a mix of Atari 2600 and 5200 games. I personally never owned a 5200 so playing slightly newer console versions of classics such as Centipede, Super Breakout, and Asteroids was a pretty cool experience. One game that blew my mind when I booted it up is Dark Cavern. When I was about 4 or 5, my family played a lot of Intellivision games and one of our favourites was Night Stalker which Dark Cavern is basically a port of. Taking out the encroaching bats, spiders, and robots is so much fun. I highly recommend checking that game out. Anyway, there are a few sports games from the Realsports and Super Challenge series that can be quite hit or miss. For example, I enjoy the Basketball and Tennis games due to their simplicity and fun factor but Football and Soccer can be pretty confusing and require a bit too much imagination but it is cool that they're included nonetheless.

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 screenshot 2
If only my character could jump... (Atari Basketball)

In addition to the classic console games, there are oodles of unreleased gems featured as well. First of all, both Adventure II and Yars' Return are included which are sequels to their respective Atari 2600 games that were produced in 2005. On top of that, you can play a whopping 14 previously unreleased game prototypes that consist of Aquaventure, Final Legacy, Frog Pond, Holey Moley, Micro-Gammon, Miniature Golf, Realsports Basketball, Saboteur, Sea Battle, SwordFight, Wizard, Xari Arena, and the Atari 5200 versions of Asteroids and Millipede. How awesome is that? Of course, many of these games remained unreleased for a reason so don't expect them to be fully-realised fun-filled retro games. Instead, they act as long-lost treasures that Atari fans such as myself will appreciate checking out.

List of games in Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3

  • Avalanche ¹
  • Atari Baseball ¹
  • Atari Basketball ¹
  • Canyon Bomber ¹
  • Destroyer ¹
  • Dominos ¹
  • Fire Truck (Smokey Joe) ¹
  • Atari Football ¹
  • Maze Invaders ¹
  • Monte Carlo ¹
  • Pool Shark ¹
  • Sky Diver ¹
  • Atari Soccer ¹
  • Super Bug ¹
  • Adventure II ² *
  • Air Raiders ²
  • Aquaventure ² *
  • Armor Ambush ²
  • Asteroids ³ *
  • Astroblast ²
  • Centipede ³
  • Countermeasure ³
  • Dark Cavern (Night Stalker) ²
  • Final Legacy ³ *
  • Frog Pond ² *
  • Frogs and Flies ²
  • Holey Moley ² *
  • International Soccer ²
  • Micro-Gammon ³ *
  • Millipede ³ *
  • Miniature Golf ³ *
  • Missile Command ³
  • MotoRodeo ²
  • Realsports Baseball ³
  • Realsports Basketball ³ *
  • Realsports Football ³
  • Realsports Soccer ³
  • Realsports Tennis ³
  • Saboteur ² *
  • Sea Battle ² *
  • Space Attack ²
  • Star Raiders ³
  • Star Strike ²
  • Super Breakout ³
  • Super Challenge Baseball ²
  • Super Challenge Football ²
  • SwordFight ² *
  • Wizard ² *
  • Xari Arena ³ *
  • Yars' Return ² *

¹ arcade game
² Atari 2600 game
³ Atari 5200 game
* unreleased game

Each included console game has manual scans which act as insightful museum-style content as well as help you understand how each game is played. That being said, some of the games are curiously complicated and left me perplexed about how to play them. Some examples of these overly complex games include Micro-Gammon which I couldn't even figure out how to start, Final Legacy with its different gameplay modes that I had to keep referring to the manual in order to play, and Sea Battle with its ambiguous visuals and clunky controls. I wish games like these had tutorial videos in addition to the manuals because they can be quite difficult to figure out.

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 screenshot 3
Trying to hit those submarines sure is tricky! (Destroyer)

Aside from the individual games, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 is quite a comprehensive compilation complete with plenty of cool features just like the first 2 volumes. I appreciate the fact that you can control paddle games with the DualShock 4's touchpad which makes their gameplay feel authentic. Another fantastic inclusion is online features such as leaderboards for 11 of the arcade games and an easy-to-use multiplayer component. Plus, the ability to change different control, game, display, and audio options to optimize your experience with each game is handled very well. You really couldn't ask for much more when it comes to retro game collections.

As I've mentioned already but I really can't stress enough, the included games in Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 are definitely for hardcore retro gaming fans which is its main downside. In other words, I can easily recommend the first 2 volumes to modern gamers who are interested in playing some fun games from the past but I would tell the same gamers to be cautious of volume 3 due to its less accessible library. With that said, I personally had an incredible time discovering some hidden gems and playing a few familiar titles here.

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 screenshot 4
I can't imagine a more realistic baseball game... (Realsports Baseball)

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 is the strongest volume so far for retro game enthusiasts who want to play some rarities and unreleased gems. At the same time, it's the weakest volume when it comes to having accessible fun.

  • + Contains plenty of classic arcade games that help establish Atari's origins
  • + Includes Atari 5200 games for the first time
  • + Features loads of unreleased gems
  • - Many of the games haven't aged well and won't appeal to modern gamers
  • - Some games could use clearer instructions
7.7 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3
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