The Commodore 64 at 40 – and 10 of the best C64 games
The Commodore 64 turned 40. If you owned one back in the day, it will make you feel old. But rather than counting down the years, let’s celebrate a home computing classic and reflect on how you never got to give Elvin Atombender the kick he deserved.
Oh look, you dug up the brownest computer ever.
Of course, the C64 wasn’t pretty. It had big brown keys that you had to smash like your fingers were tiny hammers. These were baked in a beige casing, because by law every computer in the United States had to be that color in the 1980s. And then there were the graphics, which were different shades of dark. But let’s not get bogged down in the negatives, because this computer didn’t become the best-selling mic of its day by accident – there are plenty of ways it was amazing.
Sorry, I wasn’t listening. I was reading about the ZX Spectrum – a good mic.
Ah, it’s like all the playground fights of the 80s never went away and they’ve now found a new home here on Stuff.tv. Yes, the ZX Spectrum was a decent piece of kit, with great games. But every Speccy owner would wide-eyed hearing tunes pumped out by the C64’s SID chip, felt pangs of jealousy at the use of joysticks rather than rubber keys, and could only dream that their system was running classics. arcade like Turrican II, Mayhem in Monsterland and Paradroid even half as good as the C64 could.
We would console ourselves with non-brown vector games that are played at more than 1fps…
Don’t even try to throw Elite ours. Nobody in their right mind plays that on a Spectrum these days. And people still want C64 classics, as evidenced by the C64DTV, the Evercade TheC64 Collection, TheC64 Mini, and the full-size C64 remake from Retro Games Ltd, which added switchable modes, HDMI output, and that very brown keyboard. Maybe that last feature isn’t the best, but it gives you a handy way to have another crack at an Infocom classic while you fend off angry Spectrum owners with your rolled-up copy of Zzap! 64.
Perfect Ten: The Best C64 Games
Up to 10,000 commercial games may have been released in the C64’s lifetime, and the catalog is still bloated with homebrew and indie titles.
Naturally, then, we put on our masochistic mustache to detail the ten best games in the system, which will be completely non-controversial and accepted by all. Cough.
Impossible mission Have you defeated an evil genie by looting his tower for puzzle pieces.
Paradroid was a perfect top-down shoot’em up where you took control of hostile robots to blast their loved ones.
wiz ball Did you bring color to a desolate world by collecting paint drops and participating in many explosions.
rock dash started on the Atari but still shone on the C64 as Rockford rushed through the caves, grabbing collected gems.
Few computer scientists has been The Sims meets Tamagotchi more than a decade before either of these concepts existed.
Frankie goes to Hollywood turned a pop band license into a trippy mini-game masterpiece, years ago WarioWare.
CI+ pumped up the side fighters by adding a third player, resulting in frantic and chaotic fast-paced brawls.
Kikstart II showed that low-budget games could surprise, with its split-screen side races and built-in construction kit.
Turrican II pepper metroidplatforming/shooting action with stunning screen-sized bosses.
soul strengthwith 20 levels of arcade-style blasting, showed in 2021 that the C64 wasn’t dead – unlike the game’s enemy cannon fodder.
• Random Access Memories: The ZX Spectrum at 40 – and six of the best Speccy games