Galaxian (Atari 5200)
Galaxian was the predecessor to the ultimately more popular Galaga. It was sort of a halfway point between the evolution from games like Space Invaders, to somewhat more advanced games like Galaga and had elements of both. The Atari 5200 was an excellent machine for this game because it had the power to deliver a near arcade experience. Having said this, the Atari 5200 version was not as good as it should have been.
The sound and graphics on the Atari 5200 version were very good, especially compared to the Atari 2600. Still, they probably should have been just a touch better. Especially since six 6 years had passed since the original arcade version came out in 1979 to when the Atari 5200 version was released in 1985. However, the real problem is with the standard Atari 5200 controllers. They were terrible and ruined many otherwise decent games. In the case of Galaxian, it can be played with the track ball controller and this is definitely the way to go with this game. So if you are playing on a real system, go the extra mile and hunt down a trackball controller.
The other option of course is emulation. But in this case, you might as well play the arcade version. The Atari 5200 version is good but other than nostalgia for that machine and particular version of the game, there’s no reason to recommend it over the arcade version. However, for those preferring to play on the original hardware, this game is a pretty easy one to find and definitely worth picking up if you don’t already have it.