Atari - 1977
Machine: Atari 2600
Genre: Vehicle Shooter
This is the original, the granddad, this was the single celled organism that evolved into the fragging FPS games we know today. Yes it's old and simple but for simple don't read crap, read pure; this is the distiled essence of every multi-player shooting game since. Cobat is basically a duel, choose between tanks, planes and jets, one hit kills, your frag score is displayed at the top of the screen and that's it, except that isn't it, not by a long way. You see like many 2600 games Combat has multiple modes, 30 to be precise, each slightly different. You can have your vehicles invisible except when you fire a shot, there various layouts of obsticles and walls to bounce your shots off. All of which make this a classic battle of wills, rather like the duel at the end of The Man with the Golden Gun. This is so simple and so perfect, it transends video games and sits squarely on the level of the best 2 player games of any kind; Battleships, Connect 4, Draughts, Chess.
Jakey 29 Aug '02
Game Studies' Comabt page - An interesting article.
Wikipedia's Combat page - Lots of great information.