So, another best Amiga games list, it’s not as though it’s not been done before has it! But that said, it is hard to resist putting together my own list of classic Amiga games, like with many classic retro systems, it is hard to whittle down to a concise list of best Amiga games, but here goes anyway. Here are 22 of the best Commodore Amiga games.
Lemmings – 1991
The original and arguably best Lemmings game. Lemmings was a breakthrough at the time for Psygnosis in terms of sales and the legacy it has left behind. First released on the Amiga and then ported to pretty much every other system at the time, Lemmings has secured its place in gaming history. The game has you guiding Lemmings across each level to the exit, using a range of skills that are limited to a fixed number of uses. And that’s it, easy to pick up, with a good learning curve – That is the beauty of this game, the perfect balance of challenge and fun with excellent visuals and music to entertain you. One of the best Amiga games without doubt.
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe – 1990
A futuristic blend of sports which culminate in the cyberpunk game of Speedball. Sequel to the original Speedball game, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe has a much more zoomed in field of view now with 9 players on your team rather than the original 5. The action is fast and challenging as you try to beat down opponents and steal the ball from them. Speedball 2 has some excellent visuals, music and sound, the ambient sounds in the game such as the announcer, crowd noise and ice cream sellers make this game immediately identifiable from the audio alone! A really great game both in single and multiplayer.
Super Skidmarks – 1995
The sequel to the original isometric racer, Skidmarks 2 gives you more of the same, but more of it! As well as a good selection of quirky vehicles, it also brings improvements such as increasing multiplayer up to 4 players simultaneously on AGA Amigas, you can even network two AGA Amiga’s together for up to 8 players! Gameplay can initially be a bit frustrating since you collide with the circuit’s boundaries rather than being able to run off the track, but one you get the hang of things, this only adds to the feeling of carnage! A late game in the Amiga’s life, but a must play.
Another World – 1991
Another World is a cinematic action-adventure game and a true Amiga classic. You play as Lester, a physicist who is teleported to an alien planet when the particle accelerator he is working on is struck by lightning. Waking up locked in a cage, the aim is to then escape and get out of the prison camp you have been placed in. A very simple premise but made very gripping by the excellent soundtrack and cinematic environments. Another world is notable for its use of rotoscoping, an animation method where the target object is traced by using actual video footage, resulting in a fluid, lifelike animation. A must have on the Amiga.
Cannon Fodder – 1993
One of many classic Sensible Software games that first saw its release on the Amiga, Cannon Fodder is a top down shoot ’em up. The game has you controlling a small squad of soldiers around each level typically killing enemies, destroying buildings and rescuing hostages. Cannon Fodder is a really challenging game spread across 72 levels and will have you applying more strategy to your approach as you progress through the game. The game has all the hallmarks of a Sensible Software classic with their unique small but beautiful graphics, a great soundtrack and excellent in game audio. An absolute must have and you’ll be hard pushed not to find it on any best Amiga games list.
Prince of Persia – 1991
Prince of Persia, although well known on many other platforms, really found a lot of fans on the Amiga. You find yourself imprisoned in a palace dungeon and need to escape to defeat Jaffar and rescue the Princess. The whole game needs to be completed within a set time limit, this is what really sets the tone of the game. You will find yourself wanting to tentatively explore the palace, being careful not to set off various traps, but you have to keep moving at a reasonable pace to ensure that you beat the timer. It is a game of skill with lots of timed jumps, puzzles and sword fights. The game has a lovely ambience achieved with it’s fluid rotoscope animations as well as excellent reverberated sound effects, which makes you feel as though you are in that large stone palace.
Sensible World of Soccer – 1995
Another Sensible Software classic. Sensible Soccer for many, is the best series of games on the Amiga. I am going with Sensible World of Soccer due to its evolution into something more of a beast of a game, including a full career mode, a huge list of teams covering the whole globe and the addition of the now classic, Goal Scoring Superstar Hero theme song! The game retains all of the mechanics that made Sensible Soccer great in the first place but now with all that extra depth. The real beauty of Sensible Soccer is that you do not have to be either a fan or knowledgeable of football to get a great deal of enjoyment from the game. The use of a single fire button to perform shots, passes and tackles smoothly is amazing, a perfect example of a simple yet deep game. One of the finest examples on the Amiga.
Syndicate – 1993
Syndicate is an isometric real time strategy game from Bullfrog. The game sees you take control of a four strong team of cyborg agents, carrying out rescue missions, assassinations and taking out the other enemy syndicates. There are many aspects to the game such as carrying out R&D of upgrades and weapons for your team, managing tax levels for territories you have taken over while making sure these territories do not revolt against you. The game has some really nice features including the use of a ‘persuadertron’ which can be used to recruit and gain control of other people in the game. Syndicate is a really nice RTS game for the Amiga and should definitely be given a look.
Wiz ‘N’ Liz – 1993
A lesser known game, as it was released relatively late in the Amiga’s life and only received one port, onto the Sega Mega Drive. Wiz ‘n’ Liz is a platform game which takes place across eight different worlds where you rescue the ‘wabbits’ that have been taken away by a spell that has gone wrong. You can either play as Wiz or Liz, running across each level collecting the wabbits before the timer runs out. Wabbits then release a letter which spells out the magic word, once this has been spelt, the player has to collect the remaining wabbits to unlock the exit. There is also a 2 player mode to add to the fast paced action!
Stunt Car Racer – 1989
Stunt Car Racer is a 3D racing game by Geoff Crammond where you race a dragster style car across a number of elevated tracks. Stunt Car Racer is renowned for its realistic physics and challenging gameplay which see’s your car flung into the air by the various jumps and cambered corners. There are 8 tracks to choose from, as well as a league mode where you race against an opponent on each track, trying to progress through the 4 divisions. You can even race against a friend on their own Amiga via a null modem cable. Not only that, Amiga users can link Stunt Car Racer with those who own it on the Atari ST for cross platform multiplayer!
The Chaos Engine – 1993
Released in 1993, The Chaos Engine is a well revered title on the Amiga. Another game which launched first on the system, The Chaos Engine is a top down view run and gun game where you can choose one of six characters to work through the game to defeat Baron Fortesque and his Chaos Engine. All the characters have unique strengths and weaknesses and each come at their own price to hire. You play through each level collecting power-ups, coins and keys, working through the maze like levels. To progress to the next level, the nodes on each stage have to be activated by shooting at them to unlock the exit. Like with many Bitmap Brother games, the Chaos Engine is known for its excellent visuals and classic soundtrack. Another game you’ll frequently see in best Amiga game lists.
Pinball Fantasies – 1992
The sequel to Pinball Dreams by Digital Illusions, Pinball Fantasies again has 4 different themed tables to play. I personally prefer this over Pinball Dreams because of the 4 tables available, although there is very little between the two games in terms of enjoyment and game mechanics. The game has excellent physics and smooth scrolling, making shooting the ball around the table challenging but not frustrating. Each of the tables has their own theme and you will find that all of the visuals, soundtracks and sound effects are all matched to their environment. You will find all the classic hallmarks of pinball here, with skill shots, multipliers and even a tilt function which can be used to dislodge the ball. Still enjoyed by many, this game is part of a series which redefined the Pinball genre on home computers and consoles.
Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 – 1991
The Lotus series on the Amiga was without doubt one of the leading racers on the system, and Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 is my favourite in the series. Moving away from circuit racing for positions, Lotus 2 adopts an arcade style point to point race against the clock. Right from the moment you load the game, the presentation with both the intro music and design stand out. The game moves at a great pace and is an exceptionally smooth racer for the Amiga, many attempts at driving games on the Amiga were often sluggish, but the Lotus games showed what could be done on the system. Lotus 2 is full of nice features and a good level of challenge to keep you coming back years, even decades later.
North & South – 1989
North and South is a humorous strategy game based on the American Civil War. The game combines light strategy elements combined with more hands on arcade style gameplay. You take part in battles and side scrolling action where you capture enemies trains and forts. Choosing either to play as the North or the South, you battle to take over each other’s territories on the game map as you tactically move your players around the board. North and South is filled with funny little touches which make this a joy to play. It is also great fun for 2 players, so grab a friend for this one.
Dynablaster – 1991
Also known as Bomberman on other systems, Dynablaster on the Amiga is an excellent conversion of the PC Engine original. It boasts a decent single player mode where you blast your way across 8 worlds. In each world there are 8 levels, with a boss battle in the final level of each world. You progress through each level by blowing up all the blocks until you locate the exit, collecting power ups along the way. Multiplayer though is where this game really shines. You can get up to 5 players at the same time, achieved with the addition of a parallel port adapter which provides 2 additional joystick ports, as well as a 5th player using the keyboard. A multiplayer classic on the Amiga!
The Secret of Monkey Island – 1991
The Secret of Monkey Island is a classic point and click Lucasfilm graphic adventure game. You take control of Guybrush Threepwood who spends his time pursuing his dream of becoming a pirate. The game is filled with puzzles, exploration and lots of funny dialogue when you engage with other characters. There is a real sense of freedom which is cleverly implemented with the multiple choices you can respond with when having a conversation. Monkey Island is a perfect game to escape into and relax with it’s slower paced, but engaging gameplay.
Pang – 1990
Pang is a very faithful port of the arcade original with the Amiga version showing virtually no compromises. You play as one of the Buster brothers (or as both of them in 2 player mode), traveling across 17 locations across the world working through each level, destroying the balloons that bounce around. Each shot you take at a balloon will make it split into 2 more balloons, until it gets to the smallest which then can be totally destroyed. There are loads of power ups to help you along your way including double wires, force fields, a freeze time clock and dynamite which pops all the balloons to their smallest size. A really enjoyable game and a great example of what the Amiga was capable of.
Banshee – 1994
Banshee is a top down vertical shooter released quite late into the Amiga’s life in 1994. It appeared on both the CD32 and Amiga 1200 utilising the systems AGA chipset. With the storyline consisting of wanting to take vengeance because your father was murdered, due to his refusal to invent the microwave oven, Banshee does come up short in the story department. This however makes no difference to the gameplay, Banshee is a beautiful looking traditional shooter where you blast your way through enemy waves, boss battles collecting power ups along the way. It’s nothing new in terms of game genre, but it pulls it off wonderfully.
Formula One Grand Prix – 1991
Formula One Grand Prix, also known as World Circuit, is a 3D racing simulation by Geoff Crammond. Revolutionary at the time, it really set the standard for all credible racing simulations from that point forward. The game has a full World Championship mode where you can race a full season across all 16 tracks of the time, a complete roster of drivers (although you have to type in the real life names yourself!) and an in depth physics system where you would feel the tyre wear, wet track conditions and effect on the car if damaged. It looks basic by today’s standards, but still plays great.
Worms – 1995
A classic game across many systems at the time, Worms was first launched on the Amiga in 1995 by Team 17 to great acclaim. Worms is a 2D turn based tactical artillery game where you control a team of tiny worms, with each team taking a single turn to kill the opponents worms. There are over 50 weapons and tools to utilise, ranging from bazookas, to ninja ropes, to exploding sheep. The destructible environments can be used strategically, often to hide away from being corned by your opponents. Worms is huge fun in single player, but it really stands out as an all time multiplayer classic.
Theme Park – 1994
A hugely anticipated game at the time, Theme Park is a building and management sim by Bullfrog. The premise is simple, choose your plot of land,design your theme park, build everything from the paths, rides, shops, adding plants, hedgerows and the like. You also are in control of the management of the park, controlling elements such as employee wages, research and development budgets, right through to how much salt you put over your fries which in turn can make your visitors thirsty for a drink and stumble straight into your next shop to quench their thirst! The aim of the game ultimately is to build a successful enough park to increase its value, sell it on at a huge profit and then move on to other parts of the world and do it all again. An excellent example of the sim-management genre on the Amiga.
Turrican 2 – 1991
Last, but by no means least, Turrican 2 is the sequel to the popular original. Although the gameplay is similar to the first title, the improved visuals and famous Chris Huelsbeck soundtrack add a lot more to the overall feeling of the game, making this my favourite of the series. The game has many qualities and has had comparisons made to the likes of Metroid thanks to its large level design. You progress through each sprawling stage destroying enemies, collecting power ups until you reach the end of level boss, pretty straight forward stuff! You have a primary weapon, of which there are lots of power ups to collect changing it’s firepower, a secondary laser beam and a special super laser blast of which are limited to 3 uses. You can also use another special attack where you turn into a small indestructible wheel, destroying all smaller enemies in your path. The game is a very tricky one, but certainly something which you will want to come back to.