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If you grew up during the Cold War era you didn’t think of computers as something easy to use and ubiquitous. No, computers weren’t for everyone: your parents didn’t have a clue how to turn one on, let alone load up a game.

This was the age of the computer’s infancy; the age when movies showed computers as devices that were all about hacking into Soviet military databases and launching missiles, not devices used for ordering curtains online for the spare room.

Computer games had graphics that were 4-bit, 8-bit if you were lucky. It was a golden age for what we now call retro games; pong, space invaders, chucky-egg and pac-man were the best games EVER.

So, lets take a nostalgic look back at some of the best computers from a bygone era. PS: if you own one of these devices in full working order, hang on to it – it could be worth something one day.

The BBC Micro Computer

The BBC Computer had an iconic cream box and was the ‘only’ computer that a generation of school kids from the 1980s would have seen and used.

It had a floppy disk drive, remember them? But it also had some fun games too.

The Commodore 64

The classic childhood computer. How many of us first cut our teeth in the world of gaming with this device?

Sure, the games sometimes took an age to load and the graphics were appalling by modern standards: but it sure was fun to play that arcade game at home, wasn’t it?


A rival to the Commodore 64, Atari’s range of computers helped bring video games to the mainstream.

Product lines such as the Atari 400/800 and XL lines will inevitably go down in computer history.  Gamers will be more familiar with the Atari 7800.

The Sega Master System

Moving into the late 1980s and 1990s and the game console (as opposed to the PC that played games) was becoming increasingly popular.

You had the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega’s rival was the Master System. Classic games such as Alex Kidd and latterly Sega’s mega successful Sonic the Hedgehog, made this console, while perhaps not a great commercial success a fun games console.

The Game Boy

This was an 8-bit handheld device that in many ways was a precursor of what was to come on modern day smartphones and tablet devices. Graphics may have been simple, but the games were good and easy to play. A classic device for sure.

What’s your favourite gaming console of all time? What did you cut your gaming teeth on in your youth? Anything we’ve missed off the list? Share your thoughts below.

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