Atari's Much-Hated E.T. Is A (Slightly) Better Game If You Read The Manual

Welcome back to Complete In Box, our video series that looks back at classic games through the lens of their boxes, manuals, and other cool stuff that came packaged with them. Today, we look at what is often called the “worst game ever”: Atari’s E.T.


Listen, I don’t think E.T. is the worst game ever. (Everybody knows it’s really Jurassic Park Trespasser.) But the idea for this episode came from my friend Jenn Frank, who, upon viewing other episodes of Complete In box, posited the notion that E.T. is actually not bad if you take the time to read and absorb its instruction manual before you play it.

Is it? Well, you’ll just have to watch the video to find out. (As if I’d spoil it here!)

If you’re a loyal Complete In Box viewer, thank you for your patience as we worked on this second season of the show! In the coming weeks, we’ll have at least three more episodes for you, and hopefully be able to keep it going for a Season 3 later, as well. Thanks for watching!


Smooth JA

When I was young, I had no idea that Atari nearly destroyed video games or that ET or Atari Pac-Man were considered crappy. I played the hell out of both of them. I was too young to know they sucked.

I got the 2600 reboot when I was like 7, and it might have been my happiest Christmas memory. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my approval of those games was not the popular opinion.

I modded my NES and SNES Classics and found some games are still amazing, and some are not nearly as good as I remember. I’ll never buy the Atari Classics because I know they’re not good games, but I remember them as good games.