We start the countdown (count up?) with a game that sort of embodies the entire spirit of the list.
Take Space Invaders, Galaxian, and Gyruss, do them all really poorly then cram them all into a single game and you have GORF. Fortunately, the sum total of GORF is better than its parts for that is its only saving grace.
GORF is a very ambitious game. With 4 distinct levels of game play, two of which ape existing games destined to be classics, this game takes a lot of risks and comes up short on most of them. The Space Invaders level is stripped down and not terribly challenging. The Galaxian level has a bit more flair, but is far too easy and brief. (It should be noted that the original arcade version of GORF had a level that was exactly like Galaxian only with few enemies. Both that level and the level presented here, also in the arcade game, employ the Galaxian-esque dive-bomb attack for enemy ships.) The Gyruss-like level (Gyruss would not be created until 1983, two years after GORF) provides the most challenge in the game, but even that is minimal and again, all too brief. The mothership level presents a bit of a challenge at higher levels, but a single shot to the neck still takes it out with little fun..errr...fuss.
If you played these levels independently, you would probably give video games up for good and go back to an exciting hobby like botany. But there is a little bit of magic in playing all four successively. It's not much, but it does make GORF worth playing, every so often and only if you don't have access to Space Invaders, Galaxian or Gyruss. I still play GORF from time to time, because there is a some charm here, but it rarely makes it onto a list of games I am excited to play.
Maybe if they had been able to port over the voice....
My best GORF score: 13150*
*Curious fact, I set a new personal high score for GORF whilst playing it for this project. That score beat my previous high set exactly 10 years and a day before. Video game synchronicity is scary.