Top 5 ZX Spectrum Games

I was introduced to gaming in two ways, the Atari 2600 and the ZX Spectrum. In the UK where I grew up the ZX Spectrum was a huge deal and went toe to toe with the Commodore 64. I had a lot of fun with it and even when I had an NES, I would pick up games here and there for it. I have done many of these top fives such as my Top 5 PlayStation 2 games and my Top 5 NES Games, but today we are going even more old school as I share my top 5 ZX Spectrum games.

Please remember this is MY list and not an official one. When I think of the ZX Spectrum these are the games that come to mind and the games that I played the most as a kid. I know my list may be a bit weird, but I would love to know what your favorite games on this awesome little computer and its big ass power brick were.

Number 5


Like many kinds, my early days of gaming were of franchises that I knew from TV or arcade games. Thundercats was freaking awesome and it still is to this day. I loved the show, and the movie and I had many of the toys. The game was made for most home computers of the day, but it was the ZX Spectrum version I played and I really enjoyed it, it was a basic action platformer that saw you run through the level and kill what felt like a never ending run of enemies that just keep on spawning, but as a kid, it was exactly what I needed at the time. I feel that they did a decent job of bringing the show to a video game. Although, I have always found it odd that there was never a Thundercats game for the NES or a Sega system.

Number 4

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

One of the strangest memories I have of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for the ZX Spectrum is that the game came in a weird double tape box that was plastic. Not the usual larger cardboard box, but a big plastic one, even though it only had one tape in it! This is a port of the Atari arcade game and to be fair, the Speccy did a solid job of replicating it. I always got a kick out of the animation of the AT-ST and its crazy legs as it would walk. It only has a few stages, but this was a game that I played all the time…. And I would lose my crap at as it was so hard, this was probably one of my first experiences with gamer rage now that I think about it.

Number 3

Chase HQ

Hey, we have made it halfway down our list and we have our first non-licensed game. Chase HQ is an arcade port and for a game that was quite an advanced game in the arcades, I feel that the old Spectrum did a solid job. You play as a cop who is in a car that has to hunt down the bad guys and literally run them off the road. While I am talking about the first one here, I also had a lot of fun with the sequel which I got from a kid at school as a birthday gift! I think it was the first time I got a game from someone other than a member of my family. I know that there are better ports for both games, but I had a blast with both of these games on the ZX Spectrum.

Number 2


I love Batman and I have done a Ranking of the Arkham Games as well as a scathing review of Batman Arkham Trilogy on Nintendo Switch. Batman on the good ol’ speccy was one of the first games that were “mine”. We had the ZX Spectrum and an Atari 2600 in my house as a kid and a bunch of games, but Batman was the first one that I bought with my own money. The Batman game I am talking about is an isometric platformer and it is freaking awesome and a game that if I am in the mood to play some Speccy, I will always play. It has a ton of charm and I love how Batman has a goofy look to him. You had to explore the levels and find the right items. It looks and sounds so basic, but there is a charm here that you simply cannot understand unless you play the game. I also want to give a shoutout to the Batman game on the ZX Spectrum that was based on the 1989 movie, that was a lot of fun too.

Number 1

Solomon’s Key

Solomon’s Key is an arcade game, but I never knew that. All I knew was that I had £3 and in the shop that we were in, Solomon’s Key looked the most appealing game for me at that price. I am so glad I picked this up as I found it so addictive. It is more like a hybrid of puzzle, action, shooter, and platforming gameplay. There are certainly better ports of this game than this one. However, I put more time into Solomon’s Key than any other game on the Speccy. I liked how there were actual levels and it felt like I was playing towards a goal rather than getting a high score. You need to find the key to get out of the stage, but there are many enemies that you need to kill as you do. Solomon’s Key just plays great and I know that it may seem weird that this is my all time favorite Speccy game, but if I could only have one game to represent this awesome little computer in my collection, it would be this!

So that is my top 5 ZX Spectrum games, to be honest, this list is a lock, but if I were to do some honorable mentions, the WWF WrestleMania game, Bart vs The Space Mutants, and Outrun would be on here.

Be sure to leave your own list of awesome ZX Spectrum games in the comments section.

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