Be Commander Jameson. Explore the universe. Trade your way to galactic billions and buy the biggest ship around. Fight your way to the legendary ‘Elite' status, and be feared by criminals, traders and police alike. Beat the mysterious Thargoids in ‘witch space'. Become a military hero for the Federation or Empire, completing ever more dangerous missions. Mine asteroids until your brain crawls out of your ears in search of other forms of entertainment.
Or, crucially, do none of it. That's the beauty of Elite, you're left utterly to your own devices, and can role-play a space bum who whiles away the decades sitting in his pants in space station watching endless re-runs of Doogie Howser MD.
Developed by David Braben and Ian Bell, it was released on the Speccy on September 20th 1984, and enjoyed huge critical and commercial acclaim (much as it did on just about every other platform).
It's latest iteration is Elite:Dangerous. Much the same sort of thing, but using 21st Century tech, which mostly means better graphics. Although you can also now land on planets and rove about on them in a glorified moon buggy.
For our money though, the best graphics were the wire-frames of the original - your brain filled in the gaps far better than today's hyper gaming systems can ever hope to.
And that concludes our rundown of the 10 best ZX Spectrum games of all time. But what did we miss? Which game(s) didn't deserve inclusion? How dare we describe the R-Type as having a droopy blue nose? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
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