Arkanoid is of course a classic on almost any system. The Arcade version is good, Amiga version is good, C64 version is good, and Atari version is good. It's only the PC version that's not as good, since it doesn't have proper backgrounds (if I remember correctly).
That's the good thing about Arkanoid - it has nice, colorful backgrounds instead of just black, which so many similar games have. It's always fun to use paddles, too (I just found a paddle game for VIC-20 that I had lots of fun playing on my real VIC).
The old C64 game "Krakout" is more fun to play, though, due to the great musics, tongue-in-cheek humor, quirky power-ups and monsters and funnier sprites and just absolutely magically tight gameplay - even though it doesn't even use paddles. "Krakout" is also more animated - and it's more original, as it works sideways (pretty rare for these type of games).
Arkanoid still holds up nicely, you can always have another go, and it's fun playing the different versions on real systems. Atari version is certainly good.
However, comparing it to the C64-version using the same Atari paddles (on real systems, of course), I noticed a few things that bring the Atari version down a notch.
- The ball movement is jittery and 'lores', and the ball slows down and speeds up unpredictably (due to many sprites onscreen?)
- Graphics are very low resolution, the ball hardly even looks like a ball anymore
- There's absolutely no music (C64-version has nice Galway tune and ditty every time you begin a game and/or die)
- Sound-effects are _very_ lackluster - I absolutely love Pokey and the sounds it can do, and someone just didn't want to create interesting sounds for this Atari version
- There is no title picture or animation when you start the game
- The C64-version is a bit more lively, due to everything having a (more interesting) sound effect, and it seems brighter and more animated
- On the C64-version, the tiles are actually multicolor instead of single color, there is more color variation, the backgrounds and sprites look better (and more colorful)
- The play area is larger on the C64-version - or maybe it just feels that way due to smaller and higher-resolution ball that moves smoothly
- The C64-version seems more 'lively', you can really get into it and play it for a long time, where you struggle to maintain interest in the Atari version after a period of time
- The control is more precise on the C64 side (which I don't get, because I am using the same Atari paddles for playing both versions), so it's easier to feel 'in control', whereas in Atari version, you keep missing the ball, because the bat is not always where you want it to be
I think people -should- care about all versions of a given game, because sometimes more fun can be had on the other side of the fence.
The Atari version is still good, it just feels a bit 'dead', and if any random individual would be asked which version to rather play, they would choose the C64 version over this.
Atari could've done so much better, I blame the creators of this version that didn't seem to have much inspiration. Especially the sound effects (which are much fewer, too, so the bat doesn't always make a sound when the ball is captured (with the 'glue' power-up) or hit by it) and the ball could've been much better.
It's not Atari's fault.