In the 1970s, there were a lot of overhead racing games, but I liked Atari's Sprint games when I went to the arcades in Blackpool as a kid. It's an exhilarating two-player racer with breakneck speed, intuitive control, and 12 varied circuits to whiz through, using the 6502 chip that would ultimately power Atari's home consoles. Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road was a huge influence on an entire age of video games, including Micro Machines, Indy Heat, and the Amiga classic.
Star Raiders, the first first-person space warfare simulator, was way ahead of its time when it was created for the Atari 800 computer by coder Douglas Neubauer, who was inspired by Star Wars and earlier Star Trek text adventures. You play as a spaceship pilot defending airspace from the enemy.