But get a load of this: it wasn't merely the games which got our loins a-glistenin', but everything from the logo, to the marketing, the none-more-secretive nature of the company's founders - the Stamper Boyz - to the packaging.
When Ultimate started out, the games came trussed into a standard cassette tape box with an inlay card, just like all the rest. With the release of Sabre Wulf in 1984, this all changed. Ultimate doubled the price of its games, and started shipping them in big, black, boxes, with a nice scratchy-textured surface, a glossy booklet, and artwork that was more impressionistic than literal.
It was a canny move, which ensured that the majority of us overlooked the price hike, and bought into the notion that we were purchasing something special and mysterious.
Of course, the benefit of hindsight suggests that we were all suckers who didn't know any better, but when you compare the way Ultimate did its business (so to speak) with most of its contemporaries, they were leagues ahead.
And so... here is a tribute to Ultimate's big box packaging.
All together now.... Iiiiiiii like big box and I cannot lie.
The initial release of Sabre Wulf featured no artwork beyond the game's title and the iconic Ultimate Play The Game logo, and - contrary to convention - no in-game screenshots. Its £9.95 premium price and packaging was created to combat piracy, and it worked; if you didn't own Sabre Wulf, big black box and all, you weren't getting the complete experience.
Piracy might leave you with a few extra quid in your pocket, but what are you going to spend it on?
More drugs, probably.
Despite this, Ultimate continued its practice of keeping screenshots from its packaging. Going in, nobody would've known that they were about to be treated to a true next gen experience. For all they knew, it could've been a brass-rubbing simulator.
Interestingly, the artwork was tweaked for the Amstrad and BBC Micro releases - though neither were as effective as the Spectrum original. The BBC one in particular was well rubbish.
It's possibly no coincidence that it also boasts the most disappointing artwork of all the Spectrum big box releases - a medieval tavern painted with scary monster faces, and a dragon... making it a more obvious depiction of the in-game action. Similarly, the logo was a bit too fiddly, going overboard with its dusty skulls and swords.
"Yes, we get it," cried everyone. "It's a fantasy game."
It marked the end of an era in more ways than one - not only ditching the big box packaging and artwork to save money (though not dropping the premium price), but also reducing the size classic Ultimate logo. So much for branding. It was the beginning of the end of the company, an ignominious end to a near-flawless run of goodness.