Retro gaming has seen nothing short of a renaissance in recent years. From single board computers running software dedicated to emulating video games to a multitude of portable devices, gamers young and old love to revisit the classics. While playing your favorite console games is fun, the real journey down the lane of nostalgia replicates the arcade experience. Many consider the arcades to be a relic of a bygone era. However, this is not necessary. You can take home your own arcade cabinet today. Here are some of the best.
Arcade1Up aims to capture the look and feel of a variety of classic arcade games, and the best part is that they’re relatively inexpensive. To achieve such affordable prices, Arcade1Up machines are three-quarter replicas of the machines you might find in your local arcade. This makes Arcade1Up machines approximately 4 feet tall.
That being said, the company does sell elevators that increase the standing height of each machine. Besides being slightly smaller than you remember, the attention to detail is impressive. Arcade1Up cabinets try to replicate the exact style of every machine they produce, from the style of the cabinet itself to the use of the same artwork.
There are a number of Arcade1Up machines available, offering an impressive range of classic games, spanning many genres. Virtually all players will be able to find something to enjoy. This impressive lineup of classics includes fighters like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, brawlers like Final Fight and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sports games like NBA Jam, old-school classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, and even shooters like Big Buck Hunter! Of course, Arcade1Up has many other machines available with new models coming out regularly. Just be aware that assembly is required.
2. Arcade1Up counter-cade
If you’re short on floor space, a bartop arcade unit can scratch your retro gaming itch without taking up a lot of space. Fortunately, Arcade1Up has you covered here as well. Counter-cade machines measure approximately 16 x 10 x 12 inches and weigh approximately 9 pounds. Unlike Arcade1Up’s standing units, the Counter-cade is fully assembled and ready to play. Additionally, the Counter-cades offer licensed games and artwork, which means the games are played accurately and the unit artwork is vintage.
Unfortunately, there isn’t as much variety when it comes to the games available in the Counter-cade form factor. Currently there are only seven models to choose from, and all of the titles date from the arcade heyday of the early 1980s. That being said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had with classics like Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig-Dug. Additionally, Arcade1Up counter-frames can be found for a little less than their larger counterparts.
3. Prime Arcades Cocktail Arcade Machine
If the idea of standing while playing your favorite retro arcade games isn’t appealing and you don’t have a bar to set up a tabletop arcade machine, you may want to consider an arcade machine cocktails. Cocktail or table cabinets are rectangular tables with a monitor housed inside. The game controls are located at both ends of the table and players can sit down while they play. In addition, the tables are covered with a piece of tempered glass, which allows drinks to be placed safely, hence the name. They were often found in bars and pubs during the heyday of arcade games, but now you can have one in your own home!
The Cocktail Arcade Machine from Prime Arcades has 1,162 different arcade games from the 80s and 90s built in. Plus, it has a massive 26-inch LED display with a quarter-inch tempered glass top to protect it. Plus, it even comes with chrome stools! No assembly is required – just plug it in and play. That being said, Prime Arcades is not a toy. The Cocktail Arcade cabinet is commercial grade and weighs almost 200 pounds. While the build quality is fantastic, there is one major downside: the price. As of this writing, the Prime Arcades Cocktail Cabinet is over $ 2,000.
4.Creative Arcades Full Size Arcade Machine
When you absolutely must have a real arcade experience, look no further than Creative Arcades. His full size commercial grade arcade cabinet measures 71x30x32 inches and includes premium components. These include high-quality SANWA joysticks and buttons, a trackball, 32-inch LCD display, and thick tempered glass coating. The machine comes preinstalled with 3,500 classic arcade games from the 80s and 90s. Plus, it’s ready to play out of the box.
One of the coolest features of this cabinet is that it supports both free and paid gameplay. When set to a paid game, players need to insert coins into the coin slot to play the machine. Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks to the Creative Arcades full-size arcade cabinet is its hefty price tag. At nearly $ 3,000, it’s an expensive way to recapture the magic of the arcade. That being said, Creative Arcades makes other cabinets with fewer games and smaller monitors that are more affordable.
5. Create your own
With a little effort, you can build your own arcade machine at a fraction of the cost. All you need is plywood and a Raspberry Pi or old desktop PC. There are a ton of tutorials available online to get you started, including how to set up the software side of things as well as blueprints for the cabinet itself. If you’re not comfortable with a jigsaw, you can always order DIY arcade cabinet flat packs from a variety of dealers. These are pre-cut panels that you assemble like an Ikea piece of furniture!
Are you planning to buy an arcade cabinet? Do you own any of the products mentioned above? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!
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