Ah, the world of arcade gaming! Let me tell you, there’s something truly special about those classic arcade machines that took the ’80s and ’90s by storm.
Remember the nostalgic charm of those pixelated graphics and catchy soundtracks? They still hold a special place in the hearts of many gamers, including yours truly. The good news? You can now bring that retro gaming experience right into your own home.
Now, I know with all the different options out there, picking the perfect arcade machine for your budget can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. After conducting thorough research, I’ve rounded up some top contenders for the best home arcade machines of 2023.
- Best home arcade machines
- Bitcade Arcade Xtreme – my personal favorite
Bitcade Arcade Xtreme is a top notch unit offering access to classic games and a unique experience. It’s quite compact and thin, so you can easily fit it through most doorways, even when wrapped, prior to the actual installation. Since it has wheels, moving it around is fairly simple as well.
It plugs into normal sockets. Turn it on, wait for half a minute, and the internal OS will boot by itself. The OS is easy to figure out with no experience at all, and games are straightforward. You can organize and customize the interface for an even easier experience.
It loads games extremely fast, and most of them are available as soon as you’re done with the initial setup.
- Arcade 1up – Best for compact space
If space is an issue, Arcade 1up brings in a similar experience in an even more compact approach. Obviously, given the size, this machine also costs less than others. While not as big as the ones from your childhood, it’s close enough, and it provides a perfect experience.
If you find it too low, you can always invest in a riser as well. Such things aren’t included in the package, but there are plenty of compatible items on the market. When it comes to games, there are quite a few good options out there.
Now, depending on the games you pick, some of them may not display as beautifully as on other machines due to the LCD screen, but overall, the experience won’t let you down.
- My Arcade Mini Player – best value for money
The space and budget are usually the main reasons wherefore lots of people opt for lighter versions of classic arcade machines. This one is available in a few different variants, each with different specs. In terms of games, there’s a pretty good selection, mainly related to classic arcade releases.
Each machine features logos from the games it features, so buyers will know precisely what they’ll get. Some of the variants will even bring in portrait screens, so players can enjoy some old school games in their original ratios.
The Namco Museum variant is one of the most featured options and comes with 20 classic games. The Data East machine, on the other hand, comes with 34 games.
- Arcade 1up Collectorcade
This is another mini version of traditional arcades and a useful machine that can provide lots of fun, whether you’re limited by space or your available budget. It’s a small design that can work well on a tabletop, offering quite a few funky games.
This arcade machine comes in two variants. One of them features Pac-Man, and the other one has a Mortal Kombat theme. The Pac-Man machine also includes Galaxian and Galaga, while the Mortal Kombat one has three different versions of the game.
You won’t need to plug this arcade machine in. Instead, both versions work with AA batteries. If there’s one thing you could complain about, that’s the fact that size makes it difficult for two players to enjoy it simultaneously. It’s not really an issue with Pac-Man, but it’s a bit of a problem for Mortal Kombat fans.
- Numskull Quarter Arcade
This impressive replica is exactly what you should consider if your space is limited. Simply put, it’s about 25% of an original arcade machine, so it works well on tabletops. They’re just as handy if space is limited and you need to find storage.
There’s also a bigger full size version, but the mini one will offer the original design and games at a fraction of the price, too. Games and controls are well scaled. While it does look good, this could be a bit of an issue if you have large hands because controls could be sketchy.
With all these, the arcade machine looks and works well. Games load fast as well. To a lot of users, this isn’t necessarily about the games. This arcade machine is amazing even when it’s turned off. It will most likely become the focal point in a room.
- Arcade 1up Countercade
Arcade 1up is quite a popular name when it comes to arcade machines. This machine is somewhere in the middle. It’s smaller than other machines, but it offers a more approachable scale on the controls. It’s not a full size machine, and it works well on a tabletop, but it also offers an authentic experience.
The thing is Arcade 1up has never really tried to create a perfect scaling replica with this machine. The joystick and all the other controls are chunky and bulky. They look unusually large, but you actually need that in order to play games properly.
The arcade machine is made for a single player. When it comes to games, there are quite a few variants out there. Super Pac-Man won’t raise too many issues. But then, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could raise some question marks. After all, you can play this game with three other friends.
Simply put, this machine is excellent if you want a realistic arcade experience, but you’re happy with just a few games.
- SEGA Astro City Mini V
The SEGA Astro City Mini V is not only a visually stunning mini arcade cabinet but also a unique tribute to the iconic Astro City arcade machine. With its authentic design mirroring the original cabinet, it takes arcade enthusiasts on a nostalgic trip like no other.
What sets this arcade machine apart is its impressive game library of 37 titles spanning various genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste.
Though some reviewers point out occasional lag and input delay during gameplay, the compact size, sturdy build quality, and illuminated buttons truly elevate the arcade gaming experience.
- Bottom line
These are some of the top-rated arcade machines for home use which I like the most. These arcade cabinets offer an authentic design, a wide selection of games, and reliable performance, providing an immersive retro gaming experience.
When choosing the best home arcade machine for you, it’s important to consider factors such as budget, game library, build quality and personal preferences. Whether you’re reliving the classics or introducing friends and family to the joys of arcade gaming, these machines have something for everyone.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.