Start your own home arcade with these retro video game cabinets

All the joy of the vintage video arcade, without the noise, crowds, or quarters.

old arcade game
Ready player one.Tokyo Luv via Unsplash

It may sound like the modern equivalent of “we used to have to walk to school in the snow uphill,” but there was a time when video games existed in their own special places and you had to travel to them in order to play. Yes, the venerable arcade, where an entire generation learned the joys of gaming, the value of quarters, and the all-important “I’ve got next” etiquette.

There are ways to recapture the joys of the video arcade in your own home, thanks to replica cabinets and game machines that recreate everything (except the need for loose change).

Prime Arcades “Multicade”

Prime Arcades “Multicade”
Shall we play a game? Or EVERY game?Amazon

The ultimate gaming machine is a full-sized, arcade caliber cabinet packed with more than 3,000 classic games. It has twin joysticks, an array of buttons, and even a trackball. Every classic you can think of—from Mortal Kombat to Golden Tee—is present and accounted for, and Prime Arcades even offers customizable cabinet art. It’s more than a gaming machine, it’s like a standalone video game museum.

Arcade1Up Rampage/Joust/Gauntlet/Defender

Arcade1Up Rampage/Joust/Gauntlet/Defender
Build your own arcade, without having to build your own arcade.Amazon

Arcade1Up is doing a lot to keep the classics alive, offering a complete line of slightly sized-down but stacked arcade game cabinets. Standing only 4 feet tall, these cabinets are more reasonable to store, since they won’t command as much floorspace (or headroom clearing) as a standard cabinet. And each once comes with multiple game options, like this one, which combines the classic monster smash-‘em-up Rampage, the ostrich battle arena Joust, the D&D-inspired Gauntlet, and the all-time classic Defender.

AB Inc. Cocktail Machine

AB Inc. Cocktail Machine
Give you feet a rest. (Your fingers? Not so much.)Amazon

Those who remember going to arcades also remember the joy of finding a “sit-down” game. Like rare unicorns, these little cocktail table-style arcade games gave your feet a break and also felt slightly more “grown up” (even when you were playing Donkey Kong). So if you’re looking for that perfect end table for your new living room and want something with style and function, consider treating yourself to a classic table-style game like this, which is loaded with more 400 classic games from Space Invaders to Burger Time. Elegant, stylish, and a nostalgia-fueled field day for your inner child. What’s not to like?