Hands down my favorite addition to a Man Cave! While the home theater is obligatory, a mans choice of which video game cabinet to outfit his space with speaks volumes to his personality! Once upon a time in a galaxy far away a young Marcus would save his quarters all week to be summarily beaten by his older cousin in the ol’ school Mortal Kombat game at a local pizzeria. Despite my nostalgia, I still have to go with Prime Arcades’ 4 Player Machine as the best of the best in our review of the 6 Best Home Arcade Systems for your Man Cave!
How To Choose The Right Home Arcade System
Before We Dive Into The Fun Part Of Talking About Which System To Get, Lets Go Over A Few Things You Will Need To Think About. Although Arcade1UP Is Leading The Way In Flooding The Market With Affordable Arcade Cabinets, There Are A Ton Of Distinct Differences To Keep In Mind Before You Make You Choice. Here Are A Few Of The Key Points To Consider:
- Size: As with everything else in your man cave, the first consideration is how much space do you have to spare. Home Arcades come in four sizes: handheld, countertop, class arcade, and cocktail table. Although you will generally spend more as you go up in machine size, we still recommend picking the largest size you can fit into your home. Why? The larger machines typically offer a better game play experience, a wider selection of games, and the more enjoyable the multiplayer experience. Don’t go the cheap route and end up regretting your choice down the line.
- Game selection: Short of modifying your cabinets system, you’re stuck with the games your cabinet comes with. So pick right and go with a cabinet that comes with multiple games. That way you can get the most use out of your system.
- Cost: As a one time purchase, this is less important than the above criteria. Be aware that cost is generally affected by three things: size of the machine, game popularity, number of games, and extra upgrades. You can spend anywhere from $200-$3000 for a machine.
- Type: Handhelds are usually flimsy so beware. Countertop systems require you to have extra available counter or table space which I have often found as a struggle to make fit in most man caves. Classic systems are typically 75% of the size the ones found in old school arcades. You will want to buy a stool or chair for these. Cocktail are larger, more expensive, table sharped games that you sit down at.
If you want extra info on choosing the right Arcade Machine Buyers Guide, check out the video below for extra insights on choosing the right machine.
Best Arcade Machines
Best Home Arcade Machine
Prime Arcade's 4 Player Upright w/ 3016 Games
Prime Arcade comes through with the premium option for your home arcade. Absolutely massive game selection that includes Mortal Kombat 1-3, 3D Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Streets of Rage, Marvel vs. Capcom, and basically every other arcade game in one system. There is absolutely no reason to get any other free standing machine on the market! By far my number one pick for those looking to build the best man cave on earth
Arcade 1UP Delivers with two offerings in the more limited fighting game cabinet bracket. First up is the Marvel Super Heroes counsel which delivers with 3 great titles: Marvel Superheroes, X:men Children of the Atom, and the Punisher. Comes with a 17” Color Screen, dual speakers, and measures in at 22.75” D X 19” W X 45.8” H.
Arcade 1UP Mortal Kombat Arcade Cabinet
Next up is the Arcade1Up Mortal Kombat platform, which comes with three gmaes: Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Comes with a 17” Color Screen, dual speakers, and measures in at 22.75” D X 19” W X 45.8” H.
Best Class Home Arcade Machine
Ms. Pac-Man/ Galaga Class of 1981 Arcade Gaming Cabinet
A pure nostalgia play, Chicago gaming’s Ms. Pac-Man counsel includes Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, as well as four hidden bonus games: Pac-Man, Speedy Pac-Man, Speedy Ms. Pac-Man, and Rapid Fire Galaga. A classic one joystick counsel weighing in at 24.5” W X 33.25” D X 68” H.
Best Cocktail Arcade Cabinet
Prime Arcade's Cocktail Arcade Machine - 412 Games
As the kings of the home arcade cabinet market, Prime Arcades come through with a high quality cocktail cabinet. With game selection ranging from Galaga, to Pac-Man, to Frogger, this is the old school counsel for those who like the cocktail style arcade machines.
Best Counter Top Home Arcade System
Pandora Box 6S - Full HD Video Game Counsel
If you are constrained for space and still want to get the home arcade experience, this table top home arcade model is the best of the bunch. Comes 2400 Retro Arcades games including X-Men VS. Street Fighter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Frogger amongst many, many others.
While there are tons of great options for your Home Arcade Cabinet, Prime Arcades comes through with by far the best option. The sheer breadth of games offered means you will never need to modify this machine. For those buying the single game machines, be aware that you have the option to modify your system, if you have the skills. In case you decide to modify you machine, check out a list of available part here. Check out the video below for a list of some cool mods that you may want to make.