Full-size arcade games used to be extremely popular back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. However, as the gaming industry developed, home gaming and handheld consoles slowly became the norm. Nowadays, you can access most of the best games in the industry with a PC or console. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that full-size arcade games are obsolete. A lot of them are still being sold for home use or decorative purposes. Which ones are the best for your game room? Let’s find out.
What Is a Full-Size Arcade Game?
If you were alive in the late 20th century, then you’ll probably know what full-size arcade games already are. However, for those born in the late 90s and beyond, full-size arcade games might be unfamiliar.
To put it simply, a full-size arcade machine is an all-in-one gaming machine that lets you play games. It usually includes one or two games, built-in controls (including joystick), and sometimes provides seating as well. They come in a variety of forms, offering either single or multi-player capabilities.
Full-size arcade games are usually tall, allowing you to play in a standing position. On the other hand, some smaller arcade machines are slightly shorter and let you comfortably play while seated. Still, others are more cocktail-sized, allowing you to place them on tables.
What Types of Games Can You Play?
Most of these full-size arcade games appeal to a person’s childhood nostalgia. As a result, they typically hold classic arcade games from the late 20th century. Games like Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, and Space Invaders are just a few examples.
16 Best Full Size Arcade Games You Can Find on Amazon
What are the best full-size arcade games you can buy on Amazon? Here is our list of the top 16.
One of the best arcade game machines for sale is undoubtedly the Arcade1UP Galaga Arcade Machine. Its 19-inch width, 46-inch height, and color LCD screen make it the perfect centerpiece in your game room. Moreover, it has some of the best classic games you can find that take you right back to your childhood. These include Galaga and Galaxian.
In addition, it also has neat features, including coinless operation, adjustable volume, and a handy selection menu. Lastly, at less than $600, it’s pretty affordable for a full-sized arcade game.
Full-size arcade games might not get any better than Arcade1UP’s Marvel Super Heroes At-Home Arcade Machine. That’s because, at less than $800, you’ll hardly be able to find something of this quality that offers Marvel games. With it, you can play Marvel Superheroes, the Punisher, and even X-Men Children of Atom. Moreover, its colored screen and dual speakers ensure that you’ll have an excellent gaming experience without much trouble.
Mortal Kombat fans might be able to find full-size arcade games elsewhere. However, no other option comes close to the original experience than Arcade1UP’s Mortal Kombat Arcade Cabinet. With it, you can play the first three titles in the franchise at less than $800. Moreover, its gaming experience is not bad thanks to the crisp LCD screen and adjustable volume controls.
Pac-Man is one of those old arcade games that never seems to get old. However, buying full-size arcade games seems like overkill just to play Pac-Man. That’s why we recommend getting the Arcade1UP Ms. Pac-Man Counter-Cade for Pac-Man enthusiasts who need something small.
With it, you can play Pac-Man, Dig Dug II, Ms. Pac-Man, and Galaga using the machine’s authentic controls. Moreover, it also provides a vibrant LCD that pumps up the quality without losing its nostalgic appeal. It’s certainly a great buy, especially if you need something for less than $300.
Arcade1UP consistently delivers good-quality full-size arcade games. Hence, it’s unsurprising that we have another one in the form of their Arcade1UP NBA JAM Home Arcade Machine. With it, you can play three NBA classics all on a beautifully colored LCD screen. Moreover, like other Arcade1UP items, this comes with adjustable volume and classic controls. Best of all, it also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity so you can play NBA games competitively online!
Pac-Man has always been popular since the era of retro arcades. Hence, it’s unsurprising that the game is still going strong, especially among full-size arcade games. With Arcade1UP Pac-Man, you can relive that nostalgia — complete with classic controls, a fleshed-out menu, and a colored LCD. However, this unit does require some assembly, so it’s not as user-friendly as the others. Nonetheless, at below $400, you get to play both Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus to your heart’s content.
The charm of full-size arcade games sometimes disappears with some of the replicas companies make. However, AtGames Legends Ultimate somehow manages to capture the essence of a traditional arcade cabinet kit. What’s more, at less than $900, you get a 24-inch HD screen and 300 games right at your fingertips.
It’s certainly one of the better investments available, especially if you like games from Atari and Sega Genesis. Moreover, because it’s compatible with a PC, it’s infinitely more versatile than the other alternatives.
Full-size arcade games are great for spicing up your game room with classic machines and games. However, sometimes, you want an arcade cabinet kit that’s a bit more manageable, size-wise. If that sounds like you, then we recommend checking out the Dig Dug Quarter Scale Arcade Cabinet.
With it, you get a miniature replica of the classic Dig Dug arcade game cabinet for less than $200. Moreover, it’s fully functional, so it serves as more than just an aesthetic addition to your game room. However, it does only come with one game, so that’s something to consider.
Arcade machines don’t always need to stick to old designs to be appealing. The Hasbro Stranger Things Palace Arcade certainly proves that point by appealing to Stranger Things fans more than anything.
Through the product, you can play 20 games that inspired the creation of the hit series — all in handheld mode. Moreover, its themed graphics and aesthetics should be more than enough to satisfy your Stranger Things thirsts. Best of all, it costs less than $20 so it isn’t a huge investment like other full-size arcade games.
Most retro arcade machines are huge, mainly when they aim to replicate classic full-size arcade games. However, the sub-$40 Mini Arcade Game Machine manages to hold its own despite its small size. The device offers all of the classics you’d expect from full-size arcade games. These include the classic design, joysticks, and buttons. However, unlike other full-size arcade games, this one provides a plethora of built-in games—156 titles, in fact. You can even plug it into your TV if the screen size bothers you too much.
Full-size arcade games are great when you’re building a dedicated game room. However, portable arcade machines can be just as good if you don’t have enough space. With the My Arcade Bubble Bobble Micro Player, you get all the benefits of full-sized machines in a small package.
You can play tiny games, use the joystick or D-pad, and even adjust volume controls to your heart’s content. That is if you can withstand the tiny 2.75-inch screen. On the other hand, you can just as easily use it as decoration. At less than $40, it’s not a bad purchase either way.
Full-size arcade games are great for replicating the classic 70s and 80s arcade experience. However, not everyone has the space in their game room — or any room, for that matter. Thankfully, tabletop solutions do exist and help save space when there’s not much left.
The My Arcade Data East Classics Mini Player is an excellent example of this — and it’s a decent investment, too. That’s because, at less than $90, you can play 35 games from Data East just with this unit. Moreover, it’s a relatively enjoyable experience, despite its miniature screen and controls.
Full-size arcade games are great. However, miniature replicas can be just as fun while being ten times cuter! With the My Arcade Galaga Micro Player, you get all the same features as the Bubble Bobble version. It has the same tiny 2.75-inch screen, detachable joystick, audio features, and even sub-$40 price tag. The only difference is that this one’s a Galaga micro player.
Thanks to the SNK MVSX Arcade Machine, SNK fans aren’t left out when it comes to full-size arcade games. With it, you can play SNK games like Fatal Fury, Metal Slug, and more for less than $700. It has around 50 games total — more than most other full-size arcade games. Moreover, it even supports multiplayer, so you can easily invite a friend to play with you.
The Tiny Arcade Pac-Man is nothing like other full-size arcade games you’re most likely used to. However, despite its tiny size, it’s surprisingly playable and stays true to the original. What’s more, with its pocketable size, you can carry it around anywhere without worrying about space. Best of all, it’s not that expensive and costs less than $30.
If you’re a Space Invaders fan who loves the size of the Tiny Arcade Pac-Man, then this one’s for you. The Tiny Arcade Space Invaders machine provides all you need in a pocketable machine. These include a playable space invaders game, an authentic design, and a sub-$30 price tag.
How to Choose Full Size Arcade Games
There are three main factors to consider when buying full-size arcade game machines: size, games, and functionality. Let’s break each of them down.
One of the most important factors to consider in full-size arcade games is undoubtedly the size. That’s because some full-size arcade games aren’t exactly “full-sized.” Some of them come in a handheld form factor, while others are merely miniature versions of full-size arcade games. As you might have guessed, differently sized arcade game machines serve different purposes.
Large, full-size arcade games are great for the centerpiece of your game room. On the other hand, smaller machines tend to be great for decoration or gaming on the go. Regardless of which you choose, keep in mind what kind of game room you want to make before purchasing anything.
Of course, what would full-size arcade machines be without games? Unfortunately, most full-size arcade games only come with a few titles. Some even ship with only one playable game, making them an expensive and impractical purchase.
On the other hand, smaller handheld game machines usually come with a more extensive library of games. With that said, remember to keep your budget in mind and consider which games you want to have available. Additionally, ensure that the full-size arcade games you buy are truly worth the price (and the lack of games).
Unfortunately, we’re no longer living in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. Consequently, you’re not going to find anything that completely replicates the feeling of classic, full-size arcade games. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find anything of good quality.
A lot of full-size arcade games still offer top-quality operation and provide a fun gaming experience. Moreover, high-quality ones usually offer adjustable volume and decent picture quality. Whether you’re only collecting or aiming for a fully functional game room, keep the functionality and overall quality in mind.
Full-size arcade games are great for game rooms, especially for folks born in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. However, these things can be a huge investment if you’re getting one that replicates classic arcade machines. That’s why you need to make sure that you’re getting something that’s worth the money. You’ll have to weigh the unit’s pros and cons, number of games, and build quality. Once you do, you’ll be able to purchase one that adds great games (and aesthetics) to your home.
Check out our picks of the best nostalgia-inducing handheld consoles next!