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The 10 best arcade machines to buy in the UK

Picture of a arcade machine

The best arcade machines let you play some of the greatest video games ever made from the comfort of your home. Although the choice of machines is rather limited many types of arcade machines can be bought for domestic use, letting you bring the fun of the arcade to your living room. To help find a great arcade machine, check out the handy buying guide below. There are all sorts of things to consider when buying an arcade machine to ensure you get the best one for your needs and preferences, so be sure to think about these before you buy.

What are arcade machines?

An arcade machine is a game system that is designed to play various types of classic games. While designs vary, a large arcade machine features a screen, game controls (joystick and buttons), and a coin mechanism. Players insert their coins to play the arcade game, with each coin providing a set number of lives. However, most modern arcade machines have no coin mechanism, allowing easier access.

Why should you buy a good arcade machine?

The best arcade machines offer endless entertainment, making them a fantastic investment for just about anyone. Kids and adults alike love video games meaning an arcade machine in your home will be a huge hit with everyone. Better still, the games are controlled via arcade joystick and buttons, providing a more immersive and fun way to play than a gaming keyboard or controller. Furthermore, the games are all retro classics, allowing anyone to enjoy the nostalgic feel of classic games all from the comfort of their home.

How to choose the right arcade machine in 2024?

Another picture of a arcade machine

Considering that authentic arcade machines have become rare outside dedicated arcades and the second-hand market, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Here are some of the things you may want to consider to

  • Games: Perhaps the most important consideration, think about what games you want to play. Retro arcades will play 80s and 90s games roughly in the same numbers as when they were first released so chances are you’ll find a reasonable variety in most multi-game machines. If you only have a particular favourite, it may be better to invest in a single game machine but keep in mind these are more expensive.
  • Controls: Arcade machines have different control options, some of which you may prefer over others. For example, a traditional arcade control stick is mounted on a raised platform, while other options include an attached controller or built into the cabinet. A classic joystick offers a genuine feel for the games, but some people find it impractical.
  • Maintenance: Many of the best arcade machines are refurbished units, which can be quite old. As a result, they may require various levels of maintenance going forward, so be sure to consider the condition of each one. You ideally want to buy a machine in full working order, as repairs may be costly and time-consuming.

What is the best kind of arcade machine in the UK?

There are countless types of arcade machines available, any of which may be to your liking. Some of the best-selling arcade machines include the following:

  • Classic Arcade Machines: The best-known arcade machines are those that were popular throughout the 80s and 90s, and are now finding their way into homes. These are based on classic game consoles like the Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo, although some prefer upgraded versions with all the games included in one machine.
  • Fighter Arcade Machines: This arcade machine features a wide range of fighter games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. The layout includes an 8-way joystick and buttons, so expect your fingers to do all of the work and a lot of wiping.
  • Mini Arcade Machines: This compact design features a smaller display and control panel but remains great for playing all the retro arcade classics. While being smaller than classic arcade machines they are about the same size as a traditional games console.

Top 10 list of arcade machines in the UK (2024)

The bestseller list compares brands and their arcade machines. Which arcade machine is the best?
Best choice TOP 1
Image of AtGames UE-V5AC-AWE1 arcade machine
AtGames Legends Ultimate 300 Game Arcade Machine, Full Size Retro…
  • 12-Month Warranty & UK-based Tech Support
  • Highly Expandable & Customisable
  • Now With Pinball Buttons Included + 2 sets of controls & trackball.
BUY NOW
Offer TOP 2
Image of Thumbs Up OR-240IN1ARC arcade machine
Mini Arcade Machine Handheld Console - 240 In-Built 8-Bit Retro Games,…
  • The perfect gift for any special occasion. Whether they're fans of arcade games…
  • Sound effects & music delivered through the built-in speakers with volume c…
  • 1 x Joystick (8-Way) & 2 x Control Buttons for an easy & authentic arcade…
BUY NOW
TOP 3
Image of ARCADE1UP MKB-A-200410 arcade machine
Arcade1Up MORTAL KOMBAT LEGACY 14 GAMES Wifi ENABLED ARCADE MACHI…
  • 3D Coindoor
  • Light Up Marquee
  • Monitor 17” LCD
BUY NOW
TOP 4
Image of ARCADE1UP STW-A-301613 arcade machine
Arcade1Up STAR WARS ARCADE MACHINE
  • Light-up marquee
  • 17" monitor
  • Riser included
BUY NOW
TOP 5
Image of VEGAMED K02G1 arcade machine
[26800 Games in 1] Classic 3D Arcade Game Console, Pandora's…
  • Fashion Design and After-salesThe product consists of an Acrylic panel and an all-metal…
  • More Function Settings It supports to connect 2 additional gamepads via USB A, and…
  • The Latest Upgrade System It uses 32GB large memory 8-core processor, which improves…
BUY NOW
TOP 6
Image of ARCADE1UP FAF-A-300211 arcade machine
Arcade1Up FAF-A-300211 THE FAST & THE FURIOUS DELUXE ARCADE GAME,…
  • Racing steering wheel with gas and brake pedals and 5-speed gearbox
  • 3D coin door
  • Wi-Fi
BUY NOW
TOP 7
Image of ARCADE1UP STF-A-202110 arcade machine
Arcade1Up STREET FIGHTER LEGACY 14 GAMES Wifi ENABLED ARCADE MACH…
  • 3D Coindoor
  • Light Up Marquee
  • Monitor 17” LCD
BUY NOW
TOP 8
Image of ARCADE1UP PAC-A-302111 arcade machine
Arcade1up - Pac-Man Deluxe Arcade Machine
  • Riserless design
  • Molded Coin Door With Vac Metal logo plate
  • Speaker grills
BUY NOW
TOP 9
Image of Golden Security RHAC01-Plus arcade machine
Mini Arcade Machine, Handheld Games Console with 156 Classical Games,…
  • Gifts to Kids AdultsThe handheld video game console is an ideal gift for children,…
  • Support Play on TVThe game console can be connected to the TV via the AV output,…
  • Portable Mini Retro Game PlayerClassic and portable design, equipped with an optimized…
BUY NOW
TOP 10
Image of Global Gizmos 50190 arcade machine
Global Gizmos 50190 Candy Grabber Machine/Battery Operated Kids Game/Retro…
  • GLOBAL GIZMOS – Global Gizmos is the leading manufacturer of a wide range of…
  • BATTERY OPERATED - The classic candy grabber requires 3 D-cell batteries (not included),…
  • JOYSTICK CONTROLLED – Use the 3 separate joysticks to move the mechanism backwards…
BUY NOW
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