The 15 Best Home Arcade Machines For Your Man Cave

The 15 Best Home Arcade Machines For Your Man Cave

Where should you start with finding an arcade machine for your man cave?

Let’s be honest, it’s not like there’s a small pool of arcade machines to choose from to begin with!

So, when it comes to actually choosing an arcade machine, really what you need to consider is how much you like the game you’ll be purchasing. It’s not like a typical console that allows for game switching and various forms of media, you have to make sure you’re getting a game that you legitimately enjoy.

And, it’s partly the reason why the most popular types of arcade machines are retro ones that offer the games we know, love, and grew up playing.

Whether it’s Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat or Pac-Man, we’ve put together our 15 all-time favourites for you to take your pick from.

Be warned, that expensive PS5 might gather dust in the corner of your man cave once you splash out on what we often like to refer to as the ultimate man cave asset….a premium home arcade machine that can take everything you’re bound to throw at it (and by that we mean gaming-wise…throwing a beverage over these machines is definitely not recommended…).

Our Top Picks

1. Pac-Man Arcade Machine

Pac-Man Arcade Machine

Arguably the most iconic of all the arcade machine games, this retro throwback will complete any man cave looking for an explosion of eighties gaming nostalgia

    When we think of retro arcade machines, it’s hard not to instantly think of Pac-Man.

    The much-loved arcade classic that started life in 1980 has been a firm staple in the arsenal of any game lover ever since, elevating itself into firm retro status with as dedicated an audience now than when it was first introduced to the world in arcades and homes back in the eighties.

    And, if you’re looking to relive your gaming nostalgia with everyones’ favourite yellow, ghost-munching, pizza-like creature, you’re in the right place. This arcade machine is a replica of the original 80’s unit, complete with:

    • Plug and play functionality
    • Updated modern components to allow for longevity and ease of use
    • A licensed arcade board already installed

    If you’re looking for that retro arcade feel as an addition to your man cave, then you know where to start…

    Recommended retailer

    Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

    2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Arcade Machine

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Arcade Machine

    Well, what's not to love with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game? It's got iconic characters, fun gameplay and even the style of the machine is iconic. A real ten out of ten.

      Imagine being around as a TMNT-loving child when this arcade game was released? We remember it fondly, and it’s why this machine is included here (amongst many other valid reasons).

      This is one of the early games that came from a franchise that offered favourite character selection and a series of actual levels. Forget Spiderman on the Ps5, this is where it’s at.

      Not only is the game itself a real throwback, but so is the style and design of the machine. It just looks nostalgic, and fits right into to any gaming man cave that is already suited to a retro styling. And, if your man cave is on the plainer side, then this can really give it that added flair.

      Recommended retailer

      Home Leisure Direct £5497 Buy now

      3. MS Pac-Man Arcade Machine

      MS Pac-Man Arcade Machine

      An all-round blast of 80's nostalgia, and a welcome addition to any man cave looking for a retro arcade machine.

        First introduced to the world in 1982 following the 1980 boom in popularity of the original Pac-Man, Ms. Pac Man was a welcome addition to the series and to gaming arcades across the globe. Now there were two versions to choose from!

        Often cited as one of the best games of all time, this version sees the gamer playing as the wife of Pac-Man, with what many believe to be updated gameplay functionality and all-round (but minor) improvements on the original game.

        At Man Cave Geek, we fall into the ‘happily obsessed with both versions’ camp, whereas other gamers swear by a particular version. Either way, Ms. Pac-Man will be a welcome addition to any man cave looking for a gaming focal point.

        Recommended retailer

        Home Leisure Direct £4997 Buy now

        4. Space Invaders Arcade Machine

        Space Invaders Arcade Machine

        There really isn't much else to say on this one. Relive your childhood with the perfect Space Invaders arcade machine in all of its retro glory.

          Space Invaders, in a classic arcade machine format? That is literally true to the original arcade machines back when the game was released in 1978?

          Arguably one of the most iconic arcade games to ever exist, and easily one of the most popular (to this day), Space Invaders is also one of the most popular options for a home arcade machine.

          It’s simple to play but devilishly addictive, and is there really anything more satisfying than hearing those lasers wreak havoc on impending waves of aliens?

          Just think of how it’ll sound in your man cave… The only option now is, where do you find room for the three arcades machines we’ve already covered in this guide? And, where are you going to find the room for the other 12?

          Recommended retailer

          Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

          5. Asteroids Arcade Machine

          Asteroids Arcade Machine

          One of the best games for anyone who wants to get 'lost' in the retro arcade world. It's just that good.

            Asteroids is a real ‘gamers game’, in that it’s often not talked about in the same vein as Pac-Man or Space Invaders, but it’s certainly still a firm favourite amongst the retro gaming community. And, why wouldn’t it be?

            The game sees the player control a simple triangle that has to both destroy and avoid all of the space debris that it encounters. Oh, and the flying saucers to add to the list of objects to avoid/destroy…

            Looking at this 1979 game now it’s easy to say that it’s simple, but that was never up for dispute. Its appeal is in the fact that it’s a simple game, which makes it even more addicting.

            This is definitely one for the man cave owner who likes to invite the family round, as it’s such a simple game to play, but one that will never truly be mastered (as much as you’re going to try once you get hooked!).

            Whether Asteroids already invokes fond gaming memories, or if it’s a game that you’ve never played and is primed to provide many years of retro gaming fun, there’s no denying its appeal.

            Recommended retailer

            Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

            6. Defender Arcade Machine

            Defender Arcade Machine

            The game from which thousands of Sci-Fi and shooting games emerged, this really is like looking at the holy grain of modern space and Sci-Fi gaming (and you can have it in your man cave).

              Helldivers who? Defender is easily one of the most iconic shooting games set in space, with the player having to both keep their fellow astronauts safe while battling hoards of invading alien ships.

              We’d say that it’s similar to Asteroids in that there’s a hardcore fanbase (for good reason), yet this game often isn’t mentioned in the same way as some of the other retro games on our list.

              If you’re into Sci-Fi games, and shooting games specifically, then Defender is one that you really can’t miss. It’s like looking back in time to where many of the titles that we know and love today spawned from, with Defender being cited by modern games developers as a turning point in mission structure and what it meant to be a ‘modern’ arcade game.

              It’s fast-paced, easy to start, and wickedly addictive. What’s not to love?

              Recommended retailer

              Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

              7. Street Fighter II Arcade Machine

              Street Fighter II Arcade Machine

              If you like to get competitive in your man cave and have a love for retro fighting games, it's hard to say no this classic.

                Street Fighter II is no doubt responsible for hundreds of thousands of gaming arguments between friends. The level of competition that this game invokes is fierce, but let’s be honest, that was always part of the appeal.

                A slightly older game in comparison to some of the others on this list (with a 1991 release date), Street Fighter II is the sequel to the much-loved Street Fighter of 1987, with what many see as huge improvements to the fighting styles, characters and playability as a whole.

                For us, this just makes Street Fighter I even more iconic as a genre-defining game, and Street Fighter II is simply expanding on a legacy firmly established by the initial 1987 release.

                Game II provides the classic 6 button configuration, with a whole generation already looking back on fond button-bashing memories as they read this no doubt! Whether you’re already a retro fight gaming fan or you’re looking to explore the genre, Street Fighter II is one of, if not the best place to start.

                Recommended retailer

                Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                8. Tekken 2 Arcade Machine

                Tekken 2 Arcade Machine

                Easily one of the most iconic fighting games to ever be created, this is as fun as it is addictive, and for very good reasons.

                  Speaking of absolute classics, here’s another second version of a fighting game that thoroughly deserves all of the love and accolades that it rightfully still receives by gaming fans around the world.

                  Tekken 2 was originally a 1995 arcade release, and was quickly brought over to the Playstation for ease of accessibility to a wider audience. And, it’s likely why it’s often cited as one of the best fighting games across all platforms, as it had that original arcade start prior being played by those outside of the local gaming arcade.

                  Play as all of your favourites (Yoshimitsu anyone!?!) across a variety of levels and themes in this classic arcade release. Don’t worry, our machines are built to withstand all manners of spin kick button bashing and sword-sprint joystick whacking, just like the arcade machines you may have played this game on before.

                  And, if you’re reading this as a Playstation-only player (and if you missed out on the arcade machine hype the first time round), this is an incredible introduction to the platform fighting genre, and one that you and your friends can really get stuck into.

                  Recommended retailer

                  Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                  9. Marvel Vs. Capcom Arcade Machine

                  Marvel Vs. Capcom Arcade Machine

                  Not just for Marvel lovers, this arcade machine is another game that fans of retro arcade fighting releases will absolutely love.

                    Marvel Vs. Capcom is one of the original crossover games. At the time of its release, arcade gamers were used to follow-ups in a series, or games that maybe ventured slightly outside of the ‘norm’, but this was truly groundbreaking in the fighting crossover subgenre.

                    For fans of Tekken, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, Marvel Vs. Capcom is as fun as it is inner-geek inducing with its depth of iconic characters and locations.

                    Choose between joystick and button types, including illuminated button options for that classic retro ‘gaming in the dark’ theming. This truly is a versatile, legendary arcade machine that any man cave owning, Marvel loving, retro gamer will enjoy.

                    Recommended retailer

                    Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                    10. Mortal Kombat 2 Arcade Machine

                    Mortal Kombat 2 Arcade Machine

                    Easily one of the most recognisable and iconic fighting game follow-ups in history.

                      When we think of fighting games, most of us are in two camps. You have those who were brought up on the likes of Street Fighter and the aforementioned Marvel spin-off style games, and those who instantly start listing their favourite Tekken and Mortal Kombat characters.

                      And, this is where Mortal Kombat 2 really shines. As if the first instalment wasn’t iconic enough, MK 2 burst onto the scene in 1993 with a whole new range of legendary characters, finishing moves, locations and button-bashing goodness.

                      Choose your preferred joysticks and buttons, pick your favourite character, and start working on those finishing combos. You’ll be screaming “FATALITY!” and reliving intense arcade gaming sessions in no time.

                      Recommended retailer

                      Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                      11. Track and Field Arcade Machine

                       Track and Field Arcade Machine

                      When you think of retro arcade machines, it's hard not to think of Track and Field.

                        A far cry from the fighting and shooting retro games that we know and love from our arcade gaming days, Track and Field is an iconic 1983 release that was genre-defining, if not for its sports game offerings then certainly as the original button bashing game.

                        In this release, you will compete in a variety of different events, requiring Olympic level stamina when it comes to smashing those arcade buttons as quickly as you can.

                        Obviously, there’s more to it. but let’s be honest, this is what most of us fondly remember from playing this game. Usually, sore fingers from button bashing and an intensified rivalry between friends in terms of who has the most stamina and aptitude for intense button-bashery.

                        If you like to have friendly competitions in your man cave, Track and Field is one of the best options to go with. We’ve also ensured our arcade machines are robust enough to withstand what you’ll be throwing at them in terms of intense competitions. Best of luck with this one!

                        Recommended retailer

                        Home Leisure Direct £4297 Buy now

                        12. Donkey Kong Aracde Machine

                        Donkey Kong Aracde Machine

                        What can we say about Donkey Kong that hasn't already been said? It's simply legendary, and will be right at home in any man cave.

                          Bringing Donkey Kong into the modern age, here we have a replica of the original game that everyone knows and loves (but with modern circuity upgrades and a quality build that ensures longevity).

                          Easily one of the most well-known games of all time, and probably one of, if not the most often played game in arcades around the world, Donkey Kong was the catalyst for the many of the platform-style games that we know and love today.

                          Not only is it a simple game to start playing, but it quickly ramps-up in difficulty, and is a barrel of fun for anyone playing (alright, we’ll stop monkeying around with the references here now).

                          Whether you’re looking to play with your friends, your family, or trying to beat your scores as you go, there’s just no denying that this is an incredible game that has truly stood the test of time. And now you can have it in your man cave.

                          Recommended retailer

                          Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                          13. Donkey Kong Jr Arcade Machine

                          Donkey Kong Jr Arcade Machine

                          For those who can't get enough of the original Donkey Kong, here we have another challenge for you to take on.

                            Fans of the original Donkey Kong will no doubt be aware of the 1982 JR release, but if you’re not, then you’re really in for a treat.

                            This second release sees the gamer playing against Jumpman (who has now turned to the dark side!), whereas in the original version, Jumpman was the hero of our barrel-launching tale.

                            While the gameplay is no doubt similar to the original, there are quirks and intricacies that you can’t find there that JR has brought to the table. And, if you haven’t already experienced the joy of going from the ‘OG’ Donkey Kong and over to JR, then you’re in for a real treat.

                            What’s better than one Donkey Kong game? How about two, lined up nicely in your man cave for a slice of retro gaming heaven?

                            Recommended retailer

                            Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                            14. Galaxian Aracde Machine

                            Galaxian Aracde Machine

                            This is one for the committed arcade machine fans who know what they want, and just want to recapture that element of late 70's nostalgia that Galaxian provides.

                              Galaxian is one of the older games on this list, but it doesn’t make it any less fun or iconic.

                              It’s another type of game that really opened the door for many of the fixed (and free-roaming) arcade games that followed, and it’s certainly another genre-defining game to add to this already staggering list of retro game behemoths.

                              Similar to Space Invaders in terms of gameplay and style, Galaxian takes the player through various levels of alien-blasting intensity.

                              It’s what we’d call a classic arcade game shooter, and it fits right at home in a gaming-themed man cave.

                              Recommended retailer

                              Home Leisure Direct £2997 Buy now

                              15. NBA Jam Arcade Machine

                              NBA Jam Arcade Machine

                              Fast-paced, iconic, and an all-round good time. Slam dunk!

                                NBA Jam is the 1993 version of the long-running series of games, and it’s what started the franchise off.

                                At the time, this was a revolutionary game, spawning the series and introducing the world to what we’d call ‘truly’ playable basketball games. It’s now something we take for granted, but at the time, this was a seriously incredible release.

                                Experience sky-high dunks, three pointers that require legitimate concentration, and teams that you already know and love with that added element of 90’s nostalgia.

                                This is such a good game to play with friends, and one that lovers of any genre can get behind.

                                Recommended retailer

                                Home Leisure Direct £5497 Buy now

                                What first-time buyers need to know about purchasing their first home arcade machine

                                We’ve already alluded to this in the introduction, but the biggest factor to consider is how much you like the machine you’re buying in regards to the game that you’ll be playing on it.

                                And that’s not to say that you need to be a hardcore fan of a retro game, but just consider opting for a game you know and love (or head down to your local arcade to sample the classics before making a purchase).

                                Another aspect to consider is the size of the arcade machine.

                                Make sure you know how to effectively calculate the dimensions of your gaming man cave, and ensure that you leave enough room for your arcade machine.

                                No one wants to splash-out on a machine, only to leave it stuck in a corner because there’s no room for it anywhere else!

                                Conclusion

                                So there we have it! 15 of our favourite classic retro arcade machines, ready and waiting to be scooped-up and into the hands of a man cave aficionado.

                                If you like these long-form buyers guides, then you might also enjoy the following articles that we’ve been publishing to help man cavers out:

                                Posted by

                                James Taylor - Head of SEO & Content
                                James Taylor Head of SEO & Content

                                My core areas of expertise include technical, local and organic SEO, alongside targeted content development and white-hat outreach strategies for link building purposes. When I'm not doing SEO you can find me gaming in my man cave!