Though usually considered as being games of skill, arcade games machines were introduced in the early 1930s to entertain people in public spaces like restaurants or bars.
For those who are younger, Arcades may not mean much, but to oldies, these are the best video games. So even if you may find them to be outdated, arcade machines are still being collected by nostalgic people and certain businesses.
Programmed with different games to play, arcade machines are coin-operated. When a specific coin was dropped into the slot, games were available to be selected and played. Being as simple as that, they became very popular and many people started loving them.
A few decades after the first coin-operated pinball machines, arcades started becoming even more fun, rushing their way into most of the public places.
How much does an arcade machine cost?
If you want to play classic games like Pac-man and Galaga on a machine that is fully restored, the price to own one will be around $2,000 to $3,000.
For instance, Golden Tee that never stopped from creating games gave birth to a popular arcade, named the Golden Tee Golf. The original machine can be bought for $3,500 to $5,000.
A large selection of different arcade machines can be found at ThePinballCompany.com. For $1,700 to $2,500 you can buy their classic machines that are also restored.
Polygon.com said that you can buy a machine for $1,000 on average though the prices can vary considerably. Mike Tyson’s Punch can be bought for $1,500, while you will have to pay up to $3,000 for Mario Kart.
Seeing that you will have more fun playing with them and at the same time, they are more complex machines, driving arcade games have a different price range. While Nascar Team Racing can be bought for almost $6,500, the Dirty Drivin’ will have you spend between $7,000 and $9,000 to own it.
There are some higher-tech types of machines, the touchscreen arcade games, that can retail for $2,000 to $5,000. One important advantage is that you’ll save plenty of space with these machines, as they can sit on tabletops.
GiantBoards noted that the average for a good machine is between $1,000 and $3,000.
While these average machines can range anywhere from $500 to $7,500, keep in mind that if you’re a collector you should be ready to spend tens of thousands of dollars to add a rare one to your collection.
You can find below some prices for various popular arcade games:
|Machine Name||Price Estimate|
|Area 51||$2,500 to $3,500|
|Addams Family||$2,500 to $4,000|
|Burgertime||$2,000 to $3,000|
|Asteroids||$2,100 to $3,100|
|Defender||$2,000 to $3,000|
|Centipede||$1,500 to $2,100|
|Donkey Kong||$1,000 to $2,500|
|Dig Dug||$1,200 to $2,000|
|Galaga||$1,800 to $2,600|
|Frogger||$1,500 to $2,000|
|Jurassic Park||$12,000 to $14,000|
|Joust||$400 to $900|
|Marble Madness||$400 to $800|
|Millipede||$1,200 to $2,000|
|Mrs. Pac-man||$2,500 to $4,500|
|Missile Command||$1,800 to $2,800|
|Space Invaders||$1,800 to $2,800|
|Pac-man||$1,500 to $2,900|
|Time Crisis||$17,000 to $23,000|
|Street Fighter 2||$3,000 to $4,500|
What are the extra costs?
The main extra cost for these machines is the shipping. Because they weigh so much, you will be charged for shipping by most of the sellers, most of the time.
For the basic delivery, you will have the machines dropped at your front door, but if you chose a high-end delivery, you don’t have to move one finger up to the point where you can start playing.
To have them installed will cost you anywhere from $350 to as much as $900.
You have to also keep in mind that even if you buy a fully restored machine, they tend to have a lot of problems. So it is better to have a budget for rainy days, considering a simple technician call will pull out of your pocket at least $100.
How can I save money?
Depending on the machine you like, a big amount can be saved by buying a used one. In this case, make sure you’ll see it in person to check its condition, and of course, if it’s working.
You can find a company that will rent you one if having a machine placed at your business is your only need. In this case, you will for pay the repairs only if you damage the machine. Every once in a while you will be able to change the games for your customers to keep them happy.
As with any other purchase, make sure that you’ve done your homework before buying anything. With so many machines and retailers to choose from, it is very important to check any existing feedback in order to have a smooth transaction.
eBay and Amazon have plenty of machines to check for.
Important tips to consider
If you want only to play the game and you don’t want the whole machine, MAME is an emulator that recreates arcade games. For a low price, you have plenty of setups that allow you to play hundreds of games.
Make sure that you’re choosing the right machine for you. We consider that it is better to have a steering wheel, pedals, shifter, and buttons to play with, than a simple joystick. Every game has its own features, so checking as many as possible would be a good idea.
Though the machines were made to function with coins you can also have them working with cash. If you want to buy the machine for personal use, the coin machine part can be skipped.
Most games can be played by up to four players and each of them will have their own joystick and handful of buttons.
Usually, old arcade games like Pac-man and Galaga will be fully restored, meaning that you’ll have replaced all of the non-working parts. The box is also touched up if it has any cosmetic issues. On the other hand, original arcade machines that don’t suffer any repairs, will bring more money or shorten you, depending on if you buy or sell.