A nice Xbox (or Playstation) does have a lot of games, but they are kind of ‘meh’. How about installing a system that will still allow you to game with your mates and has a cool retro vibe? You might have only seen them in movies, or you might be old enough to actually remember arcade machines… Either way, we have 6 of the best gaming man cave ideas for you to browse through.
Ever played Street Fighter before? If not, you are in for a treat. There are no fancy graphics and none of this ‘pay to win’ nonsense that you find in AAA games today.
Mash the buttons, throw in a little skill and beat the living S#!T out of your opponent. It really is that simple.
This arcade machine doesn’t require any money or tokens to play again and again. (Although you could play each other in a championship for a quid or two).
With side-by-side joysticks and buttons, you can be taken back to the days of your youth.
This arcade machine is ¾ scale. While this isn’t quite full size, it does make it slightly more user friendly to move and position without it being too obtrusive or taking up too much space.
The 43cm screen is LCD, meaning you’ve got crystal clear resolution too. You didn’t get that in the ’90s!
It actually features three editions of streetfighter, so you’ll be able to find your favourite character to become unstoppable. These are JAMMA games, the original gaming system used in your youth’s arcade machines.
Who are you going to pick? (My favourite was Blanka… Because I could never remember the combinations for the other characters).
If you haven’t heard of a pandora’s box arcade system, then let us enlighten you.
It’s a box (obviously) that contains quite a few games.
Well, in this case, over three thousand! What do you think? Good value or what?
You’ll find an absolute treasure trove of arcade classics. Pacman, Street Fighter, Space Invaders… Basically, name any arcade classic, and there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll find it here.
This system doesn’t come mounted in classic arcade machine housing, so you’ve got a few options. The controllers come as a pair of panels. So, you can simply rest them on your knee and tap away. Alternatively, if you have an eye for design, you could mount them in a table (or even a bar?).
The beauty of this system is that you can use an existing TV to set it up, and each unit is only 31cm by 22 cm. If you are struggling to get ‘permission’ to invest in a full arcade system for your mancave, this is a great option.
Ring any bells?
Did you learn the combos to absolutely humiliate your opponent after you had already beaten him? Mortal Kombat II was always a little gory, and I used to worry about the game designers’ vivid imagination (man, some of those finishing moves were pretty dark).
The good news is that you can relive the days of your youth in your man cave with this arcade system.
As with our streetfighter man cave arcade system, you’ll get three versions of Mortal Kombat to play.
The Joystick and button set is ‘real feel’, so they are pretty unbreakable and will take some stick. The arcade machine is coinless (but you could charge your mates a pound for 3 goes… blame inflation). It also comes with a clear deck protector, so you’ve got room to place a bottle of beer without worrying about marking the finish.
This arcade gaming system comes with a 17″ full-colour LCD screen and arrives flat packed, ready for you to assemble. This makes it super easy to transport to any room in your house.
There are things I love about this pandora’s box setup and one or two things I don’t.
Let me explain.
I think it is absolutely fantastic that, for the money, you are getting 8000 games all in one console. You can choose to rig it to any display that you like. A computer screen, a TV or even a projector will all work well. It even has a built-in speaker.
Another great feature is that you can download even more games… This includes N64 games! Mariokart on an arcade console? Amazing!
It’s even possible to plug in an external controller!
There are a couple of downsides that I feel it’s only fair to talk about.
The first is that while you do get two joysticks, they are both connected on one panel. If you are playing alone, then you will have an overhang on one side or the other. If you are playing with your mate, you will have to sit shoulder to shoulder and hope that his button mashing doesn’t put you off.
I loved the OneV FT as the geometrically shaped independent controllers could be easily mounted within something else. The shape of this controller means that it will be pretty hard to mount anywhere. This limits the areas where you can install it.
Overall the unit is pretty durable. I love the retro ‘Ryu’ style decal and thick acrylic cover… I think it adds a touch of authenticity.
Now this one really takes me back. I remember scrounging 10p off my dad to sit hunched over this in a pub. (Along with a coke and a bag of crisps).
Ok, it’s a little more pricey than some of my other suggestions, but you are getting quite a bit for the money.
It’s an arcade system and a super cool table. Think of it like a piece of art that could form your man cave’s centrepiece and be a real talking point.
You’ll get 60 games included as part of the package. This includes favourites such as Pac man, space invaders, donkey kong and frogger. And the screen is just under half a metre wide!
The best thing is that the buttons and Joystick are all housed under the table. This gives you a full strengthened glass surface to placed drinks (and maybe some crisps, cheers dad) without fear of spilling on the screen or controllers.
Unlike some of our other suggestions, there is no construction or setup necessary. Place this arcade system in its home, plug it in, and you are away!
One beautiful touch is the incorporated coin slot. You don’t actually need to put any money in to play, but I think this adds a real authentic feel to your man cave arcade system
Remember how I was moaning about the Sunbary system being a bit of a weird shape? Well, this is the answer.
It shares a great many features, including a single mounted, dual joystick controller and buttons. The difference is it is nice and square, meaning you’ll be able to mount it within a surface if you so choose.
This features programmable buttons so you can get all your games configured to give you the edge. You can also create custom game lists so you won’t have to wade through pages and pages of obscure games, of which there are 3003 (oddly specific?)
It is a simple plug and play system, so provided you have a basic understanding of what wires go where you should be able to rig it up to the display medium of your choice.
Why Buy an Arcade Machine for Your Mancave?
Some may consider it a frivolity. I would call it cool.
Why buy an arcade machine for your man cave? Two words…
Fun and nostalgia.
If you are a gentleman of a certain age, you may have experience of actually playing on the originals. I can still remember thinking that space invaders was the best game ever and actively looking forward to playing it.
Check out this for a 10-minute blast of ‘back in the day.’
You’ve got to remember that when these games came out, people had never even heard of a computer game before. The buzz and excitement around them were huge.
Things to Consider When Considering Video Game Man Cave Ideas
Before diving in and investing in a man cave arcade game, it’s worth having a think about a few things to make sure it’s right for you…
First off, consider the theme of your man cave.
If you’ve gone for a chilled and minimalist vibe, a blinking and flashing streetfighter arcade machine plonked in the corner is going to look a little out of place.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good old gaming session however. It just means that you’ll have to change your ideas slightly.
The best thing to consider would be a pandora’s box arcade game set. This would work particularly well with a projector, as you wouldn’t even need to clutter the room with a TV!
If you have a bar setup or a room that is more akin to a games room, then go for gold, the brighter and louder, the better!
Size and Shape
The size and shape of your video game man cave ideas will be dictated by the size and shape of your room.
If you have a small room, you don’t want it to be dominated by a substantial box style arcade. Again a pandora’s box-style system might be the way to go.
Obviously, if you have space to play with, then you can set up whatever you like. The scaled arcade machines listed above all come flat packed with a screen included. As a result, you’ll be able to transport them and assemble them wherever you’d like.
This might be a deal-breaker… But with the suggestions above, you have no need to worry—some of the suggestions given above offer over 6000 games, with the possibility to download even more.
Game choice aside, it might be worth considering what will appeal to guests to make your man cave awesome. (Unless you intend to play on your own…). Go for a system that definitely has the old classics that people will remember. You want games that are self-explanatory and easy to play.
Man Cave Arcade | Format and Layout
The beauty of a man cave is that you can make it your own. How you choose to set up your man cave arcade games is entirely up to you. Here are some great options: –
With the Streetfighter and Mortal Kombat systems, you might be a bit limited as to options. So you’ll have to assemble and place it “as is.”
The pandora’s box systems can simply be placed on your knee. Granted, they are wired, so you’ll need to sit fairly close to the TV. The alternative is to pair them up with a wall projector if you are going for a knee-based system.
Mounted in a surface
I really like this idea. If you are handy with DIY, you could embed the console and the controllers within a table or bar area. By picking man cave arcade games with a geometrically shaped controller, this should be pretty easy.
Man cave arcades are a little bit flash. If you’ve got a man cave geared around having fun, then they make the perfect addition! A few beers, a few mates and a massive gaming session sounds pretty good to me!
Some of the systems in our list, such as the arcade table, actually tick two boxes at once, as they are a piece of man cave furniture and a gaming system all in one! Whatever you choose, they are all really fun. Good luck learning that killer combo!