a bunch of toys that are on a table

What's the Best Arcade Machine for your Games Den?

No self-respecting gaming den is complete without an arcade machine. For many gamers, owning one is the ultimate achievement, the fulfilment of a dream that started in dim halls surrounded by flashy Space Invaders and Pac-Man machines.

It’s a dream that’s now more accessible than ever; you won’t have to knock on Atari’s door to procure custom arcade machines. With gamers rediscovering the greatness of retro games and barcades rising in popularity, all that stands between you and an arcade cabinet of your own is knowing what you want.

Different Types of Machines for Home Arcades

Now the day has finally come to choose your fighter. You’ll find a packed roster of different types of machines, from cabinets that look like exact replicas of your childhood favourites, to new ones that blend modern hardware with the familiar.

To help you pick out the best arcade machines to bring home, let’s start by talking about the kinds available on the market.

Upright Arcade Machines

Upright arcade machines are the cabinets most people think of when they think of a retro arcade machine. These are the classics, characterised by a familiar silhouette: a vertical, rectangular body with a tapered top that’s crowned by a marquee, usually cheerfully designed with the title of a specific game.

Sitdown Arcade Machines

Sitdown arcade machines resemble a small table, with a flat top surface that houses a screen underneath. The height is lower than traditional machines, which allows players to sit at two or three ends.

Not all sit-down machines have a tabletop. Some, like the Neo 55 Grandmaster, have seating built into the setup. Others can look like traditional machines, only more squat to let users play at eye level while sitting on benches or bar stools.

Picking the Perfect Retro Arcade Machine

Say you’ve got your eye on a machine. Before you pull the metaphorical trigger, there are a couple more things you have to consider. While it would be awesome to turn your living room into an arcade museum with every type of cabinet, some machines will work better for you than others based on the following factors.

Space & Layout

Space will be one of the big factors dictating your choice. Make sure you can clear up enough room in your gaming den; you won’t want to just cram a cabinet into a corner where its sides are covered. You’ll also have to give the cabinet enough breathing space so you can comfortably play without smacking your arms when things get frantic in-game.

To give you a rough idea of the space you’ll need to park a machine, here are samples of the dimensions of our own cabinets. Our GT Stand-Up model, one of our slimmer machines, is about 56.5 cm wide and 170 cm tall. Its tabletop cousin the GT Coffee Table comes in at 90 cm wide and 45 cm tall. To bring home a four-player behemoth, you’ll need enough clearance for a machine that’s approximately 71 cm wide and 174 cm tall.

Aside from floor space and room to elbow opponents in the ribs during a tense game of Street Fighter, you’ll also want to consider the dimensions of your entryways. Stand-up machines can fit through most standard doors, but you’ll have to plan ahead for bigger models.


Arcade machines aren’t just gaming computers–they’re works of art. At Bespoke Arcades we painstakingly make machines to your exact specifications, down to the colour of the underlighting or the edging.

That said, you’re going to need to make a lot of design decisions. There’s the artwork that’ll adorn the side panels, the marquees, and the control panels. Buttons can be any colour of your choosing. Marquees, buttons and the base itself can be lit with RGB lighting - ideal for those after a machine that looks like it walked straight out of the world of Tron.

Number of Players

Playing arcade games is originally a social experience. Even when playing solo, crowds would gather, whether to watch your run or wait ‘til your character kicks the bucket. You’ll need to decide if you want to bring that experience to your gaming den, and up to how many mates you’ll want to raise pixel hell with.

Some of the best arcade games are multiplayer, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Standard machines are built in with two-player compatibility out of the gate. But if you want to fully enjoy games like X-Men, The Simpsons, or TMNT, you’ll need a multi-game arcade machine that fits more, or at least one that allows for additional controllers.

Game Selection

Custom arcade machines may look like their forebears, but under the hood, it’s a world of difference. Worlds, to be precise. Thanks to advanced parts and modern emulators, the best multi-game arcade machine UK can come loaded with thousands of games.

Of course, not everyone may want a mile-long list of games to play through. Those who want to keep their library simple can do so with selections like our GT 60 Arcade Games library, which comes with classics such as Arkanoid and Pac-Man.

On the other end of the spectrum you’ll find our GT 2500 Arcade Games list. It’s the most comprehensive library we have with over 2,500 games. You’ll be able to play the classics and likely all their sequels, plus titles from consoles like the Atari 2600, NES, and SNES.


Some games are best played with their original input controllers. Centipede and Missile Command cabinets originally came with trackballs. And are you really playing Time Crisis if you’re not using light guns?

The type of joysticks and buttons can also heavily affect gameplay. Fighting games are easier to control with parts like 8-way joysticks. Convex buttons feel great to use because fingers can rest comfortably inside the hollowed area, but the dome of concave buttons allows players to press from any angle.

Here at Bespoke Arcades, we’re proud to build customers their dream machines, from the ground up. Built using traditional cabinetry techniques, wooden bracing and glass screens with tens of thousands of licensed games, there’s a reason we’re the best.

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