The modern man cave is essentially an extension of teenage dreams. You have your sports paraphernalia, gaming consoles, and if you’re lucky you have an arcade cabinet. A man cave with a classic sports game arcade cabinet is the ultimate in nostalgia for those with the space to handle it. But aren’t arcade cabinets expensive, you ask? These machines sold to arcade vendors for thousands of dollars when new in the ’90s, but as technology advanced and the arcade world largely died, these large machines’ resale value plummeted. Classic sports arcade machines like these can often be purchased in the neighborhood of $500. If you are looking to top off your man cave with a classic piece of retro arcade gaming then consider buying one of the 10 best classic arcade sports games of all-time.
Arch Rivals – Midway Games – 1989
Before NBA Jam, there was Arch Rivals. The game lacked an NBA license but the street-style basketball action entertained legions of gamers back in the day, making this a prime choice for the man cave in need of a retro stand-up arcade cabinet.
Baseball Stars 2 – SNK – 1992
Baseball Stars 2 set the standard for arcade baseball gaming with its brilliant sprite-based graphics and light-hearted gameplay. The fact that the game utilized the MVS cartridge system means that your classic ’90s arcade game cabinet will have tons of versatility since it can play any of the Neo Geo MVS cartridges, making your man cave into a full-on home-based arcade. Take advantage of the Neo Geo’s extensive fighting game library to maximize your investment.
Football Frenzy – SNK – 1992
SNK is best known for its fighting games but the company created an icon when it developed Football Frenzy. The game has no association with the NFL whatsoever which is good because that keeps it from dating itself with old rosters. Enjoy the versatility of the SNK Neo Geo MVS cartridge system, as well, if you decide to add this classic arcade game cabinet to your man cave.
Hit The Ice – Williams – 1990
Taito developed an incredibly addicting version of hockey for arcade gamers in the early-’90s. This classic title employed a three-on-three system and focused heavily on fighting, making it one of the most entertaining classic ’90s arcade sports games and a solid cabinet for any man cave.
NBA Jam – Midway Games – 1993
It is impossible to mention classic arcade sports games without mentioning NBA Jam. Sure, the game was ported to nearly every home console, and the Saturn and PlayStation versions were near perfect ports, but having your own stand-up cabinet allows you and three buddies to experience the game as it was truly meant to be experienced.
NFL Blitz – Midway Games – 1997
NFL Blitz was released in a pre-Goodell world and the gritty play of this sports arcade game clearly reflects that. The game never caught on like NBA Jam, but nothing says “MAN CAVE” like an NFL Blitz stand-up arcade cabinet.
Super High-Impact – Midway Games – 1991
Super High-Impact is not as brutal as Football Frenzy or NFL Blitz, but the game can definitely hold its own as one of the best arcade sports games of all-time. It is no Madden, but the simplicity is what makes this and the other classic arcade sports games on this list enjoyable.
Super Major League / Final Arch – Sega – 1995
This classic sports game went under the radar of most gamers which hurts its nostalgia value but the game mechanics were spot-on, making this a brilliant and fresh addition to any man cave. This baseball title never received a home console conversion which also adds to its value. The fact that it played on Sega’s ST-V arcade board also means this particular stand-up cabinet gives you tons of versatility.
Tecmo Bowl – Tecmo – 1988
Want to play Tecmo Bowl without suffering from those painful indentations in your palms from that square NES controller? The Tecmo Bowl stand-up arcade cabinet is the solution to that problem, but you must remember that the arcade version of Tecmo Bowl differs greatly from the familiar home console version. Consider this retro arcade game cabinet a conversation starter for your man cave.
Virtua Striker 2 – Sega – 1997
Soccer games were never the draw for arcades that football, basketball, or fighting games were, but Sega brought its arcade magic to the worldly sport with this classic arcade title. Was there any type of arcade game Sega couldn’t ace during its golden age in the ’90s?
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