Classic arcade games from the 1980s and 1990s evoke a sense of nostalgia in many people. Arcades were an exciting hang-out spot, and the bright lights and flashy colors came to signify a fun Friday or Saturday night.

Over the years, the arcade game industry has evolved. While going to the arcade may not have the same level of popularity as it did back in the day, arcade games have come to be viewed as a popular collectible item. Many people are starting at-home game rooms and loading them with classic arcade games.

Collecting classic arcade games isn’t for everyone. Not only are the arcade games quite expensive to procure, but an arcade cabinet also takes up a lot of space. If you want to invest your time and effort into classic arcade game collecting, it’s important to make sure that you are willing to make the investment of money and space.

Game On! The Ultimate Guide to Collecting Arcade Games

Are you interested in starting your own extensive collection of classic arcade games? You may have a lot of questions! Where should you buy arcade games? How do you take care of them? And perhaps the most pressing question: where will you display your arcade games?

Where to Find Arcade Games

When considering the hobby of arcade collecting, one question that springs to mind is where exactly one should purchase a game. There are plenty of reputable sellers online, such as The Pinball Company, Arcade1Up, and Game Room Shop, among others. You may also consider buying from an individual. Keep in mind that you may need to invest in repairs when buying from an individual as opposed to a shop. You can score arcade games on Craig’s List or on Facebook marketplace. Be sure that you are educated on arcade games so that you can easily assess the condition of the machine you are buying.

Maintenance of Arcade Games

When investing in arcade games, keep in mind that these machines will occasionally require maintenance. You will need to keep your machine clean and free of dust. It’s important to give the machine a dusting and cleanse with a mild cleanser that is safe to use on your machine. You may also sometimes require the assistance of a professional in the event of a mechanical failure. You can find experts near you by searching online.

Display Space for Arcade Games

Arcade games take up a lot of space, so make sure you have adequate room in your home before leaping into this hobby. A game room, spare bedroom, or finished basement (that doesn’t flood) may be the perfect spot to stash these oversized collectibles.

Collecting 101: Four Cardinal Rules for Every Arcade Game Collector

If you are considering taking up this hobby of classic arcade game collecting, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are five expectations that you should set for yourself before you dive in!

Expect to pay big bucks for classic arcade games

Collectors have noticed that over the years, this hobby has gotten pricier. Having your own game room in your house is considered super-cool, and perhaps with the advent of COVID, people have decided that a personal game room is better than playing arcade games in public.

Rare arcade games are worth more money

As with many a collectible item, classic arcade games that are hard to come by tend to be worth more money than the ones that are plentiful and easy to find. This should motivate you to devote extra time to the hunt, which many people find to be thrilling. Your diligent efforts to add unique games to your collection will be rewarded.

There are so many games to choose from – and you may need to be selective

Over the years there have been many different arcade games introduced to players across the country. From PacMan to Knights of Valour, there are lots of games to choose from. Since they take up a lot of space, you’ll want to be choosy when adding to your collection. Focus on a niche that you especially enjoy – this will make the money and space investment worthwhile.

You might find yourself addicted to collecting classic arcade games

Arcade collecting can be quite addictive – so don’t be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by your very own personal game room. Be sure to enjoy the process of finding the items, designing your game room, and of course, playing the games!

Playing for Keeps: Assessing the Investment Value of Arcade Games

Could collecting classic arcade games be a more exciting way of funding your retirement? Despite their high value, most arcade games are unlikely to see a significant increase in value over time, so you may not end up with a huge return on investment. If you plan to play with your arcade games, you will actually be putting a lot of wear and tear on them and possibly find you need to pay for repairs or maintenance.

Collecting classic arcade games should be more for the fun and excitement of it, rather than a viable investment. While there are a few rare games that increase in value, not every arcade cabinet plays by those rules.

High-Score Collectibles: Identifying the Most Valuable Arcade Games

Looking to score some of the most valuable arcade games? Here is a list of the top eight most valuable arcade games available today. Some of them are quite rare, so you’ll need a bit of luck scoring one for your collection.

Atari Quantum – Worth $10,000

This vector-based video game was based on real-world physics. Today, this is one of the most expensive arcade games available, with a cost around $10,000.

Sinistar (Duramold) – Worth Between $5,000 and $10,000

In this game, one pilots a spaceship and extracts crystals from different small planets. How many of these games still exist today is unknown, but gamers are willing to shell out thousands to acquire one.

Atari Star Wars Cockpit – Worth Between $3,000 and $7,000

This extra-large cabinet takes up a lot of space and is one of Atari’s most expensive cabinets. Because of how much space it took up, many arcade owners opted for other games, which makes this a super rare find today.

Blaster (Cockpit) – Worth $5,000

This arcade game features a cabinet that players can sit in for an immersive experience. Just five were produced, making this enormous arcade game very valuable and rare.

Cosmic Chasm – Worth $5,000

This game was one of Cinematronics’ final games in 1983, with the arcade cabinet being developed just as the company was going bankrupt. This rare item is in high demand, which gives it a high value as a collectible.

Aztarac – Worth $5,000

Created by Centuri in 1983, Aztarac is a game set in outer space. It’s unique design adds to its value as a collectible item.

Splat! – Worth $5,000

This 1982 game was a cabinet game designed for two players. In the game, the objective is to pick up food and toss it at your rival player. There are three characters to choose from.

Blaster (Upright) – Worth Between $3,500 and $4,000

In this game, the objective is to kill opponents and overcome various hurdles to free astronauts that have become stranded in deep space.

The Space Equation: How Much Room You’ll Need for Your Arcade Haven

If you plan to begin collecting classic arcade games, a key consideration is how much space you have available for your collection. Most arcade games take up significant space, and starting a collection in your home will require some dedicated real estate.

Many classic arcade game collectors have a special game room set aside that is filled with their vintage arcade games. This can be an exciting way to both display your collection and make it easy for yourself and guests to actually play with the games. Check out your local arcades for inspiration on both the layout and the décor that you can include in the space.

Besides having plenty of space, you’ll also want to make sure that you have enough electrical outlets in the designated space to accommodate your games. If your room only has a few outlets, consider hiring an electrician to outfit the space with the needed electrical setup.

Before You Insert Coin: Factors to Consider When Buying an Arcade Game

Are you looking into buying arcade games for your burgeoning game room? Be sure to consider these factors before you buy!

Price: Before you purchase an arcade game, you’ll want to consider the price. Do a little research online and see what that particular game has been selling for. This should help you determine whether what you’re paying is fair.

Rarity: Rarity tends to impact the price when it comes to classic arcade game collecting. It also makes the item more desirable for your collection.

Space: As we mentioned before, arcade games tend to take up a lot of space in your home. Before purchasing one, make sure you actually have room to add to your collection!

Vendor: Are you buying from a reputable vendor? Purchasing a refurbished game from a reputable vendor is less risky that buying from an individual who is unknown. You may find you need to shell out more money for repairs when buying from an individual, so make sure that the price you pay is lower and reflects this.

Condition: When buying arcade games, the condition is an important factor. A game in poor condition may require more money for repairs. Consider this when making a purchase!


How do I get started in collecting arcade games?

First, be sure that you have space in your home for these sizeable collectable items. Second, make sure that you have some extra money that you are willing to sink into this hobby. Look for reputable sellers to purchase from, and do your research to figure out which games you want to add to your collection, whether it be Donkey Kong or Pac Man.

Are there online communities where arcade game collectors congregate?

You can find various forums or threads on Reddit where you can meet other arcade game collectors and ask questions about the hobby.

What are the most common mistakes people make when collecting arcade games?

It’s important to recognize that arcade games are not necessarily the best investment opportunity. The cost of entering this hobby is high, and the value of the games is not likely to increase further, especially if you are putting wear and tear on the games. Be sure to enter this hobby for the love of the games, rather than viewing it as an investment.


About Collectibles Insurance Services

Collectibles Insurance Services has been protecting collections since 1966 and all coverage is provided by a carrier with a group rating of “A” (Excellent) by AM Best, the leading rating agency for the insurance industry.

Comprehensive coverage includes, but is not limited to: accidental breakage, burglary, fire, flood, loss in the mail, theft, natural disasters, and other causes of loss unless specifically excluded from the policy. Deductibles start at $0 for collector policies and we provide coverage for the market value of your collection for losses in excess of $50.

Additionally the protection extends At home and away, and we don't require collection itemization and serial number nor extensive paperwork and red tape.