Last Updated on April 28, 2021
A leading antique marketplace has revealed the top ten most valuable classic arcade game machines, as well as the most popular arcade games in each country.
Antique marketplace, LoveAntiques.com, decided to research arcade game cabinets after the recent popularity of the #SavingTheArcadeWorld campaign to help arcade museums survive, coupled with the retro category on streaming platform Twitch receiving a surge in views and subscribers – it now has over one million subscribers.
LoveAntiques.com’s team of inhouse experts researched arcade game unit sales, collections and valuations from around the world to assemble the ‘MVP’ arcade game list. Here are the five most valuable arcade game machines in the world:
1. Blaster – Williams’ cockpit 1983 – £8,600: Released in 1983, only five units of this cockpit cabinet were ever made and in 2010 it took the Guinness World Record for the most expensive arcade game of all time, and still hasn’t been surpassed.
2. Sinistar – Dedicated duramold 1982 – £7,200: Only a handful of these were made when it was released in 1982, so collectors will be willing to pay up to $10,000 to get their hands on this bespoke duramold machine.
3. Asteroids – original 1979 cabinet – £6,750: One of the most iconic arcade games of all time, and originally released in 1979, these are highly sought after, with a perfect condition machine commanding a price of £6,750
4. Defender – original 1981 cabinet – £6,750: Another icon from the golden age of arcade games, an original Defender cabinet in mint condition is also worth £6,750
5. Cosmic Chasm – original 1982 cabinet – £6,500: The first game to be originally released for a home system and then released in an arcade version was Cosmic Chasm (1982), this arcade cabinet is now worth around £6,500
You can view the full top ten list and a map of the world’s favourite classic arcade games at LoveAntiques.
Will Thomas, Managing Director at LoveAntiques.com, said,
“While the golden age of arcade gaming may have died a death by the end of the 1980s due to the emergence of home video game consoles, it appears that they had more than one extra life saved up and their story is far from over.
“It’s now been 40 years since the first children went crazy for Pac-Man and Space Invaders, and as we have seen with other popular culture collectibles, those kids have now grown up with a nostalgic yearning for their past. It has been fascinating to take a dive and find out that these machines, originally fuelled with quarters and change, are now going for thousands.”
After analysing Google Trend search data for arcade and coin operated machines over the last ten years, the battle for global popularity was clearly between Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
Pac-Man was the top game in countries including the USA, Russia, Brazil and India, while Space Invaders reigned supreme in the UK, Australia and much of Europe. In third place was Donkey Kong.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.