Mini arcade games can be the perfect choice for anyone who wants to enjoy playing a retro, classic arcade game at home, gamers on a budget, and anyone who doesn’t have the space needed for a standard-sized arcade cabinet. Mini arcade games don’t offer the same game playing experience that a full-sized arcade cabinet can, but these games are easier to store, transport, and enjoy, especially if you live in a dorm room, townhouse, small house, or apartment. Portability is also a big factor for most people.
These games can be taken anywhere, whether you’re going on vacation or planning a long cross-country trip. The best mini arcade games will come loaded with a variety of games, allowing you to get more bang for your buck and enjoy playing dozens or hundreds of games for an affordable price. This guide can help you choose the perfect model for you or the whole family. I’ve narrowed it down to the top six mini arcade games on the market, each of which earned high marks from serious and casual gamers.
Below, you’ll see a comparison chart, which includes each game, how it rated, and other info that can help you decide which one comes loaded with the features you need and the games you love.
Mini Arcade Games Comparison Chart
GBD Retro Kids Mini Arcade Game
This mini console from GBD comes loaded with 200 classic, fun arcade games including puzzle games, educational games, action games, table games, adventure games, and more.
These games are not only entertaining, but they can also improve hand-eye coordination and logical thinking skills. The game’s display is 2.5 inches, featuring 16 bits. The game also features volume controls, smooth button action, and a lightweight, compact design that makes this system highly portable. This model is perfect for adults and kids alike. It offers enough variety that you’ll find yourself sucked into playing on this mini arcade cabinet for hours on end. It’s also available at a price that’s affordable.
- Includes 200 games
- Features games in a wide variety of genres
- Improves hand-eye coordination
- Improves logical thinking skills
- Low price
- Portable, lightweight design
- Short battery life
- Does not include many popular retro games
While this model is lacking some important retro arcade games, it does come loaded with a large variety of fun, entertaining, and challenging games that players of all ages will enjoy. The system’s biggest drawback is its short battery life, which offers an average of three to four hours of gaming time before the batteries need to be replaced. Aside from the short battery life, the game offers what most players are looking for, which is a large selection of games, portability, and a fun gaming experience you can enjoy on the go.
My Arcade Micro Player Mini Arcade Machine
This handheld arcade game features original artwork inspired by classic arcade cabinets. The display screen is full color and measures 2.75 inches. Gamers will have the choice between controlling the game using a directional pad or a joystick. The joystick is removable. Once you take the joystick off, you can use the directional pad to control the game. This model also comes with an external speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and volume controls. The game operates on 4 AA batteries, or it can be powered by a micro-USB cord.
This model only features one game, which may be a drawback for some gamers, however, Pac-Man fans will fall in love with this mini arcade game.
- Cabinet features original artwork
- Can be charged via micro-USB cable
- Large display screen
- Joystick is removable
- Full-color cable
- Low price
- Only includes one game
- Joystick can be difficult to use
Whether you actually want to play this game or you intend to keep it as a display piece, this model is a steal for the price and can add a retro feel to any family game room.
Pac-Man fans will love this unique, mini arcade game that’s highly portable, eye-catching, and fun to play at home or on the go. The volume controls, control options, headphone jack, and other extras definitely make this model a must-have for the collector who wants to add this classic retro arcade game to their collection. However, if you’re looking for game variety, for the price, some buyers may be disappointed that this model only offers a single game option.
RHAC01 156 Classic Handheld Games
If you’re looking for a system that’s packed with some great game options, then hit that buy now button. This model features 156 games ranging from racing games and chess games to adventure and action games. This device runs on two AA batteries or a rechargeable built-in 700 mAh battery that can provide several hours of game play per charge. The game can be charged via the included USB cable. The display screen is 2.8 inches and features a TFT screen that’s designed to protect the eyes. The game can also be connected to a TV, so you can enjoy playing your favorite retro games on the big screen. This model also comes with a built-in headphone jack, so you can crank up the volume, without worrying about disturbing other people in the home.
- Includes 156 games
- 2.8-inch display screen
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Volume controls
- Headphone jack
- Can be connected to a TV
- Display screen can be hard to read in bright light
- The joystick can stick at times
This arcade game comes loaded with some nice extras, including the ability to connect it to your TV so you can enjoy playing your games on a bigger screen. The volume controls, headphone jack, smooth controls, and lightweight design all add to the gaming experience and this model’s playability. This system is a great buy for players of all ages in need of a model that offers more game variety and game play on the go.
My Arcade Retro Machine Playable Mini Arcade
Compact, lightweight, and loaded with 200 games, kids and adults alike will love the wide range of game options including action, adventure, sports, racing, and puzzle games. The game console itself is 5.75 inches tall, with a screen that’s 2.5 inches. The game also features volume control and a built-in speaker. The game’s vivid display is full color and is easy to view in both low and bright light conditions. Some buyers will be disappointed at the lack of classic games. However, if you’re searching for a model that comes with a variety of modern games you’ve never played before, this model offers the most bang for your buck.
- Low price
- Includes 200 games
- Volume controls
- Large display
- Does not include retro games
If you’re looking for a mini arcade game that includes all of your retro favorites, then this model isn’t it. While it doesn’t come with any of your favorite classic arcade games, it does come with 200 modern games that offer a retro feel. This lightweight system weighs only a pound and includes a full-color, vivid display screen that makes it easy to see all the details of a game, even in bright light or low light conditions. Equipped with smooth control action, a variety of games, and volume controls, you can enjoy this mini arcade game, wherever you go.
Asteroids Retro Handheld Arcade Game
Asteroids fans will appreciate the authentic sounds, graphics, and look of this classic arcade favorite. This game includes joystick and button controls, a brighter display screen that measures in at two inches, and 3 AA batteries. This reproduction of the classic game Asteroids includes the look and sounds you remember. The goal of the game is to maneuver your spaceship around asteroids to avoid being taken out. Both the fire buttons and joystick feature the same design and placement as the controls found on the original arcade classic.
- Original Asteroids game design
- Joystick and button controls
- Includes 3 AA batteries
- Features a brighter display screen
- Original Asteroid game sounds
- Low price
- Only includes one game
- Smaller than the average display screen
Collectors searching for a mini replication of your favorite classic game Asteroids will appreciate the fine detail, vivid display screen, original control design, and sounds, and the same intense game play they remember from all those years ago. For some, the lack of game options may be a drawback, but for others, the single classic Asteroids game will be enough.
Tiny Arcade Qbert Arcade Keychain Game
This is a keychain-style arcade game that comes with a basic keychain attachment. This tiny arcade game features a display screen that’s 1.5 inches. This game is so small, it can easily fit in your pocket. This is a working game that features a full-color display screen, two control buttons, and a joystick, as well as authentic game sounds. The game runs on 3 AAA batteries that provide countless hours of game play. Considering the very small size of the game’s controls, people with larger hands will have a hard time controlling the action.
- Fits in your pocket
- Hi-res screen
- Joystick and two-button controls
- Low price
- Includes keychain attachment
- Small display screen
- Only features one game
- Not recommended for people with larger hands
If you’re a diehard Qbert fan, then this keychain arcade game is a must-have. While the game can be hard to play for people with larger hands, it does feature the classic arcade game design, including two buttons and a joystick, authentic sounds, and the fun game play and adventures that only Qbert can offer. It’s also available at a low price and has a pocket-friendly design that will allow you to play Qbert wherever you go.
Mini Arcade Games Buyer’s Guide
For most gamers, the best arcade games are the well-loved classics from the 1980s, such as Pac-Man. These small systems allow you to finally own the games you’ve always wanted, the ones you spent most of your childhood playing.
When you’re shopping for a mini arcade game, you’ll come across models of all sizes, from tabletop to ones that are small enough to attach to a keychain. Both keychain and handheld games are more affordable than a full-sized arcade cabinet.
Purchasing a mini arcade game system comes with many benefits that you won’t get from a massive full-sized arcade cabinet. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits these smaller arcade cabinets have to offer, to help you determine if one of the mini models is a better choice for you.
Benefits of Mini Arcade Games
- These mini game systems are highly portable
- If you’re on a tight budget, these games can be a better option than a full-sized model that can cost hundreds of dollars, so, you can enjoy classic games that you love for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a traditional arcade game cabinet
- If you’re short on space in the home, then a compact, lightweight portable game system is definitely the way to go
- If you love retro arcade games, these systems come loaded with many classics from the golden age of arcade games
- If you’re looking for a way to entertain yourself when you’re traveling, in the car, or waiting at the doctor’s office, then these keychain and handheld games can be a perfect choice.
- These games can be a great option for younger children, especially those who get bored easily playing the same old games. These mini models can come loaded with hundreds of games to choose from, so your child can stay entertained on a long flight or car ride and enjoy playing some of the same games you used to love.
Before I dive into the different features to look for, let’s take a look at the different types of mini arcade games there are to choose from.
Types of Mini Arcade Games
There are a couple of different mini arcade game styles to choose from:
The biggest difference between these two styles of games is their size. A keychain model is much smaller than a handheld model. This means you’ll get a system with smaller controls and a smaller screen, which can make playing a game frustrating for some users. Keychain games also don’t usually come with the extra controls that you’ll get with a handheld game, such as a joystick or a headphone jack. However, keychain games offer an extra level of portability compared to a handheld device. These games can literally fit in your pocket, backpack, or you can slip them onto your keyring. The price of handheld and keychain games is pretty close, so make sure you consider which size game is better for you and your game play needs.
Other Important Features
Before you decide to buy the first mini arcade game system you come across, take a look at some of the features available to help you determine what features you want out of your arcade game and which ones you can live without. There are also many important factors you should consider before you order your new mini arcade game, such as:
- Number of games
- Types of games
- Battery type/battery life
- Screen size
Number of Games
Most of these mini models don’t offer as many games as a full-sized arcade cabinet, but there are some that come equipped with hundreds of games to choose from. Standard models will come with two or three game options, and others will come with just one game, such as Frogger or Pac-Man. If you’re looking for the best value, then choose one that comes loaded with a variety of games to choose from.
Types of Games
If you’re familiar with the history of arcade gaming and often played arcade games in 19802s and 1990s, then a mini arcade game can bring back a lot of memories. Many of these popular models come loaded with the classics, those retro games you used to spend playing hours after hours. These games may include Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Asteroids.
Other mini arcade games may not include the types of retro games you’re looking for and will instead come loaded with dozens or hundreds of unknown games, that can be just as fun to play. In most cases, the models that feature classic arcade games are one-of, meaning the device is only equipped with a single game. Models that offer dozens or hundreds of games usually don’t feature classic popular games. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind so you can determine whether you’d prefer quality over quantity.
Battery Type/Battery Life
Mini arcade games are battery-powered, so they don’t have to be plugged into an outlet. This adds to the game’s portability and makes it perfect for travel or game play on the go. However, since these devices are battery-powered, you’ll have to worry about your game running out of juice when you’re least expecting it. Additionally, these games often don’t include batteries with purchase. Fortunately, most operate on standard batteries that are easy to find. Look for a model that offers decent battery life, so you’re not throwing away money on new batteries every couple of weeks. You might also come across models that operate on rechargeable batteries, which would save a lot of cash in the long run, however, you’ll have to worry about how long a game can run per charge.
The size of the screen can vary from model to model. A keychain mini arcade game may have a screen that measures just a little over 1 ½ inches, while a handheld system can have a display screen that’s 2.5 inches up to 5 inches. The bigger the display screen, the higher the price tag, but for many gamers, a bigger screen is always better.
With a mini arcade game, you really don’t have to worry about your budget. In fact, you can get a great model for under $100. These games are affordably priced, compared to many other types of arcade games out there, so you’re looking at prices that range from $13 to $50. The price of these games is impacted by the number of games they offer and screen size.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Mini Arcade Games Powered?
Most models operate on standard batteries, while others will come with rechargeable batteries. Before you buy, take a look at the game’s battery requirements, battery life, or charging time.
Where Can I Find a List of Games Available?
When you’re looking at a model’s spec sheet, you should see a list of the games it offers. Some models may only have one game, others can have as many as three hundred. Many of the best-selling models will come with one to three popular retro games.
What are Cocktail Arcade Games?
Cocktail arcade games are also referred to as tabletop arcade games. These systems are much bigger than mini arcade games and can easily fit on top of a table, hence the name. These games usually offer many of the same games but come equipped with a much larger screen and controls that are easier to use.
The best mini arcade games are affordable, fun, and highly portable. These systems allow you to enjoy playing your favorite retro arcade games, on the go, on vacation, or in the comfort of your home. While these games may not come equipped with a large display screen, they make up for it with their portability, low price, and great game selection. With this buyer’s guide and my list of the top six models, you can find the perfect portable arcade gaming option, with all the games you used to love playing at the arcade, at a price that’s affordable.