The 10 Rarest & Most Expensive Arcade Cabinets, RankedChris BirsnerGame Rant – Feed


There’s nothing more joyful in life than going to the local arcade. Spending time with friends and winning prizes is always a highlight, but the best part is the arcade machines themselves. There have been many iconic arcade machines over the years, from Pac-Man to Space Invaders.

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While there were plenty of arcades with those games, there were some arcade cabinets that were rarer. In fact, some are so rare that those looking to add to their collection must spend thousands of dollars. But which of these games are the most expensive to purchase? Here’s a look at the top hard-to-find cabinets, ranked by price.

10 Major Havoc ($1,250-2,000)


Atari makes the list with their installment of Major Havoc, created for their vector-based arcade machine in 1983. One year after the cabinet’s release, the game was released as a conversion kit for other cabinets. The original machine became rarer as the years went on, which is why the price tag has climbed this high. The game’s plot revolves around Major Rex Havoc, who was created by scientists who initially escaped an evil empire that collapsed but has since begun to rebuild itself. The game has many phases that range from shooter to platformer.

9 War Of The Worlds ($2,500+)


The 1898 science fiction novel War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells has gotten plenty of adaptions over the years. In the video game world, the first attempt at a game based on the book was made in 1982. The arcade cabinet was created by Tim Skelly of Cinematronics. It was going to be a 3D version of the classic arcade game Space Invaders. The player is in some form of a tank that shoots at aliens as their ships come crawling towards the player. Despite the interesting concept, the cabinet never hit production and fewer than ten units were made, explaining its rarity and exorbitant price.

8 Inferno ($3,000+)


One of the first games on this list developed by Wiliams, who shows up often on this list. Inferno takes place in the middle of a maze. The goal is to track down monsters that are wandering around the maze and kill them with the player’s gun. However, the monster’s soul will still be present after death and if they make it to the top of the level, they could regenerate into a more dangerous monster. The goal is for the player to touch their souls to capture it so no new monster generates. It is unknown how many cabinets were made, but it was fewer than 50, so it’s no wonder that it’s so valuable.

7 Computer Space ($3,000-6,000)


In a surprising twist, the very first arcade game does not surpass Splat in value. Created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1971, Computer Space was the first video game to be published commercially and the first-ever arcade cabinet created.

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The design is incredible, complete with a custom fiberglass cabinet that sparkles. Bushnell purposely designed it to be futuristic. The game itself is based in space. Players are piloting a rocket and must shoot at UFOs that are shooting back. There’s also a two-player mode where two rockets shoot at each other.

6 Blaster (Upright) ($3,500-4,000)


Another Williams machine, this time it’s a particularly rare and valuable wooden upright cabinet for the game Blaster. The plot of the game is explained in the demo: “It is the year 2085. The Robotrons have destroyed the human race. You escape in a stolen space shuttle. Your destination: Paradise.” The gameplay is simple. Players take the role of an astronaut who must kill enemies and get through obstacles in order to rescue fellow astronauts that are stranded in different areas of outer space. The goal of the game is to pull off the rescue in 20 levels and reach “paradise.”

5 Splat! ($4,500-6,000)


How about a pricey two-player cabinet? Williams’ Splat! from 1982 gives players a choice of three characters. The two chosen will wander around a blank arena as food is dropped from the top of the screen. The goal is for players to grab food and chuck it at the opposing player or at NPCs. There are two levers on the machine for each player. One lever is used to walk around while the other is to throw. There is also a cocktail cabinet version of the game, but it is the wooden upright version that costs a fortune.

4 Aztarac ($5,000+)


Aztarac‘s arcade cabinet may seem like a regular upright machine on the side until people see the front. In the middle of the screen is a giant circular hole that protrudes out towards the player. This gives players a more distorted but cool effect to look at while playing the game. There’s no doubt this unique design contributes to its value.

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Made by Centuri in 1983, Aztarac is a scrolling shooter once again set in outer space. As a commander of a race of mutated humans, players must protect their outpost against enemies by searching out and killing anyone that may try to invade.

3 Cosmic Chasm ($5,000+)


Another 1983 game, Cosmic Chasm was one of Cinematronics’ final games. The cabinet was created right as the company was reaching bankruptcy, which is why there weren’t many produced or asked about, which in turn ballooned its collector value. Still, the design of the cabinet is interesting with the screen caved in deep into the machine to make players feel more pulled in by the game itself. Speaking of, Cosmic Chasm has players control a spaceship that has infiltrated the Cosmic Chasm space station looking to destroy it from the inside out.

2 Blaster (Cockpit) ($5,000+)


Returning to the Blaster from earlier in this article,  there were cabinets designed by Williams that people could actually sit in to get the full experience. However, only five were ever made. This was a massive machine that players could sit-in and get even more lost in the year 2085. What makes the machine is the blue and fiery design that make the framework of the cabinet. It is so rare that people are actively looking to just see where each model is. There are few verified sources that can confirm their locations, so the price tag here goes entirely justified.

1 Sinistar (Duramold) ($5,000-$10,000)


When arcades were beginning to reach a low point, Williams started creating machines called Duramolds. These were cylindrical machines that were made out of plastic, which was new considering most cabinets were made out of wood back in the day. 1982’s Sinistar was one of the games made for these cabinets. In the game, players pilot a spacecraft and mines up various crystals in planetoids. At the same time, players need to collect “Sinibombs” in order to defeat the main enemy of the game, Sinistar. It is unknown how many are still out there, so collectors are entirely willing to shell out the big bucks for them.

NEXT: The 10 Best Modern Arcade Games, Ranked

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