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Best basketball arcade machine

Which basketball arcade machine is best?

Whether you’re building a home arcade or just want a fun way to shoot hoop inside, a basketball arcade machine is an excellent option. This classic arcade game is like a miniature basketball court, featuring a backboard with rims, basketballs and a convenient retrieval system. A basketball arcade machine is a great way to take your entertainment to the next level. 

The best basketball arcade machine is the ESPN EZ Fold basketball game. No one knows basketball better than the leader in sports media. This unit offers an immersive experience with audio and visual effects and a sturdy frame.

What to know before you buy a basketball arcade machine


To understand how current basketball arcade machines work, it’s helpful to know about the original brand, Pop-A-Shot. This is the game that all current basketball machines are based on. Pop-A-Shot invented the in-home basketball game with electronic scoring counters. It is also an innovator when it comes to creating new features that have been implemented in other basketball arcade machines. These features include steel frames for added sturdiness and infrared scoring counters. 

Themes and designs

Each basketball arcade machine comes with its own theme or design. Most games are created to look like an actual basketball court, featuring hardwood graphics and lines that make it seem like you’re actually on the court. They also have outlines behind the rim to mimic a backboard and give the shooter a place to aim. 

Some machines even have themes and colors that let you support your favorite NCAA, NBA or WNBA team. These games are a great addition to any sports-themed basement or game room. Check out the Best Reviews list of the best basketball arcade games, each with a different design.

What to look for in a quality basketball arcade machine

Game modes

Higher-quality basketball arcade machines will include a variety of game modes to keep you interested and having fun. The classic game mode means whoever scores the most baskets in an allotted amount of time wins, but some manufacturers include “Sharpshooter,” which uses an announcer's voice to tell you which hoop to shoot into. There’s also “Criss Cross,” where two players shoot into the opposite side's goal. You can even try the unique “Tug of War” game mode where each player starts at zero points, with each made basket that player earns two points while their opponent loses two points. This continues back and forth until one player reaches ten points.

Audio and visual effects

Basketball arcade machines are all about bringing the excitement of the court into your home. What better way to do this than by hearing an announcer’s voice cheer you and count your points? Some brands also have crowd noise and music to keep the excitement going. There are also LED backboards that show your score and flash when you’re on a hot streak. These audio and visual queues combine to make your arcade experience more fulfilling and enjoyable. 


Durability is important in a basketball arcade machine because of the nature of the game itself. With basketballs constantly being thrown against the backboard and players leaning on the front rail to gain an advantage, the frame should be made of quality materials. Powder-coated steel is the ideal material for the frame. This type of model will require a more intensive set-up process, including the use of tools. If you opt for a plastic frame made of PVC piping or otherwise, you should expect the game to come apart with heavy use. 

How much you can expect to spend on a basketball arcade machine

Basketball arcade machines cost $100-$180 depending on the brand and extra features.

Basketball arcade machine FAQ

How many balls come with a basketball arcade machine?

A. For multiplayer arcade machines, you’ll want six basketballs in total. This is ideal for game modes that require two players. Some less-expensive machines only provide two or four balls. While this may be sufficient for a single player, it can become frustrating if you lose a ball or one goes flat. You may also consider purchasing a basketball pump to keep the game going. 

Can you use normal basketballs for a basketball arcade machine?

A. No. Standard-sized basketballs, even youth basketballs, are too large to fit through the rims. The weight of traditional leather balls can also easily damage the rims and backboards of your arcade game.

What's the best basketball arcade machine to buy?

Top basketball arcade machine

ESPN EZ Fold Basketball Game

What you need to know: ESPN knows basketball and its EZ Fold basketball game proves it with the most immersive experience you can buy.

What you’ll love: Audio and visual effects, alongside the machine’s backboard graphics, make this the most impressive game around. It also has a foldable design for easy storage.

What you should consider: This game is difficult to set up because of its foldable design.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top basketball arcade machine for money

Triumph Playmaker Basketball game

What you need to know: An easy-to-setup arcade game, it is ideal for those who just want a simple, fun basketball game for their home. 

What you’ll love: This set is small enough to fit in a bedroom or apartment without taking up too much space. It includes four balls, eight game modes and an LED timer.

What you should consider: The frame and materials used in this arcade game are not as sturdy as other brands.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Rally and Roar Basketball Arcade Game

What you need to know: An excellent two-player arcade game, it's made with durable materials and attractive features.

What you’ll love: The installation is a breeze and it has a foldable design for storage. The graphics feature home and visitor backboards, a mock court graphic and an LED scoring system.

What you should consider: Some parts may need to be replaced after long-term use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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