5 Best Basketball Arcade Games In 2021

Need to make a quick decision? If you want to know what my top pick is for the best basketball arcade game, then I’d recommend the Pop-A-Shot Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game as the best one.

I have always enjoyed taking a trip down to my local arcade back when I was in high school and even in college. It was a great way to have fun with friends and to release some stress. I would find myself spending most of my time with basketball arcade games. Now that I am an adult, I appreciate having the convenience of having my favorite game right at home. Having a basketball arcade game is a great way to get your family to do some physical activity that will keep them entertained for hours.

I will share with you my picks for the best basketball arcade machine in this review.

How To Choose The Best Basketball Arcade Game For You

I have listed down the different things that you need to consider when choosing a home basketball arcade game. Learning about these will help you narrow down your choices easily and make the best decision. I have also included some tips on how you can get a better experience with setup and overall usage.

  1. Construction

The materials used will make a difference in the longevity of the basketball arcade game. The best in class products use 1.5” powder coated steel tubes for the frame. Choose this type of frame where possible as it will be strong and long lasting. The powder coating will prevent rusting and chipping. 

The ball return ramp should be made of a durable rip resistant fabric. A sturdy return ramp will ensure a smooth return of the basketballs to the players and will make your games more enjoyable.

Lastly, look for a thick backboard, ideally half an inch thick. This will be adequate to withstand the force from the balls thrown against it.

  1. Space

You should carefully consider the space where you will store the basketball arcade game. Measure the space in your home as these devices can be pretty huge. Once you  have the measurements, you should look at the dimensions of the products that you are considering to ensure they fit the designated area. It is very disappointing if you have to return the item due to headroom or space constraints. 

I recommend allocating an area of at least 95” (front to back) x 55” (left to right) x 95” (top to bottom). These dimensions are good enough to fit the majority of basketball arcade games. Allow another 24” from the front for the players to comfortably move around while playing.

There are machines that can be folded up to save space when not in use. This is a good feature if you want to reuse part of the space occupied for other purposes or keep the item in storage.

There are also those that have a height adjustment feature. This allows the flexibility to have younger children or taller adults play with a height that is more comfortable or challenging depending on their preference.

Lastly, consider if you will be using this item indoors or outdoors. Most machines are for indoor use. Homeowners usually keep their device in the basement. You may be able to use them outdoors for a while but you need to bring them back in and store them inside. There are a few products for outdoor use.You need to specifically look for them if you intend to keep the arcade game outside your home.

  1. Game Options

This determines the fun factor of your basketball arcade game. Having a larger variety of games in your machine will appeal to more players and will make your gatherings more interesting. A popular game that is built into most arcade games is “around the world” where the first player to make 10 shots wins. There are other variations where a player will have to shoot in their opponent’s basket, and lots more.

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I recommend getting a double shot basketball arcade game to give you more options. Dual shot games allow both single player or dual player competition.

  1. Number of Balls Included

The more basketballs included, the better. Having very few basketballs will slow down the pace of your games since players will have to wait a few seconds for the balls to return before they can take another shot. It is good to have at least 6 basketballs so players who shoot fast will have enough spare balls to grab and keep the game flowing smoothly. 

The more affordable machines usually have less basketballs included. In this case, I recommend that you purchase additional ones along with your order. This may be worth it if you are getting a good enough deal on the price of the arcade game itself.

  1. Ease of assembly / installation

The item will be shipped in a flat package so you will need to set aside time to put it together. Typical assembly time is 2-3 hours for a dual-shot basketball game. Each person’s mileage may vary.

While all packages will ship with installation instructions, I suggest that you check the internet for videos on how to assemble your particular model. This will give you an additional reference in case there are sections in the manual which are unclear.

Some packages will include the basic tools that you would need to assemble the basketball arcade game. Having a set of tools that you are comfortable using can make assembly easier. You can consider getting a set of tools which has an adjustable wrench, screwdriver and pliers to speed up the assembly process. 

  1. Other Features

With so many available options, makers of basketball arcade games add special and even high tech features that would differentiate their product from competitors.

The display panel of the scoring system along with the technology used to count the shots is a key feature that can drive up the excitement of players and spectators alike. The display should be clear and show the time remaining (if the game is timed), and the score for each player (if in dual-player mode). I must admit that seeing my score versus my opponent’s always fuels my eagerness to make more shots.

You’ll want to look for a scoring system that is as accurate as possible. An accuracy of 98% is pretty good and is achievable using infrared sensors. Another technology used for scoring are paddles which are typically less accurate and more prone to breakage. Paddles are plastic arms that extend beneath the rim. These get bumped when the ball goes through the hoop and triggers an additional point.

One other nice feature to have is audio and effects. Some manufacturers add sounds that imitate a real basketball game like game announcers, crowd noise, and net swishes. This definitely adds to the entertainment value of your basketball arcade machine.

Finally, the electronic components in the machine will require a source of power. This could either be through battery or by plugging into an AC power outlet. A battery operated machine gives you more choices on where you will position your basketball arcade game. It doesn’t need to be near a power outlet. On the other hand, the risk of stopping the game midway when your battery runs out is non-existent if your machine is AC powered. An arcade game that supports both options is best.

  1. Cost

Basketball arcade games run into a few hundred dollars so budget is certainly a consideration. You should know how much you are willing to spend as a start. As you narrow down your choices, you can adjust the amount if you have room to increase your budget and find certain features or add-ons that you think you will need. 

Strategy To Win

Playing a basketball arcade game does not require actual basketball skills. In fact, if you try to apply all the techniques that you’ve learned in basketball camp such as the right form when shooting, etc, you will find that you won’t win against the competition.

For those who take winning seriously, the most important skills needed are speed and accuracy. The best technique is to use both hands to shoot the ball. This greatly increases the number of shots you take so you can make more baskets. You should first practice getting comfortable with shooting on your weaker arm. Once you have mastered this, move on to shooting hoops with both arms, alternating the left and right. Find the posture that you are most comfortable with when shooting then keep this consistent.

Take a look at the gentleman in this video who makes one shot after the other. He is literally killing the game! You definitely need a lot of extra basketballs if your shooting speed and accuracy gets to this level.

5 Best Basketball Arcade Games

Now let’s take a look at the top options for the best basketball arcade machine that you can buy.

1. Pop-A-Shot Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game

Pop-A-Shot is the pioneer in basketball arcade games. The first of their products was a triple shot game that debuted in 1981. It was the idea of Ken Cochran, a longtime college basketball coach, who got inspiration to create this shooting game while recuperating from a heart bypass surgery.

This Home Dual Shot basketball game has a 1.5” powder coated steel frame. It has a ball return ramp made of heavy duty nylon which won’t rip or sag. The backboard is robust and has a thickness of 0.5”.

The machine measures 88″ (front to back) x 45″ (left to right) when fully extended. It is height adjustable with 3 options for height adjustment – 82”, 88”, and 94″. When folded, the front to back dimensions retract to just 37” making it ideal if you want to have multiple uses for the space that it occupies.

The strength of this dual shot game is in the number of games. It has 16 available games which is the highest as of this writing including the choice to use as a single shot game. The package includes 7 basketballs which is more than enough for 2 players. 

It has an electronic scoring system which uses infrared sensors for 98% accuracy in scoring. The basketball experience is completed by various audio effects such as 3 music selections, crowd noise, basket swishes and an announcer. The system can be powered by 4 AA batteries (not included in the package) or plugged into an AC socket.

Allocate around 3 hours to assemble this basketball arcade game. A helpful video is available in case you struggle with the instructions.

Note that this is for indoor use only. If you would like to keep your machine outdoors, then you should take a look at the Indoor/Outdoor Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game from Pop-A-Shot.

Pros

  • Strong and sturdy construction
  • 16 games – the most of any basketball arcade game
  • Foldable and height adjustable
  • 7 basketballs included
  • Entertaining audio effects
  • Works with both batteries and AC power

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

2. Lanos Basketball Arcade Game

The Lanos Basketball Arcade Game is a dual shot basketball arcade machine with 8 available games and a durable construction. You have the flexibility to use it as a single shot like the Pop-A-Shot Dual Shot. It is supported by a 1.5” powder coated steel frame, has a heavy duty nylon ramp for the ball return, and a solid backboard with a thickness of 0.5” 

This unit is larger than most with assembled dimensions of 91” (front to back) x 51” (left to right) x 90” (top to bottom). When folded, the front to back dimensions shrink to 38”. This unit is not height adjustable so make sure you have ample ceiling clearance before making the purchase.

The package comes with 6 basketballs included which is sufficient to keep 2 player games running smoothly. It plays a few sounds for added fun but doesn’t have the announcer or other effects available in other machines. Assembly time is roughly the same as most machines. I recommend reserving around 3 hours to complete the installation.

The electronic scoring system for this machine is powered by batteries. There is no option to plug to an AC power source. A paddle sensor is used to detect shots. It is decent but may be prone to breakage.

This is a good value for money option for those who are looking for durability but don’t mind having less games, only batteries for power, and giving up features like sound effects, height adjustability, and an infrared scoring system.

Pros

  • Strong and sturdy construction
  • Foldable to save space
  • Comes with 6 basketballs
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Cannot use AC for power
  • Uses paddles for scoring which may be prone to breakage
  • Fixed height
  • Large and bulky

3. ESPN EZ Fold Basketball Arcade Game

This ESPN EZ Fold basketball arcade game is a great space saver. It is one of the smaller dual shot basketball arcade games available with assembled dimensions of 81″ (front to back) x 48″ (left to right) x 80.5″ (top to bottom). It folds down to just 20” (front to back) making it easy to store away when not in use.

Being compact does not mean that the build is compromised. The frame is made of 1.5” powder coated steel tubes and the ball return ramp is made of heavy cloth for durability. The backboard is slightly under 0.5” but still pretty sturdy.

There are 8 games available with this device and comes with sound effects to simulate the stadium experience. The scoring system uses the paddle sensors to count the shots. It requires 4 AA batteries which are not included in the package. You cannot use AC power.

3D installation instructions are available for this product which can be downloaded from the BILT app. The app is available in the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

My one gripe about this basketball arcade game is that it only includes 4 balls. I recommend that you purchase at least 2 more basketballs for a smoother playing experience.

Pros

  • Strong construction
  • Smaller overall size 
  • Very compact when folded
  • Comes with ball pump

Cons

  • Cannot use AC for power
  • Uses paddles for scoring which may be prone to breakage
  • Only 4 basketballs included
  • Fixed height

4. Nova Microdermabrasion Foldable Basketball Arcade Game Double Shot

The Nova Microdermabrasion foldable basketball arcade game is a great budget option. I recommend this to those who are looking to try the arcade experience before committing to a more expensive purchase. It is also good for occasional players.

This product measures 80” (front to back) x 43” (left to right) x 80” (top to bottom). The height is not adjustable but folds down to 36” (front to back). It is smaller than the ESPN basketball arcade game when fully extended but not as compact when folded.

It does sacrifice a little on the build. The frame uses 0.86” powder coated steel tubes which is thinner than most arcade games. The backboard is just under 0.5” thick but still pretty durable.

There are 8 different game options on this machine and it comes with sound effects. The scoring system uses paddle sensors and requires 3 AA batteries which are not included in the package. You cannot use AC power.

Like the ESPN EZ fold, this comes with only 4 basketballs. Purchase additional basketballs if you can to have a smoother 2 player basketball arcade game experience.

Pros

  • Great budget alternative
  • Smaller overall size 
  • Foldable to save space
  • Comes with ball pump

Cons

  • Cannot use AC for power
  • Uses paddles for scoring which may be prone to breakage
  • Less sturdy construction
  • Only 4 basketballs included
  • Fixed height

5. Pop-A-Shot Official Home Single Shot Arcade Basketball Game

This is a single game option from Pop-A-Shot. I recommend this to those who have limited space at home, want a Pop-A-Shot quality build but want to spend less and don’t mind having just a single player each time. The size of this unit after assembly is 88″ (front to back) x 30″ (left to right) x 82″ (top to bottom). It can fold up to reduce the front to back size down to 36” but it isn’t height-adjustable.

It has the same robust build as the Pop-A-Shot Dual Shot. It has 1.5” powder coated steel tubes for the frames, heavy duty nylon for the ball ramp, and a 0.5” thick backboard. The similarities don’t end there. It also uses infrared sensors for the scoring mechanism and can be powered by either 4 AA batteries or AC. The sound effects are similar to the dual shot where you have 3 music selections, crowd noise, basketball swishes and an announcer.

The unit comes with 4 basketballs which is enough for a single player. One thing which is compromised is the number of games. This single shot comes with only 6 games which is way less than the 16 games in the dual shot.

Pros

  • Strong and sturdy construction
  • Smaller overall size
  • Foldable to save space
  • Entertaining audio effects
  • Works with both batteries and AC power

Cons

  • Less games
  • Fixed height

The Awesome Choice

My choice for the best basketball arcade game is the Pop-A-Shot Official Home Dual Shot Basketball Arcade Game. It may be more expensive than others but you will get a lot more usage out of it due to the quality construction. It has a large variety of games and sound effects to keep everyone entertained. The flexibility to adjust the height will allow both younger children and adults to have a comfortable playing experience. Having 7 basketballs included saves you the effort and time from having to buy extra ones. The ability to fold it up when not in use and support for both battery and AC power rounds up the list of features that will allow you to maximize the use of the game and get the best bang for your buck.

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