Are you ready for some football?
While video game consoles, including the Xbox Series X|S, the Nintendo Switch, and the PlayStation 5 remain at the top of kids’ wish lists, home arcade cabinets continue to grow in popularity. The dream of owning an arcade machine was once an unattainable pursuit for many families, but now, home arcades are an affordable and rapidly expanding category.
Arcade1Up is the leader in this space and one of its most-requested titles from the late 1990s has finally arrived: NFL Blitz.
The NFL Blitz Legends Arcade Game is a four-player cabinet, which means that members of the family (or their rowdy friends) can hit the virtual gridiron together for some awesome and easy-to-understand gameplay. The cabinet features remastered versions of three, classic titles from Midway Games: NFL Blitz, NFL Blitz ‘99, and NFL Blitz 2000: Gold Edition.
A big part of the NFL Blitz appeal is that players of nearly any age — including those that may not necessarily be big football fans — can quickly grasp the fundamentals of the game and get in on the action. The gameplay is controlled by authentic, arcade-style joysticks and buttons, and players can decide which teams will face off against one another. That sets the stage for some classic rivalries — like the Chicago Bears vs. the Green Bay Packers — to ignite during those upcoming holiday gatherings. It’s also the perfect opportunity for some cross-generational fun where the grownups show the youngsters how it’s done while pulling off a sack and letting the kids know that “the quarterback is toast!”
Players will switch from offense to defense while executing classic plays, including Hail Mary passes, interceptions, tackles, runs, and more. In our house, NFL Blitz has become a hit with the middle school crowd as my daughters and their friends jump on for a quick game. One fantastic element of an arcade game is that you really can just “play a quick one.”
The NFL Blitz Legends Arcade Game features a lighted marquee, a themed riser, and a pair of faux (but very realistic-looking) coin doors to really capture the vibe of this retro-styled cabinet. Whether this is your only cabinet or a new addition to a growing home arcade, you’ll get all the nostalgic feels when you power this one up. And, if you previously played NFL Blitz on an old CRT TV, you’ll notice that it looks a lot better now that it’s in HD.
While the NFL Blitz Legends Arcade Game is a ton of fun, there are a few things that gift-givers — including Santa and his elves — should know about in case they come up.
The machine is very heavy (around 100 lbs) and comes unassembled in a flat box. The assembly process is a lot like building IKEA furniture and I highly recommend having two adults work on it together. While some safety features could be considered optional, using the included screws to secure the main arcade cabinet to its riser is recommended – especially in homes where little kids may be present. There is also a wall anchor included to prevent tipping. It will take around an hour to build.
Additionally, some old school players may notice a few differences in the game itself: The world is a very different place than it was in the late ’90s and the game has been updated at the request of the National Football League (NFL) to reflect that. According to Arcade1Up, a specific set of tackles and after-the-whistle hits (aka “late hits”) have been removed or edited in support of the NFL’s current player health and safety initiatives.
Finally, for players that would like to extend the game beyond their own home, this cabinet is WiFi enabled. As of this writing, our cabinet is online and there are leaderboards available, but the promised online multiplayer has not yet gone live, so if that feature is important to you, just know that it’s not up and running yet.
Overall, the NFL Blitz Legends Arcade Game is a pretty worthy addition to any home arcade or a “wow” item that would look great in a family room or office. As you head out for your holiday shopping, word on the street is that some retailers, including Sam’s Club, may have bundle packs available that include a matching stool.