Xbox Series X/S Review: Antstream Arcade

Is this the ultimate arcade collection?

Your ultimate gaming arcade is here with over 1300 classic games from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Get a full year’s access to the world’s largest official retro gaming catalogue of games. Antstream Arcade gives you unrestricted access to some of the best games ever made and new games are added every month. Feel the nostalgia by playing games from your childhood or discover new gems you never knew existed.

Antstream Arcade comes to consoles for the first time with the Xbox version. It costs £29.99 but you can get a £79.99 version that comes with a Lifetime Pass. I believe that the standard version comes with a 12-month subscription. In either case, it’ll net you access to over 1300 games with more being added all the time.

Games come from Arcade games. The  rest of the games come from the following systems:

Amiga, Amstrad, Atari-8 Bit, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, DOS, Game Boy, Atari Lynx, Mega Drive/Genesis, MSX, NES, SNES, PS1, ZX Spectrum, MSX 2 and Atari 5200. The bulk of the games exist on the earlier 80s machines, but there is still tons on offer here.

Sure, you won’t get a SNES version of Super Mario World or a Mega Drive version of Sonic the Hedgehog, but you’ll get to play other games that you either haven’t played in years or more likely, ones you’ve never ever heard of. Personally, I had a blast reliving my past with the NES version of Maniac Mansion…I had the original game as a kid and as this was prior to internet, my parents and I could only accomplish one ending…which was to blow the mansion up. Now, I can finally go back and finish what I started!

A full list of the games can be found here and is even divided by system. Some of the games that stand out for me are the aforementioned Maniac Mansion, as well as Sam and Max: Hit the Road, Pac-Man, Pong (my very, very first videogame) the Double Dragon series, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, 40 Winks and a whole bunch of Star Wars games.

You can use save states throughout each, as well as take part in world tournaments, couch co-op, mini-game challenges, community games and a daily challenge. There are also achievements included which could take some considerable time, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied here.

If I have one complaint to have, it’s with the interface itself. I wish there was just a way to select by System as opposed to having to search for individual games if it’s not on the front screen. It’s a small complaint when the full list can be found online and is constantly getting added to. I do hope that we get more NES/SNES and Genesis games added over time. I’d also love them to add N64 titles, but I can see the issues with that and Nintendo’s own platform with it on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass…

The Verdict

For just under £30, you are getting access to a huge library of games. Sure, you may not have heard of many of them if you are younger, but it does do a good job in preserving them and passing them onto a new generation. It will also give a lot of nostalgia to older gamers. It also has plenty of challenges and will continue to expand over time too. Definitely a steal for the price, regardless of which version you get.

Score: 8.5