The 26 most amazingly interesting vending machines in video games

Insert coin

The humble vending machine has been a stock environmental asset in video games for decades. You probably don't even notice it, past your token attempt to make it work every time you find it in a new game (shortly after checking to see if the toilets flush). But you should.

You see, far from being a simple block of stuff with which to fill a spare bit of corridor, the video game vending machine is a medium for vast swathes of eclectic design endeavours. Every one is a unique, individual little snowflake of coin-operated commerce, and each should be studied and valued for its own merits. That's what we're going to do here. Buckle up.

The Secret of Monkey Island

The flagrantly anachronistic one.


The one where the nightmare-clown terrifies you into buying something.

Crysis 3

The one that vends the rocket launcher Easter egg. Meaning that theoretically kids could buy one. Fun for all the family!

Dead Space

The one that doesn't seem to do anything, but that's okay because the shop around the corner sells industrial death-tools.

Duke Nukem 3D

The safe, generic, supermarket own-brand one.

Half-Life: Opposing Force

The one that gives you a free bleeding security guard with every purchase.

Half-Life 2

The socially oppressive one.

Rainbow Six Vegas 2

The huge one that sells bags of crisps bigger than a man's head.


The one with the black sense of humour.

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.