So attempt three turned out pretty good and I think was the closest I got to make a "proper cabinet" by hand. I used the 2" block I had as a base and the 2" squares would just fit properly in all other places. There were a number of custom cuts (as you can see on the cabinet top and the diagonal panel lines), which were a pain to cut, but turned out really nice.
Turns out my memory was super foggy and that I was using a freehand scroll-saw type tool for the v1 and that's why everything was crooked. The v3 was with a miter box and why all the cuts are so clean.
While the cabinet itself looked really nice, I never made more than this single one. The scale was still off and I lost steam pursuing the arcade cabinet creation.