From gathering with friends around the pool table to leaving hilarious albeit slightly inappropriate initials on the Ms. Pac-Man scoreboard, arcades never disappointed when it came to pure, unadulterated amusement.
As the fast-paced life of London continues to digitize, arcades are becoming sparser. Even so, the remaining ones have an unparalleled charm that attracts people from all over town.
If you are looking for the best arcades in London to relive your golden days and instil the same experiences in your kids, here’s a list to help you navigate your way around The Big Smoke.
Best Arcades in London
- Location: 44-46 North End Road, Croydon, London
As one of the biggest arcades in London, Heart of Gaming has over 60 machines along with 20+ consoles and two pool tables. It is ideal for a fun-filled family experience where everyone can find something they love.
Some of their retro options include Mega drive, N64 and SNES. The latest additions are also there to keep the kids happy such as Nintendo Switch and PS4.
Besides the huge variety of games offered at Heart of Gaming, its location is also ideal for exploration and discovering the hidden gems of London. Tucked in Croydon, South London, the high street has an array of restaurants and local shops to soak in the sun and enjoy.
- Retro and modern gaming options.
- Affordable price and good location.
- Large number of machines and consoles.
- Two pool tables.
- Location: 1A Princeton St, London WC1R 4AY
The ingenious design and quirky look of Novelty Automation deserve a top position in our list. Only true arcade lovers will appreciate the thought and love poured into putting this place together as a retro arcade in London.
The brilliant Tim Hunkin pays tribute to the 80s with classics and new inventions in an attempt to revolutionize the amusement arcades. Its name rightfully encapsulates the novelty value of the machines on display.
While some are the brainchild of Tim Hunkin, others have contributions made by kindred spirits, hoping to gather like-minded people for a cherished experience.
- Eccentric and atypical arcade experience.
- Classic retro vibes.
- One-of-a-kind gaming machines.
- Location: 51 Lavender Gardens, London SW11 1DJ
We’ll take retro arcades, adrenaline-pumping racing tracks and VR experience over an old Victorian dancehall any day!
Four Thieves thrive on the idea of gathering like-minded people under one roof for gaming, drinks and entertainment. It is essentially a one-stop shop to have all your needs met.
There’s something for all age groups in this quaint pub with a classic setting. While kids enjoy a new generation VR experience, you get to reminisce as the retro arcade machines deliver the perfect punch of nostalgia.
Furthermore, a classic menu and the brewery paired with comedy nights keep things interesting at all times. What more can one ask for?
- Arcade, pub and entertainment at one place.
- Comedy nights and DJs with a side of house-brewed ales.
- A true to life motorsport experience.
- UK’s first VR gaming and entertainment installation.
- Location: Basement, 89, 91 Wardour St, London W1F 0UB
Get your video game fix with the only arcade in central London dedicated to the masses who will always be gamers at heart. Besides their gaming machines and the sheer range of options available for visitors, the highlight of this arcade is its wonderful locations.
Nestled in the heart of Soho, visitors can just pop in and out at their convenience and explore Chinatown in central London.
Whether you need a dance revolution, challenge your endurance in fighting or racing, or simply enjoy a laid-back air hockey or pool table match, you will find it all at Las Vegas arcade Soho.
The arcade is designed in two levels, and the upstairs area is dedicated to machines and casino-themed games with an 18+ age limit.
What we really appreciate about this arcade is that it stays true to the genuine old-school arcade feel with a classic albeit slightly cramped setting and atmosphere.
- Only entertainment arcade in central London.
- A wide range of gaming options.
- Casino themed games available.
- Location: Wandsworth High St, London SW18 4TF
80’s entertainment meets modern technology in the ingenious and contemporary Gravity arcade. Located in Southside Wandsworth, this thrilling arcade in London delivers the perfect adrenaline pump to keep you going.
The gaming options include e-karting, bowling, hologate, AR digital darts, E-Sports, shuffleboard, street golf and electric game box.
Furthermore, adults can indulge in the classic London nightlife with Newton’s cocktail bar and a ‘Gravity Social’ club to meet like-minded people.
It is a great place for go-karters and the sprawling 100,000 sq. ft entertainment arcade features immersive gaming stations over three floors.
While keeping things up-to-the-minute, the arcade also stays true to its roots by featuring some blast from the past consoles and gaming characters to keep everyone happy.
- Modern arcade experience.
- Immersive gaming experience.
- Bar and social club for adults.
- Huge variety of games with a bowling area.
- Location: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 8, Canalside, E Bay Ln, London E20 3BS
Enjoy a full arcade in east London with a mesmerizing south-facing canal-side location at Four Quarters. It is a perfect spot to enjoy your favourite games and have a good time at the bar.
The arcade in east London boasts a large variety of restored original arcade cabinets that transports you to the ‘good old days’. With the likes of Sega Dreamcast, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, you can challenge your pals to the games you know and love.
Along with the games and classic consoles, the artwork and presentation are also very appealing and stays true to its origins. The neon accents coupled with old-fashioned signboards complete the look of this retro arcade in London beautifully.
Besides your favourite games, we must mention the finest brewery at Four Quarters with an impressive collection of speciality cocktails and chilled beers.
- Stylish retro arcade in east London.
- Typical arcade setup with good variety.
- Scenic location with brewery.
- Location: 17 Queensway, London W2 4QP
Get the full entertainment experience with a one-stop location at Queens London. The exciting entertainment venue has a dedicated arcade zone, a bowling alley, curling and an iconic ice rink at a perfect location in the heart of London.
The arcade zone has all your favourite games lined up with a tasteful and artsy décor that reflects its nostalgic value.
Neon signs welcome you to a fun-filled experience with games like Street Fighter II, Tetris, and Basketball Pac-Man edition, Crusin Blast Car Race, Donkey Kong, Typhoon Roller Coaster and full-sized Air Hockey. A lot of games allow a dual person to enjoy with pals.
The food and drinks are catered by MEATliquor, and they also happen to have a cherry red pool table in their bar. You will also find photo booths and a full kids menu.
- A one-stop entertainment zone for kids and adults.
- Arcade zone, bowling alley, curling and ice rink.
- Speciality cocktails, casual dining and pool table.
- Location: Assembly 77, Fulham Palace Rd, London W6 8JA, United Kingdom
Last but not least, we have something out-of-the-box in our list to tie up your arcade games London experience perfectly.
Presenting you London’s first VR arcade experience, DNA VR is an ambitious attempt at modernizing the arcades in London. From reaching the heights of the moon to diving in the depths of azure oceans, the world of DNA VR is exploding with possibilities.
Challenge the boundaries of your imagination and indulge in their multiplayer games and experiences. They also have VR escape room and laser tag experience for all ages.
Try this unique arcade experience to truly appreciate the advancements of technology in the modern world and broaden your horizons in the gaming world.
- VR arcade, escape room and laser tag.
- Wide collection of games available.
- Unique immersive entertainment.
London Arcade: FAQs
What Is the Standard Price for Arcades in London?
This totally depends on where you choose to go. Traditional places like Four Quarters have prices as cheap as £1, while others like DNA VR can go up to £20.
Are Kids Allowed in The Arcades in London?
Most arcades allow kids and have special games installed for them as well. However, the arcades with bars and gambling machines might have different rules for entry, age restrictions and adult supervision.
Does One Need Prior Bookings to Enter an Arcade?
Almost all arcades are open through the week for walk-in without the need for booking in advance.
You will find a lot of options for arcade games in London. With bustling locations and additional facilities such as full bars, dining and other entertainment units like bowling alleys, ice rinks and live music, there’s something to keep everyone happy.