Looking for the best arcades in London? You’ve found the right place. Step back into retro times with the best arcades in London to get your game on.
In this day and age, it’s hard to find London activities that don’t involve some kind of ‘new, cool and insta-worthy’ element (Okay I’ll admit, I may be part of the problem) but London arcades are proof that retro can still thrive in this city.
Whether you’re a gamer looking for your fix or simply (like me) keen to try something different for a night out in London, here are the 5 best arcades to get your game sesh on, like a local.
The Best Arcades in London
1. Las Vegas Soho
Basement, 89, 91 Wardour St, London W1F 0UB
If there was anywhere to put a Las Vegas in London, it would be Soho. The retro video game arcade is where you go after a night out (or before) to enjoy London life at its best. And by best I mean, Dance Dance Revolution. Excited yet?
If you’re extra keen you can even take up one of their game night competitions over street fighter brawls and race car driving. It’s also right off of the Central line, so perfect for popping in whenever you find yourself in Soho, or nearby Leicester Square or Covent Garden.
2. The Four Quarters
187 Rye Ln, London SE15 4TW
Sometimes a sit-down at a pub with a cheeky craft ale is all you need. But if that’s not enough, you can always head to The Four Quarters.
Plopped in Peckham and Hackney Wick — The Four Quarters is a local favourite, and one of the best arcades to unwind with some friends after a long workday.
Known as the ‘barcade’ you can take up everything from Alien vs. Predator to Indiana Jones Pinball here, sounds like a good time to me!
3. Novelty Automation
1A Princeton St, London WC1R 4AY
First off, hats off to whoever named this place! A short walk from Chancery Lane station Novelty Automation is filled with the kind of games you would find at your childhood fairs.
The whole thing was founded by inventor and cartoonist Tim Hunkin as a passion project, and it shows. There’s quirky machines and crazy games at every corner, so make the most of it!
10 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DF
Okay okay, so it’s not strictly an arcade, but still very worthy of the list — especially if you like to bowl.
Rowan’s cult bowling alley has been going strong for over 100 years, with an arcade very much included. Jam out to 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music blasting through the neon-coloured lights while you hash out on some air hockey and all the old-school games from your favourite retro arcades, local style!
P.S – Entry is £1 (unless you’re bowling too)
5. Four Thieves
51 Lavender Gardens, London SW11 1DJ
Let’s be real, nostalgia is one the biggest reasons we still visit arcades — Four Thieves gets it just right. Met with a Victorian dancehall, virtual reality games and race car driving, there’s no better place to step back in time. Plus there’s a brewery and comedy nights, need I say more?
6. The Heart of Gaming
44-46 N End, Road, London, Croydon CR0 1UG
The Heart of Gaming has nostalgia galore with over 60 games, and more than 20 consoles.
They have both the newest and oldest games on deck, making sure all the bases are covered for you to have an unforgettable time. Plus, if that wasn’t enough they have a couple pool tables if you’re looking to take a break from the digital games.
If you’re really keen, or really just good at games, they also have tournaments here and then where you can show your real skill (and earn major bragging rights of course).
7. Otherworld VR
336 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA
While the other arcades will transport you to another decade, here will truly transport you to another world, I mean it’s right in the name: Otherworld.
Now, be aware that this isn’t a typical arcade with familiar games and those consoles you can rig with ticket tricks (not saying that I’ve ever done that……), but with virtual reality technology, you and friends can enter the luxury immersion pods, place on the VR headset and become zombie hunters, or just take a peaceful stroll through your imagination in a visualised park or garden. The possibilities are truly endless at this video centric arcade.
Or if you’d rather, they do have a public bar area where you can enjoy a classic drink in the familiar real world.
25 Fishermans Walk, London E14 4DH
Who would have thought that in the corporate Canary Wharf, there would be an arcade? Not me! Let’s be real though, it’s got to be a killer place to kick back after work.
Taking a modern twist on the outdoor carnival arcade and funfair, Fairgame is making you feel like a kid again.
Take your aim with Whack A Mole, Alley Hoop, and Skeeball. But when you’re done playing games, this time around you won’t have to beg your parents for that sickenly sweet overpriced neon green slushie, and instead, can enjoy your favourite cocktail at one of the three inside bars, or outside on the terrace overlooking the Wharf.
9. Loading Bar
129 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 0PH
Good time loading….
Become a Pinball Wizard at the Loading Bar, while mastering their iconic Judge Dredd Pinball Machine, or topping the scoreboard on Donkey Kong Arcade, which might I add is free if you’re also a customer at their bar, and why not grab a cheeky drink if you can?
Or, if you fancy a non-digital game night but don’t want to miss out on that arcade thrill, Loading Bar also has a bunch of different boardgames calling your name.
10. NQ64 Arcade Bar
53-54 Berwick St, Soho, W1F 8SP
Want to experience the blacklight and splatter paint rage of the 70’s?
Head down to NQ64 where you can spend your night getting lost in the Pac Man machine, or proving to your mates that you really do play an instrument when slaying it on Guitar Hero, or just be awesome at Mortal Kombat, because let’s face it- that game rocks.
Tips for Visiting the Best Arcades in London
• Make sure to bring some pound coins with you to the arcade! (Although most arcades in London have caught up with the times now and accept contactless)
• Arcades in London are a great pre and post-activity for a night out, so plan your visit in advance!
• Not a gamer? Don’t worry at all! London arcades are welcome to everyone and anybody.
• Exploring London? Don't forget to bring a power bank and umbrella
• Get access to 80+ London attractions with The London Pass
•Get your free Revolut Card — great for travelling and budgeting in London
• Get 50% off at hundreds of restaurants across London with the Taste Card
• Take a ride on the London Eye
• Moving to London? Get my Ebook Across the Pond: A Young Expat's Guide to London Life
• See London Harry Potter style with the Harry Potter Walking Tour
• Whizz through Central London with Afternoon tea on Brigit Bakery's Bus Tour
• Take a sunset cruise across the Thames
• Ride a speed boat across London
• Book your flight to London with Skyscanner
• Get travel insurance to London through World Nomads
• Get the best London gifts from my London Gift Guide
• Get the best train deals for London day trips from Trainline
• Find the best London accommodation on Booking.com
• Want to up your photography? Check out my camera guide for bloggers
Liked this post? Be sure to check out more unique activities to get up to in London!