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13 Hottest Arcades in Manchester Every Gamer Should Visit

13 Hottest Arcades in Manchester Every Gamer Should Visit 

Retro games are garnering a lot of attention. If you feel like reliving the old days, you can visit several arcade stores and restaurants in Manchester that feature these classic titles for older and newer fans alike. 

Curious to know more? Check out some of the best arcades here in Manchester that you have to visit if you’re a video game nerd like me! 

Arcade Club

Website: https://www.arcadeclub.co.uk/bury/

Address: Ela Mill, Cork St, Bury BL9 7BW, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 161 464 9796

Operating hours: 

  • Thursday – 4 to 11 PM
  • Friday – 6 PM to 12 AM
  • Saturday – 11 AM to 11 PM
  • Sunday – 11 AM to 8 PM

Arcade Club is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun time with your children or want to have a nostalgic road trip for the weekend.

Expect to find over 300 classic and modern machines that you can play! You can revisit your old library of games, like Mario, Donkey Kong, Pacman, and Sonic, like you were back in the 80s and 90s again.

There are also imported, more modern games that are great for children and teens—but if I were you, I’d introduce them to the games we used to enjoy back in the day! 

Don’t miss out on ordering some food to compliment your gaming experience! They have pizza, burgers, nachos, and hot dogs that’ll fill you up while trying to conquer a boss fight or finish a level. 

Pro tip:

You can consider coming here for a fun weekend getaway with friends and family for a light-hearted mini-vacation that takes you down memory lane of playing old video games. 

NQ64

Website: https://nq64.co.uk/

Address: 9 Short St, Manchester M4 1AA, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441617101957

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 4 PM to 2 AM 
  • Saturday and Sunday – 12 Pm to 2 AM 

If The Arcade Club has too much of a casual and more ‘restobar’ (bars manchester) feel for you, then NQ64 is going to be a better choice because it goes all in on the ‘gaming’ theme and takes it to the next level. 

It literally takes the word ‘bar’ that it wants to associate itself with and just adds a whole ton of arcade machines that play classic games to the touch. 

While most Manchester arcade bars are too focused on the very retro age of video games, NQ64 includes ones from the early 2000s as well. 

You still have the arcade versions of Mortal Kombat, The Simpson Arcade, and even Fight Night in the mix. Yet, you also have the option of playing Dance Revolution with a dedicated dance floor machine and Guitar Hero! 

If you’re above 18, then you can also grab some alcoholic drinks like beer and margaritas. Just be careful not to get too drunk as this establishment is still ‘kid-friendly’ in a sense that there are neon lights and video games (gaming bar manchester) everywhere you turn in the corner! 

Pro tip:

The ’64’ in its name is actually a reference to the Nintendo 64 (N64) which is Nintendo’s third major console in its history. You can play N64 games like Mario 64 or the two Zelda titles (Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask) which are critically acclaimed titles in the history of gaming. Go give them a try if you haven’t already. 

Virtual Hideout 

Website: https://virtualhideoutmanchester.com/

Address: 51 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441618347336

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 12 PM to 7:30 PM 
  • Saturday and Sunday – 10:30 AM to 9 PM 

The Virtual Hideout is a giant virtual reality hub where you can experience games in, well, VR! Virtual reality has become a mainstream technological piece in gaming for a while now since the release of the Playstation VR and Oculus. 

Here, the Virtual Hideout takes things to the next level by incorporating the best VR tech and implementing it in a cafe or resto bar where players can potentially get the most immersive experience playing shooters, horror, and action titles. 

If you still don’t know how VR works, you’re essentially going to wear a VR headset so you can see the gameplay right in front of you while holding two controllers so you can move in-game and interact with characters. 

Pro tip:

You can bring your friends and family (family restaurants manchester) with you and even share the experience by playing multiplayer battles together. Just make sure not to swing your arms to flail and hit someone as I have on several occasions— oops. 

The Crystal Maze Live Experience 

Website: https://the-crystal-maze.com/

Address: St Johns, Lower Byrom St, Manchester M3 4FP, United Kingdom

Contact details: N/A (contact through website virtual support desk)

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday to Friday – 1:30 PM to 9 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9 AM to 9 PM
  • Monday – closed 

Partly, The Crystal Maze is a fun amusement park for kids who can join what they call ‘The Crystal Camp’. Here, they can participate in activities that range from mazes, obstacles courses, escape rooms, and active sports centres. 

These camps are called Mystery Skill, Mental, and Physical while there are other four zones like the Medieval, Future, Industrial, and Aztec to mix up the theme of each area. 

While not entirely arcade in its feel, at least your children can enjoy a great time spending the joy with other kids like them. 

Now for the more adult-stuff, we can also enjoy our own version of amusement by experiencing live games from popular intellectual properties, like Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

If you’re a fan of the game (like I am) then you should definitely come here for a visit. Take your kids with you too and have an overall great time playing the themed machines that are tailored for both you and your young children! 

Pro tip:

If you’re a fan of the game— like I am— then you should definitely come here for a visit. Take your kids with you too and have an overall great time with both the kids and more adult versions of these thematic arcade centres! 

Flip Out Manchester 

Website: https://www.flipout.co.uk/locations/manchester/

Address: Corbett Street, Manchester M11 4TA, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441618505058

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – 11 AM to 7 PM 
  • Friday – 11 AM to 8 PM 
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 8 PM
  • Sunday – 10 AM to 7 PM

Not your conventional arcade by any means, but it’s a fun one that you should at least consider— especially if your kid is spending a birthday there! 

The Flip Out Manchester is like a mini-amusement park with go-karts, bouncy houses, power slide, and yes, even arcade machines from every corner of the vicinity. 

This is definitely one of the more active arcades in Manchester, and it has a lot of cool areas to pay a visit to. 

There are trampolines, a kids arena (where the arcades are found), ninja obstacle courses, cyber towers, ninja wipeouts, and drop slides! Phew, that’s quite a mouthful, but trust me, for the fun you’ll be experiencing, you’d think that time is running too fast when you’re there. 

This is a pretty straightforward recommendation for me if you have some kids with you, but I’d skip Flip Out if you’re trying to spend more quality time with friends or older family members. 

Pro tip:

You can book sessions from an hour to two or go with their more family-saving options that’ll grant you more hours and attendance to all attractions. 

Fab Café

Website: http://www.fabcafe.co.uk/

Address: 109 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DN, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441612122997

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – 4 PM to 2 AM
  • Friday – 4 PM to 3 AM 
  • Saturday – 4 PM to 3 AM 
  • Sunday – 4 PM to 11 PM

For a more sophisticated arcade experience in Manchester, visit Fab Cafe. With its more grown-up vibe, it’s fantastic for those who are in their college or late 20s to 30s. 

What makes this place more unique than the rest is its mix between a video game and movie-themed resto bar. You can play some classic Mario Kart and Contra while also looking at film novelties like signed posters and photographs. 

There’s also a side bar of drinks that you and your family, friends, and partners can enjoy!

Pro tip:

If you’re up for cosplaying, you can participate in their ‘Geek Night’ where everyone dresses up as their favourite comic book character.This event happens periodically and you can join at any time—if  you luckily stumble upon the night that they hold it! 

Tenpin Manchester Printworks 

Website: https://printworks-manchester.com/venues/tenpin/

Address: The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS, United Kingdom

Contact details: N/A

Operating hours: 

  • Sunday to Thursday – 10 AM to 1 AM 
  • Friday and Saturday – 10 AM to 2:30 AM 

The Tenpin Manchester Printworks is primarily a bowling alley with a mix of arcade if you go deeper in the place. It’s late operating hours means that you can go here if you want some late-night fun with friends and family.

What’s amazing about this bowling alley is it has a diverse set of lounge and arcade games to choose from if you want to take a break from bowling pins! 

You can even play racing games like Mario Kart and Forza while you’re waiting for the next group to finish bowling. There’s even table ice hockey and foosball here.

Twenty Twenty Two 

Website: http://twentytwentytwo.co.uk/

Address: The Basement, Little Lever St, Manchester M1 1EZ, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441612379360

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday – 4 PM to 1 AM 
  • Friday – 4 PM to 4 AM
  • Saturday – 1 PM to 4 AM 
  • Sunday – 4 PM to 1 AM

If you’re into ping pong, billiards, beer, and yes, arcade machines, then you can step onto Twenty Twenty Two and have a blast! 

This arcade machine store is not only packed with classic and newer games, but also a large library of board, party, and indoor sports games like ping pong. 

You can pretty much expect some kegs of beer and a fun time with your friends when you’re in this place, and it seems that the lights never turn off despite the sun being up already! 

Pro tip:

Yes, they do allow beer bong for the table tennis tables! If you come into Twenty Twenty Two at the right time, you can play beer pong with total strangers and befriend them overnight— I’m guilty of this one time during our company Christmas party! 

X-Gen VR

Website: https://x-genvr.com/

Address: 21 Deanery Way, Stockport SK1 1PP, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441616377273

Operating hours: 

  • Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Friday – 11 AM to 5 PM
  • Thursday – 6 AM to 5 PM
  • Monday – closed 

Similar to the Virtual Hideout, X-Gen VR is a virtual reality space where you can try immersive and true-to-life games that have yet to be experienced by the regular gamer before. 

There are futuristic-looking motorcycle models that look like they came straight out of a Blade Runner movie from the 30th century, and the rooms themselves look like simulator chambers from the X-Men franchise. 

Bottomline is, the games here are exceptionally futuristic! These platforms are leeways to the prototype software that will surely be the next big thing in gaming.

So, visiting X-Gen VR is not only an opportunity for you to enjoy a uniquely fun weekend, but also a chance to get a sneak peek of what’s in store for the future of gaming in general. 

Pro tip:

Unlike other VR arcades stores, I’d recommend trying their horror-themed games. These are incredibly immersive and if you can take the frightening scenes, I’d go for a few scares or too to heighten the experience. 

Belong Arenas Manchester (Trafford Centre)

Website: https://www.belong.gg/arenas/manchester/

Address: Unit L29, 46 Peel Ave, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8DF, United Kingdom

Contact details: +447484925089

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 10 AM to 10 PM 
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 9 PM
  • Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM 

If you’re an esports fan, then Belong Arenas Manchester is the best place to be. Unlike the classic, and quite frankly, archaic machines, this place has modern PCs with high-end GPUs and high-refresh-rated monitors for smoother gameplays. 

Esports titles like Fortnite, Valorant, and Apex Legends are the craze these days, and you have the chance to play with your friends or family for a day when visiting Belong Arenas. 

It was genuinely quite a unique experience to get to sit down on an esports chair while playing with my buddies on the weekend, and playing competitive games as a team was such an exhilarating experience as we win (and lose mostly) through the games that we played. 

Pro tip:

Unlike other VR arcades stores, I’d recommend trying their horror-themed games. These are incredibly immersive and if you can take the frightening scenes, I’d go for a few scares or too to heighten the experience. 

Dog Bowl 

Website: https://www.manchesterbars.com/dogbowl.htm

Address: 57 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW, United Kingdom

Contact details: +441612282888

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday – 12 PM to 2 AM 
  • Sunday – 12 PM to 12 AM 

No, this isn’t a joke nor a lousy gag about a dog store because the Dog Bowl in Manchester is actually a pretty serious arcade spot that’s worth a visit. 

On top of its amazing arcade centre, Dog Bowl is literally a bowling alley, hence the ‘bowl’ in its name. 

However, the Dog Bowl has more arcade machines that you can possibly expect from a place like this, and they’re pretty great and worthwhile to put a penny or two in as well! 

For instance, they have a more elevated version of Pacman that lets you play in 3D. There are also live console games like the PS5 and XBox Series X which have a large library of games which are perfect for visits with friends and family members. 

Pro tip:

Out of all the entries, I personally think that Dog Bowl has the best food menu. I’ve tasted their chicken burger with coleslaw and a few cocktails in different flavours like cherry and bubblegum. I say, it’s definitely worth a try— especially if they’re so affordable! 

Namco Funscape Manchester 

Website: https://www.namcofunscape.com/locations/trafford-centre

Address: 14, The Orient, The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8ED, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 161 749 1111

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday and Sunday – 10 AM to 11 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 10 AM to 12 AM 

Have you ever heard of the gaming company ‘Namco’? Alright, let me give you a refresher course. Pacman, Galaga, the entire Tekken franchise— now right a bell? 

Imagine all these games in one place in Manchester, and you pretty much have a love letter to every single Namco fan on the planet! 

The Namco Funscape Manchester is a cool place for fans of any age! If you think that this arcade store is only for the most avid fans or kids under 13 years old, then you’re mistaken.

This place has promos and packages for all ages like their Late Night Deal which are more adult-oriented and the surprising Nifty Fifties (over 50s only) for older fans of the company. 

Namco has established itself as one of gaming’s juggernaut companies next to Nintendo and Sega, and it has built a lot of places like the Funscape to lure all fans into one place to enjoy and commemorate their amazing games throughout the years. 

Did you know?

Namco has a hand in the production of Elden Ring, the famous game of the year in 2022. FromSoftware, its original developer, partnered with big names like Sony and yes, Namco, to create one of the best games ever released. 

J.W.Shaws Amusements  

Website: https://www.retro-replay.games/

Address: Castle Mdw, Norwich NR1 3DD, United Kingdom

Contact details: N/A

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 6 PM to 10 PM 
  • Sunday – 12 PM to 12 AM 

J.W. Shaw’s Amusements is a really cool arcade store that has a wholesome, yet still fantastic, ambience. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by the flashing lights and nostalgic sounds of classic arcade games. 

It’s like stepping back in time to the golden age of gaming. You’ll definitely love its cosy vibe, with its mix of vintage and modern arcade machines lined up against the walls.

Another thing that sets J.W. Shaw’s apart from other arcades in Manchester is the variety of games they offer. They’ve got everything from the classics and expected games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders to newer, more interactive games like Just Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. 

Sure, they aren’t breaking new grounds here, but I think the feel of the place and its abundance of old posters, comic books, and even a backyard amusement park add a lot to the space that just screams ‘retro’! 

Pro tip:

Plan your visit during weekdays or off-peak hours if possible. This way, you can have more time and space to enjoy the games without too much of a crowd. 

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