If you are over the age of 25, you have most likely experienced a fully-functioning arcade some time in your life. Those born in the 60s, 70s and 80s thrived on weekly — and sometimes daily — trips to the local arcade.
Modern day arcades exist, but they are full of overpriced entertainment that leaves the player broke and unsatisfied with the game time value. Then, you have those arcades. The arcades worthy of a gold medal… built on nostalgia and still thriving from the days of old. The games there are classic, simple and yet to be topped. Sure, they are 16-bit and full of pixel, but they are so near and dear to our hearts that we just can’t get enough!
You asked. We listened. Check out these old school arcades and judge for yourself. South Florida has spoken, naming these five arcades the top arcades in the region for old school gaming experiences!
Sunset Place Mall
5701 Sunset Drive
Miami, Florida 33143
An awesome mix of the old and new, GameTime has video games for every age group. Let’s face it, though, there is no “joy” without the red stick and two finger-sized buttons. And because of this, GameTime has dedicated a large portion of the family entertainment center to just classic games and pinball machines. And, what’s a full entertainment set up without the ski-ball, pool and air hockey? You can stop worrying now, because they have that, too!
While there, guests can chow down on an arcade-style menu or stop in to the sports bar to have a drink. While families are often seen flocking to GameTime, the same can be said for singles, couples and us older folks, who “just wanna have fun.”
12101 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Florida 33181
A family-friendly pizza shop with an old school arcade, Steve’s Pizza is also considered one of South Florida’s best pizza shops with a majority of the menu under $10! The graffiti painted walls not only gives homage to one element of hip hop, but it also reminds New Yorkers of home. And the arcade games — they take us back to our childhood, allowing us to share the memories of Donkey Kong and Konami games with our children in reflection of days gone by. Will they beat your high score? That, indeed, is the question.
3291 West Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311
Where best to experience arcade games of the old school? How about a flea market? If you have never been to Swap Shop, you probably have no idea as to how amazing this establishment actually is. Everything from discount vendors to hobby shops will call you into the Swap Shop, but the one thing that will keep your attention the longest is the arcade found right upstairs in the Swap Shop itself. Pinball. Classic consoles. You might think you can’t top it, but then you realize, you aren’t even spending as much as you would at a more modern establishment and may even become addicted to trying to beat your own high score again and again.
12045 SW 117th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176
Tron, Pac-man, Space Invaders, the original Rampage…nope, you can’t get better than that. This place looks like a casino of classic arcade games in every sort. While a few modern games like Dance Dance Revolution have found their way into the doors at Arcade Odyssey, don’t count on finding too many. Warning, this place is for serious gamers only. Many of our favorite titles in stand up consoles, two player shooters and pinball can be found within.
Taking a break from the Namco action, one can find popular treats in import flavors from Asia. Visit this place at night, and you may just walk upon a live, outdoor game being projected onto the front of the building. This is probably the top choice for old school gamers in the South Florida area.
Tenth-level Tavern, Formerly Known As Another Castle
1242 NE 38th St.
Oakland Park, FL 33334
Formerly another Castle, the Tenth-Level Tavern is a bar, serving local craft beers and located directly across the street from Funky Budha brewery, also on tap at this location. A relaxing atmosphere, this arcade was designed in both standup and sit-down format with video game art plastering the walls and Rasberry systems powering the arcade. While this is a stretch from an actual classic arcade, one will find that these custom built modules resemble the consoles of old and provide an endless catalog of old school gaming as you sip a brew and relax. What’s different about this establishment and many others is that it is a bar, first and foremost, with the center of attention being on the fully functioning gaming centers. For this, Tenth-Level has been named “the only video game bar in South Florida.”
Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins in Orlando, Florida, and specializes in Social Branding and Public Relations for both the Professional Services Industry and Entertainment Business. Over the last 13 years, she has worked with many publications and has created branded content for multiple organizations, Globally. BrandSocial.me