Retro arcade gameAlthough it’s been a few decades since arcade games exploded into pop culture, people all around the world still love to play them. Whether it’s for nostalgia or simply to combat boredom on a Friday night, arcades still have a strong presence in Orange County as well.

To help you satisfy your craving to level up in Pinball and show those Space Invaders who’s boss, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best arcades in Orange County. Let the games begin!

  1. Dave & Busters, Irvine: Located at the Irvine Spectrum, Dave & Buster’s Irvine is a great place to take a date or go out for a night with friends and family! This modern arcade destination has something for everyone— from arcade classics like Skee-Ball and PacMan to state of the art game experiences. Plus, you can even download mobile games and win real tickets on the go! Dave & Buster’s has a great rewards program, weekly specials, and budget friendly Power Hour games, as well as an extensive menu of food and drink options. Plan for a full night of fun!
  1. Boomers, Irvine: Inside Boomers’ huge family-oriented game room, you’ll find hundreds of games that are sure to get the good times rolling. Show off your moves with Dance Dance Revolution or challenge your friends to a riveting game of Ultimate Air Hockey or Laser Tag! Boomers Irvine also features tons of options for outdoor fun, including Miniature Golf, Go Karts, Batting Cages, and Bumper Boats. Your imagination is the only limit here! 
  1. Nickel Nickel, Garden Grove: After 19 years, Nickel Nickel has moved from Huntington Beach to Garden Grove in order to avoid raising their prices due to several encroaching development projects. The new location just opened in July of this year, and still offers families the affordable fun they’ve always loved. Patrons only pay $2 to enter, and can choose from 25 free play games or pay an average of 1-6 nickels per game for more in-demand games. They also feature the largest redemption counter in Orange County that is stuffed full of prizes perfect for any age. 
  1. Arcade 2084: As a private collection of golden-age (1980’s) classic arcade games, this exclusive arcade is unique in that it only opens to the public on select weekends. However, on open nights you only pay $10 admission for free play on all of the immaculately kept games, all night long. Although food and drink is not permitted in the arcade, there a number of restaurants and bars within walking distance at the incredible Anaheim Packing House. Outside of the ultra-rare video game titles featured, you can also find a small selection of Pinball Machines and a console gaming center with games from Atari, Nintendo, and much more. With the amazing selection of games and 80’s music blasting all night, Arcade 2084 is definitely the place to increase your geek street cred!
  1. Howie’s Game Shack: Howie’s is no traditional arcade—here you’ll find one of the largest online interactive game centers in North America that caters to a new era of gamers. With over 100 game titles, high end gaming PC’s, Xbox One systems, and Virtual Reality stations, this is social gaming as you’ve never experienced before. Howie’s regularly organizes game releases, tournaments and competitions that have Orange County gamers flocking to this Mission Viejo hotspot. With food, drinks, outrageously comfortable gaming chairs, and a 2:00 am closing time on Friday and Saturday, it’s no surprise that Howie’s has logged over 6 million hours of play time!