Arcades aren’t the popular Phoenix pastime they used to be.

Back in the 80s, you couldn’t toss a quarter on Washington Ave without it slipping into the coin slot of a Ms. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong.

Now, like in many cities, the arcade scene is a nostalgic part of Phoenix’s past.

For the most part.

Just because they don’t dot the Valley of the Sun like they once did doesn’t mean Phoenix arcades are completely obsolete.

If you want to play your video games on stand-up (or sit-down) machines in South-Central Arizona, you still can.

You might just have to go a little further to find a Phoenix arcade with a good supply.

Or you might have to be 21 to enter.

Arcades in Phoenix

These arcades in Phoenix are for all ages:

Châm Pang Lanes

903 N 2nd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 922-2235

Arcade Hours:

Monday-Wednesday: 4 pm – Midnight (21+ after 8)
Thursday: 4 pm – 1 am (21+ after 8)
Friday: 4 pm – 2 am (21+ after 8)
Saturday: 11 am – 2 am (21+ after 8)
Sunday: 11 am – Midnight (21+ after 8)

Game Sampling:

  • Pinball

The Rush Fun Park

Desert Palms Power Center
3865 E Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(623) 432-7874

Arcade Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Friday-Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm

Game Sampling:

  • Skill Games
  • Console Games

Bowlero Christown

1919 W Bethany Home Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85015
(602) 249-1715

Arcade Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 3 pm – Midnight
Friday: 3 pm – 1 am
Saturday: 11 am – 1 am
Sunday: 11 am – 11 pm

Game Sampling:

  • World’s Largest Pac-Man
  • Basketball
  • Skill Games

Chuck E. Cheese

8039 N 35th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051
(602) 973-1945

Arcade Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
Friday: 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm

Game Sampling:

  • Riding Games
  • Basketball
  • Kid-Friendly Console & Skill Games

Castles-N- Coasters

2606 W Townley Ave Unit 11
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(623) 256-9964

Arcade Hours:

Daily: 10 am – 10 pm

Game Sampling:

  • Pinball
  • Console Games

Barcades/Bars With Arcade Games in Phoenix

Barcades are just what they sound like – bars with arcade machines.

These places serve booze and typically require players to be 21+ to enter.

Here are the bars in Phoenix known to have arcade games:

(We’ve only included true barcades, i.e. bars with a good selection of machines.)

Cobra Arcade Bar

801 N 2nd St #100
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 595-5873

Arcade Hours:

Daily: 4 pm – 2 am

No. of Games: 40

Game Sampling:

  • Rotating Console Games
  • Rotating Pinball

Stardust Pinbar

401 W Van Buren St Ste C
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 354-2931

Arcade Hours:

Monday-Wednesday: 4 pm – Midnight
Thursday: 4 pm – 1 am
Friday: 4 pm – 2 am
Saturday: Noon – 2 am
Sunday: Noon – Midnight

No. of Games: 20+

Game Sampling:

  • Pinball

Thunderbird Lounge

710 W Montecito Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 283-4621

Arcade Hours:

Daily: 4 pm – 2 am

Game Sampling:

  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Centipede
  • Donkey Kong Jr
  • Mortal Kombat

Arcade FAQs

How many arcades are left in the U.S.?

It might be hard to believe, but there are still more than 5,000 arcades in operation in the United States.

Though, many of these arcades are part of larger business structures.

Successful chain Dave & Buster’s, for instance, is both a sports bar/restaurant and an arcade.

Old-school fave Chuck E. Cheese is also a restaurant that specializes in birthday packages.

This might sound like a fair many arcades left, but compare that to the early 1980s when there were 24,000 full arcades in the U.S. (most of which were just arcades) and you can see how the numbers have dwindled.

So, what happened to them?

What happened to video arcades is pretty much the same thing that’s happening to movie theaters right now.

Like streaming, which has made movies more readily available to consumers, video game consoles brought the games players loved to play in arcades right into their living rooms.

At the same time, the technology was evolving.

The same way giant 4K screens have made the things we watch at home look better than ever, video game consoles grew in quality until playing at home was just as satisfying as going to the arcade.

And no one had to put on pants to do it.

Will arcades come back?

Arcades are already making a comeback… in a way.

But almost all of them are using the Dave & Buster’s success strategy as their blueprints.

Basically, they’re part bar/restaurants, part arcades.

Unlike Dave & Buster’s, though, which separates its over 21 area from its arcade area, many of these new “barcades” don’t admit anyone under the age of 21.

So, in most cities, older gamers have more options than younger ones.

But, given that arcades could be lost to another era, we think a few arcade options are better than none.

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