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11 arcades where you can play games around Austin

Joe Gross

As befits a city full of gamers of all stripes, Austin has a whole mess of video game arcades. And as befits a city full of families with children in need of entertainment, people who like to eat pizza and people who like to drink, the lines between “arcade” and “bar with a few games” and “arcade that serves drinks” and “a family entertainment pizza place” get blurry.

So, to keep things focused, this list does not include places such as Dave and Busters,  Chuck E CheeseGattiland, and Main Event. It also doesn’t include the Austin Public Library Central Branch, which has video game consoles that it will bring out for special events and computers that kids in the teen areas can be seen playing video games on.

Please let us know if we are missing your favorite place. Enjoy! 

Arcade UFO. 3101 Speedway. 512-380-1725. 

Established in 2008, Arcade UFO offers a traditional Japanese arcade experience. Under new management since 2017, it features titles from Japan, Korea, and the U.S., mostly in the fighting game, music game and racing game categories, with a handful of classic games. Many games are housed in authentic cabinets from their country of origin.

EVO Entertainment. 3200 Kyle Crossing in Kyle. 512-523-9009 .

EVO sports an 11-screen movie theater, a 14-lane bowling area, giant arcade, ticket games, a full bar and restaurant and pool tables.

Game Plan Entertainment. 4175 Freidrich Lane. 512-588-9428.

This is more of a private arcade and events facility with classic console games, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Wii U, skeeball, foosball, pingpong, giant Jenga and more. 

Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex. 1156 Hargrave St. 512-472-6932.

Owned by the City of Austin and managed by SMG World, the complex is a family-oriented entertainment center with an arcade, skating, bowling, a theater, a food court and special event areas. It is open Wednesday through Saturday.

Originator VR Arcade. 718 Northwestern Ave. 512-263-0754.

This is an appointment-only virtual reality arcade. It is closed for a private event for July 2018.

Pinballz Arcade. 8940 Research Blvd. 512-420-8458.

Pinballz Kingdom. 15201 N. Interstate 35, Buda. 512-523-4080.

Pinballz Lake Creek. 13729 Research Blvd. 512-537-8737.

The Pinballz arcade chain is the crown jewel of the Austin arcade scene. Each location features dozens of vintage pinball games, vintage console games and other amusements. The original can be found on Research. The slicker-looking Lake Creek branch offers bowling and a full bar. In addition to a full complement of video games, the massive Pinballz Kingdom in Buda has party rooms, a full restaurant and beer garden, laser tag, midway games and go-carts. 

PLAYlive Nation. 2901 S. Capital Of Texas Highway. 512-306-1401.    

PLAYlive Nation. 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive. 512-331-7529

A self-described “premium social gaming lounge focused on uniting like-minded players of all ages and to creating strong community-based relationships,” these are essentially arcades of home computer games that encourages gamers who might be playing alone to play in a social environment. Hosts tournaments and private events but also functions as a regular old drop-in arcade.

Recess Arcade Bar. 222 East Sixth Street. 512-698-9852.

Yes, it is a bar, which means 21 and older. But it is also a bar with the word arcade in the name, which means not a few games but more than 20 modern and vintage console games.