Have you just turned around to your pal and said, “let’s hit up an arcade today!” then suddenly got overwhelmed because there are a million options in Toronto? You’d be surprised to hear that’s a typical scenario in this city.
There are plenty of arcades in Toronto, some fantastic, others that could use improvement, but some stand out from the rest. How do you take the guesswork out of finding the perfect arcade to visit for you and your friends? Well, it takes work. But that’s precisely the purpose of this article!
We’ve done the hard part in narrowing down locations where you can get your classic gaming fixes and incredible virtual experiences and fire up that nostalgia engine. Read on to discover the six best arcades in Toronto that are a must-visit for any gamer.
Image Source: Pexel
What Makes a Great Toronto Arcade?
There are countless arcades in Toronto, leaving many enthusiastic patrons wondering where to get their gaming fixes in a social environment. Finding the right location can be a monumental task, considering all the reviews you have to siphon through and determine whether it meets your and your party’s expectations.
As gaming enthusiasts, we decided to save avid players the trouble. We went on a quest to determine the best Toronto arcades for 2023. We outlined the essential criteria for visiting an arcade and getting the most memorable experiences.
Our Criteria for a Fantastic Toronto Arcade
Find below the driving factors for discovering the best arcades in Toronto.
- The average star rating across leading trust platforms
- The number of reviews
- Weigh-up of both negative and positive customer feedback
- Outlining the most repeated points in pros and cons
- Presenting the pricing tiers and whether its good value for money
- Commentary on customer service
- Available hospitality and its quality
- The overall accommodation of the environment
Of course, some may consider other more niche factors when pondering a visit. Prospective customers might think about the available games and even non-gaming factors like the food served and drink list. Our critique considers these, but the most significant pillars leave patrons feeling like they’ve been taken care of in their arcades.
It’s essential to have a location that caters to most Toronto citizens and provides a friendly gaming location for all to enjoy. We’ve selected these critical factors to create the best experiences for Toronto arcades, especially heading into 2023.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the list of best Toronto arcades to visit in 2023.
Which are the Highest-Rated Toronto Arcades?
It’s no secret that we’re keen gamers. We love the idea of an activity featuring a wealth of immersive arcade games and thrilling gaming activities. We carefully applied the above criteria to discover the best Toronto arcades heading into 2023.
Finding the best locations took time. After all, there’s a wide variety of experiences to enjoy, featuring a diverse palette of games in the city. But some brought everything we could have wanted from an arcade.
Discover an overview of our top six choices below:
Levelup Reality Virtual Arcade is the ideal gaming experience in 2023, featuring over 80 incredible virtual reality games and experiences. No one leaves without being immersed in a unique digital world.
Tilt Arcade Bar is a more casual arcade experience welcoming any passers-by, offering access to a wealth of classic arcade games and machines for one reasonable entry fee. There’s food and drink available, too, so you can make an evening of your visit.
The Rec Room boasts many games and experiences ranging from physical to digital. It’s an all-in-one location that caters to the activities of groups with varied interests.
One of North America’s most popular arcade establishments continues to make our favorites, with a vast series of games in an exciting premise. This arcade is one of the best for hosting parties and large groups.
One of Toronto’s more unique locations; is an arcade dedicated to claw machines! This cute and cozy little venue has played a favorite to many gaming enthusiasts throughout the city.
A pub-like venue filled with nostalgic 80s and 90s games always brings good times. The charming atmosphere and gaming activities create a fantastic location to get your classic game fix.
Now you’ve seen which arcades we think are Toronto’s best, keep reading to understand why we picked them below.
Why Do You Need to Visit These Toronto Arcades?
Gaming experiences in Toronto only get better yearly, and 2023 will be no different. Discover more in-depth details about why these six arcades will serve up video game nostalgia. But not only that, they’ll throw you into an immersive world or give you and your friends a great activity.
Let’s start with our number one Toronto gaming center, Levelup Virtual Reality Arcade. The numbers don’t lie; it’s one of the city’s favorite places to hang out, with many positive reviews. There’s a consistent flurry of great feedback and numerous awards that support every reason why we think this VR location is fantastic.
So what gives Levelup Virtual Reality Arcade the crown in the Toronto gaming community? There are over 80 games and experiences, from an epic castle defense to intergalactic exploration.
Persons of all ages and gaming finesse can find something to enjoy, making the center an excellent location for parties or weekend activities. The fact that Levelup VR is #3 on TripAdvisor’s Top Fun and Games list say everything you need to know, but let’s recap some of the critical points of the arcade.
- Easily accessible location in downtown Toronto
- Over 80 games and experiences making multiple visits a must
- Impeccable customer service, ready to support and solve every query
- Higher prices than some of the other Toronto arcades
- Session lengths can feel a bit short when you’ve got that video game adrenaline pumping.
- Relatively limited in space and can get busy.
Levelup Virtual Reality Arcade has a grand achievement in curating over 600+ five-star reviews on Google, with plenty more positive feedback on platforms like TripAdvisor and Facebook. Visit the location, and you’ll understand why those numbers are well-deserved.
So how much will it cost for a visit? Levelup Reality offers simple pricing tiers for convenience, discounted on weekdays. An hour’s (50 mins gameplay, 10 mins training) session will cost $39.99 on the weekend and $34.99 a weekday per person.
It’s become a prevalent location to host parties and private events, too, where 16 people can enjoy an hour’s session starting at $399 per hour. All considered it’s the next-level entertainment hub that takes Toronto’s gaming experiences in 2023 in style.
Naturally, we have to include a retro arcade bar for those older folks nostalgic about old-school gaming. We’re talking about pinball machines and classic arcade video games, making that drive from 2023 back to the mid-1980s.
Tilt Arcade Bar wins over some hearts and minds with its well-curated selection of games, ranging from Ms.Pac-Man to Donkey Kong. Those intense, competitive gaming experiences paired with cold brews and cocktails make for a great night out for Toronto’s adult gamers.
It’s an excellent location for casual drop-ins, with a relaxed vibe ready to accommodate anyone who wants to reignite their gaming nostalgia. One flat entry fee, and you’ll have access to all the pinball and arcade machines in the venue, providing great value for money.
So what are the takeaways of Tilt Arcade Bar?
- Great last-minute activity, accommodating casual patrons.
- One low fixed entry fee for access to all the games
- Food and drink are available to make an entire evening out of the occasion
- Not the best arcade location to accommodate groups of children
- Customer service could be improved
- Some reports of miscommunication regarding entry
It’s no secret that Tilt Arcade Bar is a prevalent Toronto location. Its accessibility and good value for money have rewarded the venue with over 2800 positive reviews on Google, praising it as an excellent environment for adults with a classic gaming itch.
Tilt Arcade Bar is $5 for entry to access everything playable on offer. Food and drink will cost extra, but the pricing on libations is pretty reasonable. If you prefer a casual gaming experience in Toronto, Tilt might be your preferred location.
So what about a Toronto arcade that delivers more than just games? The Rec Room aims to be the complete package for a day’s or night’s activity, with games, pinball machines, virtual reality, live entertainment, and sports screens.
The Rec Room has multitudinous entertainment avenues, and there’s also a fully-loaded bar and the classic Canadian pub grub. If the sole purpose of the location there is to keep patrons there forever, they do a good job fulfilling that objective!
The idea that multiple gaming experiences are available caters to groups with varied interests, making The Rec Room an excellent visit for groups of friends on the town. Get into a VR experience, play a classic arcade game, and watch a hockey match, all in a single location; idyllic for a hospitable Toronto activity.
Now, what factors are definitive of The Rec Room?
- Accommodation different activity interests, ranging from sports enthusiasts to hardcore gamers
- A varied menu that will likely satisfy guests
- One location for virtual and physical games
- Complaints of difficulties getting served
- Much of the menu offerings are not up to expectations
- Overpriced compared to other arcade venues
Naturally, such a location with varied activities in Toronto would be quite a popular option. The Rec Room has amassed a colossal 6800 reviews on Google, though the average rating is 4.1, lower than other Toronto arcades.
The Rec Room has no fixed pricing tier but runs on credits to play Arcade games and other experiences. Customers have highlighted that you’ll expect to pay around $40 for activities and significantly more for food and drink. A visit could be pricey, but everything’s there!
You’d think Dave & Buster’s would be an arcade cliche now, considering there are so many locations around North America. The brand may be well-known, but the name must be synonymous with a gaming and hospitality experience, including Toronto!
Does its fame deter from the idea that it’s a great Toronto arcade? Not in the slightest. Dave & Buster’s remains one of the city’s top gaming attractions because of its large, up-to-date arcade games and many hospitality options.
Dave & Buster’s is well-known for playing host to the more significant occasion. It’s undoubtedly an excellent location for parties, nights out for bigger groups, and any event where you want guests to let loose. One visit, and you’ll understand why it’s a fully-loaded Toronto arcade that doesn’t skimp on the fun factor.
Here are the notable points of Dave & Buster’s Toronto location.
- The prominence of the brand makes the location a well-run operation
- Excellent location for parties with multiple people
- Fast, friendly service
- Visits can be expensive, including food and activities for everyone
- The arcade card top-up system can be frustrating for patrons
- Food is generally not recommended by customers
Being a famous brand, Dave & Buster’s has accrued over 8400 reviews at their location, with an average of 3.9 on Google. One of the key takeaways from most customer experiences is that the Toronto location is fantastic as an arcade. Still, some hospitality factors need to be better than others.
There’s no all-in-one pricing tier at Dave & Buster’s, as games and activities are accessed through arcade credits on a card. However, most customers highlight that you can expect to pay around $100+ per person for activities and meals.
Dave & Buster’s may not be the highest-rated of the bunch, but there’s no question it remains a popular Toronto arcade.
And now for something completely different! Well, not entirely, but there is a distinct feature about Vava that makes it stand out from other Toronto arcades; it’s a venue dedicated to the claw machines!
This adorable little Toronto arcade features over 25 claw machines breaming with potential prizes. Suppose you’ve ever gotten thrills and spills from these activities over the years. In that case, Vava will send that nostalgia racing to the surface.
Vava’s neatly tucked away location makes it a cult classic arcade among locals. Still, it’s very accessible and most accommodating to casual drop-ins. The only question remains, are you feeling lucky? There’s plenty of opportunity to test your claw machine skill and impress the patrons.
- An arcade dedicated to claw machines with exciting prizes
- A cozier arcade that brings a more immersive, rewarding experience
- Welcoming individuals as much as parties
- No guarantee that you’ll win prizes
- Complaints that the machines make it difficult to win anything
- Players find they burn through credits very quickly
Vava is one of Toronto’s lesser know arcades, with a comparatively low number of reviews compared to others on this list. Google pins the location with a 4-star average across 100 reviews. However, that makes it more exciting to visit!
The arcade offers different top-up options with a card used to access games. The lowest pricing tier for Vava is $18.88 for 30 credits, and the highest is $198.88 for 318 credits and a bonus of 84 free ones. Many customers mention that it can get expensive as you’ll burn through credits fast, but it’s a fun-filled visit.
Zed*80 caters to a gaming niche, but it still hits our list as one of the best arcades in Toronto. The location is breaming with nostalgia, featuring classic arcade cabinets, old home consoles, and a wide variety of pinball machines.
The 80s and 90s kids can have a field day with all the available games, accessible for a flat entry fee. Beers, food, and other libations are readily available to enhance your experience, making it a great casual night out for friends and an attractive prospect for a regular visit.
Zed*80 has more of a pub vibe than an arcade, but that only adds to the unique experience of visiting. There’s an old-school arcade charm paired with the social atmosphere of a traditional bar. That simple, straightforward experience makes for a relaxed, enjoyable location.
So what stands out about Zed*80?
- Fixed entry fee for a wide variety of games
- Great selection of beverages and food
- A uniquely charming atmosphere
- On occasions, the bar staff have not been friendly
- A small space that can get pretty busy
- Not as many games compared to other Toronto arcade locations.
The intimate environment has won over customers, firing the nostalgia factor and being a great place to play casual games. Zed*80 scores a 4.7-star average across 605 reviews on Google, undoubtedly a favorite among adult gamers.
Zed*80 is another location that offers a $5 flat rate for unlimited play but goes up to $10 after 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. That’s pretty good value for money, even if there are fewer available games than in other arcades!
So now you’ve seen our list, what will tickle your fancy for the upcoming year? Are there any gaming establishments you’ve already been to here? Is there anything you’ve missed?
Toronto has a fantastic arcade community with much to explore. We’re always open to discussion with our gamer friends about the best locations to visit and share an immersive variety of virtual experiences.
Get the Best Gaming Experiences in Toronto in 2023
Start your 2023 on the right foot by visiting these fantastic arcade locations. Visit one that tickles your fancy, or even make a Toronto gaming bingo card to say you're a true veteran city gamer.
Suppose you're a Toronto resident or a keen gamer just passing through. In that case, there are plenty of options for memorable arcade visits. But let's get to this article's main point: a visit to any of these six locations, and you're guaranteed a whale of a time!