Retro Game Store Directory & Nominate Your Favorite Stores

Even though retro-styled games are making a comeback of sorts, important establishments that are part of retro gaming culture such as arcades and stores that stock retro games and gear are still on the decline. Since these establishments are becoming such a rarity, we need to keep retro gamers educated where existing places are located and make sure they are supported sufficiently.

We just started taking nominations for the best remaining arcades in the world, but for this post, I wanted to highlight our community’s effort to document all the game stores that sell retro games. RB Forum member, lisalover1 started our Retro Game Store Directory over a year ago and other forum members have shared the names and locations of their local shops to be added to the directory. We now have hundreds of stores from around the world listed. (If your local shop is missing, please post in the forum thread)

In addition to rounding out the Retro Game Store Directory, I wanted to take nominations for the very best of these Retro Stores so we can build a Best-Of list and I can try to set up tours and/or interviews with the top selections.
So, if you have a retro game store that you think is especially impressive, please post your recommendations in the comments below. Please include some reasoning for your selection (what makes the store so special). If you have links to photos and/or video of the store, please share those as well.

If you’d like to see some examples of what I think is important in a good retro game store (and my two personal nominations), check out these two reviews.

I look forward to seeing your nominations – thanks for your help!

47 Comments

  1. Omar says:

    GamePlay – Los Angeles (Culver City)

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/game-play-los-angeles#hrid:t9_sRYBPDU2EicHLMO06aA/src:self

    The works here are really nice, very friendly and a gamer, and reasonable prices

    A & J Games – Los Angeles (Culver City)

    I nominate this place for their selection, great selection, but overpriced and workers are either distracted teens or a mean owner.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/a-and-j-games-los-angeles#hrid:X-6d7UZJ3fTMFRJUa7xHVQ/src:self

  2. I think Digital Press is a great store with a great site: http://www.digitpress.com
    They host multiple guides on their site and they have a monthly meetup : http://www.digitpress.com/nava/

  3. Jim says:

    Destiny Games in Canton is a awesome place to go in the area for games. They go all the way back to the atari 2600. People that work there know what they are talking about and will help you find anything your looking for.

  4. Nik says:

    Universal Collectibles in Germantown, WI is a good store for gaming in general, from Atari to the Wii. Hours are decent, and the owner cleans/shrinkwraps all the games so they stay in good condition. Slightly pricier, but it’s worth it. Also goes to lots of conventions, like MGC.

  5. Nick says:

    Play It, Trade It in Columbus, OH. Small chain of stores in Columbus, there’s three now and will be a fourth soon. They have a nice selection, good staff who are knowledgeable and helpful. They will ship games between stores and are very cheap compared to a lot of places that I have been to.

  6. Mike says:

    People Play Games in Chicago IL is probably the best retro game store in the Chicagoland area. It is a little bit better than the other one I know of (Videogames Then and Now) in terms of game selection. They have a great selection of games of all sorts of systems pre current stuff. Worth checking out if you are in the area.

  7. Tim says:

    I agree with People Play Games in Chicago. It’s an awesome store. Very well organized with good prices.

  8. Saturnome says:

    “La Planque Jeux Vidéos” in Quebec City in Quebec, Canada. I think it opened two years ago!

    Pictures of the store can be seen on their Facebook page (along with all the info), it’s a nice place, well lighted (I say this because I find this unusual among retro stores I’ve been!) and they organize events from time to time, they’re lucky to be in a video game-ish part of the town, with video game schools right in front of them and lots of developers around : http://fr-fr.facebook.com/pages/La-Planque-Jeux-Vid%C3%A9o/135458652914

  9. TJ says:

    Pastime Legends in Albany, NY ( one of their 2 locations ) is a great store full of very friendly and knowledgeable employees. They give the maximum amount for trade-ins and have EVERY vintage/retro system.

    http://www.pastimelegendsvideogames.com/

  10. Ben says:

    There’s a shop in South Jersey called Next Level Videogames. Their website does not do them justice:

    http://www.nlvideogames.com/

    They have a very knowledgeable staff on hand. They carry a little bit of everything, and that includes plenty of imports. They update their facebook page often, so if they get some new vintage games in, they are quick to let everyone know! It’s great because they’re usually getting new stuff in periodically. I also have to hand it to them on their pricing. They know the market, but they never seem to jack the prices up astronomically. Often times, they will sell their games for less than eBay. I mostly see the opposite of that in other stores I check.

    They’ve even hosted events like a concert with X-Hunters, a Mega Man X series metal cover band, and they have meetings with vintage collectors in the region monthly.

  11. Duane Dibbley says:

    I’ll second Jim’s Destiny Games recommendation. It is located in Canton, Michigan, BTW. Destiny Games is the best retro game shop I’ve found in southeastern Michigan in terms of ease of browsing and overall selection. The only area they really lack in is keeping packaging in good shape, since cases and manuals are out in the open for everyone to handle. http://www.destiny-games.com/

    My favorite local shop with cases and manuals in better condition is Time Travelers Comics in Berkley, Michigan. Most of their video games are in glass cases, so browsing isn’t nearly as easy as at Destiny Games, but the cases and manuals also aren’t handled to death. http://timetravelersshop.com/

  12. Diablo says:

    Gamebusters in Granite City, IL is a great spot, great prices, a few arcade cabs are up, A ton of retro, and cool events like fight club tuesdays and warhammer wensday. Here’s the site

    gamebustersvideogames.com

  13. Nintendork666 says:

    I’d like to 2nd the Destiny Games nomination. Amazing store, with even cooler staff.

  14. Josh says:

    Universal Collectibles in Germantown, WI I second that place, its decent but like Nik said it can be pricey. They have tons of stuff

  15. FranciumInWater says:

    Game Freaks in both Lacey and Aberdeen, WA:
    They stock games from the NES to modern consoles and regularly have in rare titles. For a bit of perspective, they have pretty much all of the rare PS1 RPGs (Suikoden II included), and carry a decent selection of Saturn games as well as boxed NES, SNES, and N64 games. In fact, when the Lacey branch first opened up they had 3 copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga, 2 of them complete. Via trade-ins i bought (well, bartered) the entire Panzer Dragoon series, Guardian Heroes, and Shining Force III there all complete and in excellent condition. The prices range a bit on the expensive side for many older RPGs, but they never get outrageous, and are quite good most of the time (Panzer Dragoon Saga was $300, Shining Force III $120, Guardian Heroes $125, and Suikoden II is $140 if i remember correctly-and those are on the expensive side). I’d also mention that most of their inventory is in solid condition. They also stock systems and have a JVC X’Eye and several Saturns in stock. They also repair and customize modern consoles.

  16. Matthew says:

    In Charlotte, North Carolina, people don’t have many options for getting retro games, as everything has either been shuttered, or turned into a Gamestop. However, the Goodwill Computer Store (http://www.goodwillsp.org/shop/computer-works) ALWAYS stocks a lot of used games, usually at a price of $2-4 for NES, as an example. They have consoles too, and everything they sell is guaranteed… if your NES game is rattling, and turns out not to work, they’ll give you your money back or let you grab something else.

  17. Apex381 says:

    Actually I live in Charlotte, and if your wiling to drive 20 minutes or so to Fort Mill SC you can go to one of the best vintage game stores I’ve ever seen. They have an awesome selection of console game AND arcade units. I’ve even been known to go down there just to play one of thier classic arcade that they restore in house and sell affordable prices! I know I sound like a commercial for them, but the place is very very good. Check them out at http://www.joesvideogames.com/

  18. Arturo says:

    Game Over Video Games in Austin, Round Rock, and San Antonio, TX. They even have a video game museum

  19. Vanderklipp says:

    Hocus Pocus in Traverse City, MI has the best prices of any game store I’ve ever visited. New stuff comes in every day, and Tom, the owner, has created a fantastic atmosphere.

  20. Matthew says:

    @Apex381 Good suggestion, hadn’t heard of them – but you said Fort Mill? Their site says Rock Hill – do they have a second location?

  21. Apex381 says:

    @Matthew Only one location for some reason I thought Fort Mill but they are in Rock Hill. If you have the time and gas money, they are well worth the drive.

  22. Pirate_Higemaru says:

    The Video Game Store in Scranton is a fantastic place to buy retro games. It doesn’t have the most varied selection of consoles or video games but their prices are absolutely fantastic. All Genesis games are 3 dollars max. NES games are 2 for $5. SNES games range from 1 dollar to 5 dollars. Atari 2600 games are all 1 dollar too. N64 games can go from 2 dollars to 13 dollars with some really valuable ones being dirt-cheap.

  23. Pirate_Higemaru says:

    I hate to double post (sorry about this, really). The Video Game Store is located in Scranton, PA. Once again, I apologize for the slip-up.

  24. Stimpson J says:

    This retro game shop is called “Game over” and you can find it in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Europe.It’s near Central Station and it usually has many great items. So if you ever visit Amsterdam do something “different” and visit this store. It obviously has a lot of PAL games and systems but also has US, Asian and Japanese games and systems. So check it out!
    Anyway I’m not sure if I’m allowed to do this but copy this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-84fKEHT0k to see what the shop looks like.

  25. My vote goes to Video Games New York on 6th St. in Manhattan. They may be known for their prices being high, but I have found that only to be the case for mainstream titles like your Super Marios and Final Fantasies. If, on the other hand you are looking for something more hardcore, especially imports wise, they are the best.
    I bought my Japanese 360 from them along with numerous impossible to find PC-Engine games for far below ebay prices.
    Every time I’m in the city I stop by and end up hanging out for an hour or two; the staff is extremely knowledgeable friendly and sincere. Best store on Earth in my opinion.

  26. SageMantis says:

    I’d like to nominate SageMantis GAME-HAVEN in fredericksburg, va.

    Its a retail store for retro and new…..they also have 27 stations for anyone that wants 2 LAN or play online….and they have a TechMantis that repairs all gaming systems. $50.00 fixes 360, ps3, and wii. The handhelds are 40 for the repair.

  27. Strickler80 says:

    The Estarland warehouse in Fairfax, Virginia is pretty good. You can find just about anything there. Although the prices are a little iffy at times.

  28. zerotheclown says:

    Player’s Choice Video Games in Winston Salem, NC is the bomb. I can get everything from av cords for my model 2 Sega Genesis to Atari cartridges. I’ve been shopping there for a few years now, and every time I go in, I’m stunned by something they have. Last time I was there, I saw a full shelf of Dreamcast, 32x, and Master System games across the room from a glass case full of over 300 NES cartridges. It’s as close to retro heaven as you get around here.

  29. gypsie says:

    Game Trader in Beaverton Oregon is the best place in town for retro games.

  30. Nameless says:

    Game Trader in Beaverton Oregon’s Cedar Hill Mall has become my go-to place for retro games, repair on consoles (new and old) or just a friendly chat about games. Tucked away inside the bowels of the mall, it’s well worth a visit.

    What the store lacks in fancy signage (not to mention the polo-wearing, pre-order-selling, current-generation-only-selling style of Game Stop), it more than makes up for in its’ huge stock of retro-games. In addition, the owners have clearly made a point of hiring a knowledgeable, energetic staff. Even when I’m not looking for a game I often stop in to browse and have a nice, causal, chat with one or two of the employees.

    I especially like that they keep a little bit of everything on hand. Their new releases are in ample supply, of course they have LOADS of retro titles, and I can usually even find some pretty interesting import titles.

  31. rainbow dash says:

    Game Trader
    http://www.gametrader-online.com/
    3205 Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard
    Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton, OR 97005
    (503) 641-5511

    These guys are amazing at getting rare games and specialty items that you can’t find just anywhere. Their prices have always been reasonable and make sense to the item’s rarity and worth. They can do repairs and know what they are talking about. They aren’t out to gank your money for stupid memberships. They’ll remember your name and will more than likely have awesome arcade set up and a few retro games on display to play. They work with local businesses and set up booths at local expos. I love these guys!

  32. Bigtpc says:

    AVOID Game FACTOR Greeley, The owner is a jerk, he constantly will low ball inoccent people that do no know what they have. He will give you four dollars for something that he sells fro twenty, I know that he has to make a living, but at least offer a little under of half of what they list. The guy will talk crap about other gamestores and states he knows what is rare, which he does, but then does not offer what a rare thing should go for. BOB is the owner and he is an ass, on the other hand there is a GAME FORCE in Longmont Colorado, and the owner MIKE is awesome, he will chat about games with you, he will find the right game for you and his prices are better than anywhere else I ahve ever visited, simply the best store in Colorado

  33. Toyratt in Ontario. He just moved locations and is currently setting up a bigger and better store. Check out all the updates for yourselves on YouTube – toyrattsvirtualtour. He gets hundreds of games traded in every week so there’s always something new. He also has the best prices in town. There is no other store quite like it!

  34. eleven111 says:

    Game Trader in Beaverton, OR. They have tons of stuff for just about every system one can think of. I’ve seen the weirdest things in that store, development consoles, uncommon imports etc. They also will repair just about anything, new stuff as well as odd things like the lynx. The employees are gamers through and through and are very cordial.

    I’ve been going there regularly for over 10 years now and haven’t had a single bad experience. I can’t recommend them enough.

  35. Jake Summers says:

    In Chicago, I’ll say for sure Video Games Then and Now at 4351 N. Harlem Ave. Great store, very reasonable prices, they even have a gaming area in the back part of the store. I’ll also mention the Exchange on Milwaukee Ave and Belmont, also reasonable prices. As for People Play Games the Customer Service there sucks, they are the Gamestop of retro games as they will lowball you on your games and resell for 3x as much. The prices there are also ridiculous.

  36. Richard Sheets says:

    Vintage Stock – Several stores around Missouri. All kinds of classic gaming goodies at REALLY good prices! When I’m back home in KC I usually stop in every different store I can and stock up!

  37. Matt K says:

    I really like the playntrade in Woodstock. Decent prices and friendly, knowledgeable staff.

    2990 Eagle Dr # 110
    Woodstock, GA 30189

  38. classics are the best says:

    Game Exchange on Talbot street, (Ireland)
    A great selection of classic games, as well as books and music CD’s

  39. bombatomba says:

    I have to agree with Jim at the top. Destiny Games in Canton, Michigan is quite good. Actually there are a small number of independent vendors in SE Michigan, but they remain veeery small due to the massive amount of Gamestops out here (there are four in one suburban city).

  40. CRTGAMER says:

    LUNA GAMES

    http://www.lunavideogames.com/

    Two locations in San Diego, CA

    I was looking for a NES Gyromyte game with an import adaptor, trying to figure out which cart might have one inside. The employee helped me sort the fifteen carts out, yes they have that many! After finding one, the employee still only charged me the regular price of five bucks!

    Good two stores, almost every disc based game is CIB including manuals and original cases.

  41. McKnight says:

    I would like to nominate Sage Mantis Game Haven in Fredericksburg, VA.

    Why? The guy who owns the Store has good prices, is friendly towards his customers, and has a great selection of stuff.

  42. jacobgrocks says:

    Both GameSwap and Games Galore in Cincinnati Ohio. Both have lots of retro games avaliable, with decent prices and have most systems in stock too.

  43. Ibrahiim says:

    I second Pastime Legends. The Scotia, Albany and soon Troy, NY locations!

    http://www.pastimelegendsvideogames.com/

  44. Adam says:

    Button Mashers Video Games is one of the only good retro game stores in RI. I’ve actually donated my whole collection to them to help them get started.

  45. Jyrad says:

    The R.A.G.E (Record Art Gaming Emporium)
    16B Fade St
    Dublin 2
    Ireland

    http://theragedublin.tumblr.com/

    Currently, it’s pretty much the only reliable/reasonable source of older gaming in the city. The likes
    of GamesExchange (transgender gaming, apparently) and 3D Games stock a lot of older stuff, but
    are crash courses in daylight robbery with the prices they’re quoting on retro stock. The RAGE tends
    to house a good few gems too, sometimes at a bargain.

  46. Patrick BBE says:

    I go to Game Dude in North Hollywood, California.

  47. Greg2600 says:

    Digital Press
    Clifton, NJ

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