In the 80s arcade machines were literally everywhere. Starting from Japan, and penetrating the world with their amazing games. This was before the times of home consoles, handheld consoles and smartphones. Everyone had to go to an arcade to go play their favorite games, and many of these games have left an everlasting effect on the gamers. In recent times it has become harder to find how or even places to play these arcade games. This guide will outline the top 3 ways for you to go back in time to your youth and just battle your friend in Street Fighter II CE or try to finish that final level in 1942. With over 1000s of arcade games out there, you will never really be spoiled for choice.
1. Visit Your Local Arcades
Finding your local arcade can be hard, with a lot of the pure hardcore arcade gaming areas having shut down due to the popularity of in-home gaming. You can find one of them by doing a simple Google Maps search for either "arcade" or "amusement arcade". Make sure to call them up and find out that they are still open. Some of the arcades might not be listed on Google Maps, and thats where things get trickier. Doing a Google Search for them probably will not come up with the best locations near you.
2. Check Out Your Local Pubs Or Bars
It is becoming increasingly popular for pubs or bars to introduce classic arcade machines into their establishments again. You may remember the tabletop machines in the past being available, well they are coming back! The best way to find one is to ask people at pubs or bars if they know a pub or bar with one, maybe even ask your local pub / bar to get one for their establishment. Google Maps would most likely not be of much use in this situation since having a retro gaming machine is not the first thing business owners would put up on their Google Local listings. Google Search will probably be of more use, so try searching for something similar to "arcade pubs" or "arcade bars".
3. Play Online On Your Computer / Tablet / Smartphone
Technology and the web have advanced so much that you will find tons and tons of websites which have arcade games or similar games available. Unfortunately not many websites have the originals because of licensing issues. For example you've found it to find the latest Final Fantasy freely available to play online, and this is a similar situation. However on the bright side, the license holders of the arcade industry are re-releasing those arcade games on PC, Android and iOS platforms, so you might be able to get your fix there.
Bonus Way: Purchase Your Own Arcade Machine
Arcade machines for the home are becoming increasingly popular. There are dedicated arcade manufacturers making classic style machines with one game, or even multi-game ones. Some new arcade machines have PS3 and X-Box 360 compatibility built in, enabling the gamer to connect their next generation consoles to their arcade machine and play the latest games on an arcade format. Most home arcade cabinets come with a variety of options and are built-to-order.