The Best Places to Find Retro Video Games: A Guide for Collectors

If you’re a retro video game collector, you know that finding classic games can be a challenge. But with a little bit of knowledge and effort, you can track down some of the best games from your childhood. In this article, we’ll explore the best places to find retro video games. From hidden local gems to online marketplaces, embark on a journey that will reignite your passion for retro gaming. Start your quest today and relive the golden era of video games.

Some best places to find retro video games are here

1. Local Retro Gaming Stores

Best Places to Find Retro Video Games

Step into a local retro gaming store, and you’ll be transported to a bygone era of gaming. These dedicated shops offer a wide range of vintage consoles, cartridges, and accessories, along with knowledgeable staff who share your passion. Here are some tips to make the most of your local retro gaming store experience:

  • Research: Before visiting a store, do some online research to identify reputable retro gaming stores in your area. Look for stores that specialize in retro gaming and have positive reviews.
  • Inquire About Stock: Call ahead to inquire about their inventory and check if they have the specific games or consoles you’re seeking. Some stores may even be willing to hold items for you.
  • Check for Authenticity: Due to the popularity of retro gaming, counterfeit cartridges and consoles have become more prevalent. Familiarize yourself with authentic packaging and labels to avoid purchasing fake items.

2. Thrift Stores and Flea Markets

Thrifting and visiting flea markets can be a delightful adventure for retro gaming enthusiasts. These unconventional venues often hold hidden gems that can be acquired at bargain prices. Consider the following tips when exploring thrift stores and flea markets:

  • Patience and Persistence: Thrift stores and flea markets can be hit-or-miss, so it’s essential to have patience and visit regularly. Keep in mind that the inventory changes frequently, and you never know when you might stumble upon a rare find.
  • Early Bird Advantage: Arriving early at flea markets increases your chances of discovering valuable gaming treasures. Vendors often bring their best items to sell at the beginning of the day.
  • Bargaining Skills: Haggling is a common practice at thrift stores and flea markets. Polite negotiation can sometimes result in lower prices, especially if you’re purchasing multiple items.

3. Online Marketplaces

The internet has revolutionized the way we buy and sell retro video games. Online marketplaces provide a vast selection of games, consoles, and accessories from various sellers around the world. When exploring online platforms, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Research and Verify Sellers: Look for reputable sellers with positive feedback and ratings. Read product descriptions carefully, paying attention to condition, authenticity, and seller policies.
  • Price Comparison: With multiple sellers offering the same item, take the time to compare prices. Don’t forget to consider shipping costs, as they can vary significantly.
  • Auctions and Bidding: Online auction platforms can be exciting places to find rare retro games. However, be cautious and set a budget to avoid overspending in the heat of the bidding war.

4. Gaming Conventions

Best Places to Find Retro Video Games

Retro Gaming Conventions and Expos Retro gaming conventions and expos bring together passionate collectors, gamers, and vendors under one roof. These events offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in retro gaming culture and find rare items. Here’s how to make the most of these gatherings

  • Research and Plan Ahead: Before attending a retro gaming convention or expo, it’s essential to research and plan your visit. Look for upcoming events in your area or those that are easily accessible. Check the event’s website or social media pages for information on dates, location, ticket prices, and featured vendors. Create a list of specific items you’re hoping to find or games you’d like to try, which will help you navigate the event more efficiently.
  • Engage with the Community: One of the highlights of retro gaming conventions is the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion. Strike up conversations with fellow attendees, vendors, and even special guests. Discuss your favorite games, exchange tips, and listen to their stories and experiences. Engaging with the retro gaming community can open doors to new friendships, valuable knowledge, and even potential trading or buying opportunities.
  • Explore the Vendor Hall: The vendor hall is the heart of any retro gaming convention or expo. This bustling marketplace offers a cornucopia of retro gaming treasures. Take your time to explore the various booths and displays, as each vendor may specialize in different consoles, games, or memorabilia. Ask questions about the condition, rarity, and authenticity of the items you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to haggle or negotiate prices, but always be respectful and considerate.
  • Attend Panel Discussions and Workshops: Many retro gaming conventions feature panel discussions, workshops, and presentations by industry experts, game developers, and gaming personalities. These sessions offer valuable insights into the history, development, and preservation of retro games. Attend as many panels and workshops as you can, as they provide an opportunity to learn from the best, discover hidden gems, and gain a deeper appreciation for the art of retro gaming.
  • Participate in Tournaments and Contests: Retro gaming conventions often host tournaments and contests featuring classic games. Whether it’s a Super Mario Kart race or a Street Fighter II showdown, participating in these competitions can be an exhilarating experience. Challenge your skills, meet skilled players, and perhaps even walk away with prizes or recognition. Embrace the competitive spirit and relish in the joy of playing retro games in a lively, communal setting.
  • Bring Cash and Be Prepared: While some vendors may accept card payments, it’s always wise to bring cash to a retro gaming convention. Cash transactions are often quicker and can sometimes help in negotiating better deals. Additionally, make sure to bring a backpack or a bag to comfortably carry your purchases. Consider bringing a checklist or a notebook to jot down games or items you’ve acquired, making it easier to keep track of your collection.
  • Be Respectful and Mindful: Lastly, it’s important to be respectful and mindful of the event, its attendees, and the vendors. Follow any rules and guidelines provided by the organizers. Avoid blocking pathways or overcrowding booths, as it can impede others from enjoying the event. Respect the personal space of others and ask for permission before taking photographs or handling delicate items. Remember, retro gaming conventions are about fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all attendees.


In conclusion, there are many places to find retro video games, both online and offline. By exploring these different options, you can build a collection of classic games that will bring back fond memories and provide hours of entertainment. Happy hunting!