With restrictions lifting and the world slowly returning to normal, we think it’s about time we started talking about the best retro gaming expo events in the U.K!
Retro gaming is our biggest passion, and it turns out there are some amazing events championing the art of the retro right here in the United Kingdom.
That’s right; there are still places where couch-co-op rules and light guns aren’t obsolete. It’s like stepping back into the 90s dressed as a Final Fantasy character!
These kinds of events are commonplace in The States, but they might not be as well known here in the UK. SO, in the interest of spreading the word about the world of retro gaming (that’s what we’re here for), we’ve listed the best events right here on our home turf.
Check out our list of the best retro gaming expos in the UK below, and happy gaming!
Table of Contents
1. PLAY Expo Manchester
PLAY Expo Manchester is one of the best retro gaming expo events of the year and the UK’s favourite retro gaming day out.
With praise like that, there’s no wonder its the first event in this list.
Covering everything from Pong and pinball to the best PS2 games, Play boasts over 1000 consoles from across the world for gamers to pit their skills against A.I players and friends, and they’re all free to play!
Hosted by Replay Events, this retro gaming event features exhibitors, cosplay, indie games and more. Replay Ages hosts the best retro consoles of the past 40 years, while the Replay Lounges allow visitors to kick back and run through some epic Goldeneye death matches or bash out some Mario Kart multiplayer madness!
2. Liverpool Anime & Gaming Comic Con
We’re heading to Liverpool next on this list of the best retro gaming expo events in the UK.
The Liverpool Anime and Gaming convention specialises in Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, and Comics. We’re talking lightsaber battles, epic multiplayer matches, and dressing up like your favourite Pokemon.
Sounds like a recipe for success to me!
With guests including geek violinists and illustration experts providing quality gaming inspo, this is one of the most inspiring retro gaming events on the circuit.
And, it hosts a Super Smash Bros competition – what’s not to love!
3. Retro Games Fair Leeds
Next up is is the Retro Games Fair in Leeds, a city I used to head to on a regular basis as a kid to nerd out in some of the weird and wonderful stores.
The Retro Games Fair is the best video game sales event on the planet. Just look at all those games in the pics above – it’s making my wallet cry out with excitement!
Whether you’re in the market for a Game Boy or one of the best Game & Watch games, the Retro Games Fair has it all. Cartridges and discs for every console ever made end up here, and there are plenty of bargains to sniff out.
Looking for that perfect imported console or game? Need a new light gun? Fancy grabbing an Amstrad or an Atari?
If yes, then Leeds is the place to be!
4. Wigan Comic Con
Hosted by NWCC events, Wigan Comic Con is one of the best family friendly retro gaming expos in the UK, boasting a retro gaming area as well as scores of other exciting features.
Get selfies with your favourite characters, chat with celebrated artists and film guests, and dress up as your favourite gaming hero for a day of nerdalicious fun.
Kids under 5 go free, and adult prices start at just £5.98! There’s nothing better than an affordable gaming experience!
You might recognise something in this next entry in our list of the best Retro Gaming expos in the UK. See that table right there? Tale a look at the right-hand side.
Yep, that’s A Handheld History on the Lust In Cult stand at OLL, Norfolk’s premier Retro Gaming Expo!
The Norwich area has a fantastic retro gaming community, and they came out in force when we headed over to the event in April 2023.
The website promotes thousands of games to play, and they really weren’t lying. We put our grubby mitts on so many amazing consoles and accessories, many of which you can see on our YouTube Shorts channel!
We also checked out some amazing indie games and had some tasty food – gaming is hard work, you know!
NERG (North East Retro Gaming) is up next, the North East’s answer to Retro Gaming Valhalla
Over 200 classic games are on offer for people to play for free! We’re talking Pinball Machines, Arcade Machines, consoles, and so much more.
It’s incredibly refreshing to walk into a hall and see so many people stood at Arcade Machines like the good old days. It’s even better to know that we don’t have to put any coins in them to make them work either!
NERG often has a lot of cool guests from the Retro Gaming world too. Billy Mitchell, the world record holder for Donkey Kong and Pac-Man is making an appearance in 2023. I wouldn’t mind getting a few gaming tips from him!
7. Birmingham Gaming Market
Last but not least is the treasure trove that is Birmingham Gaming Market. This annual event is one of the best retro gaming expo gatherings for picking up quality retro consoles and rare gems for a great price.
Set in the Custard Factory, Digbeth, the event features exhibitors with stalls crammed full of epic handhelds, original artwork, gaming apparel, imported games and machines that many might never have played before, and much much more.
Tickets cost £2, and early bookers have the chance to get in an hour before the rest of the public. That’s the best way to snap up the bargains!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.