Foosball is a game that hooks you as a fan from the first time you play it. Do you remember your first time? Was it playing foosball at a local sports bar, or perhaps with your buddies in college, or maybe it was way back when you were still a kid and you got lucky enough to find an open table while you’re grandpop was up at the bar getting ‘one for the road’ (if you grew up in the 70’s you know what I mean). Somehow, somewhere, you found foosball and you’ve been loving it ever since.
So now you want to get your own foosball table and share the experience with your friends and family. The problem is that there are so many options and you don’t know where to start, right? That where we can help. At ThatHelpfulDad we provide honest reviews about family friendly products.
What you’ll find here are our recommendations for the best foosball tables for any budget: from first time foosball starter tables perfect for kids, through classic looking models designed for that game room you’re designing, all the way to more rugged commercial grade models, outdoor models that can withstand the elements, and even a semi-pro model.
We’ve got a pick that’s perfect for YOU. So let’s go.
In a Hurry? A Summary of Top Picks
If you don’t have time to read this entire article and just want to know the models we’re recommending, this list will help. Each of these selections are either well-known brands, consistently highly recommended models, and/or highly rated (4+ stars) on Amazon – many of these picks meet ALL 3 of those requirements. As always, we want to be disclose that we are an official Amazon Affiliate and you can learn more about this on our Trust Guarantee Page.
Best overall value for the money for MOST people/situations
KICK 55″ Legend Foosball Table. This model is great for most situations – it’s durable, has a classic wood style, comes from a well-known brand, is consistently highly rated, offers counterbalanced men, the ability to change player configuration (including using just 1 goalie), and even comes with a lifetime warranty (at last check). For the price you can’t go wrong here – click here to see the Kick on Amazon now.
Best Foosball Tables for Any Budget – Full Article
For the Noobs – What is Foosball?
Foosball is essentially a table top version of what the rest of the world called ‘Football” and the US “Soccer.” The goal is to get a small round ball into the net (i.e. the ‘goal’) of your opponent, thus scoring a point for your side. You move the ball by using a series of knobs attached to long tubes which run are inserted into the small game players that ‘kick’ the ball across the table. Whichever side scores the most goals wins. Here’s a popular YouTube video so you can see for yourself…
Why is the game called “Foosball?”
A quick history lesson – the game of foosball was invented in Spain in the 1890s (at least according to Wiki) and first patented by an enterprising Brit name Harold Thornton in 1921.
So why is it called “Foosball” – because pretty much everyone else in the world calls the game the US knows as ‘soccer’ by the name of “Football.” To capitalize on the popularity of this sport, the story goes that Thornton simply morphed the name of his game by 1 letter – by replacing that ‘t’ with an ‘s’ a new legend in arcade and bar gaming was born!
How to Shop for a Foosball Table
Before you spend any money on a new foosball table you’ll want to answer these questions:
1-What’s your budget?
- There’s no sense even looking at high priced models with all the bells and whistles if you’re budget is less than $1,000. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you still can’t get a great table.
- Let’s keep this simple (assuming you are playing indoors, don’t have many requirements in terms of special features, and have the space to fit the following tables) then…
- IF YOUR BUDGET IT…
- Less than $150 and…
- You want a tabletop model, get the Roar and Rally foosball table.
- You want a traditional standalone model at this price point, get the Hathaway Playoff 4′ Foosball Table. BTW this model is awesome for kids and adults just starting out. It’s well made, fun to play, and has held up well for my kids over the years.
- Less than $600 and…
- If you have more than $600 to spend, then keep reading because other factors will matter.
- Less than $150 and…
2-How big is your space? Are you playing outdoors? Etc.
- If you need/want to be mobile and transport the game around from room to room, you’ll want a tabletop model. Again we go back to the Roar and Rally tabletop foosball model.
- If you don’t have the space for a full size model (56″), then go with a smaller version such as Kick 55″ or the Hathaway 48″.
- If you want a full size table with ‘regulation’ dimensions then you’ll want to look for a 56″ (length) x 30″ (width) x 36″ (height) model. The Tornado Sport Foosball Table is a great example in this class.
- If you’re wanting an OUTDOOR table, you can’t go wrong with the Garlando G-500 Weatherproof Foosball Table. Another option could be the Kettler Cavalier Outdoor Foosball Table.
WHO are you buying for and what’s the expected level of usage?
- If you’re buying this for your kids and/or it’s your starter table, why spend a bunch of money, just go with the Hathaway 48″ if money is tight or the Kick 55″ Legend Foosball if you want a bit more in terms of durability, features, and overall appearance.
- If you’re buying for a man cave or game room set up, then appearance and budget will matter. In this case, you’ll need to answer the other question on this list to decide.
- If you’re buying for a frat house, commercial use, or competitive play, you’ll want to look at high end models that can stand up to the intensity. You’re best bets here are the Garlando G-5000 Wenge Foosball table, the Tornado Tournament 3000, or the Garlando World Champion Foosball Table
Do materials & design matter to you?
Features related to materials of the cabinet, playing surface, and overall design/appearance may or may not matter to you and will likely be directly related to your intended use, the room you’re putting it in, and your budget. Here’s some things to consider:
- Cabinet Materials – you’re looking at solid wood or steel for the high end tables, MDF/composite for mid-range models (which is most models), or particle board (think IKEA) for lower end tables. For most people, it will be MDF/composite which is a fiberboard that is highly common in mid-range furniture and sports equipment and gets coated on the outside to be transformed into the desired appearance. It’s not rocket science here and I wouldn’t get hung-up on this too much…
- Just accept that cabinet material it’s basically budget-dependent and spend your decision-analysis time on other factors.
- Playing surface – unless you’re looking for a semi-pro or competitive level of foosball table, most people don’t need to worry about this either. Common surfaces for playing on are melamine or laminate. Both are smooth and fast and will meet the intended use of most players. Laminate over solid wood is a higher end option and unlikely to be needed by the general public. That said, if it’s on one of the tables you’re looking at, go for it.
- Rods & Grips – This one does matter.
- Don’t buy a table with plastic rods and tiny grips unless your budget won’t budge.
- Ideally you can get steel rods with grips that fit adult hands (assuming you’re buying for adults) and with grips that don’t keep popping off (read Amazon reviews to see if this is a complaint). This shouldn’t be a problem for the tables on our recommended list but if you deviate pay attention to rods and grips.
- Most tables will have steel rods with decent grips and you’ll be fine.
- If you’re looking for competition play or higher end models, look for hollow rods – the lighter weight vs traditional steel will give slightly faster spin which equals more power on your shots. Hollow rods may offer slightly more durability too – assuming you are not overly rough with them.
- Design – if you’re going for a certain ‘look’ then obviously this will quickly narrow your choices.
Are you looking for certain ‘Special Features?”
Now we’re getting into minute details that will mostly only apply to higher end users.
- Do the # of Goalies matter to you?
- Many of the basic tables will have 2 or 3 goals on the back line – that’s fine for most people
- But if you want more of a challenge, or you’re playing for certain tournaments you’ll likely want a table with 1 goalie or a table that allows you to change the configuration.
- Perhaps the most popular 1-goalie table on the market today is the Tornado Tournament 3000.
- Do you want Telescoping Rods?
- For most players this may seem ‘duh, that’s obvoius’ but if you’re buying a table for kids or families pay attention.
- What we’re talking about here is how the rod extends through the cabinet – specifically into the OPPONENT’s side. As you play the game, you’ll be pushing and pulling on the rods on your side and if you don’t have telescoping rods, then for every action you take on your side to push/pull, it will cause that same reaction into your opponents area (i.e. your rods will push into or be pulled out of the opposite side). If you have younger kids near the table and they don’t know to be aware of their opponent’s rods coming at them, this could lead to a dangerous poke.
- Telescoping rods will slide into a casing on the opposite side so the rod doesn’t extend into the opponent area – poking problem solved.
- The Garlando G-500 Indoor model has telescoping rods and numerous color options.
- Do you want the ability to Change Players/Configurations?
- Basically do you want to be able to remove the rods to change out the players/teams to something different (say the Manchester United Team or the national team of your choice) and/or change configuration/placement of players on the rods?
- This is a cool ‘nice to have’ feature and will really help to make the table your own personal masterpiece if that’s something you’re in to.
- Here are some examples of what’s available by way of player type or team customization….
- Do you want Leg Levelers?
- i.e ‘table levelers’.
- This one is kind of obvious – you need to have a level surface on which to put your foosball table. If it’s not level, you’ll want to be able to level it out.
- Most tables give you some type of level levelers so I wouldn’t spend a lot of time here. Just confirm your table has this feature – again most do.
- Do you want a specific kind of Ball Return?
- Does it matter to you where does the ball go after a goal is scored? This feature is is ‘ball return.’
- Your options for ball return are back end return, single side return, or dual side return.
- Most tables will have back end return (basically when a ball goes through the net it will end up on the back of the table in front of the player who just gave up the goal. That’s fine for most people’s needs.
- More competitive players will want SIDE RETURN.
- This is especially useful for people that practice by themselves (after all you don’t want to keep walking around the table to the other side to get the ball do you?)
- That’s why higher end and top of the line tables have side return – some even have DUAL side return.
- Do you want Specific Dimensions?
- if you have restrictions on size, you’ll want a certain size so pay attention to the dimensions when you shop.
- if you’re looking for tourney play, you’ll need to pay closer attention to dimensions of the table (again look for 56L x 30W x 36H).
- For most people, it will simply be a matter of making sure the table will fit AND that you have enough room on EACH SIDE for the rods to be pulled all the way out.
- Do you want Counterbalanced Players?
- this may also be referred to as ‘counter-weighted’ players.
- Most people won’t need to worry about this feature but serious foosballers will care about it.
- Basically this situation occurs when the head AND the foot of the foosball player is balanced with equal weights – the benefit of this is that you can set your normally VERTICAL players into a STABLE HORIZONTAL position to open up pathways for passes and shots. If you play a lot, you’ll know the importance of this because it allows you to keep your front lines open WITHOUT having to hold onto the handle – the result is faster passing without obstruction, and more goooooooaaaaaals!
- It looks like this…
- Do you want special Lighting, Glass top, etc?
- Do you want Coin-operated?
- Do you want a foosball table Certified for Tourney Play?
- if you want a table that is ‘tourney’ certified, that means you’ll need to look for specific dimensions (56L x 30W x 36H). Don’t mess around here, just go for one of these two and play on!
- For more research on these topics, check out these quality articles by other foosball organzations and bloggers:
Get your own foosball table, practice your skills, and before you know it, this could be you…
Best Foosball Tables for every budget – The Tables
Here’s a final recap of our best foosball tables for every budget, every situation….
Best Foosball Tables – Conclusion
Well, friends, that was our list of the best foosball tables. Did we miss a foosball table or brand that you really like? Do you have one of these tables and want to share your thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Now let’s FOOS!
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