Best Table Top Games Reviewed & Rated
We all love games, that’s a given. What kind of games can you easily have at a party or get together though, that isn’t your usual card or board game, but can still be set up on a table? When going to be with family or friends most people will grab a card game or board game- like Phase 10 or R.I.S.K.- but you want to stand out this year and blow everyone away. We at Gearhunt understand, and we have created a top ten just for you. Want something you can play for hours and have to get truly active with? Maybe you like to play air hockey, but no one else wants to go hunting for a place to play it. Ot’s hard to find a game you love from the days of the arcade without resorting to a virtual form of it these days. Most of the time if you can find one it’s too expensive to play more than a couple of rounds, and too big to have in most homes let alone bring it in for a party. Well now you can do just that with many games that were either outdoor only or arcade games.
- Playcraft Air Hockey
- Sturdy MDF Hardwood Frame
- Franklin Sports Table Tennis
- Convenient Carrying Bag
- Mini Pool Set
- Realistic Design
We want to be sure, as always that this is good for you and those you want to play with, and that you don’t break your wallet or spend needlessly on items that are either not durable and/or could be found for less. We bring you quality products on our list that meet all your expectations and then some. After all, no one likes to get a game they are ‘board’ with, and everyone wants to be the life of the party- so, we feel, with our top ten, we can help you score just such a goal! Sit back, relax, grab your coffee, and get ready to find the perfect game for you on our top ten list.
10 Best Table Top Games
1. Playcraft Air Hockey
A lot of the time we see with things like this that a very powerful air supply is great for the adults but the puck can get out of control and go flying off the table. That is not cool when it comes to younger players so the lower air supply on this table seems just about right.
Few things are as important to most people as less clutter. This table is small enough to easily slip under the bed or store on a closet shelf when not in use. Leaving your table or floor clutter free and removing every parent's fear of the late night stubbed toe.
Cost and Value
We aren’t sure exactly what you're looking for in your air hockey table but this one is gonna be hard to beat. For the cost, you get a nice sized game that works well for the younger folks without having to take up most of a room for set up. It is reasonably affordable with little to no real upkeep
Easy to store
Durable construction (kid-proof)
Sufficient airflow to keep the puck moving flawlessly
Simple to assemble
Electronic score keeping may not always work
Surface scuffs easily
2. Franklin Sports Tennis
We were pleased to see that the set up for this is simple. Just take your time opening the new and attach it to the side of any table. That’s it…No mess and no complicated directions. Once your net is up, just take you paddles and get the game going.
Easy to Store & Travel With
The little miracle includes not only all the trimming but its own carrying bag. This means you can just gently roll up the netting and slide it into the included bag with the balls and paddles and go. Store it in a closet, box or, in the case with the beach toys.
Cost and Value
When we look into something like this of course the main aspect is play-ability. For the price you can’t beat this deal. The set comes with everything including extras and things seem to be well made. It can be used for any age and other than perhaps leaving the net set up to the adults this set seems very family friendly.
- Easy set-up
- Set had sturdy easy to use accessories
- Easy to store or travel with
- Clamps hold net firmly in place
- Springs for net roll up can wear making it harder to close net
- Clamps can scratch finish on wooden tables
3. Mini Pool Set
A lot of people don’t want to buy smaller versions of things like this due to the fear of poor quality. That is not the case for this pool table. We have checked down to the last detail and found the balls and even the cue sticks to be of good quality. There is actual weight to the accessories making you feel more secure in your ability to play well.
Is Size an Issue
Well not for us. This little gem fits perfectly on any dining room table or desk. With the table being this size it makes for easy storage. You can leave it out as a showpiece to relax in your office, or tuck it into a closet on a shelf when using at home.
Cost and Value
At number 3 on our list, we find the Mini Tabletop Pool Set to be a charming addition to wherever you decide to add it in your life. At home or at work this is a great way to learn the basics or just to blow off some quiet steam. It had all the accessories you would expect from its bigger relatives and comes at a fraction of the price.
- All accessories included
- Easy to store due to size
- Well made cue balls and sticks
- Sturdy frame
- Does not come with built in leveling system
- Plastic sides may not hold up to rougher handling by children
4. Champion Sports Tennis
We have kids of our own and know that you can have something for years but a kid plays with it for 10 minutes and it's done. With this set that isn’t a fear that needs to hang over your head. The paddles and net posts seem especially hardy and able to take on some winning strikes.
Won’t Scratch Table
As far as we can tell unlike other models, the clamps on this net won’t scratch up your wood. It was even checked out by a “furniture Nut” and he was happy as a lark that no marks were left behind on his precious wooden baby.
Cost and Value
What can we say, durable, easy to set up, and take down. This fits on almost any table, seems almost too good to be true. The cost is in the mid-low range for these types of things and you potentially have something that you can play year-round. You need just a long card table and a little room. The cleanup is simple and it all fits in a merchandise bag to be removed from the site when the in-laws are coming to visit.
5. Elite Sportz Curling
The title says it all. Just roll out the Elite Sports Tabletop Curling mat and attach the magnetic weights to either end to stretch it out. You can use the colored stones to keep score and to know whose team is winning or whose stone to aim for.
Easy to Clean
A lot of games come with small complicated bits that make it hard to clean from time to time. That is not an issue with this game. A warm damp rag to wipe down the vinyl slide and then let it dry. That’s it, you’re done. The stones can get the same treatment and you're all set with a ready to play set.
Cost and Value
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend some family time and are tired of the same old card/video games this is a great investment. It’s not expensive and with a small amount of consideration on the way it's treated is sure to give you loads of fun time and again. It is almost identical to the Olympic version with the exception of size, ice, and the need for brooms. A great way to bring some affordable sports into the home without having to move the furniture.
- Easy setup
- Magnetic strips secure to board to stretch out
- Suitable for travel
- Rolls up to store easily in box with bag to contain stones
- The plastic track is not super durable
- May not work on textured or uneven surfaces
6. Sport Squad Foosball
A lot of times when getting something like this the idea of putting it together is daunting. However, this foosball table comes with a set of what we perceive to be easy to read instructions. Most were able to put it together in about 20 minutes and it worked with no kinks in the system. Pretty click for something that seems so complex.
We found very few faults when it came to craftsmanship with this game. Not once did we find a need to buy or replace in any way the player on the field or the posts holding them in their place. However, we all know how hard it can be to keep track of something the size of a foosball, especially since they are so fun on their own. There are two balls included with the kit and you can easily buy a bag of replacement balls almost anywhere online or at a game store. So don’t panic if the balls end up hiding under the sofa and slip into the ether.
Cost and Value
This is not the cheapest item of our list but we feel it is well worth it. Most of the time something like this not only comes with a big price tag but a huge inconvenience in trying to find a place for it. The Sport Squad FX40 Foosball table eliminates all of that and provides you with something that can fit on most coffee or dining room tables with no problem. Add in the hours of fun and easy storage and you have quite the bargain.
- Easy to assemble
- Light Weight
- Easy to transport
- Easy to replace balls
- Requires total assembly
- Rudimentary board
7. Carrom Shuffleboard
The board is made of good quality wood and screen-printed graphics that make it easy to see and keep score. The markings are for the longboard or court version so you’re not stuck with one style. The graphics are also printed with lead-free ink which is a nice little perk when allowing younger players to get involved without fear.
Most full-sized shuffle boards require a layer or powder or spray to help the biscuits to slide easier. While not bad themselves the over-spray can leave quite a mess and potentially be inhaled. This board removes the need to extra chemicals leaving you free to play and breath in peace.
Cost and Value
This is overall a great buy. There is just something about introducing people to a game that hasn’t been well known except to an elite few. It requires a good amount of hand to eye coordination and an amount of muscle control that most kids and even some adults seem to have a hard time with. You can’t just push it as hard as you can to with this game. Brain is better than brawn and in our opinion that can be a fun change of pace.
- Well made
- Biscuits move well
- No powder or spray required
- Easy storage
- Small parts are potentially bad for small kids
- Biscuits can run off the board if it is not level
There isn’t a lot to learn and the pieces are simple. You use magnets from under the board to control the pieces on top of the board. You want to get your ball into your opponent’s goal. We found a few rounds to a full game can be played between adults over a lunch break at work, which is probably good for releasing some steam before your back to the grindstone.
Quick to Learn
The average person learned to play this in a couple of rounds so it won’t take long to teach someone new. Voila’, a new competitor has arrived. Give them a round to try out the pieces and get the feel and your off to the races. With an average full game time of ten minutes, you can duke out several teams and never be missed.
Cost and Value
The cost of this game is a little on the high side compared to most of our list. That said, it seems as though not one person regretted having the game once they started playing it. We didn’t find anyone who decided it wasn’t worth it, and that is something truly rare. Plus, even though this is technically a game from another country, who doesn’t enjoy expanding their horizons just a bit.
- Fun to play
- Rounds are quick enough to play during a lunch break
- Easy to set up
- Easy to learn
- Easy storage
- Have to be careful or you can slide the pieces off the side
- Have to make sure board is level
9. Mini Pong
Most of the time when playing the larger version of this game you have the issue of cleanup afterward. In this case, smaller is better. The board holds the cups for you and helps to avoid a mess all over your table. Just use a warm, damp, soapy cloth to wipe things down after and your all set for your next party.
Easy to Store
Another nice thing about this Mini Pong set is that the entire thing fits back into its original box. Just grab the board, pull the catapults, and stack the cups all of which will slide right back into the box on a nice safe high shelf. Also, the ball is tethered so there is no fear of losing it during play or when storing.
Cost and Value
Tried and true to the original Mini Pong is something that can be a great addition to any party or cookout your having. This time of year, with the warm weather, it’s great to get some friends together and test your hand-eye coordination. Especially with a little liquid libation to help with your aim. We do want to point out that a simple switch of the liquid to say apple juice or tea would remove any potential side effect for the nondrinker or youngster in your group.
- Can’t lose tethered ball
- Comes with all supplies minus libation
- Easy to store as it fits in original box
- Easy cleanup
- Wood can warp over time if not dried
- Tether can get in the way of side launches
10. Hasbro Coinhole
So few games today come with instructions. This one is an exception. Not only do you get the rules and how to play but you get how to play it several different ways. Don’t like one version just try another. Having a hard time getting that high score, simply switch roles and your all set.
Easy to Transport
This is yet another game that makes it easy to take it with you. It has its own carrying case so all you have to do is slide in the board and coins and your all set. You won’t have to worry about a big box or fitting it in with something else which is also nice.
Cost and Value
This is one of the least costly on our list. There are very few parts to this game and yet they found a way to make it interesting. Trying to bounce the coins into the sinkhole is not as easy as you would think. We certainly found it harder than the standard outdoor game of similar name. However, on the occasion you do make it, the euphoria is exhilarating. You feel like you could rule the world, there is nothing you can’t do. Of course, your going to miss more than you hit but boy is the buildup worth it.
Have you reached the goal line yet? If not, fear not! We are still on your team and cheering for you! We here at Gearhunt want to make sure you always walk away from our articles satisfied- either with a purchase decision we could help you to make or at the very least with the information we could provide you with. So, if you’re ready to head out, we wish you tons of fun and games, and if you still need more, feel free to look over the criteria we used to select these products to help you continue your hunt or make a final decision to go with what we feel are the best. If even the criteria doesn’t help, additional information is where other things we keep in mind are such as things to look out for and health information- and we also provide you with a FAQ to answer common questions.
Even if none of that helps, you are likely to find a well of valuable information in the sources we used and provide at the very bottom. So, have fun and be safe, from us here at Gearhunt!
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Table Top Games
When looking for quality goods, the first question on anyone’s mind is ‘how long will this last?’ and it’s no different when we are making our top ten lists. Durability means the product you are purchasing won’t have to be repurchased/replaced with another new product out of your wallet. What this means is if it has faulty parts, or if it is not built correctly that the company will help you with fixing or replacing whatever is needed. After all, you paid for it, they should be willing to help you is the fault is not your own.
Of course, some of us have rougher kids, family members, or friends than others, and unfortunately, this can at times fall under the aspect of ‘not a quality issue’ because it isn’t a default in the product, but a misuse of it. For instance, sitting on a table that was not built for use as a chair and having it break is no fault of the table. That wasn’t what it was designed for. So, our durability covers what it is meant to: proper use of the equipment was followed and it lasted.
Some products are more durable than others naturally or are built with the idea of roughhousing occurring, especially when it comes to games. So while some meet these criteria on our list, others exceeded beyond what normal durability limits were expected. If we tell you we think it can survive a three-year-old who hates to lose- or who thinks everything needs danced on- then we probably found proof that the product had indeed survived such a thing. Doesn’t mean of course that we want you to use it in such a manner, but for some it did and we want to praise the product for the great effort that was made to make sure it will be difficult to break.
Not all games are created equal. Some games are simply too difficult or too complicated to truly enjoy. While making this list we wanted to make sure every game, even if hard to win, was well worth it to buy and play. Some can be played over the time it takes to have a lunch break, while others may require more patience and dedication to get that high score. No matter which, we made sure that the instructions were simple to find and learn so that when you do play it, the game is enjoyable. In every case the instructions could be located in the box or easily online so that no one has to doubt the game is being played right and fairly.
Easy to Handle
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the hardest things to find when looking for a game of this sort is to locate a version that is small enough to travel, put away and be playable by kids. While all of these games meet each of the requirements, they are also playable by adults. Though bear in mind that the smaller the board, the more you have to strategically decide force and area of ability to play. So, even though they are playable, these mini-versions are going to take a bit more practice at points to play for larger people. That being said, they are still exceptionally fun and can be packed away for either travel or simple clean up with ease and therefore meet our ‘easy to handle expectations.
Cost and Value
No matter what our list, we always want to make sure you are getting the most for your money. We do not want you feeling as if you wasted a penny on something you did not get what you were expecting. Each game was looked at, researched and found that the majority of owners were more than a little satisfied with their purchase. Those that weren’t often had what appeared to be a rare if not single person issue rather than something bad overall. In other words, unless we could validate that the issue wasn’t a fluke, we feel that the value of the product met or exceeded normal expectations and put it on our list. If the problem wasn’t a fluke and we still have it on our list it is either minor and easily fixed, or we felt the quality of the item far outweighed the issue presented.
With any game purchase, you have to consider what the effects outside the wallet could be. Beyond if the game is flimsy, not fun, or simply isn’t your taste, there are things such as the size of the pieces, and who is going to play it that you should keep in mind. If you’re going to be around younger children, how the game is played, and how big the pieces are becomes extremely important.
If you are buying anything on this list please check the age range. These are not just suggestions of who would like the game, though a very small part of it, the youngest age given is usually due to how it is played, and how dangerous the parts might be for a younger audience. If it is for 5+, for instance, chances are it has smaller, more easily swallowed pieces that are not suitable for mobile children who like to stick things in their mouth. Sometimes you will see a “choking hazard” warning on the box, but there are several games that feel an age range given should be enough to tell you that a coin toss game is not meant for toddlers.
If the game has a lot of rules, requires higher learned skills, or involves knowing information that younger kids may not have, this can also influence age range. For these types of games, the age range is set to where the manufacturer believes the person meeting the criteria should be able to play without being held back. With tabletop games on this list, it can also apply to when hand-eye coordination and strength/understanding their own ability is good enough to play.
Also, when considering players who have health issues, muscle ability and mental disabilities are things to consider as well. If a lot of the players have wrist or arm injuries or issues the game may not be enjoyable. The same goes for the games that have built in sizes or are tables themselves. If they aren’t tall enough and several of the players have back or leg issues, you may want to consider a different game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which of these games would be suitable for someone with arthritis?
Low-impact games on the joints are usually what you want to look for if you want to play a game like one of the ones listed above. If the game sounds like it could really require or cause hard or fast jerking on the joints, you may want to consider an alternative. For more information, you can check our sources at the bottom and ask your physician if the one you want to play is safe for you.
Q: Which games should I avoid with pre-school and younger?
Any game with small objects is likely not a good choice.
If it requires a lot of hand-eye coordination it could be unfair to play as well, though it may help to develop such. In those cases, the best suggestion is to modify the game to allow the younger ones to be able to stand a chance. Another good thing to consider is if it could be a game that could easily cause injury. Flying objects or objects that get too close and can have a lot of force behind them (air hockey) may not be good either. Again, check our sources to find more ideas for the younger players in your party group.
Q: Which of these games can be played on a table?
Most of the games on our list can be set on top of your kitchen table, however, you might want to consider if your table has textures, grooves or doesn’t sit exactly level before using it. Many of the games that can be played on a table can also easily be affected by its surface,
- CDC, Physical activity for arthritis
- Growing Hands on Kids, Fine motor skills
- Childrens Hospital, Small object hazards