Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: March 06, 2021
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A good foosball table shouldn’t only be a source of fun and entertainment for you and your friends but should also improve the aesthetics of your space. However, finding a model that combines both at only $500 and below is where the challenge is. Luckily, this article is here to help you out.
To identify the best foosball tables under $500, we have considered some essential features. Different homes are of different sizes, so we considered tables of various dimensions. We also don’t want your fun to end as soon as darkness sets in, so we picked some models with LEDs. Some of our picks also double as a coffee table, hence whether you’re looking at aesthetics or functionality, one of our models will catch your fancy.
A lot of foosball tables come in a similar wide-legged and black-toned design, which has already become rather boring. If you are looking for something unique that offers great performance, we highly recommend the ESPN Arcade Foosball Table. It’s modern and unique design is such a joy to behold, and its super-appealing construction doesn’t impede the performance you would expect from a standard foosball table. On top of that, the table is reasonably priced, which is a thing rarely seen from an attractive table that performs well. It is no wonder that we have chosen it as our Editor’s pick in this roundup.
Being a full-sized table, the ESPN Arcade Foosball Table is perfect for competitive as well as casual gameplay. In terms of construction, it is durable and sturdily built and stays stable regardless of the intensity of your match. The table’s structure is reinforced further by the aprons. Each leg has a leg leveler that allows for total evenness on the playing surface. Also, the table comes with a bead-style traditional scoring system, which is easy on the eyes. However, the rotation of the rods isn’t as smooth as what the top-end models provide, but that isn’t unexpected.
While we must admit that there is a slight compromise on the performance, since this is a mid-range model, most casual players wouldn’t even notice. On the good sides, the table is backed by a 180-day manufacturer warranty, along with a surety that the product will reach you damage-free with every necessary accessory and part intact. In general, if you are in the market for a modern-looking foosball table that offers decent performance and is offered at a reasonable price, then you must not look beyond this.
Looking for a way to ensure darkness never stops the fun when your friends come to visit? The Atomic Azure LED Light Up Foosball Table represents a perfect solution for you. This decently priced table has an eye-catching, LED design that is certain to wow your guests and guarantees an unending playing session. While the lighting is probably not what professional players consider when buying a foosball table, you can’t argue against the fact that it infuses an element of style and fun when using the foosball table, either in a commercial setting or in a home one. With this table, you can play even if the room is completely dark.
Another thing that users appreciate about this table is the electronic scoring system, which is as accurate as it is beautiful. However, the manufacturers understand that there are players who prefer the manual scoring option, so they have included it as well. To allow for an upbeat atmosphere and improve the ambiance, there is in-game music as well, which when combined to the LED lighting, makes the table an epitome of fun and modern.
However, while we like all these fancy features, we must add that there are not many professional features. Besides, even though the steel rods are durable, they are quite slow to move. When setting up, you will find this table effortless to assemble. The inbuilt foot levelers are also great additions as they ensure that the playing surface is kept level. Lastly, the table is a regulation-sized table, so that should make it a bit more appealing to professional players.
The next foosball table in our roundup is the uniquely designed Hathaway Metropolitan Foosball Table. If you are a die-hard lover of foosball games, the strong construction and high-quality playing surface are stuff to die for. In terms of quality and design, you will be hard-pressed to find a better model. It has a beautiful and stylish appearance, making it a great addition to your homes. Its elegance alone will improve the aesthetics of your home without any trouble. Therefore, if you are looking for a functional yet stylish foosball table for your game room, this might be the one.
This gorgeous table was clearly engineered for competitive play, featuring 13 players per team and a three-goalie configuration. To guarantee hours of stress-free and fun play, the table comes with ergonomic handles that are as convenient to grip as possible. Apart from being fun and functional, it’s also designed to last, featuring a durable construction that features an arched pedestal base and reinforced legs. Thanks to this construction, the table can effortlessly stand up to highly competitive and aggressive play.
To guarantee an even playing surface, the Hathaway Metropolitan Foosball Table also comes with leg levelers. The surface is so glossy that balls roll extremely cleanly, which accelerates the family-friendly game. It’s also worth noting that the table is backed by a 180-day limited warranty. Having said that, we’d also like to add that the product is slightly overpriced.
Measuring only 42 inches, the Barrington Foosball Coffee Game Table can’t be said to be a full-sized foosball table. It is clearly a mini table, but we assure you its length doesn’t take anything away from it. This elegant foosball table isn’t only fun, but just as functional. A large percentage of its construction uses high-quality wood, including the storage shelf and the legs. It also uses a bead-style traditional scoring system, which isn’t only simple, but stylish as well. Of course, the rods are stylish, durable, and easy to grip, thanks to their wood construction.
While most parts of the table use a wood construction, it has a tempered glass tabletop, which is thick and safe enough to resists and wear and cracks. Even if your home is filled with little tykes, you don’t have to worry about the glass shattering and hurting them. For convenient gameplay, the table comes with chrome-plated steel rods, which are sturdy enough to withstand any kind of playing style, even if it’s a little aggressive. Every rod is equipped with three hand-painted players, providing each team with nine players in total.
In terms of assembly, you shouldn’t have any problem assembling this table. It’s been designed for easy assembly and it comes with all the accessories you need. However, the table weighs about 100 pounds, making it a little heavy. In addition to that, it comes with no casters, which means it may be a little difficult to move it when necessary, especially if you are alone. These are significant downsides that you need to greatly consider. That said, the table is certain to add a drop of style and improve the visual appeal of your space.
Another excellent foosball table that is within the price range, fortunately, is the Atomic Pro Force Foosball Table. While most people are of the opinion that an ideal foosball table must be equipped with bright colors and flashing lights, that can’t be farther away from the truth. Even though this table keeps things amazingly simple in terms of style, it’s one of the best foosball tables you can find around. Whether you are intending to use it at home or in a professional setting, it is flexible enough to be suitable for every gaming environment.
Atomic is a renowned maker of great foosball tables, so the simple-but-brilliant performance of this table comes as a surprise to nobody. Primarily, the table was constructed using solid MDF materials. The table also has a stunning exterior design, which must be attributed to the rich bamboo laminate. Once you see the table, you do not need anyone to tell you that it was superbly finished with great attention paid to details. It also comes with other super features, including an inbuilt ball return system, adjustable leg levelers, and hollow roads built using chrome steel.
To make your game as convenient as possible, the included handles have been designed to be comfortable. They are especially easy to grip, thanks to their rubber construction. The players also have a robot-like design, giving them an exciting look. However, this foosball table may not be suitable for aggressive gameplay, so you may want to keep this in mind. Apart from that, the players aren’t counterbalanced as well, which is another little drawback you may consider.
What we liked:
Great for casual play
Durable and high-quality construction
Adjustable leg levelers
What could be better:
Not suitable for aggressive gameplay
Players aren’t counterbalanced
Things to Consider
Now that you have read our reviews, you are half-equipped to go find the ideal foosball table for your needs. To be fully equipped though, you need to get yourself familiar with the information that will be provided in our buying guide below.
Features to consider when choosing a foosball table under 500
First of all, there are some important features that will help you separate the goats from the sheep. While some of them are more important than the others, we advise you to consider all of them during your shopping.
The construction material is probably the most important factor since you don’t want a flimsy and cheap item. Traditionally, foosball tables are constructed using one of the following materials – solid wood, particleboard, plastic, and composite.
Wood – Wood, by a country mile, is the best option when it comes to construction materials. Apart from looking beautiful, wood is usually durable as well. However, wood is usually heavier than others, so you might want to consider other options if you’re looking for something portable that can be easily stored away or transported. Another drawback of wood material is its vulnerability to warping, especially if you use it in damp climates.
Particleboard – While particleboard is undoubtedly the cheapest material, it tends to break quite easily within a short period. Tables made with this material are usually lightweight, so moving them is always easy. If you want to buy for your children, you may prefer a particle board table as children are typically reckless with things.
Composite – Composite will be out in-between particleboard and solid wood. In short, it’s a decent mid-range material that stands up quite well to rough usage. Not only that, but it can also be used to make beautiful tables. Another benefit of this material is its resistance to humidity and moisture. If you are intending to use it outdoors or in your garage, you can’t have any problem with warping and related issues.
Dimensions and weight
The size of the space you intend to put your table usually influences the dimensions of the table you will get. Typically, a standard-sized table demands a space that is 8ft x 7ft at least, but 10ft x 10 ft can also work. Generally, the area that will be taken by the table can be determined by adding the table’s dimensions to the rods’ length. Then, add about one and a half feet on each side to make room for the users.
When it comes to weight, it’s always better to choose heavy models as they offer a lot more stability than lightweight tables. This is particularly vital when the table is being used by more advanced users as regular vibrations can impede a player’s development.
The goalie configuration is the next thing you need to consider when picking a table. Foosball tables usually come with either a single-man goalie configuration or a three-man goalie configuration. However, picking between two options is about personal preference, in our opinion. For instance, the three-man goalie configuration is more preferred in the USA while the single-man configuration is more popular in the UK.
If you are looking for more precision and skills in your game, then we recommend the single-man goalie system. On the flip side, the three-man goalie configuration is better if you prefer a fast-paced game. Besides, a three-man setup is more ideal for beginners and children while the one-man goalie system is more ideal for people who are aiming to get better or improve their skills. One thing you should know, however, is that the three-man goalie tables are always convertible to one-man goalie tables.
While players’ shape can vary greatly between tables, the foot’s shape has to be consistent because it’s the part that allows you to control the ball when passing or shooting. Flat-bottomed players make it hard to accurately control the ball, so we advise you to find feet that have been tapered down. Additionally, the foot has to be roughened for superior grip, so stay away from feet that are slippery and smooth.
Another thing you should look for is counterbalanced players. While not every table offers this, it’s a great feature that comes handy as you increase in skill level. Counterbalanced players have the same weight on every side, allow them to stay horizontal as soon as they are put in that position. The result of this is that you will enjoy a clear playing field when passing and shooting, instead of having your players obstructing the ball. Apparently, this allows for a faster-paced and more exciting game.
Rods and handles
The material used to make the playing rods and the handles also affect the usability and quality of your table greatly. Most experienced players prefer rods produced using chrome-finished steel like the ones on the ESPN Arcade Foosball Table, as they are less vulnerable to corrosion. Other types of rod materials are likely to corrode or bend quickly.
Steel rods are usually either hollow or solid. Of course, solid variants are sturdier and less vulnerable to warping over time. However, they are usually heavier, so gameplay will be slower, and pulling and pushing on the rods will quickly wear your arms. Consequently, most professional players prefer hollow rods for their high responsiveness and smooth and quick turning. There are telescoping rods as well, but they are rarely seen as they incur extra costs to set up.
That said, it’s important to add that telescoping rods are safer to use than others, primarily because they do not protrude on the table’s other end. This prevents you from suddenly hitting your opposition or even the spectators with the playing rod.
When it comes to the playing surface, you must consider the kind of coating that is used on the surface. Typically, these surfaces use two primary coatings – stick-on coating and lamination coating. However, the laminated ones are always more preferable as stick-on coatings roll up and peel relatively quickly.
You also need to consider the speed of the surface, as it varies based on the finish. While grained wood finish usually causes the ball to travel slower, harder and smoother surfaces allow the ball to travel at a tremendous speed. Which one do you prefer? We advise you to choose the one that matches your preference.
Legs and leg levelers
When playing foosball, nothing less than complete evenness on the playing surface will do. If the foosball table is tilted slightly, the ball would travel to the sloping end automatically, which will give the player an undue advantage. Therefore, it is greatly important for every foosball table to come with a leg leveler.
Since it’s difficult to find a floor that is perfectly level, you will be needing to adjust every leg independently. With this, your foosball table will always be level, even if your room’s floor is not. Nothing frustrates players more than an uneven playing surface, so it’s really important. Models like the Atomic Pro Force Foosball Table and the Atomic Azure LED Light Up Foosball Table are equipped with excellent leg levelers.
While these tables are produced by some of the most reputable and most reliable companies around, it’s also more assuring when your product is backed by a warranty. Therefore, check if the table you are intending to pick comes with any warranty before giving that money to the cashier.
If you prefer the one-man goalie configuration but have friends or children that prefer the three-man setup, you don’t need to be worried. Most tables with a three-man goalie configuration are usually convertible to the one-man goalie configuration, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Most times, most foosball tables are easy to assemble. Usually takes just some minutes and it will be up and ready. However, that’s not to say there are no difficult-to-assemble tables because there are. So, if you don’t like dealing with the hassle of difficult assembly, you might want to ask specific questions about the particular model you’re intending to buy.
To clean a foosball table properly, you need some important items like a can of compressed air, a dry cloth, rubbing alcohol, and foosball silicone. After getting all these items ready, you’ll need to follow the specific steps below:
Use a can of compressed air to blow away every dust particle on the table.
Next, wipe down every part of your table using a cloth. Experts recommend you to use a soft and chemical-free cloth as chemicals could affect the coloring of the table.
Then, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the soft cloth and wipe down all the parts of your table. This will help to sanitize your foosball table.
Finally, apply silicone on the rods, to guarantee maximum cleanliness and lubrication.
If a budget-friendly foosball table combines a beautiful appearance with great functionality, it becomes a lot more attractive to buyers. That’s exactly the case for our editor’s pick – the ESPN Arcade Foosball Table. With everything being offered at such a price range, this table is a steal and very difficult to look past. While we admit that it’s not perfect, it’s still the best foosball table under 500 you can find anywhere.
Next, we have the Atomic Azure LED Light Up Foosball Table on the second spot, and it’s easy to see why. To make sure that your games never stop even when it’s deep into the night, the table has an illuminated playing field and legs. Amazingly, it takes only 45 minutes to charge, so you can always enjoy some rounds with the boys at night. It’s almost unbelievable that this kind of table is priced so affordably.
On the third spot is the uniquely designed Hathaway Metropolitan Foosball Table. While it’s deemed to be a little overpriced in some quarters, including ours, it’s such a remarkable table that is certain to give you many years of fun and pure entertainment.