The 10 Best Combo Game Tables
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in December of 2015. Multi-game tables feature everything from pool and ping-pong to air hockey and cards, and will keep the whole family entertained for years. They can transform a small space into a fully-fledged game room in no time. Check out our selection of some of the best models out there, ranked by durability, versatility, fun factor, and value. Rainy days won't be a bore when you have one of these at home. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 23, 2020:
Since this list was last updated, the Gymax 3-In-1 Arcade has become unavailable but we found an almost like-for-like replacement in the Giantex 3-In-1, so we didn't have to lose our only three-game option designed for kids.
We kept all the four-game models, for even though they all offered the same sports, they all differed slightly in price, quality, and dimensions. While the Funmall Multi-Function 4-in-1 and the MD Sports 4-In-1 are both fairly sturdy free-standing models for kids, remember that unless your children like playing pool and table-tennis on their knees, you'll have to find a suitable table to support the low-lying Best Choice Products Multi Arcade at a playable height.
As the list previously only had eight items, we made use of the available space by adding another bumper activity model to complement the MD Sports CBF048_048M. Although slightly inferior in overall craftsmanship, the Triumph 13-in-1 provides a less expensive way to enjoy pool, foosball, hockey, and ping-pong, as well as a collection of throwing and aiming challenges, and even a few board games to keep the mind occupied such as chess, checkers, and backgammon.
We kept the Lifetime 90466 as it was the only model offering something for the backyard instead of indoors. It cleverly combines corn hole on its surface, ladder ball on its legs (with the table upturned) and can even double-up as a regular table for serving snacks on at parties.
The Fat Cat Original 64-1049 stayed near the top of the list, as its larger size and weight compared with many of the other models on this list provided something for teenagers to enjoy. Fat Cat even have a more robust, 7-foot version of the same table available, but it will set you back nearly twice the price. We added the Triumph 3-in-1 Swivel as an even larger, sturdier version of a rotating table, and the Hathaway Maverick was included for its suitability for adults, a smart choice for getting competitive after the little ones have gone to bed.
May 30, 2019:
The best combo game tables won't leave you missing individual and full-scale versions of each game one bit, and that's what we aimed for with our selections. The MD Sports CBF048_048M fits the bill, with a consistent motor spouting out air to keep the action moving in hockey and excellent graphics on all of its surfaces. Meanwhile, the Fat Cat Original 64-1049 has all the quality accessories you need to enjoy each of its games, plus built-in storage for the pieces you aren't using. It also has a helpful scorekeeper, as do the Gymax 3-In-1 Arcade and the Best Choice Products Multi Arcade, to bring out that competitive side and keep things fair. While these types of tables tend to target kids, we did want to include at least one more sophisticated model for the adult gamers who may enjoy a round of poker from home, but don't have room for both a game table and dining table. That's where the elegant Fairview Game Rooms FVG2103 comes into play. With its wood surface in place, it makes a gorgeous accent piece and surface for cocktail hour. But when its felt surface is revealed, it's ready for bumper pool and those sweat-inducing games of chance with cards and chips. For those days you want to move the games outside, the Lifetime 90466 is ideal for barbecues, tailgating, and more. It has those all American games of ladder ball and corn hole, plus red, white, and blue graphics, making it ready for your next Fourth of July party.
Custom games tables Based in Missouri, this company builds custom tables for board games and cards. There are many extras you can include such as conversion tops for dining, and even hidden drawers with USB ports for charging your gadgets as you play. boardgametables.com
Bespoke multi-game coffee table If you have money to burn, the craftsmen at Geoffrey Parker's in England offer all manner of mulit-game tables. Some are disguised as coffee tables, with everything hidden beneath the surface, while others are more of a box, with each side offering a different game and all the accessories contained within. geoffreyparker.com
How Do Combo Gaming Tables Work?
You’ll see this approach favored by many kids’ tables, but it also has a strong presence among the most expensive tables on the market.
A combination gaming table is designed to effectively roll several gaming tables into one, saving you room and making the cost of setting up a full-fledged game room a lot more tolerable. There are a few different styles, however, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each.
One of the more popular styles of combo gaming table is the swivel table. These units have a kind of axle around which the table itself can spin. This allows you to unlock and rotate the entire tabletop 180 degrees. On either side of the tabletop is a gaming surface — usually a fabric pool surface with cutouts for pockets on one side, and an air hockey surface with goals at either end on the other.
Further configurations of the swivel design come from the addition of a board surface. This can add games like table tennis with the addition of a small net, or even a simple card game so long as you have a deck and some chips available.
Another popular form of combination table eschews the swiveling joint in favor of stacking surfaces. You’ll see this approach favored by many kids’ tables, but it also has a strong presence among the most expensive tables on the market. This is because it tends to offer a significantly sturdier alternative to the swivel by more comprehensively integrating its playing surface with its legs and frame. The only major downside to a stacking gaming table is the storage issue. If you find yourself drawn to the lower level games more often than those on the upper levels, you’re going to have to find space to store those upper surfaces.
What To Look For In A Combo Gaming Table
When you set out to purchase a combination gaming table, it’s important for you to know who’s going to use it the most. If the primary demographic is adult, then a much nicer table is a good idea. Children are liable to destroy nicer tables, however, so if the intended players are split between adults and kids, it might be worth downgrading a bit. That way, when the young ones in your house inevitably scratch the pool surface, you won’t have to add therapy bills to the cost of repairs.
The better the blower, the more fluidly your puck is going to glide, which makes for a faster, more exciting game.
Another thing to pay close attention to when evaluating your table options is the air hockey surface. No surface among those available on combo game tables receives more negative comments than the air hockey surface. This is understandable, considering that the air hockey part of a gaming table requires the most moving parts working in concert. More often than not, the issue is one of airflow. Some tables have weaker blowers than others, and some don’t utilize any airflow at all. The better the blower, the more fluidly your puck is going to glide, which makes for a faster, more exciting game. If the puck sticks on the table, you’ll probably never use the air hockey surface.
If you’re purchasing a gaming table because you love to play pool or table tennis, make sure there’s enough room around the model you like most to allow for the movement of players and cue sticks. Nothing can ruin a close game of pool like a wall or a support pillar right where your cue needs to be.
Some gaming tables also offer plain surfaces. If your gaming table needs to double as a dining space, these are ideal. Keep an eye out for tables that come with seating options, as well, as these can make the dining experience more uniform.
The final thing to consider before you make your purchase is the overall weight of the unit. A heavier unit may not only be more costly to ship, but it can also be more difficult to maneuver into place both before and after assembly. It also makes rearranging your rec room around a new acquisition more challenging. If you know you can't lift heavy boxes, or you know you want your table to move around the room now and again, you should opt for a lighter unit.
Other Accessories To Perfect Your Game Room
While a combo gaming table can go a long way toward creating the perfect rec room, there are a number of other purchases you can make that will take your space from a mere basement with a gaming table in it to a true sanctuary of good times. None of these are necessary for you to enjoy your gaming table, but they’ll encourage you to spend a lot more time around it.
Next, look for ways to spruce up the space around your gaming table.
For starters, see if there is anything about your gaming table you can upgrade. If you love the table tennis component, it might be worth investing in your very own blade. This can help elevate your game to a professional status. If your game table has a surface for playing cards, look for a clay chip set that can transport players to a casino atmosphere. You can also get your hands on your very own pool cue if that’s the sport you prefer. Like your own ping-pong blade, a pool cue can come with you to other friends’ game rooms or to the pool halls and rec centers in your area.
Next, look for ways to spruce up the space around your gaming table. This can by anything from a killer area rug to a comfy couch. Maintaining that area is important, as well, and if your game room is in the basement, it’d be wise to invest in a dehumidifier or even a sump pump system to ensure that your gear is safe in the event of heavy rains or flooding.
Finally, see what other games you can add to your space. A good dartboard is an excellent addition to a game room, as is a small basketball hoop with a light, inflatable ball. However you decide to trick out your space, with a high-quality combo game table at the center of it, you’re in for hours of fun.