Best Skee-Ball Machines for Home Game Rooms
Last Updated: 1st Apr, 2020
Skee-ball is an arcade classic, dating all the way back to 1908. Who hasn't spent hours in their youth competing for tickets on one of these games? It's such a simple game, but so much fun. As an adult, how do you regain some of that excitement?
You can actually buy a skee-ball machine for your own home, helping you recreate the arcade right in your own game room or man cave. Those with a nostalgic side will love having the game there, ready to play whenever they want. Kids will love having the game to play whenever they want, and it'll be a real hit at any party you throw.
Ready to bring the game into your own home? There are so many skee-ball games available online, under names such as alley ball, roll and score, and so on. It's hard to find the one that's best for you.
Luckily, we've gathered together 6 of the best in order to help you find the right machine for you and your home.
Our Picks for the Best Skee-Ball Machines
- Barrington Roll And Score Game Set- Pro Pick
- Lancaster 108-Inch Classic Arcade Skee Ball Game Machine - Best Overall
- Hall Of Games 9-Foot Roll And Score Electronic Game Table - Best Design
- Hot Shot 8-ft Arcade Ball Table- Budget Pick
- Merchant Ambassador Electronic Arcade Alley Ball - Best for Kids
- Basic Fun Skee Ball Mini Electronic Game - Miniature Skee Ball Game
1. Barrington Roll And Score Game Set: Pro Pick
This version of skee-ball is our pro pick as it puts together the nostalgic appeal of skee ball with an updated and modern design. Its rustic look will look amazing in your home, with oak lamination and metal detailing. Put together, it offers an industrial style, which works well for anyone who wants their machine to fit in with the rest of their home.
There's lots more modern touches that make this machine one of the best on the market. The updated modern scoring system uses LED displays to keep track of the score, along with all the sound effects you would come to expect. There's also a time-sensitive ball return feature, so the game will never have to stop as you wait for your ball. With four balls included, you can keep playing for as long as you like.
The machine itself is made with high-quality materials to ensure that it has a long life entertaining your family. The materials are all highly durable, designed to stand up to years of use. The metal bar between the legs of the machine keeps it stable, which is vital for play. Plus, there's an excellent warranty included. If anything isn't right, you have 90 days to get in contact with Barrington, and they can put it right for you.
- Similar dimensions as the arcade classic, measuring 119.5 x 24.75 x 56.75 inches
- Excellent rustic industrial design
- Modern features such as LED scoreboards
- Metal cage included to keep balls from bouncing off the board
- Comes complete with four balls
This skee ball set gives you everything you need for family fun. The excellent aesthetics work well in any home, and with the quality construction, it'll last for years.
2. Lancaster 108 Inch Classic Arcade Skee Ball Game Machine: Best Overall
If you want a traditional game of skee-ball with a modern twist, this is the game for you. The machine updates the classic skee ball machine, creating it out of sturdy materials and giving it a wood design finish. The top of the machine offers a plexiglass shield rather than a classic cage, which makes it look great. The unique feature of the table is the light-up scoreboard, which highlights the targets and gives it a modern look.
Even with the updated looks, it still feels like an arcade skee-ball machine at heart. You still play in the same way, rolling the included balls up the alley and aiming for the bullseye. The score is kept with LED score displays, so you know exactly who's winning. The integrated sound effects also make it feel like you're right back at the arcade.
This machine is slightly smaller than the regular skee-ball machine you'd find in the arcade, measuring in at 108 inches in length. This makes it an excellent candidate for home play. It'll be easy to fit in with your other belongings, and you'll see that the modern design makes it blend in with your other furniture. Even when it's not in use, it will look great.
- Affordable pricing, bringing home skee-ball to everyone
- Modern styling makes the machine look great anywhere you place it
- Automatic ball return keeps the game going
- Black lights give the machine a futuristic vibe during play
- Hardy construction ensures it'll stand up to repeated hours of play
This machine both looks great and provides everything you need in an excellent skee ball machine. It's designed to fit perfectly in your home, ready for a game whenever you are.
3. Hall Of Games 9-Foot Roll And Score Electronic Game Table: Best Value
If we're talking about excellent design, we need to talk about this table. It looks fantastic, especially with its sleek black casing. What's really cool about this game table is the LED lights included with it. They sit around the top of the score table, as well as long along the alley. It's the perfect game for parties when the lights are turned down, as it looks cool and futuristic when turned on for play.
The design is long-lasting too, using ½ inch thick MDF, a laminated surface, and sturdy leg design to keep it going for a long time to come. The thick and sturdy leg design keeps the game stable, allowing for precision gaming every time you use it. The design also includes an electronic scoring system, perfect if you want to keep tabs on who's winning.
This is an excellent home skee-ball table, giving you hours of fun whenever you turn it on to play. With push button controls, it's so easy to turn it on and get ready for hours of competitive fun. It blends together amazing modern design with all the fun of an old school arcade skee-ball machine.
- Measures 107 x 24.5 x 60.8 inches, the perfect size for most homes
- LED lights give the table a futuristic vibe
- Automatic ball return for continuous play
- Includes four balls so you can play right away
- Tough enough to take even the most enthusiastic play
The design of this table means that it will be the centerpiece of any game room, and the unique black-grey color scheme is sure to attract eye-balls! You'll love getting together with your friends to play skee ball on this machine.
4. Hot Shot 8-ft Arcade Ball Table - Budget Pick
Think that bringing an arcade game into your home is going to cost a lot of money? Think again. This model costs you much less than others out there on the market, but you'll see that you'll get everything that you would get with higher-priced models.
This 8-foot skee ball table is sized perfectly to fit into your home, so you can play whenever you like. What's even better about this model is that it's foldable. The bottom half of the table folds up onto the back half, making it easier to store or move should you need to.
Once the table comes to you, you'll see that it's straightforward to put together. You can ensure that it's put together quickly and ready to play in no time. It comes with 6 balls, more than enough to get the game going. The surface is designed to take a lot of play, with a scratch-resistant poly sealed finish. If you have kids or know that you'll be using the table a lot, this ensures the finish won't get damaged over time.
The table also comes with anti-skid pads on the legs to ensure that your table will stay in place no matter where you place it and how hard you play on it. With leg stabilizers too, that table isn't going anywhere.
- Molded ABS scoring rings
- Fun design that will look great in any game room
- Weighs 117lbs making it easy to move around
- 5/8-in. MDF playing surface
- Folding design makes it great for storage
- Very affordable for long term play
This skee-ball table is the best budget version around. It's just as good as more expensive models, giving you the full experience. It even has extra features you can't find on other models, such as the folding feature.
5. Merchant Ambassador Electronic Arcade Alley Ball: Best for Kids
Many buyers will want a skee-ball machine for their kids, to allow them to enjoy the game that they loved so much when they were kids. If you want something that allows you to share that passion, this machine is going to be the best one for you. It's a table top model that measures 36 inches long when put together, making it easy to move around and store when you need to put it away again.
The design is fun and exciting for both you and your kids. The multicolor look is bright and fun, and the design gives you everything you would get in a full-sized table. There's an electronic scoring mechanism so you can compete for the highest score. With 8 steel balls included, it's easy to get set up and start playing.
This table really brings the excitement of the arcade to your kids without taking up a lot of room in your home. It's an excellent choice if you don't have a dedicated game room, and so don't want to have a table set up full time in your home.
- Bright and colorful design, perfect for kids
- Table top style skee ball which is easy to pack up and put away
- Comes complete with 8 steel balls
- Electronic scoring for competitive play
- Comes with full instructions for assembly
This really is the best option for kids. It's bright, fun, and is easy to set up when they want to play. It's perfect for sharing this classic arcade game with a new generation.
6. Basic Fun Skee Ball Mini Electronic Game: Miniature Skee Ball Game
If you want to enjoy the fun feeling of playing skee ball, but don't want to commit to a whole table in your home, this is the version for you. This is a table top style version that gives you everything you want in a skee ball game, just scaled down to fit on your table or desk top. The styling looks just like a regular skee-ball machine that you would see in your local arcade.
The game features all the electronic features that you would see on a regular skee ball game too. It keeps score for you so you can try to improve on your score every time you play. It also has all the sound effects you've come to expect too, so the game really is just a miniature version of the game you love.
There are 2 play modes to keep things interesting. There's a 90-second mode too, that challenges you to score as many points as you can within the time limit, or there's the 9 ball style, where you try to get as many points as possible with only 9 balls. With all these features, you'll get hours of play out of this little skee ball table.
- 2 play styles so you can change up your play
- Retro styling for the ultimate nostalgia trip
- Measures just 4.5 x 5.2 x 15 inches and weighs 1.3lbs
- Electronic features including sound effects and score keeper
- Comes complete with 9 balls
This mini version of the classic skee ball game is just what you want if you want a tabletop game. It looks just like the real thing, and still has all the features you'd want in a full-sized model.
Skee Ball Machine Buyer's Guide
Now you've decided that you want to buy a skee ball game, you'll have seen that there are all kinds of variations that you can get. Which one is going to be the best one for you?
To ensure you get the best game possible, read this guide to see what your options are and how to spot a quality unit.
<Size/Length Of Ramp>
Firstly, there are multiple variations in the length and size of the ramp. If you want something that's more in line with the classic arcade version of the game, a 14' ramp is going to be what you need.
You can also get versions that come in 10' or 12' measurements. Of course, these aren't arcade perfect, but they are much easier to fit into the average home.
Also, consider this if you're thinking of buying a table top model. If you're buying it for your kids to enjoy, then they're not going to be too worried about the length. If you're playing it as an adult, are you looking to just have some fun, or do you want to get something that's more like a genuine experience? If you do want an authentic skee ball experience, a larger ramp is going to be best for you.
<Thickness Of The Ramp>
While thinking about the ramp, look at how thick the material is. Most listings will show you exactly how thick they are, and what they're made of. Usually, the thicker the material is, the better. This is because the ramp will allow the ball to roll more smoothly and true to your aim. You'll also see that the board will be more resistant to scuff marks. Look for ramps at least 19mm thick. On thinner ramps, the ball roll is average and slow.
Look at the material the ramp is made out of too. Higher quality material like solid wood is going to be preferable, of course, as they will last longer and be more resistant to damage. That will, in turn, affect the way balls roll on the surface. The next best option is MDF wood with a laminated top.
On the subject of the materials used in the construction of the game, you'll need to know that they usually make the cabinet quite heavy. This usually makes the cabinet better quality as it will sit steadily on the ground, so there's no chance of it moving around as you try and play.
The best materials are woods such as pine or birch. These are solid woods that are heavy and high quality. You want the cabinet to be able to last for years, so a high-quality wood is preferable when you're trying to find the right skee ball machine.
What's the best part of playing skee-ball? Many people would tell you that it's the sound effects that come with it. A huge part of the nostalgia of these games lies in the sounds that happen when you're playing. If you're buying a skee ball machine to recreate the feeling of what playing it in the arcade as a kid was like, you've got to have the right sounds to complete the game.
Many versions of the home skee-ball will come with the old school sounds and will tell you in the listing when you check them out. In some cases, you can get a customizable sound too. This allows you to change up the sounds if you so wish. You can add in the retro sounds you'd hear in the arcade, or even change them out to your own sounds if you want to do something different.
Next, consider how you'll keep track of the scores. In the arcade game, you'll see that usually there are LCD screens that display the scores and keep track, important as they usually give out tickets. As a home game, you still want to keep score as it's a competitive game at heart. Any game you buy needs to have the LCD scoreboards so you can see who's winning at a glance.
With most home skee ball games, you'll see that they often do have the LCD scoreboards in place, and their listings will be very clear about this. There may even be versions that have extra screens for fun graphics and other things, so if that sounds like something you'd like, then keep a lookout when shopping around.
<Ball Release Mechanism>
There's more to this mechanism than you may think, as you're shopping around. In some cheaper models, you'll see that the return ball can sometimes get stuck in the mechanism. This is often a pain to remove, so you don't want to deal with it if you don't have to. Look for a robust ball return mechanism that can handle multiple games without a problem.
The best way to find out if the mechanism works well is to check out the reviews. If there are issues with balls getting stuck, they will tell you very quickly, and you can be sure to buy the right skee ball game for you.
<Replacement Parts And Servicing>
If you're buying a larger model that can stand in as an arcade skee ball game, you want it to last for as long as possible. That's why many companies offer repair and warranty services, to keep your game in top condition for a long time to come.
When checking out a game, look at what warranty they offer you. If something goes wrong, how long do you have to get in touch and get help? If they can help, will they send you replacement parts, or will they send you a repair person to handle it for you? This is very important if you're looking for a higher range model that you want to place in your man cave or game room.
<Used Vs. New>
Well, a used skee-ball machine would always be cheaper but again also need to assess the condition of the unit. It makes sense to consider used machines if you're looking for purchasing arcade-grade skee-ball machines. Such machines cost a pretty penny, usually upwards of four to five thousand dollars. You can get a used unit for well-under two-thousand dollars, so it's well worth it.
However, for home use, it's best to go for a new machine. For a used machine you would need to pay for transportation and then you would also be losing on the warranty. Adding all that up, you're better off buying a new skee-ball machine instead.
Let's Wrap Things Up
Getting a skee-ball machine is the best way to bring the fun and the excitement of the arcade into your home. There's lots of options, so knowing what you want in a game will help you find the right one.
One of the models in our list is bound to be just the thing for you. Want a tabletop game, or a full sized one? Whatever it is you want, you're going to find it here.
Here are some other Arcade games worth considering: