Skee Ball is a classic arcade game that is re-emerging as one of the best bar games. A Skee Ball machine is also the ultimate addition to any nostalgia-filled game room.
Played by rolling a ball up an alley in an attempt to get it into one of a series of bulls-eye rings, Skee Ball is all about collecting as many points as possible and boosting your throwing and aiming skills in the process.
While it still appears in many arcades today, the game of Skee Ball has been around for more than 100 years. It was patented in New Jersey during 1908, by a man called Joseph Forestier Simpson.
If you’re building your very own recreation room, and the excitement of Skee Ball offers a direct link to your childhood, then you might be wondering how you can add one of these tables to your own home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that sell pre-made Skee Ball machines on websites like Amazon.
All you need to do is find the model that’s right for you.
Choosing the Best Skee Ball Machine
To help reduce your time searching for the best Skee Ball machines, we’ve tracked down some of the most popular options on the market.
However, before we get to our reviews, it’s worth answering a few questions about what you want from your new game.
First, decide who the Skee Ball machine is for.
If you’re buying it for yourself, then you’ll need a machine that’s big enough to accommodate you, which often means paying more for several feet of throwing space.
On the other hand, if you just want to introduce your kids to the fun of Skee Ball, then you can choose something much smaller.
Once you know what you need in terms of size, make sure that you have the space available in your home to support your new purchase.
No matter how much you love the game of Skee Ball, if you’re currently living in a townhouse, apartment, or condo then you may not be able to fit an entire Skee Ball machine into your space, no matter how hard you try.
Think carefully about what you can reasonably accommodate and remember that there needs to be enough space for you to swing your arm in the space once you have your table set up.
Additionally, you may need to consider the limitations of your budget.
If you’ve ever considered buying your own arcade cabinet before, then there’s a good chance you know just how expensive one of these large-scale games can be.
Although there are cheaper models out there, some of the top-level machines will set you back a few thousand dollars.
Expect to pay a little more to get the best Skee Ball machine for your home.
With those things in mind, here are a few top-rated machines to consider when you start your search!
If you need a refresher on Skee Ball, check out our introduction to the game with a summary of some popular Skee Ball leagues in the US.
1. Skee Ball Alley (10 Foot Model)
Designed for adult and younger players alike, the Skee Ball Alley machine is a fantastic piece of arcade equipment that perfectly recreates the appeal of the traditional machine.
With a ten-foot length, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of space to use and store this table.
However, if you’re lucky enough to have an ample game room, then you should be able to achieve a fantastic representation of the Skee ball games you loved as a child.
The Skee ball alley comes complete with an electronic scoreboard to keep track of your performance so that you can challenge your friends and family.
Additionally, if you’re looking for an even bigger machine, some sellers offer an upgraded 13-foot option.
If 13 feet seems like too much don’t worry, 10 feet should be more than enough for a great game of Skee ball.
2. Skee Ball Centennial Alley
One of the things that really makes this top-selling table stand out as one of the best Skee Ball machines for your home is its unique design.
The Centennial alley game replicates the elegant look of machines from all the way back in the 1930s, ideal for families who want to create a traditional and rustic vibe in their game room.
If you’ve been looking for additions to your recreational space that come backed with retro design features, flip-style score boards, and a hand-finished oak exterior, then you can’t go wrong with the Skee Ball Centennial alley game.
It would feel right at home in a space filled with jazz music and laughter.
Though the design of this particular machine is very elegant and visually appealing, it’s not as delicate as it looks.
You can rest assured that the machine is sturdy enough to handle hundreds of games. The manufacturer even provides a one-year warranty to give you greater peace of mind while you play.
3. The Hathaway Boardwalk Arcade Table
Featuring a very similar design to the Centennial Alley option, the Hathaway Boardwalk 8-foot machine is one of the best Skee ball machines for any traditional home or game room.
Created to give families access to the traditional games their parents loved when they were young, the Hathaway Boardwalk table combines a vintage look with a reliable and high-strength construction.
Far more than the standard plastic games you can get for children today, the Hathaway Boardwalk game was built to last, with a high-performance engineered wood construction and a 180-day warranty included as standard.
On top of that, you can rest assured that the high-gloss surface and stunning oak finish will be a fantastic conversation starter.
At 8 feet long, this machine may not be as large as some of the other options on this list, which may be a good thing if your fitting the machine into an apartment or among other game tables in your game room, but it’s still long enough to support most adults.
4. Hot Shot Arcade Ball Table
Another 8-foot Skee ball table with a very different design to many of the traditional options on the market, the Hot Shot arcade machine is similar to something you might find if you walked into an arcade during the 1990s.
The design makes it a great addition to a game room with a modern feel. What’s more, your children will love the flaming decals on the sides.
Though the design isn’t as classic as some of the alternative Skee Ball machines on the market, there are various updated features that might help you to get the most out of your games.
For instance, there’s a two-player scoring system that allows you to track your performance in competitions against friends and family members.
What’s more, unlike many of the best Skee ball machines for home use, the Hot Shot arcade table comes with a scratch-resistant playing surface and a fold-able construction that allows you to save space when the table isn’t in use.
5. The Ice ball Skee Ball Machine
If you’re looking for a machine to invest in when money and space are no problem, then you really can’t go wrong with the Innovative Concepts Ice Ball machine.
Perhaps the closest you can get to a fully immersive indoor arcade experience in your own home, this table is made completely out of steel for an exceptional look and unmatched commercial-level strength.
There’s a coin mechanism and cash box on the side to give you that authentic arcade experience, and three lanes of Skee ball fun, so that families and friends can compete for the best score at the same time.
These machines aren’t cheap, so you can expect to make a significant investment, but you will get perhaps one of the best-sized tables on the market.
Each of the three lanes on the Ice ball Skee Ball machine is 10 feet in length, with bright colors and LED lights that are sure to revive your inner child in no time.
Bonus: When You’re Looking for Something Smaller
So far, we’ve covered 5 of the best Skee Ball machines for home use if you’ve got plenty of space to built out your game room.
However, it’s worth noting that there are solutions out there for people who are limited on space too.
For instance, one of the most appealing desktop Skee Ball tables is the New Entertainment Desktop Skill Ball set.
New Entertainment prides itself on creating some of the world’s favorite arcade games in a size and scope that’s perfect for any home.
Although you may not be able to get the full Skee Ball experience with this miniature system, the hard wood construction and built-in ball launcher is sure to ignite some feelings of nostalgia and provide you with hours of cost-effective fun for the whole family.
This is also something you could just put on your desk at work for a little fun between tasks.
So, there you have it – various ways to invest in the best Skee Ball machine for your home, no matter what your requirements might be.
What’s your favorite Skee Ball table on the market today? Let us know in the comments below!