This is the digital age. Our computers, which are now in our pockets, run our lives in so many ways.
One of the ways in which things have changed drastically in recent decades is that our notion of leisure time is starkly different than it once was.
Adults spend their off hours posting to social media, scrolling through articles, texting with their friends and family.
Children -- those of them that do not yet spend their time texting their friends -- spend so much of their non-school time in front of screens.
They play on their computers, their tablets, and their game consoles.
Their friends are online and sometimes they rarely or never see them in person.
For both adults and children, leisure means something that it never has before: it means screen time.
This is not for many people an altogether bad thing -- it means being connected to people in radical new ways -- but for some people, it also means forgoing physical, analog (gasp) connections in favor of digital ones.
If you want to unplug yourself a little, or if you want a way for your children to do so, then you may want to rethink leisure time.
One of the ways we can do this is by turning back the clock and investing in by now old fashioned analog forms of entertainment.
There were games before there were consoles.One such game was foosball.
This simple game allows multiple people, in the same room, to have a great time together, to be competitive playfully (or seriously) in a way that doesn't involve digital technology.
For some people that is attraction enough.
If this sounds appealing to you -- if you want this sort of analog interaction for yourself and your friends, or if you want it for you and your children and their friends -- then maybe you should consider buying a foosball table.
We buy foosball tables to put in our rec rooms, in our basements, in our offices.
But we really buy them to buy ourselves a different kind of enjoyment -- an easy joy that is for so many of us no longer with us sans screen.
We buy foosball table precisely because they are fully analog. There is something wonderful about that.
If you're looking for a foosball table, then you need to know what you're looking for.
There are many different kinds of tables.
Some tables are great in general, overall pieces of equipment -- and these are used in many situations by many people.
Also, some tables that can be used outdoors, which can be great for beautiful days with your family and friends.
You can also find tables that are larger -- for more of a full experience -- and smaller -- to save space and allow children to more easily use them.
There are tables that cost much more than the other tables, and these tend to be more sturdy and more attractive.
Whatever you are looking for, there is a type of table for it.
This list will break down some of the tables you should be looking at by specification.
Best Overall Foosball Tables
If you're on the market for a foosball table, you can't go wrong with the Rainforest Foosball Table.
This gets the award for best overall table, in part because of its solid construction, and in part because of its great features.
Game play on this table is smooth and fast, and the table overall is built for quality.
It is rather large, but it is built to last, which means that it may be the last table you ever buy.
The legs are reinforced for strength, so the table can with stand a lot.
Also, it includes full end panel supports, which only increases its strength.
The rods are chrome plated steel and have easy to grip rubber ends, which makes playing the game quite smooth.
It features a cup holder, an automatic ball return, and a manual system for scoring.
Overall, this is a great table, and though it is not cheap it is also not prohibitively expensive.
If you want a foosball table but are looking for something rather inexpensive, the Best Choice Products Foosball Table is a great option.
The table looks great, is competition size, and is built to be sturdy.
It features a cup holder on each end and has comfortable grips on the rods to make playing the game easy.
This is a great table for a great price, not to be overlooked.
This foosball table may not be as inexpensive as others, but it is still a great deal for the money.
Designed for family use and made to look like it is sitting in an arcade, this flashy offering from Pinty is a full size 48 inch table that will last your family a long time.
The table features comfortable, skid proof grips for control and comfort while playing, sturdy construction, and it is a full size table at a reasonable price.
This table is meant to brighten and liven any game room, basement, or office.
This foosball table is not a bargain bin purchase, but it is a great table nonetheless.
At well under $500, it is not prohibitively expensive either. The table itself is quite attractive -- classy, classic, dark -- and is also quite large (at a full 54 inches).
It is not a small piece of gaming equipment, but if you have the space and the money to buy it, it is a great piece that will last you and your family (or your office) a long time.
Put it in a basement, a rec room, at work, or anywhere else indoors and it will give you years of enjoyment.
This Kick foosball table is a classic styled foosball table at a reasonable price. It is 48 inches, which means that it is full size, but it is also not so large that it takes up an unreasonable amount of space in your rec room.
The table is both elegant and durable and comes with a great unlimited lifetime warranty.
This is a great buy if you want to add something to your home or office that is both elegant and fun.
Sometimes you want a foosball table but you simply don't have the room to store one full time.
The Sport Squad FX40 solves that problem. It sits on your table, without legs, and allows you to play when you want to and then put it away when it isn't being used.
This is a great idea for people who just don't have the space to create a rec room in their house.
The table features a 40 inch playing surface, which is nearly full size, chrome plated steel rods for playability, a ball return, a manual scoring system, and it includes two soccer-style foosballs.
This is a great table for anyone short on space, and it comes at a low price.
Not all foosball tables are designed for outdoor use, but this indoor/outdoor offering by ANCHEEER is.
It is a full size 48 inch table standing tall and strong. It is built to last and can withstand some weather.
The rods are ergonomically designed, which makes for great game play, and overall this is a solid piece of gaming equipment.
If you are looking for a foosball table for you child, you may not be looking for a small table.
Perhaps you want a full size table that you and your friends can use as well. Enter this Topeakmart table.
It is a great table at a great price, suited both to beginning players and children as well as to more seasoned, older players.
It features two cup holders and comes with two balls. Overall, this is a great gift for your whole family.
If you want a foosball table for a child that is perhaps too small to play on a standard size table, then you are looking for something smaller than 48 inches.
This 37 inch table by Giantex is ideal for use by relatively small children, but it is large enough to be used by you as well.
It is a great table at an extremely low price and you really can't go wrong.
The table features strong wood construction, 6 rows of players, ball serve cups, internal ball retrieval, and manual slide scorers at each goal.
It has most everything you could ask for in a foosball table, only at a fraction of the size (and the cost).
If your child is small enough that even a slightly reduced size table is too large, then you may want to consider buying the Minigols Mini Foosball Table.
It has all of the features of a full size table at a fraction of the space.
It has a very small footprint, which is great for saving space, and it is small enough to be used by almost anyone.
At only 33.5 inches long and 25.4 inches high, this table is ideal for your young child.
Don't want them to get accustomed to sitting in front of a screen all day? Want to do something fun with your kids? Want to still have something to do with your friends after they have gone to sleep? This may be your answer.
Our lives have us running -- running to our jobs, running our children to practices and school, running to the store.
So little of our time is spent staying -- staying with our family, staying with our friends.
The time that we do have we tend to spend on our screens, which -- while it connects us to people that we care about -- isolates us from the world we are sitting in.
Our leisure time as our parents and grandparents knew it very rarely exists.
How often do we simply talk, or play, with our friends and family, in the same room, casually and without digital technology?
There is a cure for this running, and there is a way to find our leisure again.
We can enjoy our leisure time by investing in tools that encourage us to stand still for a moment, but to do so without looking at a screen.
We can enjoy our leisure time -- with our children, our spouses, our friends -- by finding those simple things we can do with each other that fill our hearts by giving us time to spend with each other warmly, non-digitally.
One of the best ways to do this is to buy a game that encourages us to pause from both our running and our screen time.
Foosball is one of those games, and it is something everyone can enjoy.