8 Best Ping Pong Movies You Need to Check Out

Balls of Fury may be the most-watched ping pong movie by a landslide, but it’s not my favorite. To me, the best ping pong movie is As One. And it seems most other people agree, too. Beyond those two movies, six others heavily revolve around table tennis.

Here are the top 8 ping pong movies:

  1. As One (2012)
  2. Pinpon (2002)
  3. Topspin (2014)
  4. Mixed Doubles (2017)
  5. The King of Ping Pong (2008)
  6. Ping Pong Playa (2007)
  7. Ping Pong Summer (2014)
  8. Balls of Fury (2007)

You may notice I didn’t include every movie with a ping pong scene, so you may miss Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump, but there’s plenty more to watch.

Any ping pong fan won’t want to miss these flicks; you might even learn something to help your game. I’ll even include the IMDb metascore to help you decide.

1. As One (2012) — IMDB Rating 7.2

In my opinion, the best ping pong movie is As One. It is based on the events surrounding the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.

After the horrific bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 in 1987, North and South Korea sought to form a more peaceful relationship. A symbol of this was a unified ping pong team. This brought together previous rivals, which made for a difficult team dynamic.

Yet only by working together would they have a chance at overcoming the might of China campaigning for their 9th consecutive win. Will they become champions? Check it out!

The movie stars a top cast, including Korean actresses Ha Ji Won and Bae Doona.

2. Pinpon (2002) — IMDB Rating: 7

Pinpon, or Ping Pong as it is otherwise called, is a table tennis movie that tells the story of two very different ping pong players. While Peco is loud, obnoxious, and highly ambitious, his friend Smile, whom he taught, is the opposite.  

Pinpon may be a little dated, as it came out in 2002, but it is still an excellent watch. I also recommend you check out Ping Pong the Animation (2014), which tells the same story in animated form. In my opinion, the animated series is even better!

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3. Top Spin (2014) — IMDB Rating: 6.9

Top Spin is a rather different movie about ping pong as it is a documentary. It gives us a sneak peek into the lives of three exceptionally talented teens as they battle for a place in the U.S. Olympic Team for the London 2012 Olympics.

I admire the intimacy of this movie. You can really feel the struggle as each of these players tries to juggle the challenges of training, competing, studying, and balancing relationships.

4. Mixed Doubles (2017) — IMDB Rating: 6.5

If you’re seeking a ping pong drama, Mixed Doubles could be just what you are after. It tells the story of Tamiko, an ex-ping pong prodigy who quit the sport due to her mother’s strict coaching.

However, after being cheated on, she returns to her hometown, where she takes up the sport again. Eventually, she decides to compete again with a misfit team, including an ex-pro boxer who has never played table tennis.

The premise may be silly, but the plot is a lot of fun — it’s certainly one of the better comedy movies about ping pong.

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5. The King of Ping Pong (2008) — IMDB Rating 6.3

While The King of Ping Pong differs from Pinpon, I see a similarity in depicting the story of two very different table tennis players. Rille is overweight, calculated, and viciously bullied, yet his younger brother Erik is thin, spontaneous, and popular.

In his difficult life without a father figure, Rille gets most of his enjoyment from the community center. He looks after the ping pong equipment and shows off his superior skills.

6. Ping Pong Playa (2007) — IMBD Rating: 5.9

Ping Pong Playa is a superb ping pong comedy movie about a young man who is thrust into the ping pong world against his will. He dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. However, these dreams were cut short when his mother and older brother sustained injuries in a car crash.

He gives up on his dreams and takes up the paddle to keep her business afloat and replace his brother, who plays professionally. A word of warning: this movie is very juvenile and has many stereotypes. However, if you’re like me, you’ll probably really enjoy this funny ping pong movie.

7. Ping Pong Summer (2014) — IMDB Rating: 5.4

Focused on the 80s table tennis championships, Ping Pong Summer is a blast from the past! During his family’s trip to Ocean City, Maryland, Rad experiences friendship, bullying, and romance.

During this getaway, Rad plays table tennis regularly at the Fun Hub but faces conflict when the local bullies try to stop him from playing.

In a quest to improve to beat the bullies, he finds an unlikely coach in the strange next-door neighbor.

While this movie about table tennis isn’t particularly to my taste, I hear it’s very nostalgic for people who grew up in the 80s. So, if that era is close to your heart, you should consider giving it a watch.

8. Balls of Fury (2007) — IMBD Rating: 5.3

Of all the ping pong movies on this list, Balls of Fury is the most ridiculous, but it’s an entertaining ping pong comedy movie nonetheless.

In underground ping pong, there are all sorts of wacky characters like renowned tennis player Randy Daytona, and Christopher Walken is the villain. The FBI recruits a former pro to compete undercover to root out a killer. He also has his score to settle as he seeks to avenge his father’s death.

Closing Thoughts

In terms of mainstream ping pong movies, I expected more, but I could only find eight true table tennis movies worth watching. However, that should be plenty to sink your teeth into. There are also lesser-known films you can check out, but I don’t make any guarantees about their quality! Hopefully, some new ping pong movies get released soon!

If you only want to watch one film, I recommend As One. It’s a captivating movie that depicts true events, making it even more moving. If you’re in the mood for laughs instead, consider Mixed Doubles. I think it’s the best comedy table tennis movie.

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Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.