Top 10 Pinball Machines

Script written by George Pacheco Shoot that ball, work those flippers and don't tilt! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pinball Machines! For this list, we're ranking the most iconic and beloved pinball machines from the glory days of the arcade. Special thanks to our users Belfry for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by George Pacheco

Top 10 Pinball Machines


Shoot that ball, work those flippers and don't tilt! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pinball Machines!

For this list, we're ranking the most iconic and beloved pinball machines from the glory days of the arcade. We won't only be considering old school machines, however, as pinball games of all shapes and sizes will be included here in this ramp jumping, high scoring trip down memory lane!

#10: “Pin Bot” (1986)

Pinball was indeed all the rage during the 1980s, as evidenced by the popularity of this first machine on our list, the mighty Pin Bot. This one is basically a game where the object is to send the shiny silver ball around the circumference of the solar system, starting with Pluto until finally ending up at the sun. Pin Bot proved quite popular with gamers at the time, enough so that machine not only earned itself a sequel, Bride of Pin Bot.

#9: “Ripley's Believe It or Not!” (2004)

The next pinball machine on our list is based upon the classic Ripley's Believe It Or Not! franchise, an American institution whose dedication to exhibiting the unknown and unbelievable has inhabited radio, television, books and even museums for over eighty years. It wasn't until 2004 when Ripley's turned its attention to pinball, however, developing a machine with multiple layers of play for both the novice and experienced players alike. This balancing act of skill levels made for a machine which managed to earn a strong fan following, despite debuting long after the pinball boom of the 70s and 80s.

#8: “The Addams Family” (1992)

Proving once again that pinball was still going strong in the 90s, this pinball machine based on the 1991 big screen adaptation of the classic T.V. show "The Addams Family," is the best selling pinball machine of all time. Indeed, over 20,000 units of this spooky and altogether ooky machine have been sold to arcades and collectors over the years, bringing with them the added bonus of custom audio delivered by the stars of the film. Additionally, the multiple high scoring opportunities, multi-ball play and side objectives ensure that no two games of "The Addams Family" will ever be quite the same.

#7: “Funhouse” (1990)

If creepy dolls or dilapidated old carnivals give you the creeps, you might not want to plunk down your quarters on this classic pinball machine. Funhouse debuted back in 1990 and served as a fun throwback to the classic carnival rides of old. One unique aspect of its game play, however, was the fact that Funhouse cam equipped with its own talking, taunting marionette head, named Rudy. Rudy was voiced by game developer Ed Boon,who was also known for co-creating the equally classic Mortal Kombat alongside John Tobias, and serves as an instigator of sorts, taunting the player and keeping track of high scores. Oh, and Rudy also stares creepily at your ball as it makes its way across the board, drafting up nightmares for when you go to sleep. Pleasant dreams!

#6: “Revenge From Mars 3D” (1999)

Fans flocked to the strobe lit multi-ball and dancing Martian action which dominated the 1995 pinball hit "Attack from Mars," but the 1999 sequel did the OG one better by being the first to take advantage of the Williams 2000 graphic system. This technology enabled interactive video to be displayed atop the mechanical playing field of the machine, including targets, animation and high scores. It was revolutionary for the time, although sadly it wouldn't be enough to save Williams from shutting down its pinball division in 1999, after poor sales of the rushed "Star Wars: Episode 1". But at least it’s still cool to see an Abe Lincoln mech go all Mortal Kombat on a giant alien.

#5: “Black Knight” (1980)

Fans who haunted their local arcade back at the early days of the pinball boom will likely remember this 1980 gem, the first pinball machine of its kind to feature a multi-level playing field. "Black Knight" also featured vocal effects from the Knight himself, taunting the players as they navigated a treacherous landscape of targets. One saving grace against the Knight, however, was the debut of a Magna-Save feature, which prevented pinballs from draining down the outside lanes, so long as the player paid proper attention and maintained control over the magnets either side of the machine.
 
 

#4: “Tales of the Arabian Nights” (1986)

Williams' Tales of the Arabian Nights provides a fun and fast paced gaming experience for players, as they get ready to take a magic carpet ride back to the days of Scheherazade with this late nineties pinball classic. The game debuted in 1996, and was the first pinball machine to utilize magnets in an offensive manner against the player, as a diverter would occasionally grab the ball and toss it the player's way at a moment's notice. It was unexpected additions like these which made Tales of the Arabian Nights a standout pinball machine of its day.

#3: “Theater of Magic” (1995)

Pinball may seem like a simple game to some, but this satisfyingly complex machine bucks that trend by offering multiple missions for the persistentpinball player. Theater of Magic was a successful machine line for Bally/Midway back in 1995, thanks to its increasingly challenging series of missions available for players willing to sacrifice their rolls of quarters. All of these missions involve trick shots, hitting specific bumpers and lighting specific letters, the completion of which would lead players into to "Grand Finale," as the ultimate Theater of Magic master.

#2: “Black Hole” (1981)

The runner up pinball machine on our list is another blast from the early eighties past, when pinball culture was in the midst of a renaissance among young, eager gamers. "Black Hole" was not based upon the 1979 Disney film of the same name, but was cut from a similar sci-fi cloth, taking the player through outer space and beyond in search of the ultimate high score. "Black Hole" was notable for a number of other reasons, however, including being the first pinball machine to feature a lowered playing field visible from the upper deck, while also being, for a time, the highest grossing pinball cabinet around town.
Before we reveal our top pinball machine, here are a few honorable mentions!

“Twilight Zone” (1993)
“Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure” (1993)
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1993)
“Star Wars” (1992)
“Cirqus Voltaire” (1997)

#1: “Medieval Madness” (1997)

Pinball fever returned in a big way back in 1997 with the release of "Medieval Madness." a classic Williams cabinet which is remembered fondly by legions of pinball wizards. There's good reason for this, too, as "Medieval Madness" not only featured a ton of trick shots and missions, but even a legit musical score and voice over work from future "30 Rock" star Tina Fey as one of the kidnapped princesses. Are you ready to destroy the castle? Can you navigate the motorized drawbridge and avoid dropping that silver ball into the moat? If so, then you just might be ready for a little "Medieval Madness!"

Do you agree with our list? Which pinball machine makes you most eager to plop down all your quarters for a few spins? For more nostalgic top ten lists, published every day, please subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
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