The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 1 of 10)


By: Krooze L-Roy

Pinball video games get no respect. I believe the reason for this is because video pinball simulates something you can easily do in real life. And, much like driving 170 mph or shooting someone in the face, the video game adaptation of this activity doesn’t quite capture the joy of the real deal. But unlike those other examples, playing a pinball machine can usually be done with minimal risk to your life and liberty. Though they may be the ugly stepchildren of the pinball world, virtual pinball does offer one huge advantage over the real deal; you don’t have to spend four grand just to play some pinball in your living room (naked and on acid, if you should so choose).

So slip off those trousers, lick a few tabs, and prepare yourself, as I unveil the ten best games that this shat upon genre has ever offered (excluding the PC, which simply has too many games to even attempt to sort through, even for one as devoted as your author). This week, let’s start things off with the most modern game to make the list…

Click HERE for the Rest of the List

#10 – Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection

Of all the games I’ll be talking about, this one most makes you feel the burn of not playing actual pinball. The tables reproduced in this game are all real machines, and while the average Joe won’t have played (or even seen) all of these games, the chances are that the you will have put a few quarters into at least a couple of them.


The game features eleven tables, from the early 1930s to the mid ‘90s. Cool concept, and it’s interesting to be able to see (and play) the evolution of pinball, but the odds are good that unless you’re eighty-seven years old, you aren’t going to be spending a lot of time playing some of the oldest games, one of which doesn’t even have flippers. There are also two novelty machines that were, and pretty much still are, mainstays of any respectable arcade; Love Meter, and Xolten, the fortune teller.

Even if some of the tables have limited appeal, keep in mind that there are eleven of them (the average number of tables per game on this list is about 3), so you’ll have quite a bit of fun just trying them all out. And unless you’re just a soulless vestigial shell of a human being, you’re going to find yourself pretty addicted to at least one or two of these relics, be it the well rounded Genie, the multiball-centric Goin’ Nuts, or the innovative Black Hole.

Somewhat sloppy physics do hold the game back slightly, as they’re a tad floaty and slow. There are also a couple of spots where the game is liable to glitch. You get used to the feel of things though, so unless you’re the pinball equivalent of Garry Kasparov, calculating your moves well in advance, less-than-perfect physics are no reason to stay away from the Gottlieb Collection. Also keep in mind that I have the PSP version of the game; the console editions may well have cleaner physics. The PSP version is still pretty nice on it’s own merits though, since you can turn your system sideways and play most of the tables in TATE mode.

Regardless of what system you play it on, or where it falls on this list, this is a damn good pinball collection. Just be warned that you might find yourself aching to play the real versions of some of these classics.

Best Table: Victory!

Also check out: Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, which is suppose to release early next month. This one should be even better than Gottlieb, since the source material is even more top notch (Funhouse… Pin Bot…yeah, it’s gonna be sweet). There will also be a Wii edition that will make clever and appropriate use of that system’s features.

Click HERE for the Rest of the List


~ by Krooze L-Roy on September 15, 2007.

4 Responses to “The Top Ten Video Pinball Games in the History of the Universe (Part 1 of 10)”

  1. […] # 10 – Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection […]

  2. […] # 10 – Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection #9 – Pinball Fx […]

  3. […] #10 – The Gottlieb Collection […]


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