6 Awesome Pinball Machines That Unite Generations

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Last updatedLast updated: October 31, 2023
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A pinball machine can be a great addition to a home or business. Whether you want to create a comprehensive game room at home, offer your customers or employees play at your business premises, or simply want something the whole family can enjoy, the best pinball machine is a solid purchase.

Our team has reviewed ten of the best pinball machines to assess the playability, layout and features. We’ve compiled a list of the best tables and our editor’s choice Stern Pinball The Beatles offers a perfect balance of playability, theme and nostalgia for this iconic and timeless group. However, we’ve also ranked other tables including both classic and modern themes to ensure a top pick for everyone no matter what age or taste.

Our researchers have completed a thorough analysis of the pinball machines including the design, type, size and other features. Using this data, we have created in depth reviews, product tables and a useful buying guide to assist you in making a purchase decision.

Top 6 Pinball Machines Review 2023


Arcade1Up Star Wars Digital PinballEditors Choice

  • Edition: Star Wars Digital
  • Speakers: Dual Speakers with metal grills
  • Dimensions:
  • Weight: 90.39 lbs

This is an immersive arcade game that has been designed to provide players with the nostalgic experience of classic pinball machines while at the same time introducing them to a new digital gaming experience.

Arcade1Up has created a pint-sized pinball table that is cheaper than the classic variety, yet is also of the same quality. While it’s not the most authentic pinball around, this machine has a lot of variety and can be a great addition to your home arcade!

Since it’s a digital pinball table, you won’t actually be using the plunger to shoot a real ball or moving real flippers but rather be pressing buttons. The Arcade1Up Star Wars Pinball simulator comes with a 24-inch LCD screen that displays 720p resolution. Despite all its strengths, Arcade1Up (and any other machine like it) will never be able to replace the feel of actually playing pinball. The use of haptic feedback and sounds that emulate the impression of a real game provide a great level of immersion, but can’t reproduce the sensation of contact with physical pins. Yet this pinball machine is still great as opposed to traditional pinball tables. Arcade1Up’s games have a lot of variety so you can play different machines all the time.

Arcade1Up, one of the premier names in the arcade cabinet business, has partnered with Zen Studios to create a digital pinball game like you’ve never seen. Time to jump on board and switch your focus to the virtual world for a while!

This is a great gift for any family with kids or adults who love to play games.

  • Adjustable Variable Volume

  • In Game Settings Menu

  • On-Screen Game Selection Menu

  • Real Working Plunger

  • Adjustable Metal Legs

  • Easy Assembly

  • By Tastemakers, LLC

Games Included

Boba Fett · A New Hope · Ahch-To Island · Battle of Mimban · Darth Vader · Masters of the Force · Star Wars: Rebels · Han Solo · The Force Awakens · The Empire Strikes Back

Each game has it’s own theme, sounds and layout. This means every play is a unique experience.

What are our favorite features?

  • Variety of Games
  • Light
  • Haptic touch flippers

What could be better?

  • Virtual Flappers

Stern Pinball Stranger Things Most Atmospheric

  • Edition: Stranger Things
  • Year released: 2020
  • Dimensions: 27″ x 55″ x 75.5″
  • Weight: 250 lbs.

Extra features: interactive RGB general illumination, improved playfield monsters, LED lit popper, LED lit moving targets, LED Drac coffin, Premium Enhanced Sound System, XL display, HD color upgrade

This Stranger Things edition has been designed to exceed the superb standards of the original pinball with LED lighting, modern electronics, and the latest technology. This creates the pinball experience you may remember from yesteryear with the craftsmanship and reliability that is required in today’s market.

The Special Edition boasts of the incomparable atmosphere of the series, walking you through all the familiar settings and events. This pinball features fully interactive illumination that alters the general playfield illumination to enhance your playing experience. This feature allows each monster to have its own unique light show that adds to create a thoroughly eerie performance.

The game looks superb, and the design will easily create that mysterious, dark atmosphere. The model features custom speech by David Harbour who plays Police Chief Jim Hopper, which only adds to the overall impression.

What makes it special?

  • Interactive RGB illumination
  • Atmospheric Stranger Things design
  • Custom sounds and speech

What cons did we find?

  • Pricey

JUJUN Space Pinball Machine for Kids Best Tabletop Pinball Machine

  • Edition: n/a
  • Year released: n/a
  • Dimensions: 42 x 24.5 x 27 cm
  • Weight: 3.5 oz

Extra features: electronic lights, sound effects, and LCD scoring

For those without a traditional game room and much gaming space, the JUJUN Space Pinball Machine for Kids is a stellar alternative. As the name suggests, its theme is the stars, the night sky, and outer space. Additionally, it is designed to be fairly compact and for tabletop play. Consequently it only measures 42 x 24.5 x 27 cm. This means that you can store it in the garage and only bring it out on game day.

The ABS construction, while solid, is also reasonably light, which of course, enhances the overall portability. Additionally, it comes with other inclusions to make play exciting for young kids. These include the sounds effects, the lights that respond to gameplay, and even the digital scoreboard. That said, as adults, we didn’t have any issues using the machine.

For kids, the inbuilt bumpers and obstacles are great for improving hand-eye coordination. They can also enhance your child’s capacity for critical and logical thinking, imagination, and even their communication skills. This is in addition to being a great bonding tool for parents who want to spend time with their kids.

Some of the components, however, could prove to be hazardous for younger kids. After all, kids under three years like to put everything and anything that can fit inside their mouths. Lastly, you need to buy and install some batteries for the digital components and sound effects to work.

What stands out?

  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Interactive components, e.g., lights and sounds
  • Compact, portable, and easy to store

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Not the most durable
  • A hazard to smaller kids

Prime Arcades Virtual Pinball MachineBest 3D Virtual Table

  • Edition: n/a
  • Year released: n/a
  • Dimensions: 45.5″ x 23.5″ x 74″
  • Weight: 320 lbs.

Extra features: 820 Classic Pinball Games in 1 + 125 Pinball FX2 FX3 (Total 946 Games), coin acceptor

The Prime Arcades Virtual Pinball Machine is a great addition to any game room and it offers an affordable way to get an authentic pinball experience. A pinball machine can range in price from $6,000 up to $10,000 and you only get a single game. That makes them less flexible and they are out of the price range of most pinball enthusiasts. Another aspect of genuine pinball ownership is that the machines are complex and they require regular maintenance which can be expensive. This virtual pinball machine offers a viable alternative and you’re sure to enjoy the large number of built-in games.

This is a full-size pinball machine that gives you 100’s of fun games at the push of a single button. There are pinball table emulators from the 1940’s up to the present-day models with 3D graphics. The 42” LED playfield screen is made from toughened black glass and the entire machine feels robust. Prime Arcades have a 1-year warranty for the motherboard coin acceptor unit and a 5-year warranty on parts. An astonishing 820 classic pinball games are included and the volume is adjustable via the coin door. The entire machine sits on stainless steel legs with a locking bar and side rails for stability. The full dimensions are 45.5” x 23.5” x 74” high and it weighs 320 lbs. If you’re in the market for an genuine and affordable pinball experience this is the ideal machine to meet your needs.

Why did it make our list?

  • The sheer volume of games, you’re sure to discover some new favorites

What is not ideal about it?

  • It weighs over 300 pounds!

Stern Pinball Star TrekBudget Pick

  • Edition: Pro
  • Year released: 2013
  • Dimensions: 29″ x 58″ x 77″
  • Weight: 250 lbs.

Extra features: the all-LED playfield, includes an animated battleship, three lightning fast ramps, three flippers, resettable memory drop targets and other; six missions for casual players, 18 complex treks to immerse enthusiast players, three action-centered flippers, features phaser flashes and photon torpedoes

The Star Trek universe has a long history within the pinball world and the licensing has been used for some great tables. While there have been some not so great tables, the Stern Pinball version is one of the best.

The table is largely based on the Star Trek Into Darkness movie and features some high tech elements that will keep players entertained and coming back for more. The centerpiece of the table is a massive USS Vengeance model that dominates the entire playfield. There are also LED lights and magnetic locks that allow this table to embrace its sci-fi inspiration and heritage.

There are some great bells and whistles, but it is the playability that makes this table stand apart. While it is great for new players, even pros will find it fun. There is an excellent skill curve that makes all players feel they have gotten their money’s worth. The Stern Pinball Star Trek table perfectly marries style and substance, making it a great option for series and movie fans, but also fans of pinball in general. While some may consider the theming a little on the old size, it has a thoroughly modern feel.

What are our favorite features?

  • Great skill curve
  • Amazing USS Vengeance model
  • High tech feel

What could be better?

  • Some may consider the theming a little old

Things to Consider

If you’re considering a pinball machine, you need to ensure that your purchase meets your specific needs. So, we’ve put together this buying guide to explore all of the features to consider and some answers to questions that you may still have.

Things to know before buying a pinball machine

6 Awesome Pinball Machines That Unite Generations

The best pinball machine can be an asset to any home, creating a fun feature that can entertain family and friends alike. However, there are some things you need to know before you make a purchase decision. You need to think about how much you are prepared to spend and who will be using it. Consider whether adults or children will be playing and where it will be placed in your home. Is the pinball machine going to be used in your home or placed in a business location? Would you prefer a brand new model with very few worries or an older, refurbished table that has that classic feel but will need a little more TLC?

Features to consider when choosing a pinball machine

With so many different pinball machines available on the market, making a purchase decision can be a challenge. So, here are some of the important features that you should consider before you make a purchase decision.


There are a few types of pinball machine. EM or electro mechanical are relay based tables that are controlled by stepper units and a score motor. These types of tables often contain a lot of switches and moving parts and were the most common until the late 1970s.

Solid State (SS) pinball machines have an electronic microprocessor to control them and often feature digital scoring and sounds.

DMD or Dot Matrix Display machines are an SS machine that also has a display used for low res videos and scoring.

LCD or Liquid Crystal Display machines have only been around for the last few years and are similar to DMD machines, but they feature a larger LCD display that can be used to show high quality animations, graphics or even TV or movie clips.

Game theme

The game theme is a crucial consideration when looking at the best pinball machines of all time. You need to choose a theme that holds your interest or there is no point in putting it in your home. Just because Stern Pinball The Beatles is highly rated, it you don’t really care for the band, then it is not the best pinball machine for you. You need to look for a theme that appeals to you personally, but don’t just be attracted by the theme. There are some tables that may feature great movies or characters, but they lack playability. Fortunately, the models we’ve featured in our list balance great themes with fantastic playability.


6 Awesome Pinball Machines That Unite Generations

Most pinball machines are available in several editions. Pro editions are typically the “original” table, so if you’re looking for an iconic build of a particular game, this is likely to be the edition for you. Generally, Pro versions are a little simpler compared to premium or limited editions, so they tend to be better suited to wider age groups. Pro editions are also considered a benchmark for all the variations, so if you’re unsure about a game, try the pro edition first.

Classic editions take inspiration from previous games, replicating many of the game features and layout designs. Premium machines tend to have a different set of artwork and may have additional complexity such as more bumpers or targets.

Finally, as the name suggests, limited editions are a limited run of a particular machine. These tend to be something special and are aimed at the serious collector. Generally, limited editions feature all new and exclusive artwork and some extra features to make the game more exciting and challenging. Limited editions are usually supplied with a certificate of authenticity and a numbered plate.

Game rules and complexity

Another important consideration is the game rules and complexity. Ideally, you should play the game before you buy it, but if this is not possible, you need to look for a game suited to your skill level. Many games have simple or complex rules and playfield to offer hard or easy play. If you’re a beginner, you need a game that offers straightforward play to start, but with some interesting levels that will still provide a challenge as you become more familiar with play.

Size and weight

Pinball machines are available in different sizes and shapes, but generally, they weigh approximately 250 pounds and have dimensions of 55 inches long, 27 inches wide and 75.5 inches high.
Most machines produced in the last twenty to thirty years have been made to these approximate dimensions, but it is important to verify the size and weight of a machine before you make your purchase decision.

Other features

6 Awesome Pinball Machines That Unite Generations

Most of the best pinball machines have a line of accessories to further enhance play and create a custom look that will draw the eye in your games room. These include accessories such as backbox toppers, side armor, shooter knobs and a variety of playfield enhancements like flipper button protectors, beverage holders and colored leg protectors.


Please briefly answer the following questions:

No all of the modern pinball machines feature a “free play” function that will allow the game to be played without any need for coins or tokens.

It is a good idea to have your pinball machine checked every couple of years. However, if the table will be used in a commercial environment, you may need to increase the service intervals to every three or four months to provide an opportunity for preventative maintenance.

Our Verdict

For fans of the series, the Stern Pinball Stranger Things is a highly fun pinball machine that is suitable for different skill levels. Adding modern features and technology together with the custom design took the classic game to a whole new level. While the Stern Pinball Deadpool is all modern, taking inspiration from the movies and comic to bring the wise cracking character to life with some interesting features and a plethora of updates. However, our pick for the best pinball machine has to be our editor’s pick; the Stern Pinball The Beatles. This table features the timeless group in a superb presentation with licensed hits and some classic game features. This is the perfect piece of Beatles nostalgia that will appeal to all ages and fans of the music for play for many years to come.

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