Looking for used pinball machines under $1000 in pinball?  Look no further, you’ve found the definitive list for top pinball machines under 1000.  Now what this list won’t include is any EM games.  You might ask “why?”.  Well mainly because almost all EM games are under 1000 except for the very best games, meaning that you can pretty much afford any of them already.  The newer digital machines, finding a quality used original game under 1000 in good condition is a lot harder, which is why I wrote this list to help.

7 Top Used Pinball Machines Under 1000

These machines are in no particular order in this list.  The hardest thing will be finding them in general, as the production numbers means that there is a limited amount per city.  Note that these will all be used pinball machines under 1000, none of these are new.  In fact the newest game is like 25 years old, lol.  Now here’s the list!  UPDATE:  Unfortunately, prices have skyrocketed the past few years, and these games will be more in the $1000 to $2000 price range unless you find one that needs work.  Excellent condition with new rubbers will demand a lot more money.

  • Space Shuttle  
  • Firepower
  • Paragon
  • Comet
  • Meteor
  • Harlem Globetrotters on Tour
  • Street Fighter II

There’s actually a secondary category now for pinball machines in this area, pinball arcade games in mini cabinets.  Arcade 1up makes them, the first one they came out with was $599 for Attack from Mars.  Attack from Mars is a game that usually costs close to $10k, so if you get the best pinball machine in video form for $599, it’s not a bad deal.  It also comes with Fish Tales, The Getaway: Highspeed II, Junk Yard, Medieval Madness, White Water, Red & Ted’s Road Show, Hurricane, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and No Good Gofers.  Some of those are really good, some like Hurricane not so much.  The price was originally $749, so the lower price of $599 is pretty good for a new machine for home use.

Now I’m going to do a short overview of each great game.  Hopefully that will help give you a little more information on each game.  A lot of these may need work to get them below $1000 due to how much prices have gone up the past couple of years.

Space Shuttle Pinball Machine

Space Shuttle is an original game that came out in the mid 80’s based around the super popular US Space Shuttle from NASA.  It features a three ball multiball and some pretty fun gameplay.  Space Shuttle, along with High Speed, are credited with turning around the pinball industry in the mid 80’s which was about to go under (as the whole arcade industry was in a slump at that time).  It doesn’t have the best art package, but it is fun to play, and is especially good for new players.  They’ve made some limited edition playfield reproductions for this game that really make it look like new.

Pinball Machine Under 1000 Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle Backglass

Firepower Pinball Machine

Another game with multiball, Firepower was a huge hit in the early 80’s.  Not the prettiest game, it makes up for that with a challenging playfield that makes you work for multiball.  It’s also one of the first games to have speech, so it’s sound package is a little more advanced than some of the earlier games of that era.  I owned this game for quite a while, I really liked the challenge of getting a high score.

Paragon Pinball Machine

Paragon is a classic Bally game from 1979.  It’s famous for it’s killer art package and punishing gameplay.  Paragon is definitely one of the harder games of that era, being slightly inaccurate will put you down the middle or over in the Beast Lair, a pop bumper over on the left hand side that can either save or drain your ball while you watch helplessly.  I bought this game this year after wanting one for years, I always had a blast playing it at other people’s houses.

Comet Pinball Machine

Comet is a classic Williams machine that came out after Space Shuttle’s success.  It was the first game to feature a million point shot, which continued the pinball trend of point inflation.  It was made by designer Python Angelo, who would later come out with more amusement park games like Cyclone and Hurricane.  It’s a very straight forward game, good for new players.  The one bad thing is that it did tend to get played a lot.  There are a lot of really worn games out there for sale.

Meteor Pinball Machine

The most produced classic Stern, Meteor is regarded as one of the best games of that era.  Luckily, its high production means that it also stays under the 1000 mark most of the time, unlike a lot of the other classic Sterns which are pretty rare for the most part.  The biggest problem you’ll have when you find this game is that a lot of the time they’re not working.  For some reason, this is a popular game to have sitting around not working.  I don’t know how many of them I’ve seen over the years in various states of disarray.

Harlem Globetrotters on Tour Pinball Machine

One of the under appreciated games of the era, I think the fact that the Globetrotters aren’t as popular today has led to this game sneaking under the radar for so long.  Even though it isn’t a multiball game, it’s a challenging game with a big bonus opportunity and three spinners to rip.  I wouldn’t mind owning one of these someday.  I own NBA Fastbreak, another basketball game, and this would look pretty good beside it.  Like most Bally games of the era, getting a big bonus is the key to scoring high.

Street Fighter II Pinball Machine

A DMD game under 1000?  Yep, there’s really only one, Street Fighter II can sometimes be had for that price.  It’s a combination of the fact that the art is awful, it’s a Gottlieb, and it’s not a great pinball theme.  I honestly don’t think the game play is that bad at all, but most people turn their nose up at it.  The goal of the game is progress through beating all of the fighters.  I think part of the problem is the game is a little linear in nature, but hey, a DMD for 1000 can’t be all bad, right?

Used pinball machines under $500

When you get to the $500 level, you really only have two choices, and EM machine from the 60’s and 70’s, or a virtual pinball from AtGames or Arcade1Up.  Probably the most common game in digital format is the Arcade1up game below:

Attack From Mars Virtual Pinball

It’s over $500 when new, but used you can easily find it under $500.  The other option has a lot more options for virtual tables. 

Legends Pinball

Legends pinball comes with 22 tables and options to buy a lot more.  It’s a great option if you can’t afford real games.  I have the Legends Ultimate Arcade for arcade games, 

Wrap Up

Hopefully this has helped give you some ideas of some good used cheaper pinball machines that you could pick up for your home.  Cheap pinball machines are hard to fine, most are in a private collection on free play.

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Growing up I was a huge player of arcade, PC, and console games. Now that I'm older, I've gravitated towards pinball, bubble hockey, online video games, and more. I built this website to try and help out the new person to different aspects of the game room, including options he may not have even considered. Hopefully you find it helpful, and if there's anything you need don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for visiting my website, I appreciate your support!


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