The 70’s were one of the biggest decades for pinball, Eight Ball set the single machine sales record and multiple others got really close as games switched from mechanical to digital. I’ve got a list of the best pinball machines of that decade, a lot of them are pretty iconic.

KISS (1978)

KISS is one of the most iconic games of the 70’s. With a fantastic art package, it’s immediately recognizable anywhere. The game itself isn’t quite as good as how it looks, but it’s still pretty fun. I owned one for a short while.

Playboy (1978)

Just like KISS, Playboy is another iconic game from that era. The backglass with Hugh Hefner on it is pretty much perfect, and the game has a very cool vibe to it like KISS. Not the most kid friendly theme, but fun for everyone to play.


Fireball was the first pinball machine to have a multiball, a key feature in every modern multiball. That feature alone made it stand out from every other. Add in a killer art package that really stood out and you’ve got one of the best games from the 70’s.

Eight Ball (1977)

Eight ball was one of the first digital pinball machines. That combined with an easy to understand objectives made it a huge hit, the biggest pinball seller ever until Addams Family came around 15 years later.

Paragon (1979)

One of the best backglasses of all time, and one of the best early solid state games. I owned one for over a year, it’s a very hard game to master. Its basic goal is to try and build up the bonus to insane levels and then multiply that bonus through the inline drop targets on the left side. There’s also a pretty cool saucer at the top where you try and spell PARAGON for a free game.

El Dorado (1975)

Gottlieb used to be the gold standard as far as pinball manufacturers back in the 70’s before things shifted to digital. Gottlieb was slow to adopt the digital wave and unfortunately got way behind. Before that happened though, they made a lot of great games like El Dorado. El Dorado is one of the best drop target games, which made it really popular on location.

Joker Poker (1978)

This one is one of my personal favorites as it centers around cards. Like El Dorado, this game has a ton of drop targets, a 2 bank, a 3 bank, a 4 bank, and a 5 bank of drop targets (poker hands). It’s really fun to try and complete banks of targets, and pretty challenging too. Gottlieb actually made both a digital and an EM version of the game. The EM version is very rare, if you find one for cheap you might want to jump on it.


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