Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apr 4, 2012
    If you have any love for pinball, you should definitely pick up The Pinball Arcade. Its presentation and re-creation of actual pinball tables is second to none, and deserves to be seen and experienced by as many people as possible.
  2. Apr 23, 2012
    If you can't afford an actual machine in the house or want to play some of the best rated machines ever, spend the 800 Microsoft Points and pick this up. It's clear that Farsight Studios took its time and care crafting this offering for all us pinball fans that miss the glory days.
  3. Apr 4, 2012
    At 800 Microsoft points, you are getting great value per table. Pinball Arcade is by far the most accurate representation of pinball there is and short of buying up the real things, you will not get a better option.
  4. Apr 5, 2012
    A reminder and a reassertion. It establishes itself as a major player in a mostly monopolized space on XBLA. Farsight aims to release more real-world machines in digital form long-term, and for tournament play, and it's clear why: We're going to want to play these.
  5. 80
    A definitive digital proxy. [Issue#85, p.105]
  6. Apr 27, 2012
    FarSight Studios made a great decission filling The Pinball Arcade with real life pinball machines. They've all been thoroughly tested through the years and are, even in this digital format, some of the greatest pinball machines ever.
  7. Apr 24, 2012
    A game faithfull to its title, a pure pinball game at a very interesting price. Those fans of the genre will love the loyal recreation of the original machines, with great ball physics and response.
  8. Apr 23, 2012
    It's hard to dwell on missed opportunities when a game gets the core gameplay so right, though. The emulation is superb, the physics are spot on and the prospect of more tables to come is downright tantalising. Between this and Pinball FX, flipper fans now have the best of both worlds.
  9. Apr 20, 2012
    The Pinball Arcade provides a safe virtual home for your pinball worship, complete with accurate re-creations of real tables and appropriately realistic physics.
  10. Apr 9, 2012
    Pinball Arcade fails one crucial part of videogame pinball. It has no sense for the social elements that make Pinball FX 2 so effective, and that are therefore an integral part of videogame pinball.
  11. May 17, 2012
    Pinball Arcade is a real pinball simulation. If you like the gameplay of oldschool pinball tables, then Pinball Arcade is perfect for you. If you want a funny action pinball game, then this game may not satisfy you.
  12. 75
    What The Pinball Arcade set out to do - lovingly and accurately re-create true genre classics - it does very well, and pinball purists won't be disappointed.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. May 4, 2012
    At least for me the Williams collection reigns as the most realistic pinball on a console yet. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 tables in this collection are already within the Gottlieb or Williams collection available on Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 and in my opinion they are recreated more realistically on those versions. The difference I noted between the two versions are that the Gottlieb/Williams versions seem more accurate with respect to ball weight and feedback, which i prefer as it replicates real tables and gives one that sense of immersion. This version seems more fast and frantic, the ball travel and corresponding flipper speed seems "turned up" to give a faster adrenaline rush approach to the tables. They seem to have lost the feedback from feeling the balls bounce off the bumpers back and forth. People have been mentioning physics are great but I beg to differ. I went back and tried the Williams collection and it seems spot on throughout the tables. In this version the imperfection of the physics is revealed near the lower flippers, it is uncommon but we do see balls not know what to do at times and stutter then relaunch themselves in a direction to resume play. This happens very fast but if you really pay attention you notice it. As well and more troublesome is how the physics does not understand ball movement in a mania around the flippers and frequently balls pass through your flippers as if they were invisible quite often. This has been noted in professional reviews and i agree completely. Further, even if you fail to move your flippers to lose a ball, the ball rather than bounce on your flippers will just carry through your flippers and end your ball. This is very unrealistic. Another glaring hole in this game is lack of a plunger skill shot view when all tables contain skill shots. Can you spell loss of immersion? Another beef I have and as well with the other collections is they have table goals and as you unlock the goals they put the message that you did so right overtop your flippers while you play. This breaks concentration and its very annoying when you have a epic game going and have this happen to distract you. That said, these games are well worth the money and i still recommend them for 800 pts. If you have no pinball at all on your console I highly recommend the William collection, you can get 12 great games rather than 4 for the same price done better. If you already have them as I do then you have some duplicates here but this version is slightly different enough in terms of play speed that it is welcome in my collection anyway and you will acquire a previously unreleased table. Full Review »
  2. Apr 21, 2012
    perfect weight to the ball, flippers are deadly accurate - they've managed to exactly replicate the feel and heft of the physics - ignore comments from people who've obviously never played pinball in real life - beautiful 10/10 Full Review »
  3. Apr 17, 2012
    Are you kidding me?An amazing replication at playing REAL pinball right on your tv with the best table physics ever made for a pinball game.Yes Pinball FX2 has more bells and whistles and a ton of fun,but this is Pinball pure and simple,own both,enjoy both cause at being the same type of game they are both night and day but in an awesome way!10 Full Review »