Where would we be without pinball? From its inception in the 1930s to its decline toward the end of the century, it's been an important part of culture, for everyone from greasers in malt shops to nerds in arcades. Something about the feel of the spring-loaded plunger in our sweaty palms and the sounds of the table's guts—so important that they were artificially recreated once solid state electronics made the games much quieter—just gets our blood hot.

There are hundreds of pinball machines. They range from rare to common, big to small, innovative to derivative—you name it. These are simply some of our favorites.