Quoted from pinmister:
One thing you learn in pinball is it is extremely subjective. One mans trash is another mans treasure, and I happen to love my CSI and 24. People call them stripped down and not fun to play and that is far from the truth. I actually enjoy playing some of the classic Sterns more so than some of the newer Spike system games being released. Both of these titles are actually really rare in terms of finding a nice HUO machine that plays well(both did not even finish first run in production <300). Most people have never seen or played either one(especially not a dialed in HUO machine) and yet always have a comment about how horrible they are. Find a HUO dialed in example and give it a chance-you may be surprised how fun they are to shoot. My .02
Hey I get it, I have a Stern Family Guy and it isn't the best game Stern ever made either, but the lack of enthusiasm (at the time) of both CSI and 24 was quite evident in the hobby back when they were released... These two machines have been called a lot of things, like last ditch effort to save pinball that basically fell flat. Even the popularity of the franchises could not save either of these two, and at Expo that year, people were all scratching their heads and wondering if these would be the last machines Stern would make. And as you stated, they are rare, but as a pinball enthusiast, you get to play a lot of these machines over the years at Expo, operators auctions, tournaments, and in peoples homes. I have played both these titles when they were NIB examples at EXPO and Stern had them set up well, and even then, most would play a few games, shrug, and go find something else to play. At auctions around that time, I saw a lot of these get passed around by operators and nobody wanted to bid on them, so not great earners either. I think the Army men of 24 was the nail in that coffin, and CSI is the stronger title of the two. Just my experince with them.