It was the best year as far as I'm concerned. There's never been a better one. All the 1981 releases were great.
It's just a shame it also signaled the end for Bally largely due to the rise of video games. Not too long afterwards we started to see the decline of the arcades. But for a couple years it was pure heaven if you were into pinball. Every mall had at least one major arcade (sometimes more than one). Every bowling alley also had a generous selection of pins. The east coast boardwalks all had tons of pinball machines and arcades as well as all the amusement parks. Not a whole lot of people I knew back then had them in their houses though.
I used to blow every cent I had on pinball and hang out in the arcades all the time.