Sometimes ago I started a thread regarding the credibility of the TOP 100 Pinside ranking:
Together with many other pinsiders we agreed that for many reasons the ranking cannot be trusted too much (especially because of scores manipulations by owners).
Anyway I was considering another aspect not discussed yet, that I think it's very important: looking at the ranking we usually look in the first place at the # POSITION of a game. #12 is clearly much better than #67, right?
But if you look at the SCORES of the TOP 100 games (not the position), you will realize that the spread between the first and the last is very narrow: #1 scores 8.8 and #100 scores 7.5. Looking at the scores and not at the position puts everything in a totally different perspective. 7.5 is actually an excellent score. If you consider that the score is based on a wide range of the most diverse attributes including art, music, theme, you can clearly realize that all those machines provide an amount of pinball experience that is not too different.
Often there are heated discussions on which is the best pin, and even among experts there is little consensus even about the most popular machines. In my opinion this depends from the fact that THEMING plays a HUGE role in our appreciation of a machine, but we do not consciously completely realize it. The same can be probably said about MUSIC (I am personally hugely influenced by it). For other people can be ART. So if you fall in love, let's say, for a machine's art, you will be probably biased evaluating the other aspects of the machine. If the gameplay is poor, you will not probably rate it as brilliant, but you will probably rate it as good. And so on and so forth.
Having said that, the TOP 100 Pinside ranking is very "short". The spread between #1 and #50 is 0.9 (8.8 - 7.9), and from #51 to #100 is 0.3 !!!! (7.9 - 7.6). Very small difference.
I think that this explains a lot, and that we should probably taking it easy when discussing "best" games, rankings and similar topics.
But on the other hand, considering also all the manipulations discussed in the previous thread linked above, we have the scientific proof that the TOP 100 ranking does not prove much. Have all those machines their own merits? Or have all owners given top scores to their own machines (and bad scores to others), ending up leveling the whole lot off?