Going through the same thing right now myself. I've spent a ton of time researching hardwoods that can handle the abuse of having a pin slid across them. Just and FYI I absolutely hate carpet..and all the 'stuff' it holds.
Stand Bamboo with an oxidized finish is the way to go (engineered for basement). It can be had for about $2.50~ $3 a square foot from Ifloor and Home Depot. Lumber Liquidators doesn't really carry Engineered Strand needed for the basement. I put solid Strand in my last house with an oxidized finish and that stuff is virtually indestructible even with a 70 pound dog.
Just an FYI Horizontal and Vertical bamboo won't hold up nearly as well. Strand Woven is 3000+ on the Janka scale...others bamboos are 1200ish.
Dropping a wrench on a piece of strand bamboo from 4' showed very little damage. I say very little because there had to be something..but it was unseen to the naked eye. There was very noticeable damage to every other sample (about 10 of them) I had.
The oxidized finish is probably the best for scratch resistant
In our new house I had hardwood installed throughout from a 'flooring store' when It was build. They are TERRIBLE. I have one pinball machine on those floors and there are little 'dents' where the legs sit...even on sliders
All my research was done with installation below grade in mind. If you're not installing in a basement..your options open up a bit more for hardwoods
Quoted from pninja005:
Building my new gameroom
I'm hesitating between parquet floor (hardwood?) or liquid floor? Since pinball machines are quite heavy and moving them around I wonder which surface will last best?