Black Knight


Black Knight

Pinside Rating

This game received 328 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.713 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #142 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.876

Artwork: 8.057

Sounds/Music: 6.739

Other Aspects: 7.82

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.


Your Rating?

You need to be logged in before you can rate pinball machines. No account yet? Registering only takes a sec!

This title is part of group: "Black Knight"

Found 181 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 181 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 8.

List options

21 days ago
Super fun and plays like a much newer game. For a game with a lot of firsts, it gets a lot right.
46 days ago
With a ton of firsts, this game really starts to seperate what I would deem the old school era of pinball into something more nuanced and modern. For me, the 80s finally brought the pins that encourage a time sink and enough mechanics that really hook the player into more games. This one has a ton of those great features and holds up well even today. It is very challenging to find the shots and avoid drains, in true Black Knight fashion, and I am obsessed with the theme, which obviously spawned two more machines that build upon the foundation that this pin established. A must play for anyone who is interested in vintage pinball.
73 days ago
Very innovative for its time: magna grab, upper playfield, speech
3 months ago
This was my first Williams System 7 game... I feel like this is a pretty classic game that any 80's Bally/Williams fan should own at least once. Nice big upper playfield, fast playing lower playfield, fun sound, magna save, the game has a lot going for it. Example I had was pretty solid, I enjoyed owning it and if I had space for lots of games I'd have kept it around but my tastes evolved and it was replaced with a modern Stern. Really hard for these 80's games to compete in a small collection, but if you've got the space and you're a fan of this era of pinball, you owe it to yourself to own a Black Knight at some point!
4 months ago
After owning this for a few months (finally), the game is all I expected it to be ... The drop targets are quite challenging to complete them all, but no where near as challenging as the left ramp as it must be done off a free flowing ball ... Only downside is the noise on the drop targets can get on your nerves, but that is the point ... Back Glass is spectacular and the playfield art carries over the theme perfectly ... the game is challenging and legendary, great pin
6 months ago
The Black Knight is one of the most classic games of all time.

The layout is very flowy for an older game and the mini-playfield is much better incorporated within the layout than its successor's. My favorite shot within the layout is the spinner. It's such a great feeling when you succeed in getting the ball to the upper playfield. The Magna save which has been a part of all three Black Knights, is one of the most fascinating interactive features in all of pinball.

The rules are simple as to be expected by an older game. The highlight is the multiball and Steve Ritchie shouting "Fight against three enemies!" for me. The callouts are amazing in general for an over 40 year old game, especially when the game laughs at you when losing the balls.

The artwork is outstanding and hasn't really aged in my opinion. Overall the machine just looks beautiful, especially with that backglass.

All in all, Black Knight is a beautifully looking and overall decent game but only by the standard it and other brilliant games helped define (in comparison to other games from that time it is excellent). Playing it is still a lot of fun albeit a bit outdated.
7 months ago
Fast play
1 year ago
The masterpiece of 1980! Lots of new things, magnasave, mutliballs, droptargets en masse, last chance - what do you want more of a pinball machine of the eighties?
1 year ago
One of the great classics. Great rules and upper playfield is well done and great fun even though a little clunky. One more game factor is high. Theme is fantastic and artwork is very appropriate.
1 year ago
I hadn't had a chance to play Black Knight until owning it. So much to like about this game, beyond its excellent gameplay, with its small touches like the bell and bonus ball at the end which puts a smile on my kids' faces (and mine).

Amazing effort by the design team on this one, and a very impressive step up, in only a years time, from another great game in Gorgar.
1 year ago
I love black knight. Lots of multi ball, Speaks, multi level playfield, and magna save. So fun
1 year ago
A classic that simply is one you have to return to from time to time.
1 year ago
Just got my 3rd one of these, this time Hardtopped. After seeing this game move through my game room 2 other times, what has made it easier to move on from was the left ramp and weak flippers. So this time i rebuilt the flippers and added some lower( higher? i always mess that up) gauge wire from the EOS to allow better current flow. Boy did that change this game 180 degrees. This game needs strong lower flippers, if not you find yourself being pissed off half the time that its not make the ramps. Rebuild the flippers, resolder the lugs 99% of the time the coils are all hacked up. Can clear the upper left ramp with both flippers. Music and sounds get a little repetitive and gives me flash backs of the first one i rebuilt that would lock up and play every sound at once and the pain that was. But soundtrack for 1980 still pretty good. after 5-6 years realizing im a drop target guy, and an easy multi ball type of person, and basic simple to follow rules. I don't want to visit a troll and make a ramp shot that needs to end in an out hole. Keep it simple!
1 year ago
This is the machine that got me into pinball back in 1980. It was a big deal back then with its 2 levels, 4 flippers, magna-save, voice, and especially the taunting. To today's standards people may find it boring but I still love the gameplay to this day. Yes it holds a special place with me (and in my collection) so there is some bias there but this is a classic that if you have a chance to play you definitely should.
1 year ago
One of the most iconic pinballs of all time. Another example of Steve Ritchies trend setting concepts and layouts.

First SS pinball with multi-levels.
First to introduce magna-save
First to provide a winners bonus ball.

A key for this one is set up. Being one of the first Sys7 machines, it predates more powerful flipper coils, particularly with the ramp shots, these need to be tuned and the circuit needs to be functioning well to achieve a positive playing experience.

Rules for the game are FANTASTIC. Typical Larry De Mar seems to think of everything. Progressing through drop target sequences, inlanes that light a corresponding ramp shot will reward players to shoot on the fly. Amazing left spinner shot and sounds. Depth of Multiball access, of particular note, is to adjust the default game to the moderate difficulty for Multiball. This forces a player to progress the U-turn multiplier to light the upper PF lock!..
1 year ago
Black Knight. Not the sequel, not the sequels sequel or the sequels sequel sequel. Just Black Knight.
Oh no! This one doesn’t sing the Black Knight song!
Thank goodness!
If your original idea spawns this many spin-offs, it has to be good, right?
There are negatives. Like accidentally hitting the lane save buttons instead of the flippers the first time I played it as a kid. That may have just been me.
I think that was the only real downfall, Bally had Xenon talking dirty to us and Black Knight sounded like an old Tom and Jerry cartoon when Tom gets blown up and says “Don’t you believe it!”
At least that’s how I heard it. It made me laugh back then but I’m sure that others would say the voice was good and spooky.
Is that it’s only fault? I’d be hard pressed to find another. From a modern point of view I’d say the wear on the Bonus ladder sword area is a sad situation, and most have fair to poor repairs in this area. I’ve seen some excellent touch ups to the art but most times someone slaps a reproduction art sticker over it and they never look quite right do they?
If there’s a Steve Ritchie game that screams “Perfect! You nailed it!” This is it. You can argue that he had better game designs, but Black Knight comes together like no other. They even reused the playfield for sequels, that’s got to be perfection… or laziness? (Jackbot anyone?)
Still, if you are going to look into buying one, and you have only played DMD machines, you are going to whine like a baby. There’s no hand holding easy gameplay like modern machines, no baby settings, and it was made to gobble quarters. I hear the term drain monster about a lot of old pinball machines. Here’s a hint people: learn how to play or get out of the hobby, you aren’t wanted or needed, nobody loves you, go home.
That felt good! Now I’m off to insult my mother.
Seriously though, I do understand how a game handing you your ass a few times and saying “Is this yours?” In a condescending manner can make you frustrated. That makes most of us aggressive. You will show it who the boss is. It’s not Springsteen, it’s your supple wrists you pinball wizard you!
Lastly, I’d like to point out that the ruleset learning curve on older games is a lot easier. You know what you did right away and want to do it again, like Black Knight’s multiball. As time went on pinball got more complicated rules and multi stage rewards for doing certain things. I appreciate those games a lot, but once in a while it’s nice to go back to something like this where two or three perfectly placed shots make the main feature happen, and you can do it multiple times in one game if you are really good.
I am (toots own horn, pats self on back) and love the fact that I can get three ball multiball numerous times on ball one.
You can too! That’s the beauty of it! The rewards may not be a wizard mode, but they are very satisfying!
“Why don’t I own one?” you may ask. Good question.
Every time one comes up for sale, I think about it too long, and then it sells to someone else. I have my want list and it falls below some “pretty bad games” in most peoples opinion. I have played Black Knight a lot in my life and still enjoy it immensely, but fear that I would grow tired of it if it was in my home.
I know I wouldn’t. Pinbot proved that theory wrong, so it must be the awful playfield reproduction stickers on every one I’ve looked at that was for sale.
That’s my excuse. I’m sticking to it!
Seriously, try one and buy one. If you like a challenge, it won’t disappoint you.
1 year ago
Liking this game more and more as I bring it back from the dead. Lighting is a bit of a challenge, ball can be hard to see at times. Definite dark spots on the table that you need to be aware of where the ball is and where it is likely to come 'flying out' like a curve ball from no where.
1 year ago
Love this game. The 2nd layer hung out over the lanes a little too far, so you always couldn't tell where your ball was coming back from. That got annoying. Having said that, the music and sounds were incredible. They did a wonderful job. It adds so much to the theme that it helps bridge the gap on that second level hanging down too far.
1 year ago
Fast and fun game with pretty good rules. One of the few pins that I like with a upper and lower play field, and under rated (IMHO).
1 year ago
My all-time favorite game. If I see it, I will play it. Multi-level, multi-ball, and magna-save? Yes please. This is the sweet spot of pinball machines for me: not too complicated, just complicated enough to keep me busy and thinking.
2 years ago
Legendary for the sounds! So exciting. Playfield is just a bit boring with limited shots and targets. Feels repetitive compared to modern games. But the voice of the black knight calling you is irresistible!!!
2 years ago
Game is incredible, really fun to play and never gets old! Game was way ahead of it's time, and Williams did an amazing job with multi-ball, mystery, Magna-save and ramps. Cool plunger and ball release into on to the beautifully done playfield. The lighting is OK, I feel there should've been a bit more lighting as it can be hard to see at certain spots. Voice is really cool, and interacts with you during the game. Overall great and fun game, and was way ahead of its time.
2 years ago
I remember playing this machine when it first came out - it was fun then and is still fun now. I am glad it my son's "favorite" machine, and enjoy having it in my collection. I have finally gotten better on anticipating when to use the Magna-Save
2 years ago
My gateway pin is BK. Magnasaves were a revelation in pinball and drew me to this game.

Absolute classic!
2 years ago
This is a super fun pin. So much so that I had to add it to my collection. It flows and it'll catch you off guard. The upper playfield is the place to be. Complete the drops and light the arrows. Get the multi ball and maybe an extra ball
Lower playfield gives you the multipliers and more drop targets, another shot at a multiball and if you cann swing it another extra ball.
The magna saves are unique and you have to learn when to use them , but don't remember too late or the Black Knight will laugh at you.
There are 181 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 8.

You too can add your own comment by rating this game! Click here to rate this game!

Over the years

Visualizing this game's rating and rank over the years

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!

This page was printed from and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.