F-14 Tomcat

Pinside rating

This game received 292 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.601 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #127 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.622

Artwork: 7.44

Sounds/Music: 7.115

Other Aspects: 7.841

Pinside staff rating

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


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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 163 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 163 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 7.

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42 days ago
I feel F-14 is a bit underrated. It’s fast, fun and still has one of the best light shows around. The light show is also very attainable. That can be seen as either a plus or a minus, but if you have other more complex pins in your collection I think it’s a plus. F-14 would be a complimentary pin for the more complex pins. In other words, it doesn’t require a lot of thought in terms of rules and is something to play to just have fun and give your brain a break. Plus, those sirens going off never really gets old. Lastly, it’s one of the few solid pins that can be had for an affordable price.
51 days ago
A very good table ! 4 bat flip, multiball 4 balls, en yagoz kill
Difficult in is simply. A best seller of Williams
3 months ago
Simple play field with great sounds and and fast game play.
4 months ago
Amazing game! Very fast! Excellent lighting and sound!
4 months ago
Played Tomcat at the Cleveland Pinball Expo and was well pleased. This game is fast and fun. Theme, lights and sound enhance the experience. Solid player.
4 months ago
I really want to like this pin. It can be quite fast but there doesn't seem to be much to do here after the first few games.
4 months ago
F-14 puts on quite a show, especially if you have a chance to play a refurbished one with LEDs. Quite possibly both the fastest and loudest machine out there, it gets points just for that. Completing some modes will get everyone's attention in the arcade or wake up everyone in your house. On the downside, the theme is mediocre (no love for Top Gun here), there isn't much variation in shots, and a lot of what makes F-14 neat is watching the balls get shuttled around the wireforms. It's a solid, unique machine, but there are dozens from the era I'd rather own, if given the choice.
5 months ago
One of the best pinball gameplay, with a big light show and a terrible kickback
8 months ago
This is a Steve Ritchie designed classic. The ruleset is basic, but the layout and play are so fast and fun that it doesn’t matter. If you ever have a chance to play a restored version of this pin, you will not walk away disappointed. You’ll walk away defeated if you walk away at all. The multi-ball is difficult to achieve and the Jackpot even more so. With a full LED treatment, this pin has a light show that, to date, has not been matched.
8 months ago
Fun older game...I enjoyed playing multiple games in a row but had enough after that. Still, I'd definitely play it this pin again if I came across one. I felt like it was along the same amount of fun as Data East Batman without the excitement of a nostalgic theme. Shots were fun, and the game shot well.
9 months ago
Had this game for a while, i liked it a lot after i cleaned it up and put new rubbers in etc...
It played very smooth and i was hooked on it for a couple of months.

But theres not many shots to aim at here, try to keep the ball up as long as possible and then get to multiball to get the jackpots,
only thing is that its quite difficult to keep the multiball going, or for me at least.
I allways found myself aiming at the kickback shot :)

Anyway, its fun and fast, but can get old after a while.
9 months ago
This game is so freaking fast. If you played one that wasnt super fast and intense, it was set up wrong. This game should be gruellingly hard. This games rules how ever are not hard. Spell TOM CAT, and Lock 3 balls, then release them and hot the VUK for jackpots. Such a fun and rewarding game when set up right. If you dont like it then youve never beat General Jagov. He's the jerk that laughs at you qhen you drain in the outlanes.
11 months ago
This is a fun and challenging game. It still plays well even though it's 30 years old. Most people who come over love the theme and find the game fast and fun (even with the quick drains -- 30 minute games is only an issue for you pingeeks). The light show is great, when you are going for multi-ball, the 3 domes spinning gets your heart racing and the sounds and lights when you start multiball is still one of my favorite moments in pinball. You need to play on a good machine -- alot of places have unkept and slow (really) F-14s. Find one with a clean and smooth playfield and you'll become a better player because your reaction times will improve. Steve Ritchie did a great job here!
11 months ago
Great game. Plays fast, great sound an light show, if your good enough to get there. I believe should rank higher compare to what I have been playing.
1 year ago
I spent time in the Navy fixing airplanes, so right away I love the theme. This is a super fast pin that is great for beginners due to the simple ruleset, but the fast play and "one more game" factor will keep experts intrigued as well. The light show is fantastic, really the best of all the 80's pins, but the playfield itself is rather dim, otherwise I'd give the game lighting a solid 6. I like to play in the dark, and it is really hard to keep track of the ball with the dim playfield GI and all those flashers going off. A couple of well-placed spotlights would do wonders, I think. This game seems more dependent on racking up the bonus multiplier to achieve a good score, which I like, versus a lot of others where the bonus is basically worthless. The sounds and callouts can be a little repetitive, but for 1987 they're pretty good and the cheese factor is great! And have I mentioned how much I like the theme? Growing up in the 80's the Cold War was never far from anyone's mind and this pin nails that era perfectly! Someone should do a remake based on the F/A-18 Super Hornet or F-22 Raptor and killing terrorists, but that's probably not PC enough for today's world.
1 year ago
Nice pinball, I personally have not cope with the upper pin finger, so often lost the ball, no fun. No keeper for me
1 year ago
It's fast and frantic, has a great multiball and decent shot layout..suffers from repetitive shots and callouts..other than that it's a fun game and one of the first games I can recall with a ball save feature and Kicker that fires right back at ya..making for some awesome saves and loathsome missed timed drains..keeps u on your toes for sure
1 year ago
Excellent fast and flowing game, with gameplay that matches the theme. I’m not really a fan of the military industrial complex but the game is fun enough to make me forget about how terrible the 80s were.
1 year ago
Super fast and super fun! This was released about the time as the movie Top Gun, so you can guess that this was the idea but the licencing was too expensive.
1 year ago
The perfect first game to own. As it was for me. Reasonable price and not overcomplicated. What a light show! Especially if you add in the extra flashers as originally intended. LED's make it almost blnding...in a good way. This game captures the late 80's better than any game I can think of. All that red, white and blue. Max Headroom style call out. Obvious Top Gun inspiration. The exaggerated Russian villain stereotype. Perfect cheap, simple, nostalgic game to start a collection if you are of my generation. And so fast when set up properly. Frantic multi-ball action.
1 year ago
A solid shooter. Not the deepest or most exciting game ever, but it's good for a few plays every time I see it. I'm partial to any table where it's you against the game, and the dog fight aspect of this and the taunts pull me in every time.
1 year ago
I've had two F-14 Tomcats over my time collecting. It is such a unique and fast game. I really can't compare it to other games from the 1980s because it basically has two separate play areas with the standard lower flipper area and then the smaller upper flipper area. I try to keep the ball in play at the top for as long as possible because this game is brutal if you don't.

4-ball multi-ball is pretty awesome for 1987. The theme, sounds, etc. really are great, IMO. I'm surprised this game isn't in the Top 100 but it's fairly close. The beacons are blinding in a good way!
1 year ago
Set up your table steep and scramble into the cockpit!

Fast and furious, F-14 has a thoughtful layout, fun sound and music and memorable callouts. Ultimately, although fun, this one wasn't something I personally needed to keep. There's the right orbit working towards multiball and the left orbit "line of death" to build up bonus. That's pretty much it.

Still, there's lots to like about this one.
1 year ago
One of my all time favorites, and one that I will never part with. Snag one of these while they are still as cheap as they are. I don't understand why they are this low - the build quality is second to none (it's a Williams, from '87!), and the fun factor is up there with the best of them. The "one more game" is huge with this one also. Theme is implemented about as perfect as you can get with s pinball machine, the sounds are the cheesy 80s that you will grow to love, and the sound quality is awesome, given its time frame. The ruleset is easy to learn, but the game is not an easy one to master. Great games are easy enough to be had, but this machine will make you work for it! There ain't very many "lucky" shots on this deck, and if you think you are going to rely on that, F14 will make you pay dearly for it. When your flow is on, this table is super-fast, and you will be on it for hours! In my opinion, this machine has the best light show in all of pinball, hands down. When you beat Yagov, and also when you hit the free game award, you will be treated to the most satisfying light show there is! I can remember this happening back in the arcade days, and everyone in the near vicinity would stop what they were doing to turn around and see what the hell was going on. Lol. It really is an attention getter. It is also a beautiful machine. If you find one that's not been beat to death in the wild, it will polish up and is truly a work of art. The only downside to this machine, if there is one, is that there aren't a lot of toys, and NO ramps. But, as only Williams could pull off, this machine doesn't need either of them. It's THAT good. I also can't believe it isn't ranked higher than what it is. There are several titles above it, that don't come close. If you are on the fence about this one, and looking here for a little decision making help, take this review to heart. I picked mine up a couple of years ago for $1400, after holding out until I found a nice enough one to consider a "keeper". It is in great condition, and I wouldnt let it go for anything less than $2500. Probably $3000. I like it that much, and I know I couldn't replace it with anything that comes close, for any less than that. One of the best bang for the buck machines out there right now, if not THE best. A Steve Ritchie classic!
1 year ago
Great theme, but you really only need to master a few shots. The game opens with a throw away launch. It matters not at all how you start the game. Getting Yagov is always fun. "Shooting" down the other planes is straight forward, I still have yet to land all three of my planes. The tie in of the playfield to the theme is a little bit of a stretch & the cage tunnels a bit of a gimmick. Even with the drawbacks it is a fast & fun pin. The Top Gun like theme & the light show are the draw.
There are 163 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 7.

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