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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Pinside rating

This game received 190 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.509 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #163 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.706

Artwork: 7.154

Sounds/Music: 7.176

Other Aspects: 7.619

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 112 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 112 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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8 days ago
The lighting and callouts are really impressive here.
71 days ago
Lots of ramps in this one. I enjoy the flow. The RPG is very cool and the call outs are fun as well. I'm not sure if I like it better or T2, but if you are an Arnold fan...why not get both?
3 months ago
7 months ago
Fun pin, deeper rules than expected and great flow. Wizard mode is fantastic and I enjoy the lighting and Arnold call outs.

I enjoy this much more than T2 meaning I think this is highly underrated.
1 year ago
[UPDATE] Just have to update the rating a bit, the more I play this, the more I love it. I have my angle set pretty high, and the game is just a blast to play. Extremely fast, great shots.

Acquired this one recently and really enjoying it.

Very modern layout, great work by the Master: Steve Ritchie.

Great pin for all levels of players. As others have said, it punishes sloppy play, but at the same time, all the shots are pretty do-able, and if you know what to shoot for, you will be able to maximize your points progression much better than someone who is randomly shooting, or manages to get a multiball etc.

I'm typically not one for detracting play, but the gun is not too bad to reach for and shoot while keeping your eye on the ball.
The RPG is fantastic, and actually has many different modes to it, chasing the target and so forth.

This game has aged really well IMO, and is full of classic shots, with some interesting diverter work. Very solid construction overall, and the bass sounds really resonate to the flippers (mine seems to be modified slightly here, so I am not sure how the sound is on the factory set up).
1 year ago
This is a fun pin. It isn’t as good as Terminator 2, But it is certainly a worthy successor. Cool toys and gimmicks, some good shots and a pretty good rule set make it worthwhile.
2 years ago
I really enjoy this game. I definitely like it better then T2. I feel like it's T2 on steroids. There's a lot more shots and much more to keep you coming back to play more and more.


- Love the RPG game in the back glass, very unique and very cool
- Love the way the ball shoots out for multi ball. Once again very cool and very unique
- They added a lot more shots and game rules from T2
- Red is another upgrade over T2.
- 3 ramps of fun, once again another upgrade over T2
- Hurry up on both sides
- DMD picture design is very cool especially when multi ball starts. Love the crushing skulls
- Love the shooting game on DMD. Kept it close like T2
- Adding another game element with collecting guns throughout the game
- I only had the game for a month but keep finding new things with game play
- More complex rules then T2


- Too much Red on the play field.
- Too dark. I'm going to add two spot lights to make the game more appealing
- I dislike that you only get 1 million a shot for payback. I liked 5 million.
- I also dislike the Jackpot is 1 million. I know a lot of people like low scoring, I'm the opposite.

Very fun game. I'm glad I bought it. I definitely like T3 better then T2, however the nostalgia is the reason why T2 is ranked better then T3.
2 years ago
I actually really like this game. There is alot to shoot for, and you can stack modes which can make the game pretty exciting. The RPG is pretty good too, though rather easy (especially because the graphics on the backglass allow you to line up your shots).

This game is probably best enjoyed by beginners and intermediate players, as I could see advanced players just motoring through this pin. This will also quickly become a favorite of guests due to the theme, easy ruleset, backbox toy, fun callouts, and it's fairly forgiving.
2 years ago
I don't know. It's just something about this game that I really like. All the shots are very smooth, especially the ramp shots. I didn't expect anything else from a Steve Ritchie game. The rules aren't TOO complicated but good for a beginner or intermediate pinball player. Obviously, the sound quality is far inferior for 2003 (even WMS games from 1993 have better sound quality than some Sterns from 2005), but I kinda like it. It sounds a bit like a retro SNES console. Listen to the music and you'll understand.
2 years ago
It's ok, but nothing to hook you. If there are other machines around, I'm probably not choosing T3.
2 years ago
Fun pin with plenty of rewarding ramp shots. Biggest problem is that the games last too long. Spend 20 minutes on 3 ball game and still fall well short of high scores.
2 years ago
Pretty fun game the first couple times you play it. Love the call outs and layout. Good light show and the backbox toy is neat if it works. Art and music are pretty boring. Game could get stale, but the shots feel great.
2 years ago
blew this game when playing it on a friend house 1 year ago (slope was mid range & tilt was friendly)... just bought this same T3, which is in nice condition and playing very well/smooth... as my son & i are quite good players, tilt is now set to sensitive, and slope is at max... even that, it remains a quite "easy" pin, as since 2 weeks we have gone to WM 10 or 15 times already... does this means T3 isnt good ? not at all, i knew before it was not so deep, but i wanted to swap home pins to get something more brutal/direct, with shorter playing time (than TSPP or LORD if we're talking about the year 2003 lol), and i've just get what i was looking for ;) all has been said about good/bad points, and to me the only weak point remain the overall artwork... to resume : T3 is a nice machine, for sure not a keeper (as i simply have to swap my pins !), but an enjoying pinball without a doubt, especially if you like rush/adreline pins

edit march 2018 : my T3 has been set available for a swap, but i must admit i still have it, not only because i dont found something else i really want to replace it, but more because as i know it could leave home, i'm enjoying playing more & more with it, and the fun factor is still here, and growning ! despite its becoming way too easy, as we're going to wizard mode quite each day we play it !!! than i set up higher the lastability ;)
2 years ago
Unnecessary rahash of a worn out francise.
3 years ago
There's something to it, maybe it's the RPG that adds to the pin. Counterpart, it can get really dark at times, so dark that I lose sight of the ball sometimes, since most of the lights are red, it can be tricky. I like the fact that you hear "Arnold".
3 years ago
Not sure if it's due to the LED's in the machine, but holy hell is it ever seizure inducing during multiball start-up and RED mode. Awesome theme, great backbox feature in the RPG, some nice callouts that get very, very repetitive. Love the theme and the playfield layout, also enjoy the RED mode on this. May have to test out lighting to see if I can dampen the light show. People seem to gravitate towards this game, mainly on theme alone. Simple rules that even non-pinheads can follow and feel like they are making progress.

Re-lamped the entire game and added the latest game ROMs, and the game does improve quite a bit.
3 years ago
T3 is a decent game. The theme is meh. The art is pretty bad. It's a fan layout. However, the multiple metal ramps are fun. The RPG game in the backglass is simple, but works well and is pretty fun and challenging.
3 years ago
Not a bad machine but does start to get boring after a few goes, not much to this game but plenty of good ramps and lights very good.
3 years ago
Great sound and theme. Very fun machine
3 years ago
Certainly the worse of the two "Terminator" machines available. Crowded playfield with not a ton to really shoot for. Left ramp, right ramp, up the center for lock.

The backglass gun gimmick is neat, but gets repetitive quickly. That being said, firing the gun in the middle of wizard mode is always a blast to try and pull off... Especially if you're not trying to trap everything on the left flipper!

I found the game to be exceptionally easy to score big on, and thus rotated it out of my collection at the first opportunity. I would play it again if I saw it at a movie theater or bar or something, but I wouldn't want to own it again.
3 years ago
T2 was simple yet awesome, T3 takes the basic building blocks of T2 and puts them on steroids!

The rules are better, the shots are better, the RPG is a great little mini game IMO, Steve managed to take a simple classic and make it even better with T3 helped by improved code and rules.
3 years ago
I love ramp shots, and this game got plenty of that. RED mode is very effective and cool with pulsating flashers. Artwork on the PF is one of worst out there but I don't mind. The movie sucks but the pinball machine is better. Kind of like a T2+. Rules are therefore kind of simple, but I like it. Get it if you find a good deal.
3 years ago
The playfield layout on Terminator 3 is excellent. It is crammed full of shots, and despite this, really flows like a wide open table. With the exception of the skinny center ramp (which is truly a feel good shot) no shots on the game are difficult. However, if pitched steep, with a tight tilt, wide outlanes and the rules set to ''Very Hard'', this game will give you a decent challenge where a great game then becomes in the 200-250 million range. I do not find the game as exciting or willing to push the start button after, if this is set stock and easy, however.

The build quality is very decent, and I really like how different the backbox/translight setup is. The RPG is a fun toy too, when set up/working correctly. The all metal setup with the ramps and habitrails is something seldom seen, and the feel and quality because of it makes this a unique shooting game.

The rules are basic for a Stern, and many have compared (and I agree) that this game is basically a T2 on Steroids. I much prefer the nostalgia of the T2 theme over T3, but much prefer the gameplay of T3 over T2. With that said, there is enough to do, it's just not a game layered with rules, as it's very straight forward. One of the elements I enjoy in this game is the ability to collect weapons and it is added to you bonus. They vary in difficulty to collect, sometimes you get them from the skinny ramp, other times the RPG or the TX challenge, or an award. Once you get to Assault and get out of Assault by draining, it allows you to collect all the weapons again. So if you collect 5 lets say, that's 1.5 million (250k per weapon) It's difficult to get a big bonus in this game, but it's fun to try. (I think I'v had it over 30 something million)
Mixed between say a LOTR or Spiderman, is where this game becomes appropriate for home use. Speaking of which, this game was manufactured sandwiched between LOTR and Simpsons Pinball Party.

The art is only average at best, really nothing to write home about, though it gets the job done.

Sounds are pretty good, Arnold's voice is lent well and some of the sound effects are awesome. I really like when you get to ASSAULT, if you collected all 5 weapons, and then hitting the TX shot 5 times during this mode, the AK47 fires off (As do all the other weapons you collected for that matter)

That's pretty much it. This is a game I had bought a couple years ago because of it being a good deal, and I didn't really take to it because it was set up stock and very easy and it was not enjoyable to me. Because it handed out too much easy stuff and game times were long and unrewarding in nature, I didn't feel like playing it after a game or two. I have since made a trade for another, set it up ''Very Hard'' in the rules, tight tilt, wide outlanes, and the game is so much more challenging and rewarding.

I do believe this is an underrated game due to not being correctly set up. It's a pretty fun, unique pin, I recommend giving it a good try.
3 years ago
I really enjoyed this game and would definitely consider owning one! Despite all the crap it gets, I think it earns high marks.

The Good:
-a great playfield layout: it should be as it's basically a new take on T2 from the same designer
-SUPER fun with fantastic callouts from the T800 himself
-The cannon shot in the backglass: sure it's gimmicky and you learn how to nail it quickly, but it's a cool gimmick that I liked and thought was well implemented
-the music and light show is great. Animations are very well done as well.
-relatively cheap pin for the amount of fun it is!

The Bad:
-Ugh. Cut and paste Photoshop job. So glad that we are past these horrible days from Stern. Such an ugly playfield that could/should have been beautiful. I mean, just look at the T2 playfield next to the T3: night and day.
-Not very deep and the modes get old after a few plays
-Nothing incredibly original in the pf design or DMD animations. T2 did it, and arguably did it better.

Not a bad pin at all. Nothing revolutionary, but definitely a great SR to own.
3 years ago
Game is under rated ! the stainless steel ramps are good !
Great backbox RPG weapon, Arnolds voice throughout the game play is cool !
A fun game to play !
Game build quality is much better than today's pins !
There are 112 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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