Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Pinside Rating

This game received 210 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.598 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #173 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.763

Artwork: 7.239

Sounds/Music: 7.237

Other Aspects: 7.747

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 6 of us have rated this game.


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Found 120 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 120 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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41 days ago
Played several times at the Dutch Pinball Museum.

It’s the definition of a ‘meh’ ‘forgettable’ pin. A fan layout with two main ramp shots that are fun to combo, but not terribly exciting/imaginative to shoot. Terrible red artwork and a ping-pong ball shooting mode in the backbox that is less fun/novel than merely annoying.

The central lock mechanism for multiball seems to be the main feature of the pin followed by RPG mode, which I can’t remember what it was despite only playing the pin yesterday.

I prefer Terminator 2 because, although the rules are simpler, it’s more focused in its objectives.

Not a bad pin and I’d definitely be delighted to play it as the only thing on location, but it is eminently forgettable with its main innovations done better elsewhere.
8 months ago
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a worthy sucessor to the Williams classic Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The machine has a beautiful layout with lots of flow on those ramps. Hitting them is a lot of fun. And the lock shot is very satisfying to make.

The worst thing about this game is the playfield art. I cannot believe the same guy who did the artwork on the newest Black Knight was involved in this. On T3 the artwork is really hard to look at, it would have looked a lot better without Arnold's head in the middle of the playfield. Apart from that though the artwork is pretty good, especially the animations as they didn't include film-sequences.

The sounds are typically low quality as for any Whitestar game, but they aren't annoying. Actually I think they fit in pretty good with this machine.

This game might not be the most captivating in terms of replayability but to me it is always a fun time and it has many very interesting features like the RPG.

Overall I think Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is underappreciated by a lot of players. Of course many things about it are nowadays outdated (Sound, Artwork...) and new machines have a technological advantage. Nevertheless this game is still a load of fun and starting Assault or Payback Time will never get old for me.
1 year ago
Fun pin with tight shots and clear goals. The back glass ball shooter and 3 shooting games in the DMD are fun for the time in 2003 when they were trying to compete with video games.
2 years ago
If there’s a such thing as a T3 mega fan, that’s me. I love Claire Danes, I love the TX. I love the dark ending. I want to love this game.

That’s why it pains me to say this is not a good pinball game. The board flow is weird, the music and shots aren’t great. The voice acting shines, but everything else is utterly average.

The gimmick of this game, a ping pong ball you shoot in the backglass is honestly silly.

Still - an average Stern from this era does still reach a high level of quality! But a Terminator game should be special, and this simply is not it.
2 years ago
Its a fun game. shots are very easy to hit, and it can get repetitive, but if you love ramps this is the game for you.
2 years ago
Such an underdog! I can't believe this pin isn't in the top 50 pins of all time! The ramps have amazing flow and ruleset isn't overly complicated but still keeps you coming back for more! Staying in my collection for a long time!
2 years ago
It's no T2, but its ok. Arnold head looks like a 4 year old painted it. Backbox animation is cool.
3 years ago
Love this games, as a beginner this is such a fun game to learn shots on. Lots of activities to do to keep you interested in the same. I am a big fan of the voice calls outs from Arnie. For the dollar this packs a lot of fun.
3 years ago
If you love ramps, this game is for you. Not sure why T2 is ranked higher than T3? This game seems underrated to me. Has the voice of Arnold telling you to play better. Great game play. Ramps are so satisfying.
3 years ago
I like eye candy, beautiful playfield artwork is one of my favorite things about pinball. This was one of the worst to look at, expected much more from this franchise and from the gorgeous T2 machine . The gameplay itself was fun, but the gimmick on the head of the machine felt county fair cheesy. Sadly, I found myself quickly leaving this machine after only a few games.
3 years ago
This game is definitely underrated; it's a very fun and addicting pin, where I myself going "just one more game" at the end of each game. It's especially fun if you set the settings to hard and adjust the pitch angle to make the pin faster. I love the 3 metal ramps (especially the narrow one in the middle) and there is something satisfying about locking your ball at high speed towards multi-ball down the middle path. Red mode is awesome as are various other modes (e.g. RPG, video mode, hurry up); I have heard some people complain about the RPG mode because it causes a delay in the game, but I find it quite fun and very innovative for a pin that age (it also is a good source of points, and it can be disabled in the settings for those who don't like to play that mode). Overall, I was surprised how much I liked the pin (my wife even noticed the amount of time I spend on it, when there are some high-quality more modern pins sitting next to it). The cherry on top for this pin are the Arnold call-outs of course. The one negative I would say is that they could have done a better job with the art-work on this pin (e.g. we added side art blades to add some more color to the pin). Overall though, again underrated pin and fun to play.
3 years ago
Lots of fun.basic layout but once the game is over ,you want to play another one.And like some games if you ever get to the end can be very disappointing,terminator 3 is not. Final battle is awesome .should definitely be in the top 100.
3 years ago

Playfield artwork is the worst Stern has ever done. Looks like Cut & Paste from an intern. The game itself is enjoyable and fun but overall just a lukewarm game.
3 years ago
Personally I really like this pin,because of all the ramp shots. I like both the RPG and video mode. I like how you have to make your shots. I enjoy the choices before each ball is shot. Very fast and fun multi ball. I like that it's not too complicated.
3 years ago
Doesn't have the smooth shots of something like Demolition Man, simple ruleset but still a pretty fun pin.
3 years ago
The lighting and callouts are really impressive here.
3 years 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?
4 years 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.
5 years 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).
5 years 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.
5 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.
5 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.
6 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.

Edit: Not liking this one as much anymore. The layout is frustrating and one of Ritchie’s worst. Sounds/music are still great but cannot recommend this one. Scores dropped.
6 years ago
It's ok, but nothing to hook you. If there are other machines around, I'm probably not choosing T3.
6 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.
There are 120 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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