Upon its release, the NME stated: "The Man-Machine stands as one of the pinnacles of 70's rock music." Although the album was initially unsuccessful on the UK Albums Chart, it reached a new peak position of number nine in February 1982, becoming the band's second highest-peaking album in the United Kingdom after Autobahn (1974).The Man-Machine was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 15 February 1982, denoting shipments in excess of 100,000 copies.
In October 2009, a remastered edition of the album was released on CD and digital download by Mute Records in Europe and by Astralwerks in the United States, with heavyweight vinyl editions released in November 2009.
The NME wrote a glowing review and said: "Kraftwerk manage to convey the entire 'melange of elements' by musical means alone: the sparsity of the lyrics leaves the emphasis squarely on those robot rhythms; chilling tones and exquisite melodies." Critic Andy Gill also praised the "complexity of construction", saying "there's a lot more than electronic percussion in there".