Five Best Video Game Controllers

-by Dylan DiBona

When you first open that new console up, there’s always that small but important moment when you hold the controller that’ll be accompanying you for dozens, maybe hundreds of hours of gameplay for the very first time. Is it comfortable? Heavy? Light? How are the buttons? A bad controller can sour a gaming experience, cramp your hands or even just make you annoyed. It may seem like an afterthought to some, but my fellow players who have spent hours on bad controllers know the difference. These five controllers have made my gaming experiences much better.

Note: I’m only discussing controllers that come with a console, nothing you have to buy separately.

5. Xbox One

I have somewhat sour memories when it comes to the Xbox 360 controller, part of the reason I hate going back to my 360 is the remote itself. I don’t like constantly needing batteries and having to tape the battery pack on so it won’t fall out. The Xbox One controller fixes those issues while giving the gamer some really great thumbstick grips and the greatest triggers I’ve ever felt.

Image result for xbox one controller

It didn’t change too much, but the things the Xbox One controller did revise like the clunky d-pad from last generation are all welcome updates.

 

4. GameCube

The GameCube controller is either something you love or hate. Other than the Z-button being in an somewhat odd place, all the other buttons are comfortably close to one another, hugging the A button.
Image result for gamecube controller

It’s an odd looking thing and the C-stick isn’t the best way to control a camera, but with games like Super Smash Brothers Melee or The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, you couldn’t ask for a much better remote.

Most first party games on the GameCube make this weird controller feel perfectly natural.

3. Nintendo Entertainment System

Minimalism at it’s finest. I’d never actually held an NES controller in my hands until I picked up an NES Classic, and it felt perfectly naturally. Incredibly light weight, responsive buttons and a solid d-pad. Much like the GameCube, you couldn’t ask for a better remote when it came to the games on the system.

Image result for nes controller

Everything from Super Mario Bros, to Tetris, and even Ninja Gaiden make the controller feel absolutely perfect. I know we need more buttons and complexity for modern games, but I find it to be a genuine shame that there’s no room for a controller this simple today.

 

2. Wii U Gamepad

I think the initial disliking of the Wii U gamepad has passed, which is great because it’s an actually good controller. The d-pad is perfect, the face buttons are soft but responsive, and the triggers feel nice too. Despite the size, my hands don’t cramp up and the tablet itself is very lightweight. I’ve actually had those TV commercial moments where my dad wants to watch football but I’m playing Zelda, and with the tap of a button my game goes onto the tablet screen and my dad gets to watch his team lose. It’s handy and always impressive (maybe not so much with the Switch now).

Image result for wii u gamepad

My only gripe with the controller is the placement of the ZL and ZR buttons, much like with the GameCube controller, Nintendo put these buttons close to the player than the triggers. So if you want to press ZR, you have to awkwardly move your pointer finger closer to yourself. Luckily not too many games ask use you press those buttons.

 

1. Dualshock 4

The total opposite situation of my Xbox 360 is currently going on with my PlayStation 4, part of the reason I love playing on it is the controller. Lightweight, responsive buttons, nice joysticks and great triggers make for an awesome remote. It’s the quintessential gaming controller.

Image result for dualshock 4

However, the touchpad, speaker and lightbar are incredibly underutilized and could probably save the consumer twenty dollars or more if they took them out. Other than that, I’ve found my soulmate in the gaming controller realm.


What controller is your favorite to game with? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply. As always, thanks for reading.

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14 thoughts on “Five Best Video Game Controllers

  1. Hmm … gotta agree with the Xbox One and Gamecube pads. I’ve not tried the WiiU, so can’t judge, but I’m not a fan of the PS4 one. It’s the position of the ‘options’ and ‘share’ buttons and that cumbersomely large touchpad that put me off.
    So, I’d stick with Xbox One and GC, throw in the six button Mega Drive/Gensis pad, the regular PS3 pad, and the Mster System pad (just for the nostalgic fun of having to repair the D-Pad with double sided tape so often).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often like to bring up the Dreamcast controllers in these discussions. Whilst it’s certainly not the best controller ever made, the use of the VMU in it was certainly innovative and Fur Fighters was one of the first third person games to try and emulate the use of WASD and mouselook using a controller. Whilst not perfect, it definitely tried to break new ground.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of the coolest things to me was how you could catch those little creatures in Sonic Adventure, and then the memory card _turned into a freaken Tomagotchi_. Like holy cow did they make that feature awesome. No one else has ever attempted to make a memory card sexy since then!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the screen functionality of my Wii U controller, but I’m currently having loads of issues hitting the wrong button at exactly the worst time. I’ve got hilariously fat and stumpy fingers, admittedly, but I was just thinking the other day that if Nintendo had used the same Gamecube system (i.e different shapes, sizes, and spacing) for the face buttons, it’d be a lot, lot better.

    Also, a Wii U/Gamecube hybrid would just generally be pretty freaking awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the GameCube controller, but I think the pinnacle of controller quality and snappiness was Xbox 360, although the XBone has a great controller as well, plus wireless capabilities.

    As far as hand cramping goes, I’d say that the Nintendo controller is the biggest offender, with the SNES a close second!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading your article, and agree that the current-gen controllers of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 are great. I think the Dualshock 4 is more durable, is easier to grip (Microsoft fixed this with the Xbox One S controllers, but the original Xbox One controllers were slippery to the touch and were constantly flying out of my kids’ hands), and the in-controller speaker is a really fun feature (I liked when I was playing GTA V and would get phone calls, and the caller’s voice could be heard through the Dualshock 4’s speaker…classic).

    Liked by 1 person

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