Submitted by MasonicGamer 649d ago | opinion piece

Top Ten Best And Worst Controllers Of All Time

MasonicGamer.com: Doing a best and worst controllers list was never going to be easy, it’s a touchy subject with a lot of different opinions. At first I asked myself how I could possibly compile such a list when there are so many controllers out there, decades worth of crap not to mention plenty of 3rd party abominations.

My solution was to make a list that focused on the more obvious stuff, ideally things that you would see packed in with some of the more major systems. Also preferably something pretty well known amongst the gaming community, nothing too obscure. Think of it as a list based on some of the bigger names in the games industry. (GameCube, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360)

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1upgamer99  +   649d ago
I did not hate the Dreamcast controller. Xbox controller was the worst, at least for my hands.
NukaCola  +   649d ago
My favorite:
Wavebird, Duelshock 2, Xbox Controller S

My least favorite:
Xbox original, CollicoVision, Power Glove
iGAM3R-VIII  +   649d ago
I agree with your least favs but my favs would be the DualShock 4, The newest Xbox controller and the gamecube one
Zhipp  +   649d ago
The DS4 isn't even out yet. Do you mean DS3?
MaxXAttaxX  +   649d ago
The Wavebird fit great in my hands up until I started playing games not made by Nintendo. Then the controls start to kinda suck. Buttons can feel a bit stiff, the D-pad was terrible and small. They even had to make an easy-input version of fighting games like CVS2 for the GameCube because of its controls. Yet they have the audacity to hate on the DualShock lol
#1.1.3 (Edited 649d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(3) | Report
darthv72  +   649d ago
Kinect...bu bu but
it isnt a controller. YOU are the controller so that must mean.......
dedicatedtogamers  +   649d ago
The Neo Geo Pocket Color also had that clicky directional pad. It's the one thing they did that I wished other companies would have copied.
BattleAxe  +   649d ago
Message to the Author:

Saying that the Dual Shock 3 is one of the worst controllers, means that you have no credibility. Close down your website, you are not worthy.
1upgamer99  +   649d ago
LOL, Power Glove....Yes Wavebird!!! Xbox Controller just never felt right in m hands, like at all.
jadenkorri  +   649d ago
the ps3 controller is not the worst controller, there are far more worse controllers than the ps3... this guy desperately wants hits... im more sad i gave him one...
insomnium2  +   649d ago
OK not having Atari Jaguar controller anywhere in the article is instafail.


It doesn't look as bad as it feels though. Everyone who ever owned a Jag knows what I'm talking about.

I have a Jag btw. Got it off from ebay just for one game. AvP! That game single handedly justifies the 124 euros I paid for the bundle. One of the best games ever!
NastyLeftHook0  +   649d ago
Dualshock 3 for me.

A the gamecube. and snes.
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darkequitus  +   648d ago

I have agree 100%. When I use live in the UK, I bought a Jaguar with 4 games for 30GBP. That keypad aside, that controller without a doubt was a pile of dog poo.
I can forgive most things, but a spongy D-pad is an instant failure.
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loulou  +   648d ago
360 controller is my personal fav. the d-pad needs improving though
3-4-5  +   649d ago
Best: Xbox 360, Gamecube , SNES , 2nd Sega Controller ( small one )

Worst: Original Xbox, PS3 controller.

I can't stand the Dual Shock. It's not designed intelligently.
superterabyte  +   649d ago
Designed intelligently? (see image)

you're chatting shite son.

Related image(s)
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gobluesamg  +   649d ago
You're not designed intelligently mothasucka
Root  +   649d ago
Well your in the minority there because the DS is one of the best controllers out there.

The 360s is nice but it's only really better for first person shooters, the DS is an all rounder controller.

I don't see the complaining now about the DS, everyone was fine with the PS1 and PS2 controller so why hate on it now. I think fanboyism plays a part but even then you can't admit another consoles controller is better...come on.
Yi-Long  +   649d ago
Not just for shooters...
... I also feel the 360 controller is better for racing games. Better triggers, better analogue sticks, and more comfortable to hold.

The 360 controller IS really really crap for 2d games and fighters though, when they require the D-pad, which is terrible. The DS3 has a pretty good D-pad, so I prefer to buy fighters for the PS3, and racers for the 360.
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thebaultdo   649d ago | Spam
Braid  +   649d ago
I think I like Sixasis controller the most. Before you say "but it doesn't have built in rumble", I'd like to say yeah, I know it and I'm perfectly fine with that as without that component the controller feels as light as a bird.

Even extensive gaming sessions don't give you a wrist hurt, not at the slightest level at all. For that reason alone I love it, and I'm still using the hell out of it over the DS3. I know gamers care about rumble a lot and I'm in the minority here, though.
jcnba28  +   649d ago
Gamecube controller was my favorite.
WilliamH  +   649d ago
Most comfortable controller of them all. I loved the clicky triggers.
DivineAssault  +   649d ago
i completely disagree with this
jcnba28  +   649d ago
Of course you do LOL
3-4-5  +   649d ago
Why though ? With everything? he was pretty spot on with everything.
xabmol  +   649d ago
Hating on the DS3 Dpad though? I mean, really? I thought that DS1/2/3 controllers have always had the best Dpads around. Next being nintendo.
Kurt Russell  +   649d ago
Their dpads are better than xbox yes... but most consoles have bettered them since the 80's (apart from gamecube which was absolute arse, and impossibly small). DS3 is an OK all rounder, but it could easily be improved.
xabmol  +   648d ago
Name one controller that had a better Dpad than a dual shock.

Hm? Me bets the only controllers that you can think of come from Nintendo. Or you'll go with the Sega Saturn one from the article which about 20 people actually owned and used...
swice  +   649d ago
MagneticDeath2  +   649d ago
Lol at the PS3 controller sucks.
3-4-5  +   649d ago
It does though.

Analogs are a joke for FPS games

* Rounded tops really ? who thought that one through ?

Lose and floaty ? Who's idea was that ?

Horrible Should buttons ? Somebody ok'd this ?

D-buttons instead of D-pad ?

Worst analog sticks in all of gaming.

Playstation & Sony don't suck. I like them for what they are, but they can do better.

You shouldn't settle for crap.

As an OG xbox gamer I HATED the original xbox controller and I love the 360.

The controller should be designed so that you forget it's there. You should be immersed in the game play and forget your even playing a game.

^ Another reason why Kinect sucks. It actually pulls you away or out of the experience.
xabmol  +   649d ago
I disagree with everything you just said, aside from the L2/R2 buttons.

@UnHoly_One (below)

Why on earth would you want the DS to have staggered sticks?? That shit is stupid. Go buy an Xbox if you want it so bad.
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InMyOpinion  +   649d ago
"Rounded tops really ? who thought that one through ?"

Easy now. On N4G that makes perfect sense. Less grip and precision is a good thing :)

I agree with some of your sentiments. Also, compared to the 360 controller the build quality of the DS3 feels cheap in your hands.
Dmagic  +   649d ago
the analogs are wayyyy better than 360's i can make perfect "S" on ps3 controller its way more accurate. on 360 it makes "Z" i cant play cod at all on 360 ps3 only .
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DOMination-  +   649d ago
I have to agree with your points except the dpad which i think is easily best of the current gen consoles. The reason why people are hating on ds3 is because times have changed. It used to be the best but things move on and it niw has flaws. This is why Sony hace made radical changes for tge PS4.

Another dualshock problem are the circular ridges around the face buttons (and also the dpad). After prolonged use that thing really cuts into your hand whereas i have to say, the 360 being smooth all over is a great design decision. I cant tell if the DS4 has this but i hope theyve fixed it.
StockpileTom  +   649d ago
What? I like the loose sticks... I treat the game controller like a precision instrument that it is... if the sticks are too tight it makes making very minute movements difficult.

I know some people personally who dislike the loose sticks but they treat their controllers like crap. They are always a bit heavy-handed using the controllers with about the amount of dexterity you use a sledge hammer with...
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T2  +   644d ago
Meh u make some good comments but 360 controller is too fat, heavy , and batteries? LOL
Killzoner99  +   648d ago
Nice try TROLL. You need to change your profile pic ASAP because it's obvious you have no love for Sony. You're just another troll trying to piss everyone off. Change it today or I will report you.
Lionalliance  +   648d ago
Why do you have the same icon as him?
MagneticDeath2  +   646d ago
wasnt trolling, i said lol at the fact that the best controller of all time is considered the worst by them. Such a shitty article almost as shitty as an xbox controller.
UnHoly_One  +   649d ago
Like the Author, I have to preface this by saying that I realize I'm in the minority, but I couldn't agree more on the Dualshock.

It always makes me happy seeing somebody come out and say that they hate that piece of junk, just so I know I'm not alone.

I was really hoping the PS4 would come along and they would, at the very least, put the left analog stick in the primary position, but no luck.

Makes me sad. :(
Veni Vidi Vici  +   649d ago
I loved "The Duke". The only thing I didn't like were the black and white buttons were a little hard to reach. The fit was absolutely perfect for a person with big hands though.

Which brings me to why I hated the PS controllers. That design was too small for my big hands. If I play with one for more than 30 minutes, my hands start to cramp. The analogue sticks aren't very precise and your thumb slips off them too easily as well.

The new PS4 controller looks much better in both regards.
T2  +   644d ago
Wow in all my years playing ps3 I have never even heard of someone finger slipping off the ds sticks ... I call bs , what do you drip sweat while playing ?
Paul_Murphy  +   649d ago
I do feel that the Gamecube controller was the most comfortable controller, although i do like the 360's a lot.

But Nintendo always seemed to have the best controllers of each generation and the GC's was the pinacle.
Roccetarius  +   649d ago
Microsoft just needs to do something about the D-Pad, then we're good to go. I've always loved the 360 controller.
MikeMyers  +   649d ago
Microsoft sure improved the controller. The Duke was terrible. I also disliked the Dreamcast controller, it just felt cheap. Sony needs to update theirs, there's no reason to have the d pad be the primary position and the sticks do feel very loose. It's why shooter games don't feel right.
dkgshiz  +   649d ago
I like how the gamecube controller is in the best category and the PS3 controller is in the worst. I don't know anyone who actually liked the Gamecube controller. Two different sized analog sticks...why?
#10 (Edited 649d ago ) | Agree(16) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
ExCest  +   649d ago
That's the only bad thing about the Gamecube controller: the C-stick. Other than that, I can say that it's the best controller even if it isn't the most feature-rich of them.
trenso1  +   649d ago
that and the d-pad but everything else was spot on
ChiTownDoc  +   649d ago
Happily surprised to not see n64 make the bad list. It always seems to generate hate but my friends and I loved it.

That said, he shows his hater side by ripping the ps4 controller despite its fixing of many of his critiques of the ds3.
Zerotino  +   649d ago
I swear I'm one of the only people who didn't like the 360 controller. It fits well enough in your hand sure and and trigger buttons felt real nice, But I've grown up with playstation so having the left analog stick and D-Pad switched felt really awkward for me.

Once again I don't know if its because I'm used to it but I've never had a problem reaching the Start/Select/Home button on my PS3 controller. Same with the D-Pad. Its odd that its segmented sure but once again, to me that's always felt right.

But I grew up with Sony so that's just me being Biased.

I will admit though I do love the GC controller though i feel like the right side of the controller was always so cluttered compared to the left.
Eyeco  +   649d ago
I dont like the 360 controller either IMHO I think its big bulky piece of american crap, I cant stand the dpad or the face buttons they allways let me down in fighters, and that stupid battery pack what were they thinking? nothing beats Snes controller tho just perfect
glennco  +   648d ago
Battery pack means the pad can outlast the battery, or the batt can be changed in a second. Perfectly fine solution.
Zerotino  +   648d ago
Actually yes I totally forgot to mention the battery pack. It just felt so out of place, i have big hands so the battery pack would always dig into my fingers when i was holding it. It was so unnecessarily big, if the PS3 could have a built in battery which you could charge through a USB AND maintain a fair lifespan (I usually get around 4-5 days on it so around 20-30 hours) but not have a hunking piece of plastic in the back, then why did the 360.
T2  +   644d ago
Yup its so fat it digs right into my index fingers on each side and who doesnt love having a nice supply of AA batteries around lol
pandaboy  +   649d ago
xbox and xbox360 are the two worst controllers I've ever used. Best is probably the dual shock by sony.
Omar91  +   649d ago
lmao you don't even try to hide your tolling you, just throw it out there. Your not very good.
Why o why  +   649d ago
Dual shock for me because its easier to do the right hand piano grip for fighting games. Have a problem with the 360 battery compartment nulling my fingers but it too is a pretty well thought out pad baring the dpad...
#14 (Edited 649d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
kirbyu  +   649d ago
Wait...nobody likes the colors of the SNES buttons. My childhood is ruined.

I don't see why the Gamecube's D-pad being small if a problem, it barely ever gets used.

Wiimote and N64 controller aren't in the worst list. I'm actually surprised. I've never had a problem with them, but still.
PopRocks359  +   649d ago
I don't see why the 360 or PS3 controllers are in the categories they were listed in. The PS3 controller works great and the triggers merely take some getting used to. The 360 controller is comfortable sure, but its Achilles' heel is that god awful d-pad, a game breaker for anyone wishing to play fighting games with it (and there are quite a few).
xJumpManx  +   649d ago
Yes the dpad sucks on the 360 controller for fighting games,just like the ps3 sucks for FPS and racing games compared to the 360 controller.
PopRocks359  +   649d ago
The PS3 controller has just as much functionality (actually even more so because of the motion control), with analogue triggers and a more functional D-pad. I've played Borderlands and Bioshock on the PS3 controller without any issues, so I'm not sure what exactly you mean.
Why o why  +   649d ago
Not sure what the dudes on about. Say your preference but don't talk nonsense to even it out or spite back.

They even done the deadzone test to show the ps3 pad analogue sticks were more precise but that still doesnt mean their positioning was better...thats just a preference.

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andibandit  +   649d ago
I would prefer both analog sticks in the primary position, since that is the position my thumbs rest at. Laso means i prefer the 360 controller, since ms got it half right.
mydyingparadiselost  +   649d ago
I'm a huge fan of the gamecube controller. I like the dualshock too but the only way I find it comfortable is by having both the index and middle finger on the L/R buttons, it seems to make using the analogs feel more precise.
InTheLab  +   649d ago
He...doesn't like the dualshock's d pad?
Peanuts110  +   649d ago
Not me. I went with PRO Ex wireless that looks like xbox360 great feel. My hands don't get tired as with PS3 controller. I just don't like the spongy feel of the sticks. I find myself tilting the controller as well.
ExCest  +   649d ago
The "spongy" feel is the pressure sensitive stuff. All buttons on the DS3 (and 2) save for the home, start, and select buttons are pressure sensitive.
Peanuts110  +   646d ago
Correction: PowerA controller (wireless)
Horny  +   649d ago
GameCube cotroller is the most comfortable in my opinion. I also loved the N64 controller which I know I'm in the minority. The wiiu pro controller is nice but feels hard and cheap, great layout though. Love the snes controller, it was much improved and more comfortable over the NES.

When it comes to Sony I love the dual shock. Was always comfortable, love the d pad and the responsiveness of the analog sticks, less of a dead zone than 360. Most versatile controller. The sticks are a bit on the slippery side and triggers need work.

360 controller has a great feel, especially the wired one (wireless not so much). Fits in your hands great and has the best triggers. The only complaint I have is the analog sticks feel clunkier due to deadzone and the face buttons and triggers feel hard and clunky.
The first x box controller was the worst controller ever designed, they stepped it up big time.

Sega was always just ok with controllers. never hated any besides the first genesis with the terrible triggers and d pad.
raiden-49  +   649d ago
While I was reading this I got my ps3 controller out to see what he said was right and yea pretty much i even got the dualshock 2 out to compare the analog sticks and the ps3 was way more loose.
Qrphe  +   649d ago
The sticks on the PS3 controller are the most accurate out of all consoles right now so they're loose for intended effortless precision. Try also comparing the precision of Killzone 1 and PS2 to that of Killzone 2/3 for reference.
raiden-49  +   649d ago
Didn't say it was less accurate just that it was looser and my god the looseness does not help in some game.
ALLWRONG  +   649d ago
Just fix the D-pad on the 360 controller and make it standard for every system. Nintendo has, and most PC and third party companies adopted the style.
RE_L_MAYER  +   649d ago
Playstation 3 my ass I would trade any of those pieces of vomit for playstation 3 controller
Buljo  +   649d ago
For most of these controllers I was too young to remember how they felt, but from my standpoint I can honestly say that I just can't wrap my head (or hands for that matter) around the 360 controller. It could be the fact I had every iteration of Playstation consoles and I got used to the design, but the PS controller certainly fits my hands much more naturally. Not to say that the 360 controller is bad by any means, it's just it's not that comfortable for me. The triggers on it aren't that great either.
Qrphe  +   649d ago
I feel like the lvoe for the GC controller is most nostalgia. The controller isn't as functional as the other two 6th gen controllers: the right stick has huge deadzone but it doesn't even have a proper grip, the d-pad is small and uncomfortable, the z-button is hard to reach (plus there is only one), and it's more difficult to maneuver with the face buttons since their positioning wasn't traditional.
The best controller that gen was the redesigned Xbox controller; I find it to be better than even the 360 controller.
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TechnicianTed  +   649d ago
The GC controller was excellent. I will say I've never had too much problem with the Dualshock, but I'd give the worst controller to the Vita, the thumbsticks are terrible.
tommygunzII  +   649d ago
The PlayStation controller hasn't changed. Improvements have been made, but it has always been the same. Analog sticks, rumble, pressure sensitive buttons, triggers for R2 L2, six-axis, bluetooth wireless and a home button is all that differs from the PS1's first controller. I say if it isn't broke, don't fix it.
The only issue I have with PS3 controller is that my thumbs sometimes touch each other, which can be bad at times. Seems the new PS4 controller will fix that since it appears to be at least 5mm wider between the sticks.
NewZealander  +   649d ago
i dont think they have improved the design with the DS3, in fact i think they made some things worse, the spongy convex triggers suck, i always slip off them during racing games etc, the convex analogue sticks also do the same thing.

when i unboxed my ps3 and pulled out the controller i instantly thought omg whats this light cheep plasticy thing?
the sticks are all wrong and far too loose, the whole thing needs to be modernized, basically the same controller for three generations, i guess its all some people know, but that dont mean its good.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   649d ago
Well it really is no surprise that the 360 controller is the best with the dualshock controller as one of the worst.

It's ergonomically painful to use.

I can't stand the PS3 controller.

360 controller is the most comfortable controller out of them all.
Why o why  +   649d ago
Don't you mean you cant stand sonyanything;)

wenaldy  +   649d ago
It really is no surprise you hate Sony...
mr_kubrick  +   648d ago
He hates Sony as much as 99,5% of the N4G-users hate MS. So whats the deal?

Its his opinion. At least he is one of the few on here that has one.
solidjun5  +   648d ago
Everyone here has an opinion. What are you talking about?
CEOSteveBallmer  +   649d ago
Worst huh?, I played NBA with my friend on his 360 and the 360 controller is so bulky that im having difficulty playing the game. I never had any issues with other controllers, gamecube, SNES, Wii, N64, each to his own I guess. But youre obviously on microsofts defence and yes these two guys below are right. You hate Sony related things
mushroomwig  +   648d ago
'360 controller is the most comfortable controller out of them all.'

Not for me it isn't, the 360 controller is too big to be comfortable. The D-pad is a disaster and I don't actually like the position of the analogy sticks.

At the end of the day this is someones opinion piece, you have yours and I have mine. There is no "best" in this.
JamieL  +   648d ago
It's not "to big" look at Why o Why's link up there. They are basically the same dimensions, so that argument no longer holds water, for either side. Then again it does choose the DS3 as the better controller for shooters, though even the most zealous PS3 fanboy's will say the 360 controller is better for shooters, so whatever, but they are the same size.
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Omar91  +   649d ago
Gamecube controller feels so comfortable when playing games. It literally fits like a glove when you hold it. Also the 360 controller is very well made and fits grew. Ps3 controller is good but my least favorite out of the 3 and I've been with sony since the ps1 days.
Xof  +   649d ago
Kinda feel like Nintendo has a monopoly on terrible controllers. Only Nintendo controller I've liked has been the SNES pad.
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