Top 10 Video Game Controllers

That's right. We are finally doing it for Shacknews. Here are our Staff's Top 10 Video Game Controllers.


Button placement, weight, form factor, and countless other things go into what makes a game controller truly great. We polled the entire Shacknews staff and we can't wait to see the reaction from our viewers and community. Please take a look at our Top 10 video game controllers.

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and YouTube channels.

What were your favorite video game controllers? Let us know in the comments section!

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Top 10, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #Top10.

From The Chatty
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    February 16, 2018 4:20 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Top 10 Video Game Controllers

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      February 16, 2018 4:26 PM

      Glad I'm not the only crazy one. I have large hands, and the gamecube controller looks and really is small, but it feels so ergonomic to me.

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        February 16, 2018 4:29 PM

        Yeah. Typical awesome Nintender design.

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        February 16, 2018 4:45 PM

        I like the shape of the side wing things, big flat surface to hold.

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        February 16, 2018 4:51 PM

        The radial layout of the face buttons is still the smartest out there. It gives developers a common button for primary action while the other buttons can easily be rolled over to. In an alternate universe this would be the mainstream button configuration instead of the SNES style that dominates today.

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          February 16, 2018 8:23 PM

          The button layout was great but the right analogue stick sucked.

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            February 16, 2018 8:44 PM

            Yeah, no doubt. Combining the GCN button layout with a modern gamepad would be pretty tight though

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              February 16, 2018 9:17 PM

              and the analog triggers from the 360 pad

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                February 16, 2018 9:48 PM

                I'm the wrong guy to talk to about that, I prefer digital triggers. My favorite thing about the XBox One Elite controller is I can make them hair triggers.

                Analog is terrific for racing games but for fighting and shooting games I'm digital all the way. I'm playing Bayonetta 2 again and nailing dodges with no throw on the trigger is so nice

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          February 16, 2018 9:14 PM

          I fully agree with this.

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        February 16, 2018 6:51 PM

        Ah, the Gamecube 'troller. The one with the melty face and the gigantic "win game" button.

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        February 16, 2018 10:32 PM

        I like the Gamecube controller a lot... but I always felt like the b button felt wrong. Like it has too shallow of a throw and never depresses enough.

        Am I the only one on this? The button feels too hard.

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      February 16, 2018 4:32 PM

      I think the only thing I take issue with is the PS4/X360 placement. The dpad on the X360 controller was just so terrible that it feels like it should lose a spot. I don't mind the X1 being above both though.

      *throws pretzel*

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      February 16, 2018 4:51 PM

      No Saturn pad??????????????????????????????????????

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      February 16, 2018 4:53 PM

      I’d swap #1 and #2 myself, but given that #1 is still being produced today, is still a great design (the radial face button layout is still brilliant), and has clearly stood the test of time, I’m not mad.

      I’m also glad to see no DualShock 1-3. Life is too short to live with garbage.

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        February 16, 2018 5:00 PM

        I think the PS1, 2, 3 controllers are all basically one entry along with the PS4's

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          February 16, 2018 5:50 PM

          The entry is explicitly Dualshock 4 and its described as Sony finally updating the design of the controllers after nearly 20 years

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          February 16, 2018 5:57 PM

          Nope. Those controllers are garbage.

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      February 16, 2018 6:25 PM

      Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog is best controller. Number 2 is the Steel Battalion controller.

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        February 16, 2018 6:44 PM

        In high school I used to drive to Best Buy just to sensually caress the Saitek X36 on display

        I've seriously not had my hands on anything that felt so good before or since. I'm pretty sure they make sex dolls out of that material now.

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          February 16, 2018 7:34 PM

          ha i had that controller too at one point. Gave it to a friend for Star Citizen

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      February 16, 2018 6:36 PM

      Is the Dreamcast in there? The VMU thing was really unique.

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        February 16, 2018 6:43 PM

        The form factor doesn't feel like it was intended for human hands

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          February 16, 2018 6:52 PM

          The d pad caused physical pain

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          February 16, 2018 6:53 PM

          "Old handbreaker" we'd call it. And the triggers were surprisingly pointy.

          And what the hell was up with the cord coming out of the bottom, with that weird notch on the back? Stupid VMU.

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          February 16, 2018 7:27 PM

          it's a bad controller

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          February 16, 2018 8:46 PM

          I played so much THPS 2 on that thing, though.

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          February 16, 2018 11:43 PM

          Yeah. Uncomfortable with a terrible d-pad and just so much else wrong. VMU's were a super clever, unique element, but it's not enough to make up for its other failings.

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      February 16, 2018 6:46 PM

      I think the Wiimote is unjustly left out.

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        February 16, 2018 9:59 PM

        "Lazy mode" with the remote and nunchuk all splayed out is highly underrated, same with splayed out split joycon mode

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      February 16, 2018 7:27 PM

      #1, mouse and keyboard BOOYAH

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        February 17, 2018 4:32 AM

        I had a friend that felt the same way and insisted on playing Dark Souls that way. It was funny.

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      February 16, 2018 7:30 PM

      Dreamcast is a terribly awkward feeling controller.

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        February 18, 2018 10:56 AM

        and the analog stick on it wasnt very durable. I broke probably 3 of them back in the day. cheap plastic on the inside analog mechanism would break or crack and then the analog just wouldnt work anymore or it would have a lot of drift.

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      February 16, 2018 8:32 PM

      Did I hear that right? The DS4 battery has an impressive amount of game time?

      Nice to see the Wavebird get a shout out!

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        February 16, 2018 9:22 PM

        The video does make the claim that a DualShock 4 "gets an impressive amount of game time," in a tone that doesn't sound laden with sarcasm.

        Which I guess is fair, while "impressive" usually is used for positive traits, it is impressive how short the battery life is on a DS4 compared to other wireless controllers.

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            February 16, 2018 9:31 PM

            Not throwing anything, I'm just trying to make sense of of an otherwise slightly odd statement.

            It's a solid controller, but peaking at something like ~8 hours on a charge isn't much to talk about when others are pulling 30-40 hours on a charge.

            Now maybe you shouldn't be playing for 8 hours straight, and really charging between uses isn't exactly asking that much, but...

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              February 17, 2018 12:14 AM

              Felt the same, it's the most common complaint on the controller.

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      February 16, 2018 9:42 PM

      How about worst controllers? Off the top of my head:
      Atari Jaguar
      Sega Saturn 3D
      Colecovision (deep pull, but I was stuck using that abomination for so many hours at my cousin's house)
      Sega Master System

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        February 16, 2018 9:43 PM

        I would throw the Apple Pippin on there, but I never actually used it. Nor did anyone else for that matter. It looks like it will be awkward though.

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        February 16, 2018 10:27 PM

        Intellivions was THE worst ever made

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        February 17, 2018 12:40 AM

        N64 controller was awesome AF. Great D pad, gave us the analog stick and all buttons should have been the size of the C buttons on every controller ever since.

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          February 17, 2018 1:35 AM

          Maybe putting it on this list was too harsh, but I've never been a fan. I can appreciate the historical significance, being the first one to introduce the analog stick, but I think there were some missteps that keep it from holding up today. The analog stick was too light and had a bad habit of getting all loosey goosey with age. It's rare to find one now with a stick that doesn't have a lot of slop. The build quality in general just never felt up to Nintendo standards. With your left hand on the the D-pad (which was great as you'd expect from a Nintendo controller) it was comfortable to hold. Using the center grip however, felt too cramped and became uncomfortable during long sessions. I'm ambivalent towards the button layout. Two rows of three (like the Genesis six-button controller) would have felt more natural, but that's my bias. All of my issues with the N64 controller were fixed with the GameCube, and that's on my short list of greatest controllers ever.

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            February 17, 2018 2:01 AM

            I can honestly agree on all points related to the N64. The middle dong was a bit on the dumb side, but I don't think any of us were ready for a digital pad and an analog stick on the same thumb without moving your hand back and for in the 90s.

            I have fond memories with the controller though, mostly I think due to Mario 64, I sunk hours into that game and it's still my all time fav Mario game.

            Also shouts out to Nintendo for realizing how important the analog stick was and letting other companies borrow the design. Without that step the console industry would be fucked.

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        February 17, 2018 1:56 AM

        I really liked the triggers and analog on the Saturn pad.

        I think the switch joycons are among the worst console controllers I've ever used. Size and button placement are the biggest problems for me. Even if you have tiny hands, the buttons are not good and the lack of a proper dpad really underscores the complaints people have had about the PlayStation controller for the last 20+ years.

        In relation to how the gamepad is set up and how it's used, I'd put the joycons below the Jaguar pad for usability.

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      February 16, 2018 9:56 PM

      I concur, the Gamecube controller is the best. Extremely comfortable.

      The triggers are great, especially in games like Luigi's Mansion and the buttons being shaped differently is a smart choice, allows you to easily tell what button you are pressing.

      I cannot agree with the Dualshock 4 on there. Maybe its ergonomically superior to 3 but it last like 2 hours. No idea why you praised the battery. And the touchpad and light are useless.

      As for classic controllers, the SNES is still good, although a little small now after using it as an adult. It gave me blisters though, especially when playing Mega Man X. N64 joystick also gave me blisters.

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      February 16, 2018 10:35 PM

      Also, if we are talking about controllers used to today, I wouldn't put the NES controller on there. Those square edges are horrible.

      Wouldn't mind someone modding the Virtual Boy controller to work on the NES.

      I remember it being quite good.

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      February 17, 2018 12:38 AM

      The Duke on OG Xbox was the shit. People hate on it but I'm with PC Accelerator, long live the Duke.

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      February 17, 2018 4:22 AM

      Where are the Atari Paddle Controllers? You can’t play Warlords without them! :)

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      February 19, 2018 4:21 AM


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      February 19, 2018 7:20 AM

      I'm sorry,but the GameCube controller is among one of the worst that I've ever played with. Not as bad as the N64,OG X Box,or Dreamcast controllers,but there's no way it's the best ever.

      I personally love the DS4 but I use FPS Control Freaks on the analog sticks,which makes it even better. The Super NES controller is pretty much the foundation to the Playstation controllers so I have a strong love for it as well.

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