Tell Us Dammit: Favourite Controller Of All Time?

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I've been at Kotaku Australia for a long time, so I'm certain I've asked this question before.

But what the hell, I'm asking it again.

What is your favourite controller of all time?

I have a few...

— Super Nintendo controller. YES. — Xbox 360 controller. At the time it felt perfect. — Dual Shock 4. I just love it for some reason. — Xbox One Elite. Pretty much perfect and feels expensive (because it is expensive).

Okay, now you!


    The power glove. Definitely the power glove.

      It's so bad

        The tech in the finger bending sensors was pure genius, though. And the whole thing eventually wound up as the wiimote.

        It was just too far ahead of its time. A VR controller coupled to an 8 bit console was utterly useless.

          Almost as useless as a VR label on a 32 bit console :P

          I don't think it was the console. More the fact it didn't work most of the time.

            The hardware was pretty sound, but the console driving it didn't have the power to drive it.

            It's like hooking an oculus up to a chromebook.

              We used it to make VR rigs back in the very early 90s, and it worked perfectly on PC.

    When my hands were smaller I liked the GameCube controller. Right now it has to be the Elite controller.

    Dual Shock 4 is definitely my preferred controller. The XBox 360 controller would pip it at the post if it weren't for the rubbish D-Pad.

      I'd agree with the DS4 but for the fact that you've surely overlooked the Move Controller and the Move Navigation Controller, both of which feel like sex toys.

    Xbox One Elite - Haven't liked using anything else since...

      Is it as clicky as the standard xbone controller? Because I really don't like the way it makes mouse-button levels of noise every time I jump in a game.

        I don't notice it as much on the Elite - the XB1 controller I found more clicky than the 360 and it was a bit jarring at first.
        The ability to dim the X1 logo on the controller was worth the purchase price alone for me :)

    Wavebird first, followed by the fancy xbox 360 controller with the switching dpad.

    Dreamcast controller. 'nuff said. :-P

      100% agree, second best was original Xbox (theduke) controller.

    SNES controller is probably my favourite controller, but I'm actually really loving my arcade stick at the moment. There's just something so nice about using the buttons and stick.

    Clearly the right answer is the first iteration of the original XBOX controller nicknamed The Anchor.

      That controller was like two potatoes with what appeared to be a ‘Trouble’ 80’s board-game style pop-bubble in the middle. Outstanding!

      The worst thing for me was that I got so used to it that I didn’t even transition to the (VASTLY improved) Controller-S until years after it came out.

      MS have been consistently solid with their controllers… except that one.

      That's being generous, I always saw them as mis-shapened wreaking balls. :-P

      I loved the old Duke controller - way more comfortable than the the subsequent 'controller S', imo.

    The Logitech Wingman Extreme Digital 3d Joystick. That thing was utterly badass.

    I remember using that thing all the time. It was built like a cast iron tank and never broke on me. Ever.

    And then it got stolen when we had a Lan party by a bastard we never saw again :(

      I used to have a Wingman Warrior, the one with the red "strafing" knob. That thing was loads of fun. :D

      Ahh those things were amazing, a true marvel of build quality especially when you consider it was the same basic cheap plastic every crap stick was made from

    SNES and Dual Shock 3.

    I prefer the 3 over the 4, nice and light. The 4 feels like I'm holding a paperweight in comparison.

    Nintendo 64. Not for the design or anything, but looking back we were all freakishly adept at that thing. Turned everyone into claw handed gremlins.

    The old sega bass fishing controllers or the gamecube RE4 chainsaw were pretty rad as well

      The 64 controller is my sentimental favourite controller of all time. For everything it did badly it did something more important very right.
      It really is flawed-genius.

      Analogue stick: Fantastic idea (that fell apart mechanically after a year or so).
      Rumble pak: Genius
      Pronged design: The best idea that wasn’t twin sticks. That middle trigger is tremendously satisfying for shooting things in the face.
      C-buttons: Cool alternative to a keyboards arrows.

      Also you can open a beer with the memory card port. Perfect.

      The C buttons were awful (arguably if the had a four button layout like the SNES they would have received more fighting game ports in that generation)

      But I'll never forget the experience of playing a Mario or Zelda vs playing something like Tomb Raider on the PSX, In PSX games 3D movement was clunky - on N64 you just pointed the stick and they walked (or ran, or tip-toed) in that direction - it just worked!

    Xbox 360 transforming dpad controller, when I upgraded to the Xbox One and put my 360 in storage I actually went out and bought a 360 controller for PC just for the reciever so this controller could become my main PC controller. It has all the benefits of the 360 controller whilst making a fairly decent shot at fixing one of its major issues.

    The fact that the controller is still going strong after all this time is the reason I haven't went out and bought an Elite yet

    360 controller. Yet to try an Elite XB1 controller, but it sounds good.

    The SNES controllers were great, both the PS4 and XBOX1 controllers are really good now too. I Loved the Wiimote too, sure it wasn't good for "core" games, but what it could do for a casual game was fantastic. I don't actually own any of these consoles so I'll put in one I do own: the Gameboy Advance is still the most comfortable experience I've had on a portable.

    Dual shock 4, plugging my earphones in out the box, comes with the ability to recharge and feels smooth unlike the 3, it has a nice weight and a cool LED bar that changes colours but can also be dimmed.

      If only the battery life was much better. Its a fraction of the DS3 battery life which is one of the only disappointing things about it.

        Mine generally do the trick for a good few hours, but if not, there's always the Orb play + charge cord, or just switch controllers (I keep collecting them for some reason...maybe the sweet colours?)

        Yeah but it's a heaps better controller in every single way bar the battery. Mine lasts a good 6 or 7 hours so I've never understood the complaints, if you have lunch/dinner during a big 10 hour game day you can charge it back up.. i plug mine in even if i stop for 20 minutes and I've never been unable to play due to a flat controller. The dual shock 3 is an awful controller and feels like a shit aldi tv remote from 10 years ago.

          Its definitely hard to go back to the DS3 on the odd occasion. The grips are so much shorter than the DS4.
          I have 2x DS4, so its just a matter of swapping them out when the battery dies, but its just something I've noticed I do a lot more often than I ever did with the DS3.

        My only issues with the DS4 - the thumbstick grips are horrible (solved with a $3 pair of rubber grips/caps off ebay) and the battery life (solved with a $12 replacement battery off ebay and 15 minutes with a screwdriver). Now I can get a good 10 hours out of my DS4... pity I can't do the same for Sony's Gold Wireless Headset, which only lasts 4-5 hours max.

    Got to be the N64 controller.

    That, and probably the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.

    I quite liked both for shooters.

    I'm not too fond of the 360 controller but it was/is so damn ubiquitous I tend to faff around in games that are built to work with it when I'm not using it and using something else. Except Dark Souls games, I am the opposite, I need a Dual Shock of some description otherwise I'm cactus.

    At the end of the day, most of the games I play - and spend the most time in - the controller effectively disappears and therefore I can't remember explicit examples of why I'd choose what I choose above.

    The console experience lives and dies on how the controller feels, and works during play. I can't really play modern shooters on controllers, I stick to keyboard and mouse. But fighting games? I can't believe how alien the controllers feel these days to me.

    Going from my first Xbox (360) experience to my first Playstation (3) experience, simpe requests like accepting or declining menu/dialog trees were actually quite difficult at first because of the way those two machines used different buttons in the diamond layout for those actions.

    I'm playing Persona 4 on PS2 for example, and I constantly press the wrong button when I need to recruit/delist a persona card from my stack. I can choose to blame the controller on this but really it's on me.

    Dualshock 4 is probably the most comfortable controller for me, feels like a huge improvement over the last one - though I remember thinking the same thing the first time I held a PS3 controller...
    SNES will always be my favourite though, hardly the most ergonomic design ever but I'll always love it.

    Personally I loved the original NES controllers. The way that sharp little rectangle would cut grooves into your hands if you played too long.

    Wiimote and nunchuk. The split controller is so damned comfortable. My man hands need to be more than an inch apart, and resting them on my knees lets me game forever.

    The IR sensor makes menus, text input, and fps games usable on consoles. I can't stand entering text on my xbone.

    Even the dodgy little speaker is awesome.

    Yup, the wiimote. I use it to play guild wars 2 from my couch.

    Here are mine.
    - The PS1 controller. Mostly because I still have really fond memories of playing Spyro 2.
    - The ORIGINAL X-Box controller. The big bulky piece of crap because it felt more like a steering wheel and I played a lot of racing games.

    On a more general note, I like the old controllers better. Not because of some perceived superiority, but because they had those big buttons that made loud clicks whenever you used them instead of the general plastic tap we get these days. They felt more like actual things you held to play games instead of bits of large plastic with a small motherboard and ten different wires.

      The dpad on the ps1 controller destroyed my thumb playing tekken. I can still recall the exact pain it wrought.

    The DK bongos.

      Has anyone done a dark souls run on them yet? So much better than the ddr pad.

        Not many people seem to know there were actually two buttons under each pad, one near the centre but another towards the front rim. Always felt disappointed none of the games used them for more complex controls.

        Also I'm still salty as fuck over DK Barrel Blast getting pushed over to Wii, and having... that happen to it.

        Also I now have Sing Sing Sing playing in my head.

    I've never liked any of the Xbox controllers.

    PS3 controller was pretty good. As was the SNES for its time (it's really hard to go back and use now though).

    Best console controller of all time though MUST go to the Gamecube. That controller was just perfect, and I STILL use it to play Smash.

    Oh, and keyboard + mouse.

    Last edited 28/07/16 11:35 am

    360 > DS4 > Xbone > Xbox S > DS3 > DS2 > Xbox Duke > N64 > Dreamcast > GameCube > DS1 > Mega Drive > SNES > NES/Master System

    I imagine Xbone Elite will top the list when I get around to using one.

      N64 > Dreamcast

      Blasphemy! :-P

        While the Dreamcast was basically a prototype for the Xbox, the n64 excelled in it's class while the Dreamcast floundered. I don't know what that VMU bullshit was about but it was nearly as gimmicky as the Wii U.

          I don't know what that VMU bullshit was about but it was nearly as gimmicky as the Wii U.

          I was actually playing around but in terms of the VMU, there is no denying that it was a big time failure of an experiment.

          It had potential to extend the UI but even if the DC had a life span of 10 years I don't think anyone would have found anything better than onscreen elements.

          On top of that, I can only recall a few games in my collection that used it; Resident Evil where one had a count of bullets, Dino Crisis where one had a heart rate monitor and Skies of Arcadia where one of the characters pointed out hidden items.

          Advanced for its time but some features were solely on future potential that never happened.

      In what universe is the Dreamcast controller better than Gamecube (my personal fav)? Do you even have hands? The Dreamcast controller was completely awful. The only one I've ever use that was worse is the original xbox controller.

    Nostalgia wise and for pure ridiculous-ness, it has to be the N64 controller. I had the limited Goldeneye Edition with the gold controller, and I loved the thing. Looking back on it now, it was such an non-ergonomic shape, but we all made it work.

    Close runner up for nostalgia and ingenuity would be the Dreamcast controller. Wish I never sold my console.

    As far as comfort and actually using a controller, my favourite would have to be the Dual Shock 4. Such a massive improvement over the DS3.

    Wii U pro controller is not only comfortable, but that battery is a beast. I charge like once or twice a year!
    I'd also go with N64 because I spent so much time with it.

      I charge like once or twice a year!Real talk though, how often that controller getting used?

        A few hours every couple of days for a while, my brother would use it to play Smash Bros with me.
        For the last couple of months it's been used daily since I grabbed a usb adaptor.

      I was searching down the list to find this one! Very comfortable and the battery lasts forever. It does have two flaws: the glossy finish and can't be used in Wii games (why Nintendo?????).

      The WiiU pro controller is great but i don't like its d-pad i much prefer the wii pro controller's one.

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