15 Video Game Controllers: RANKED

Each new home video game console brings with it a rush of exciting questions; how will the graphics be, what games will it launch with, and how will the controllers feel? Sometimes it’s just a small improvement over the previous one, other times it’s something wild and totally new (*coughs* Nintendo *coughs*). Here are my totally subjective rankings of video game controllers, which are also empirically true, because I know everything.

DEAD LAST: Virtual Boy/ Jaguar/ NeoGeo/ other loser systems that failed HARD

Get your pathetic asses out of here.

15. NES/ Sega Master System


Look, fair enough — this was very early in video gaming’s history, so there was still a lot to figure out. That doesn’t mean these things, with their incredibly hard angles and edges, weren’t uncomfortable as hell.

14. Playstation


This thing always felt like a flimsy piece of crap, and there was a reason for that; it was. In my adolescence, I tore TWO of them in half (I had rage problems).

13. SNES

I don’t know man; it feels blasphemous putting this controller so low, but I remember a lot of hand cramps from this thing. It’s still possibly the greatest console in history, however.

13. Genesis

This controller was a beast, but it didn’t necessarily feel bad in your hands. It did only have three buttons, which rendered it obsolete pretty quickly, however.

12. Xbox


Kill it with fire (but still fairly comfortable).

11. Nintendo 64

A lot going on here, maybe too much. The N64 controller did suffer from not having all of its buttons and dpads and joysticks accessible at the same time.

10. Genesis 6 Button/ Saturn



Adding six buttons was obviously important, because it let the Genesis actually play the games that would have otherwise only worked on the SNES. But the controller was also slimmer and easier to keep a hold on. The six buttons were also more convenient than the SNES’ for stuff like fighting games. And the Saturn controller was pretty similar.

9. Playstation Dualshock/PS2/PS3

These controllers are all functionally the same, and really improve on the flimsy feeling of the original Playstation controller by adding some heft along with the two analog sticks.

8. Wii


Fool points to these for being revolutionary, and they were great for party games, but games that invite incredibly long play sessions (Xenoblade Chronicles, I’m looking at you through incredibly bleary eyes because I’ve been up all night playing it and oh my God how am I still only three percent of the way through this game?!) they can get very sweaty and cumbersome.

7. Gamecube

While the Gamecube controller is slightly less interesting than the Nintendo 64’s, it ended up having a better layout, as well as being easier to hold.

6. Xbox 360/ Xbox One

These controllers were versatile (you can easily use them on your PC) and were a huge improvement over the original Xbox controller.

5. Atari 2600

Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t long for the days when life was simple? When a controller was just a fun joystick as one button? Well I’m old, and I do long for those days. Also, big joysticks rule (don’t be immature).

4. Playstation 4

With this one, Sony has finally perfected the Playstation controller. It has longer grips, which make it easier to hold in my large, adult hands (that makes me sound like Donald Trump), and the texture on the back is also very nice.

3. Dreamcast


Having the LCD screen at the top was very cool, and even though it was big, you could still use the Dreamcast controller for a long time without much exhaustion in your hands.

2. Wii U

Yeah, the system was a flop, but the controller wasn’t just cool because it was essentially it’s own tablet — it was also very comfortable to hold.

1. Nintendo Switch

I mean the damn thing is so versatile, and the controller has such a wide range of functions, down to being able to attach the controller TO the damn system!

Dear God I’ve wasted my life.

Please wait...

And Now... A Few Links From Our Sponsors