Ranking the Top Five Best Video Game Controllers for All Systems

We've come a long way since the Atari Pong Machine and Jaguar. Specifically, controllers have changed greatly over the past three decades. We went from stiff joysticks and clunky number pads to using the human body as a controller. During those decades there have been a number of hits and misses as the game of trial and error has produced some of the best and worst controllers we've ever had the fortune and misfortune of using. While those unresponsive, callus inducing controllers will long be forgotten, the greatest controllers will long be remembered.

5. Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicon

The Nintendo Entertainment System's controller was the great grandfather of all modern controllers. The console saved the gaming world from those horrible joysticks and replaced it with a simple square controller with a four-way D-pad, two action buttons and a start and select button. Its greatness came from not just its simple design but that it was designed to be held with one hand controlling the direction and the other controlling the actions.

4. Gamecube

Another innovation by the Nintendo company came in the form of the Gamecube controller. Slightly imitating the Playstation controller, the Gamecube controller changed things but only slightly. Using the dual analog stick design that Sony had recently implemented into their Playstation console, Gamecube used the diagonal offset so that the left thumb would control the left analog stick and the right controlling the right side. However, this wasn't truly implemented as the majority of games ignored the right analog stick altogether.

3. Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive

Building on the Nintendo Entertainment systems design, the Genesis controller took a far more ergonomic look on the controller. Rather than using the sharp edged design of the NES controller, the Genesis controller was designed to be held in the hand comfortably with rounded edges. Looking more like a boomerang than anything else, the controller brought the comfort you simply couldn't find in any other console at the time. However, shortly after its release Nintendo brought out the Super Nintendo and its controller that not only boasted round sides, but also shoulder buttons, another innovation at the time.

2. Playstation

The original Playstation console wasn't also packing next generation graphics, but it was also packing one of the greatest controllers the gaming world has ever seen. With two analog sticks, Sony took a huge risk by providing a new way to play games. While the controller still had a D-pad, a lot of games required the user to control the game with at least one of the sticks. It turned out to be a risk that paid off. While the analog sticks were somewhat clunky to start out with, further generations of the Playstation would improve upon the original design.

1. Xbox 360

The controller for the original Xbox was by far one of the worst controllers the industry has ever seen. Overly big and with an uncountable number of buttons, the control was a failure in every sense of the word. However, it did have the diagonal analog sticks that the Gamecube was also using. However, unlike the Gamecube, the Xbox analog sticks were to be used as the two main controllers. This would play greatly in the creation of the Xbox 360 controller. This next gen controller was perfect in every way. Designed to be held in the hand comfortably with the left hand controlling the left analog stick, D-pad and two shoulder buttons while the right hand controlled the right analog stick, the four face buttons and the two shoulder buttons. Not only was it extremely comfortable to hold in your hand, it was also the first controller to deliver a reliable wireless gaming experience. Tangled wires were now a thing of the past.

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