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IGN: The Best Video Game Controllers

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

After much deliberation, this is our list of the Top 10 Video Game Controllers. From the PS5 and Xbox Series X down to the SNES, there are plenty of game controllers up for debate as to who deserves the top spot.

A great, or bad, controller, can make or break a video game experience, but thankfully there have been plenty of amazing examples of controllers throughout gaming history. The IGN staff has compiled the 10 best controllers, in part considering influence, comfort, ease-of-use, and how they've revolutionized or improved our collective gaming experience. From classic Nintendo gamepads to Xbox's adaptive advancements to modern PlayStation controllers and plenty more in between, be sure to check out our picks for the top video game controllers of all time.

Mine is the elite controller v2

Here's the list:

10. Wiimote
9. SNES Controller
8. WaveBird (wireless gamecube controller)
7. Xbox 360 Controller
6. Switch Pro Controller
5. PS5 DualSense Controller
4. Xbox Adaptive Controller (What the fuck is this?)
3. DualShock 4 PS4 Controller
2. Astro C40 TR4 PS4 Controller (Ok?)
1. Xbox Elite Series 2 (Xbox S/X Controller)

Go burn in Hell for not listing the Sega Saturn controller, which is by far the greatest gamepad for 2D games and fighting games.

KB+M were left out

Top ten:

10. Wiimote (Nintendo Wii)
9. SNES Controller (SNES)
8. WaveBird (Nintendo GameCube)
7. Xbox 360 Controller
6. Switch Pro Controller (Nintendo Switch)
5. Dual Sense (PlayStation 5)
4. Xbox Adaptive Controller (Xbox Series/Xbox One)
3. DualShock 4 (PlayStation 4)
2. Astro C40 TR4 (PlayStation 4)
1. Xbox Elite Series 2 (Xbox Series/ Xbox One)
 
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EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Controllers really get beat up, SONY has done the controller thing pretty well and has to continue to do it, trusting the original concept but more importantly continue to improve (adaptive triggers)
 
Here's the list:

10. Wiimote
9. SNES Controller
8. WaveBird (wireless gamecube controller)
7. Xbox 360 Controller
6. Switch Pro Controller
5. PS5 DualSense Controller
4. Xbox Adaptive Controller (What the fuck is this?)
3. DualShock 4 PS4 Controller
2. Astro C40 TR4 PS4 Controller (Ok?)
1. Xbox Elite Series 2 (Xbox S/X Controller)

Go burn in Hell for not listing the Sega Saturn controller, which is by far the greatest gamepad for 2D games and fighting games.
 

skit_data

Member
I’m not really sure what the DualShock 4 does better than the DualSense… I feel like dualsense is an upgrade over the DS4 in basically every aspect other than weight if you like lighter controllers?
I like the form factor of the DualShock 4 better but its inferior in all other aspects and misses several functions. Really wierd to list DS4 higher than the DualSense.
 

Elios83

Member
Lol at DS4 being higher than Dual Sense?
In which world? It's inferior in everything.
Also the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a special category product, while obviously the idea behind it is laudable it can't be judged using the same criteria of the other products.
So basically this article is a mess, but yeah it's IGN :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 

Akuji

Member
a list in which the Dualschock 4 is better then the dualsense is ... not a list i give any credit to.
everyone i know feels like the dualsense is a big improvement over the DS4 and it became my favorite controller to date.
Beating out the Switch Pro Controller i modded myself with the XBox Elite Controller parts.
 

K' Dash

Member
Seeing anything Sony on that list invalidates it immediately, the only decent (not great... decent) controllers are the DS4 and the Dual Sense, before that they were all shit, specially the DS3, what a piece of shit of a controller.

The Switch Pro Controller would be fine there, if it wasn't for that dpad, I'd drop it off the list for that and for missing the headphone jack.
 
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10. Wiimote -- NOPE
9. SNES Controller
8. WaveBird (wireless gamecube controller) -- NOPE
7. Xbox 360 Controller
6. Switch Pro Controller
5. PS5 DualSense Controller
4. Xbox Adaptive Controller (What the fuck is this?)
3. DualShock 4 PS4 Controller
2. Astro C40 TR4 PS4 Controller (Ok?)
1. Xbox Elite Series 2 (Xbox S/X Controller)


I wonder why they left out the xbox one controllers, the one that comes with the series X, etc.

I personally game with Dualsense (PS5/PC) and 360 controllers (on the PC)...
 
im sorry but Dualshock 4 and Dualsense 5 should be in the top 10, for WORST controllers.

too bulky, too wide, useless track pad that u will accidentally press because its too close to the buttons, bad "start/select" buttons, poor battery life, lights u can't turn off, can't replace battery so u will have to play with them wired sometimes but the charging cable is short.

ergonomically they are the only controllers that hurt my hand after a long time. Almost as much as it hurt my hands to use a Vita. Dualshock 2 was a better controller. Dualshock 3 woul've been the best PS controller, if not for the horrible triggers.

not to mention the symetrical analog sticks
 
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sainraja

Member
im sorry but Dualshock 4 and Dualsense 5 should be in the top 10, for WORST controllers.

too bulky, too wide, useless track pad that u will accidentally press because its too close to te buttons, bad "start/select" buttons, poor battery life, lights u can't turn off, can't replace battery so u will have to play with them wired sometimes but the charging cable is short.

ergonomically they are the only controllers that hurt my hand after a long time. Almost as much as it hurt my hands to use a Vita. Dualshock 2was a better controller. Dualshock 3 woul've been the best if not for the horrible triggers.
They're just not for you. Many others don't share that opinion and people like to deny this but controller choice is a preference. People are different (size of hand + other factors) so that will be an influence too. However, how can you say the charging cable is short? lol. Unless they are shipping different size cables to people, I'd say it is kinda long.

For me personally, I can switch between all modern controllers without much of an issue. I do have a preference towards PS controllers (part of it is nostalgia and part of it is due to how the buttons feel).
 
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Bakkus

Member
They're just not for you. Many others don't share that opinion and people like to deny this but controller choice is a preference. People are different (size of hand + other factors) so that will be an influence too. However, how can you say the charging cable is short? lol. Unless they are shipping different size cables to people, I'd say it is kinda long.

For me personally, I can switch between all modern controllers without much of an issue. I do have a preference towards PS controllers (part of it is nostalgia and part of it is due to how the buttons feel).
I share that opinion. To the point I've bought an adapter to play PS games with an Xbox controller.
 
Basic PlayStation controller is good enough for my small hands, they fit perfectly wrapped around those two sexy sides.

I have also thrown my controllers with force when I got mad a few times and they never broke, so, props.
 

thatJohann

Member
The PS5 Dual Sense controller should be disqualified just based on the abysmal battery life alone. That shit needs to be charged almost daily.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Here's the list:

10. Wiimote
9. SNES Controller
8. WaveBird (wireless gamecube controller)
7. Xbox 360 Controller
6. Switch Pro Controller
5. PS5 DualSense Controller
4. Xbox Adaptive Controller (What the fuck is this?)
3. DualShock 4 PS4 Controller
2. Astro C40 TR4 PS4 Controller (Ok?)
1. Xbox Elite Series 2 (Xbox S/X Controller)

Go burn in Hell for not listing the Sega Saturn controller, which is by far the greatest gamepad for 2D games and fighting games.

6 button genesis controller is real good too.
 
The original PSX non-Analog/Dual Shock controller gets overlooked all the time, but it actually is a great controller. I know it is nearly the same as a PS2/3 controller, but not having the sticks and not having large R2/L2 buttons changes the ergonomics more than you think.

Basic PlayStation controller is good enough for my small hands, they fit perfectly wrapped around those two sexy sides.
Saw this after I started my post, nice to see someone else agree.
 

Topher

Gold Member
I wish all controllers had back buttons like Elite 2. That and built-in rechargeable batteries are what make it the best.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
SNES gamepad should be higher.

Ya, it's outdated vs. all modern day console controllers, but at the time, Genesis was 3 buttons + start. SNES was 4 face buttons, 2 shoulder buttons and start + select.

Got so bad, Sega had to release 6 button controllers because all the fighting games were unusable. Have fun playing SFII and pressing Start to flip back and forth with punches and kicks.

The SNES shoulder buttons were awesome. Not just for fighting games, but playing Contra III (overhead levels) and On The Ball fully took advantage of shoulder buttons.
 

Soosa

Member
Havent tried Elite controllers, but they seem to have lot of quality issues + they have "wrong" stick placement, so difficult to believe that it would be the best.

1. Dualsense
2. DS4
3. maybe wavebird
4. tac-2

Difficult to me to even name more than these, because majority of controllers arent really that ergonomic and/or they have some noticeable flaws.

worst modern controller is probably PS3 controller, or ps2 controller, they are just too tiny and plasticy.

Symmetrical stick placement is just superior to me, "xbox/pro-controller" style feels wrong, because sticks dont be comfortably under the thumps + series x controller feels like the sticks are bit too tall and it feels unergonomical. It is ok, but not as good as dualsense.

If asymmetrical controllers would also have asymmetric shape (grips and so on), then it could work, but because the shape is symmetrical, yet stick placement isnt -> left stick just feels weird.

There is no benefits on that, because (if) symmetrical sticks are at least as easy to aim. So why asymmetrical would be better when it doesnt make aiming better, but it makes it harder to use d-pad(movement from down to up vs up to down, at least to me it is faster to move thumb from stick to buttons that are above it, than below it)?

Yeah, they are personal preferences, but people whom claim asymmetrical stick placement being the best without doubt are just probably too used to it. Same could be said about symmetrical sticks, but having symmetrical arms kind of tells that symmetrical sticks fits them better

But that list is bullshit anyway, like dualsense would be worse than DS4.

if we take only 1 controller from manufacturer, then TOP 2 must be DUALSENSE / ELITE, and personal preference will say which is 1st and which is 2nd.
 

[Sigma]

Gold Member
IGN lost all credibility they didn't even have. The only thing the DS4 is better than DualSense with is the dpad. The DS4 is hella cheap in the build, if you torque the controller opposite directions even slightly you are subject to cracking the board inside. It's inferior overall but they probably got itty bitty hands over there and the DS4 makes them feel extra comfortable as they sit in their booster seats.
 
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V4skunk

Banned
Seeing anything Sony on that list invalidates it immediately, the only decent (not great... decent) controllers are the DS4 and the Dual Sense, before that they were all shit, specially the DS3, what a piece of shit of a controller.

The Switch Pro Controller would be fine there, if it wasn't for that dpad, I'd drop it off the list for that and for missing the headphone jack.
DS3 was an amazing controller. It only had shit triggers. Build quality is way better than DS4 and ps5 pad.
 
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