Weekend Open Forum: What's your favorite gamepad?

By on November 1, 2013, 5:00 PM
gamepad, game controller

While I've spent more hours gaming with a keyboard and mouse than any other input devices, some genres are just too awkward for me to play without a controller. I'm lousy at driving and platforming titles to begin with, but especially so if I'm trying to WASD my way through levels. However inept I may be at keyboard racing, my hands go from willing to weary in zero seconds flat if I pick up a gamepad.

It's almost like we weren't meant to maintain an iron grip on plastic all day, but maybe I'm just a wimp. I haven't used a comfortable controller since the Dreamcast's cheesy third-party AstroPad, though Microsoft seems to have found a happy medium with its Xbox offerings, even if I wish they were a little bigger. Do you have a favorite gamepad and would you change anything about today's designs?

User Comments: 50

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1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

The N64 gamepad followed by Sony's current DS3. The only thing I would change about the current DS3, which I believe has been addressed in the upcoming DS4, is the stiffness of the sticks. The DS3's sticks have always felt a bit "loose" to me.

Guest said:

Steam Controller, despite the fact that I have yet to try it. In the mean time, keyboard and mouse.

ikesmasher said:

Xbox. mostly because they grip well (I wish the handles were a little thicker) and because the josyticks are more stiff than the PS3. But its all preference.

1 person liked this | Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

Nintendo 64's controller takes the cake for me. It may look ridiculous, but for some reason it has always been the most natural feeling controller I've ever used.

Guest said:

In no particular order:



any of the dual shock

1 person liked this | Guest said:

N64 Game Pad, are you serious dude?

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

N64 Game Pad, are you serious dude?

Yes. The stick may not have been the best in the world, but it is by far the most comfortable controller I've ever used.

1 person liked this | slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Another vote for the N64.

Not a fan of the current gamepads, the DualShocks probably look the best aesthetically but aren't ergonomic at all while the the Xbox has always felt too chunky.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Intellivision gamepad. Wish someone would reinvent those.

rvnwlfdroid said:

My all time favorite controller was the Space Orb 360. I wish there was an updated version of that style controller.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

Dreamcast. I love those round controllers. Genesis had an earlier version packaged with Nights. Plus that little LCD thing you could detach could be integrated into games such as in Sonic Adventure where you could raise a Chao pet like a Tamagotchi. Points for innovation. I was fond of the Saturn gamepad as well; nice combination of curvature and classic horizontal architecture.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

All-time favorite controller is the keyboard/mouse combination. For all games but third person action titles, it offers the best precision, period.

Guest said:

XBOX 360 controller is my go-to controller, for its looks, its shape and its triggers.

I hate every Playstation controller ever made.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Goin old school...the Atari 2600 joystick.

1 person liked this | Panda218 Panda218 said:

Intellivision gamepad. Wish someone would reinvent those.

Came across an Intellivision 2 years ago when going through my grandmas basement. I laughed my ass off at the sight of the controller, but once I had it up and running I was amazed at how much I actually enjoyed playing with it.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Original xbox controller.

Guest said:

+1 for the N64 controller, it was a pioneer of it's time, and I think if you take the center joystick away and re-arrange the buttons slightly you'll find it's still similar to what we use today.

I don't think you can compare a full keyboard considering you have so many different options and macros to use.

Hopefully, my future favorite will be nothing short of the Oculus Rift combined with the Omni Treadmill and a new-age controller.

jester376 said:

Sony PS1 Pad for sure!

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Always preferred Sony's Playstation offerings in terms of gamepads.

Guest said:

N64 was and is the best

1 person liked this | Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

Sony PS2 dual shock for face buttons, shoulder buttons and D-pad.

X360 for triggers, analog sticks, weight, size, overall feeling and durability. Those guys are highlanders. And if you use this, it's boss. Really, second to none.


Dualshock 2 and 3. I play certain N64 games competitively, especially online and my grip on an n64 controller mirrors that of the way most controllers are held.

Guest said:

Xbox for pc. only console for real gamers! ps=bah. xbox=bah. pc=gaming for life!

Timonius Timonius said:

Intellivision gamepad. Wish someone would reinvent those.

Ah, the good old days when video game box art was waaaay better than the graphics. I remember the overlays you would put on the controller for each game. I suppose with touch screen tech today it could be emulated after a certain fashion.

I prefer a good keyboard and mouse myself.

bugejakurt said:

Sony PS1 Gamepad. Nice memories!

1 person liked this | OortCloud said:

360 controller for me - so comfortable - to be perfect it just needs to get the weight, dpad and battery of the DS3.

For worst id go for the floaty steering wheel thing that MS released recently - shudder, and all movement-based controllers - move/kinect/wiimote - hate the unconvincing vagueness of them all.

Tgard said:

For about 10 years, I have had an Airflo controller for the PC, that is shaped like a xbox 360 controller but just a bit bigger, and the dpad and left joystick are swapped. Best controller I ever used and it keeps my hands cool for extended gaming. I like the layout of the 360 controller the best, but the Airflo is more comfortable because of my large hands. If it was feasible for it to be wireless and not have to have a car battery in it to power the fans it would be about perfect.

havok585 havok585 said:

Aftermarket gamepads (xbox360 controller style) like Logitech, Speedlink (xbox/PS3 Compatible).

Guest said:

I'm still enjoying my Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2, even though I need to put the xboxemu files in most game directories to get it to work, and the rumble function is often lost in that process.

If I saw a cordless Xbox PC controller cheap enough I may upgrade...but till then the Logitech keeps going and it has a very nice built quality (a bit like the OLD Logitech joysticks used to be).

Guest said:

I like the Xbox 360 controller overall, but have started using the PS3 DS3 on my PC since the 360 controller sticks tend to give out on games other than FPS.

Guest said:

Microsoft sidewinder gamepad for the PC.

I still use two of them.

Guest said:

For me it all started with the SNES controller. Playstation adapted the major parts of it's layout for their PS1 and has stuck with the key features of that layout ever since. Adding a few extra features such as the L2 and R2 buttons as well as the Analogue Sticks gives us more stuff to play with, but I still prefer using the D-pad.

The Xbox flipped the D-pad and Analogue Stick on the left side, and that decision kept me far away from the Xbox until I felt forced to buy one just to play Alan Wake, which was supposed to be a Xbox 360 only title. Since having played through Alan Wake, Resident Evil 5/6, Dirt 2, Just Cause 2 and bunch of other titles (mostly on the PC), I've gained some respect for the Xbox 360 controller. However, I find it odd and fickle to play games like Street Fighter IV with an Analogue Stick, and the D-pad is just too far our of my thumb's comfortable control-zone to work properly.

The PS3 controller is at the height of it's evolution, in my opinion, and is thereby the best controller.

Idiotic concepts like the N64 and Steam Controller is what kills consoles. People look at that stupid contraption they have to hold in their hands and they say "no, thank you".

scorpian007 said:

Xbox 360 controller is nearly perfect. Sticks are positioned great and have the right amount of resistance, the triggers are great and the positioning of the rest of the buttons is perfect for me. D-pad sucks balls though.

Xbox One controller looks like it's going to be miles better

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sony brought Dualshock and dual analog controls before anyone else, and I've been using them ever since. Even if the not so ergonomic shape caused my pinky and ring finger to always loose feeling after extended sessions, the layout itself has been burned into my fingers to the point where it's always 2nd nature. And the plus that you can pair them to a Bluetooth adapter and use them wirelessly on a PC makes them an even bigger bargain. I will admit the 360 controller is the more comfortable controller to use, but than there's the cheap ass buttons on the thing, apart from its triggers that is, I just can't get use to the reverse analog d-pad thing they did to differentiate themselves from Sony. But alas, Keyboard and Mouse will always hold a special place in my heart, just can't beat the precision of a mouse when getting head shots.

Draconian said:

All time favorite gamepad would be the SNES controller followed by the PS2/PS3 controller. I have small hands, and as such the Xbox controllers don't work for me. The first Xbox had a massive controller. They slimmed it down for the Xbox 360, but it was still too big for my liking.

The DualShock Playstation controllers remind me of the SNES controller, which was the best gamepad ever made.

darkzelda said:

The game cube controller has been the best for me.

Guest said:

Xbox 360 Remote

Nothing feels more prefect then having one of those in your hands

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

SNES for me because it was basic but still had 6 buttons (8 if you count select and start). Wish it was as durable as the NES controller. I broke a couple SNES ones throwing them after some Mario Kart finishes. NES ones are seemingly impossible to break.

Also agree that N64 was pretty good despite looking absurd.

Andruku said:

N64 controller was the best for me.

Guest said:

The gamecube controller is the greatest ergonomic designed controller ever produced, practically all current gen controllers copy off its design yet are less comfortable than the original game cube controller.

Guest said:

Xbox 360 and Gamecube controllers are the best. Shame Nintendo didn't stick with the design for classic controllers.

Guest said:

Xbox controller too chunky? You do know it also came in a smaller size for girls and children, right?

jsonUK jsonUK said:

GameCube controller was definitely the best. It was light, comfortable, easy to reach buttons and had good 3D sticks.

Xbox 360 is a close second, followed by Sega Saturn.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Intellivision gamepad. Wish someone would reinvent those.

I still have my Intellivision console, in mint condition, along with a good few game cartridges.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

I prefer my X360 controller to other gamepads, even though I sometimes use a PS2-clone aftermarket controller. But I always gravitate back to the X360 controller after a while.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

DualShock 2 or 3. I have a USB adapter for a Dualshock 2 so I can use it on my PC. Kinda confusing tho when the instructions are for an Xbox controller, but I have gotten used to it.

treetops treetops said:

I like the snes and play station contollers

EsOhCeeBFD EsOhCeeBFD said:

I'd have to say XBox, though, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I haven't played anything but XBox in the last 2 years except LoL. They just feel like home to me, but I can't remember if it felt like that the first time I picked it up, or if I've just grown accustomed to it.

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