I love every Nintendo controller, but some are easily better than others. Today we’ll take a look at my personal ranking of Nintendo’s controllers from best to worst, and the reasoning behind it. Remember, this list is entirely my opinion and yours could be completely different.
7. Wii U
The main problem I have with the Wii U gamepad is when a game gives me the option to use the Wii U Pro Controller, I use the Pro Controller every time. While the touch screen is insanely helpful for a map in Splatoon, or item management in The Legend of Zelda, the gamepad never had a very compelling reason to justify the second screen in my mind. I only ever used the off TV play a handful of times, because the resolution on the gamepad leaves much to be desired.
6. Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 controller was designed for people with 3 hands. I only ever knew of a few games that even used the D-Pad because it was located off to the side, but I loved the control stick and the Z-button as a trigger was amazing.
Simple. Clean. Classic. It doesn’t get much easier than this. The fact that almost anyone can pick up an NES controller and play because of its simplicity is amazing. Truly a monumentous achievement when your original controller still holds up so well today. The only thing holding this one back is the square design. While it looks amazing, it can become uncomfortable to hold during extended play sessions.
4. Virtual Boy
Only used to its full potential a couple times, but easily the best part of the console. The L and R buttons located on the back is fantastic and the dual D-pad was great for added control. Created with a mirrored design meant that games that only used one D-pad let the players pick which one they wanted to use, so whether you were left or right handed you could pick what felt comfortable.
Not everyone loves motion control gaming, but the Wii did it right. The controller was designed to be similar to a TV remote for ease of use with all demographics. They nailed it. The main thing I didn’t like about it was the 1 and 2 buttons were far down on the controller, but they were usually used for menus and map anyhow. As an added bonus you can plug in the nunchuck attachment for added control-ability or turn the controller sideways and it essentially becomes an NES controller. Brilliant.
ABXY? Check. L and R? Check. Dual analog? So close! The main thing holding this controller back in my mind is the tic-tac C-stick. There’s a very good reason it’s many peoples go to controller for Smash Bros. to this day. Very comfortable and great button placement. You could even update your default controller to the Wavebird for wireless gaming.
Nintendo took the NES controller and improved on it in every way. Rounded so it was more comfortable, added buttons for more functionality, but still incredibly simple and user friendly. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
That’s all of them, folks… for now! I can’t wait to see where the NX will end up on this list. Be sure to let me know how your list compares!
Scott and Simeon recently ranked all of Nintendo’s consoles! Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to see how they stack up!