Top Ten: Nintendo Controllers

The Big N has a history of innovative controllers. Sam ranks his ten favorite!

By Sam Stewart. Posted 03/25/2014 09:00 10 Comments     ShareThis

N64 controller rainbow masthead

2. Wii U GamePad

The Wii U GamePad is Nintendo’s latest innovation in the world of gaming. In addition to the standard 12 button, two joystick, one D-pad, and a home button design other controllers use, Nintendo added a six-inch screen right in the middle of the controller to give players the option of ditching the TV and playing console games on a handheld device. Layout-wise, the GamePad’s design is very similar to that of the previously mentioned Wii U Pro Controller, but with the added bonus of a gyroscope and, of course, that wonderful screen. Many had feared that the GamePad would be difficult to use due to its large size, but I find it to be quite comfortable even for long gaming sessions. There are ridges on the back for your hands to wrap around and the triggers are sloped for easy pressing. I was able to play all of The Wind Waker HD on the GamePad screen and it didn’t cheapen my experience at all. I have done the same for other games including Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Bros. U. But that is only one half of the GamePad’s genius; the other half comes in the form of multiplayer. If you played Nintendo Land, you know how fun asynchronous multiplayer can be. Those games are made possible by the GamePad, and other companies (like Sony) have quickly taken notice. The battery life is still a major concern at this point (Nintendo plans to release an improved replacement battery), but all in all, it is a strong first step for second screen controllers.

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10 Responses to “Top Ten: Nintendo Controllers”

  • 63 points
    Jake Shapiro says...

    I think we can all agree the GameCube controller is the best of all time. But as much as I love my 3DS XL, I hate how clicky and shallow its buttons are. The original DS had more buttery smooth buttons. And when it comes to the Wiimote + Nunchuk, the awkward placement of the 1 and 2 buttons ruin it for me. Not to mention all the issues with the motion sensing.

  • 285 points
    Kyle England says...


    • 678 points
      amishpyrate says...

      I loved it except that not all the buttons were accessible depending on how you held it. Also the analog stick used to wear out pretty easy compared to the newer analog style. Especially after some hardcore Mario party marathons!

      • 1273 points
        Robert Marrujo says...

        I’ve always been disappointed with the Virtual Console N64 games because there was never any compensation made for the different sensitivity of today’s analogue sticks versus the N64 controller’s. That being said; Mario Party protective glove giveaway, anyone? Lol, memories.

  • 60 points
    Dustin Grissom says...

    I love the Gamecube controller, so many great memories. It’s extremely weird, but sometimes I pick it up and hold it just to remember how extremely form fitting and comfortable it was to hold… Great list, man!

  • 207 points
    Jon Stevens says...

    The Gamecube controller for sure… but the Wavebird more specifically! ;)

  • 678 points
    amishpyrate says...

    Lot of love for the GameCube controller. I remember how much it was hated on when it was announced. I always liked it though. My favorite controller is definitely the virtual boys controller. Wish they would have replicated that on a more successful console. Its grips were long and it was comfortable for me to hold. While it came before analog sticks were the norm it was ahead of its time with dual d pads

  • 819 points
    Toadlord says...

    I’m totally down with this list. I treat my wavebird with such care nowadays. If I had known how much use I would get out of it, I would have bought 2 years ago.

  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    Blast from the past! I remember making this graphic years ago.

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    The Wavebird beats all! All is right with the world!

    Robert, the first Mario Party destroyed my hands. The blisters from that game were terrible.

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