The best game controllers ever made for Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation

You already had a good controller. You know that feeling when you take that risk and buy a “fancy” controller, worried about how silly it is that you bought it, then you take it out of the box, charge it or plug it in, play it , and you just KNOW that you made the right choice? Like every part feels like it was made especially for you, like a hole appearing in the side of a mountain?

But over the years, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony have all provided us with plenty of opportunities for controller greatness. They also provided us with stinks. Microsoft gave us the Duke while Nintendo gave us the Power Glove. And Sony? Okay, honestly, I’ve never come across a Sony controller that I didn’t like. Not being a fanboy, I’ve never had a negative experience personally.

But today we’re talking about the best experience I’ve ever had with a controller from each of the big three. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Sega had some good ones too, but anyone who was a Sega fan already knows that the arcade stick for the Dreamcast was the best it had, so we’ll leave that aside.

Here we are. Let’s start with Microsoft.

Xbox controller

Company: Microsoft
System: Original Xbox
Controller Name: Steel Battalion Controller

Forgive the dust, it’s been a minute since I plugged the game in, but look at this controller. This controller, which Capcom made for Steel Battalion and ONLY Steel Battalion, was three feet wide. And, as Wikipedia points out:

The controller consists of 44 entry points – mostly buttons – but also uses 2 joysticks, a throttle grip, a radio channel dial, 5 switches, an eject button and 3 pedals.

I loved using this controller and over time with repeated play I learned that the controller felt like a piano and to this day have never had a similar experience at home. When you got into your robot and pressed the metal switches to activate the fuel, coolant, and oxygen pumps, it seemed legit. When you tuned the radio nob and discovered you could hear the other team’s online communication, that was awesome. Even the little things like hitting the fire button when the cabin caught fire or using the windshield wipers if a bomb exploded too close and you had dirt all over your screen all went smoothly. Even the floor pedals were perfectly springy and made you feel like you were pushing your massive robot forward.

The common complaint about this controller was that no other game worked with it, but if you had this controller and played the game, you would never need another one. It was so organic.

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