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What's the Best Controller of All Time?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Let's look back on good game controllers.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

This week, we learned more about the peripherals that will be compatible with the PlayStation 5. We learned, also, that the DualShock 4 will work with PS4 games on the platform, but nothing more. RIP DualShock 4.

As we already know, Sony's shaking up the DualShock lineage with the DualSense, a new controller that's changing up the familiar controller series. We thought for this week's Community Question, it'd be fun to reminisce about gamepads. So tell us in comments: What's the best controller of all time, in your opinion?

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Mathew Olson, Reporter

As soon as we entered the era of offset analog sticks versus aligned analog sticks, humanity was led astray. So, to figure out what the best controller is, I think we have to go back a bit further. My gut says it's the SNES controller, but even then, do we really need those four face buttons plus the left and right shoulder buttons? What's so wrong with the perfect rectangle of the NES controller, apart from the fact that my hands cramp up whenever I try to use it? Anyway, any controller beyond the PS2 DualShock is ineligible for this, in my opinion.

Nadia Oxford, Staff Writer

I love the DualShock series. The controller designs don't vary much from version to version—they don't need to, really—but I have a soft spot for the PS4's controller. Yes, even that stupid, useless touchpad (which actually isn't useless for Final Fantasy 14 players, since it doubles as a "mouse" pad). DualShock haters swear by Xbox's most recent controllers (some still swear by The Duke, the Xbox's original behemoth), but Microsoft's controllers don't don't sit in my hand as comfortably as DualShocks. It's true everything is bigger in America, game controllers included, but that becomes a problem when you're 5'0" and you have small hands.

Caty McCarthy, Senior Editor

I've always been partial to the DualShock series of controllers from PlayStation over the years, because I have very small hands. (I am just over five feet tall!) I wouldn't say they're "good" though. Just now, I'm dealing with three DualShock 4 controller deaths—one has drift, on one the D-pad just… doesn't work anymore, another has much slighter drift that is manageable. On all of them, I had to put on new rubber pads on the analog sticks because the base rubber wore out. DualShocks have always felt more flimsy compared to Xbox and Nintendo controllers too. I don't know what it is about them. But still, DualShocks remain the most comfortable in my baby-sized hands. I guess that begrudgingly makes them my favorite.

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