Top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers

I’ve already made a Top 10 list of the best video game controllers, but it’s now time to tackle the worst! Like I said earlier, if the player isn’t thinking of how the controllers work when they’re playing, it shows that the controller is working for the player. However, if the player has a hard time figuring how how to work a controller or if the hardware hardly functions, then there’s something very wrong! Be prepared to see the worst controls that failed to give us an interactive experience that we all want.

Number 10.  –  Sega Dreamcast Controller

The Sega Saturn’s 3D Controller Pad was the one controller that was made just for 3D games and it was the best controller that Sega has ever made which is why that controller made it on number 6 of my Top 10 controllers list! Then Sega needed the same control layout for the Dreamcast, but unfortunately they down graded it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Dreamcast, but the controller is something left to be desired. First off, this is the first time that Sega offered an analog stick and it shows that Sega doesn’t really know how players use the Analog stick because since there’s no rubber on the stick, so players can slip their left thumb off the stick due to lack of grip for the thumb. You can use the D-pad instead but in comparisons to the Sega Saturn’s 3D Controller Pad, it’s plastic shoved in there and makes it hard to control. Even comparing more to the Sega Saturn 3D Controller Pad , they decreased the 6 button layout to a four button layout. For a game library with a lot of fighting games, it’s needed to keep 6-buttons.  Also, the start button so below at the controls that my thumb can’t reach without letting go of the grip. Plus it’s annoying that the wire at the bottom of the controller instead of the top which gets in the way with our laps. I understand that the wire has to be located there because behind at top of the controller, there’s were we insert the rumble add-on and the memory card. But when you add the rumble add-on and the memory card, it adds more weight to it. The Dreamcast controller isn’t that bad (which is so low on the list) but it’s ashamed that the Dreamcast controller is such a downgrade of the Sega Saturn 3D Controller Pad. If only the Dreamcast’s lifespan went longer, who knows if we ever were going to have a controller redesign.

Number 9.  –  Xbox Controller (Duke)

Oh, lord this brings back bad memories. For a debut on manufacturing consoles, why did Microsoft come up with this? This controller is just too huge (bigger than a child’s hand), the analog sticks and buttons are spread apart, and the grip is too much for our hands to hold on. Not even a grown man could handle something this bulky. Never have I had to extend my thumb to reach certain parts of the controller from my grip that makes controlling anything to feel like busy work. Heck, there were Xbox owners out there that would punish themselves by using this controller because it was the only way to play Halo: Combat Evolved at the time. Thankfully, Microsoft received complaints and redesigned it to the best controller of all time, the Xbox Controller S. If the Controller S didn’t arrive in time, who knows if anyone would be at all interested in getting an Xbox.

Number 8.  –  RCA Studio II

This console was made by the father of video games himself, Ralph Baer, who is most famous for making the first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. I could just bash the Studio II all entirely on to itself, because it was already obsolete in comparison to Baer’s other creations and the other consoles at the time; only black and white graphics and sound only comes out of the system that only makes beeps. But worst of all, built in controller into the console itself. Putting the controller and the console in one unit is a bad idea for a console because being that there are only two players, I hope that you like getting close and in person. But the worst part of all is that there are number keys as the only controls which makes it confusing on who it works on each and every games for that system. It was a horrible idea for a console from the start. Yet I’m being generous in not putting this controller (or the console itself) any higher is because it was the 1970’s and there were a lot that video games needed to do to evolve and sadly, RCA Studio II didn’t inspire anything to anyone.

Number 7.  –  Philips CD-i Game Controller 

Now there were different controllers for the Philips CD-i upon it’s release, one is a rip-off of the SNES controller, the other looks like a remote controller for a hospital bed, and the other one is a television remote controller with an analog stick. The third one is my choice as the worst because the analog stick is surrounded by 4 buttons around the stick. This makes it hard to use the buttons and the analog stick at once which why buttons and analog sticks are apart from each other. Imagine if you will that you have to make a certain direction and do a certain action at once, but somehow the analog stick is touching the button for you to press it and move at the same time. Also, being that it’s one of the first video game controllers that is wireless, it uses infa-red lighting where the only way you can interact with the controller is if you directly aim the remote to the part of the console that reads it. It was all busy work to keep the stick from hitting the buttons and also keep aiming the controller to work with the console in order to interact with the system. Did I mention that the movement of the analog stick is too sluggish when moving it around?

Number 6.  –  Atari 5200 Controller

Don’t you find it an insult to injury to buy the next gen. console to the Atari 2600 just to downgrade everything? One of the biggest pain in the ass is the Atari 5200 controller. The pros for this system is that it had it’s own start and pause button on the controller (instead of placing it on the machine) and there were much more buttons (which hardly any game utilizes them all). The toughest part of this controller is that the joystick has no centering which makes it hard to stop movement in the game. But the biggest offense is that these controllers easily break. If you have an Atari 5200 controller that still works since the day you bought it, it’s either you’re lying or you have the only perfectly packaged Atari 5200 console ever! If you plan to buy an Atari 5200, don’t bother with the controller, because the Sega Genesis controller can plug in and work with the Atari 5200.

Number 6.  –  Power Glove… it’s so bad!

You know this was coming because we all know the joke and we all know how embarrassing it is to even wear such a ridiculous accessory. I’ll give them this, at least it was an innovative and original concept but the execution was mediocre. You can make all sort of movements placing your glove on front of the screen but it can’t read it properly nor does anyone know how each game work with this thing. This controller basically shot itself in the hand (pun intended) by having a controller on top of the wrist of the glove which shows that you should instead play the controller instead of wearing the glove itself.

Number 5.  –  U-Force

Don’t ever believe in what advertisements tell you because it might work but not in the way you hope it to be. This controller promised being able to do hand motion to the controller in order to move the character in a new way. The plus side is that you have interaction… the sad reality is that nobody, not even the manufacturers of this junk even knows how to work this thing. But if your game doesn’t work well with the motion games, you can add the joystick to actually work better with the U-Force. Even if you figure out how each game controls with this peripheral, by the end of the day you would just want to pick up your NES controller and just use it. Nintendo could never make the motion gaming idea to actually work right until the Wii was released 20 years later.

Number 4.  –  Sega Activator

Hey, did you know that Sega tried to surpass Nintendo with their motion gaming gimmick? So how does this work? Basically you place this big ring on the floor and you stand in the middle and all you have to do is to wave your arms and kick your feet out of the rings. The tricky part is to know which side of the ring is controls what. Do putting your arms forward make you jump? Does the left or right site scroll left or right? Just when you were about to interact with your video games that are much “cooler” than using a controller, instead of doing all the stuff seen from the commercials you’re stuck figuring out how this all works (if it even works) and start feeling like an idiot by the end of the day.

Number 3.  – The Atari Jaguar Controller

Few things that’s keeping this controller from being any higher on this list:

  1. It works.
  2. It doesn’t break easily like the Atari 5200 controller.
  3. You actually know where the 3-buttons and D-pad are placed.

Other than that, this controller earn that reputation as being one of the worst controllers of all time. The button arrangements are so awkward that you it hurt the thumb while using it. The pause and option buttons are totally unreachable without letting go of the grip. And … aaargh! What’s with all the number pads!?! That was already a bad concept from the 1980’s and they brought number pads in the 1990’s? This is about as bad as you can get without being a peripheral. Imagine using this for hours upon hours… it’s like hand torture.

Number 2.  –  The Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller

Talk about the worst way you can redesign a whole console controller and just abuse the hell out of it. First off, can you see  how the analog sticks are so close together on the PS2 version and the Gamecube version, you have a D-pad between the analog sticks. The start buttons are so far from the analog stick and buttons you minus well just call it quits after a minute of using this garbage. It was impossible to hold comfortably, it was weighted horrendously, and you couldn’t even use it as a chainsaw in the game! You just aimed and fired guns like any other controller. If you’re one of those suckers who thinks that Resident Evil 4 is so good that anything that has its name on it (like this controller) that you need to buy it, I pity you. You basically wasted a whole lot of money for something that costs much more than a regular controller that actually is easier and lighter to use.

Number 1.  –  Roll ‘n Rocker and Tony Hawk Ride Board

First off, how is anybody able to use these things without falling off and hurting themselves? The only controller that I know that requires to use your feet and succeed at it is Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution series, but this is a horrible idea of how to play a video game. I put these two as the worst video game controller because they were the worst idea ever. For the Roll ‘n Rocker, it said it was built for every NES game but each movement you make creates a different interaction with each game. The problem with the Roll ‘n Rocker is that it does not say still, you’re always sliding off almost constantly falling off the damn board because it’s impossible to stand still with this thing. Plus trying to do this for hours hurts my feet plus I fell and hit my head when using this thing. As for Tony Hawk Skate Board it failed to detect your movements and caused your skater to do all sorts of weird random things totally unrelated to what you were really doing. It cost an arm and a leg and broke if you ate more than two cookies before stepping on it. Perhaps its biggest fault was killing one of the longest running and most awesome skateboard franchises we have ever seen. That level of sheer awfulness from both of these hunk of plastics is truly impressive! Who thought that balancing on top of a flimsy piece of plastic situated atop an even flimsier plastic ball was at all safe? Or a good idea for playing Battletoads? The reason why this controller is number 1 is none other than you can get hurt when using them, and anything that actually harms it’s user deserves nothing more than the worst spot!

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