There have been many video game consoles released over the years. Each with their own graphical capability or exclusive titles. No matter what difference you may bring up there is one constant. An input device, a controller that connects you to the action on the screen. A means to make the worlds dreamed up by developers come to life and make this hobby worth it all.
Over the years the controller has evolved as much if not more than the hardware it connects to. While some have been monstrosities undeserving of the touch of gamers, there are those that have transcended time and space to provide mechanical perfection. Let us take a look at 5 of the greatest controllers in no particular order. Instead of ranking them, let us marvel at their accomplishments and appreciate what has come before as we look to the future.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Controller
An oldie but a good the SNES Controller was one of the most comfortable devices of its time. When it released in 1991 in North America it was hands down the best controller on the market. In one of the earliest examples of Nintendo’s ability to innovate the controller. It provided six action buttons just like the Sega Genesis controller but was smart enough to place two of them on the shoulders. The other four buttons were placed in a diamond like shape opposite of what is arguably the best directional pad (d-pad) ever made. This allowed for easier button combinations and helped facilitate the ergonomic design that the SNES Controller presented.
At the time the controllers for the Sega Genesis and Turbografix-16 seemed more interested in placing buttons on plastic than providing comfort and improved functionality. The SNES Controller presented an option that was not only easier to use but also more pleasing to the eye. In fact, many of the staples presented by this device are still used today by all of the big 3 console makers. Shoulder buttons and the now well known diamond formation of action buttons were introduced by the SNES Controller.
Rounding out the the awesome traits of the modern controller’s forefather was its incredible durability. Ask anyone who has had the luck to put one of these bad boys to use and they will tell you about its ability to handle some serious rage. While newer controllers shatter at the mere thought of being thrown to the ground this one accepted the challenge and still came back for more sessions.