Game Controllers: Ratings of Sources
Total of 30 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Sim HQ Technology Articles -- Reviews
by Editors of SimHQ.com
Our AssessmentThis site is run by a collection of passionate simulation game players, many of whom have experience with actual racing vehicles and aircraft. The editors review most simulation game controllers -- such as racing wheels and flight sticks -- available on the market today in very detailed, multipage reviews. While the site is easy to navigate and the editors make their opinions of products clear in the "Conclusion" sections of the reviews, no specific rating is assigned to products.
Best PC Gamepad: 6 Reviewed and Rated
by Matt Hanson
Our AssessmentIn this online reprinting of a PC Format magazine article, reviewer Matt Hanson gathers six of the top gamepads available -- including the stock Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers -- and rates their PC-related usefulness after conducting testing of each. Ratings are provided for each gamepad in the form of a numerical percentage. The Razer Onza Tournament Edition lands atop the heap, followed closely by the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller.
Racing Wheel Roundup
by James Pikover
Our AssessmentThree top racing wheels compete head-to-head in this article: the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel, the Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS Clubsport Edition, which includes pedals, and the basic Porsche 911 GT3 RS Wheel. Each racing wheel receives a fairly detailed one-page review, and then the three are compared on a summary page. James Pikover gives the nod to Logitech's wheel over the Fanatec because the G27 model's flaw -- a light pedal board -- is a lesser evil than the Fanatec's cheap-feeling shifters. He also cites the low price of the Logitech G27 compared to the Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS Clubsport Edition's as a major factor.
by Editors of Maximum PC
Our AssessmentMaximum PC reviews a ton of computer components, including a decent number of gaming peripherals. Although the gaming focus lies on mice, keyboards and headsets, the publication also takes a look at some controllers such as the Razer Onza Tournament Edition and the Razer Hydra. Reviewer Alex Castle gives the gamepad a Kick Ass award and calls it the gamepad to beat. The motion-based Razer Hydra gets a lower score; while Castle is largely positive about the controller, he says "unless you're a motion-control aficionado" you should wait for the controller to garner more software support. Users are forced to sift through several pages of products in order to find reviews of controllers on this site, as there is no specific peripheral filter available.
Gaming Gear Reviews
by Editors of Wired
Our AssessmentWhile controllers aren't at the forefront of the gaming gear reviews at Wired, the publication still offers up opinions on major releases. The reviews aren't especially long, but they do a good job of touching on the highlights and lowlights of a given product. Each product receives a numerical rating for its overall performance.
by Editors of GamingShogun.com
Our AssessmentThese reviews aren't the longest around and they provide no numerical rating, but all are based on hands-on testing that is outlined during the course of the critique and no doubt is left in the reader's head whether or not an editor recommends a product. GamingShogun.com reviews many more peripherals than most other publications, but you're forced to slog through page after page of video game reviews in order to find them. Also, few products receive much negative feedback.
Best Flight Joystick/Controller
by Matthew Smith
Our AssessmentBestcovery.com doesn't usually rate very highly on our credibility list, but reviewer Matthew Smith's ranking of the best flight sticks around actually provides more information than a similar article on About.com. It's not clear whether or not the controllers receive any hands-on testing, but the five flight sticks highlighted each receive two to three paragraphs describing what's good -- and what's not so good -- about the product.
Street Fighter IV Arcade Stick Roundup
by Lark Anderson and James Yu
Our AssessmentAccording to this roundup from GameSpot.com, Hori makes some of the best combat joysticks, but Mad Catz's Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition tops all comers. Reviewers Anderson and Yu run down each stick's features and discuss their impressions from testing the units, and while the Mad Catz arcade stick receives a perfect 5-star rating, both Hori options also garner great 4-out-of-5-star reviews.
PC Steering Wheel Roundup
by Steve McCormick
Our AssessmentSteve McCormick, About.com's NASCAR guide, reviews PC steering wheels, rating them based on his impressions of "racing feel... look, convenience and value." However, many standout models -- such as the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel and the Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS Clubsport Edition -- are missing from the list, and discontinued wheels -- such as the Logitech MOMO Racing Force -- are still included. Each review includes quick pros and cons, a more detailed description of the device based on McCormick's testing, and occasional user reviews. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
by Editors of IGN.com
Our AssessmentAlthough they don't make their top picks easy to find, gaming website IGN.com has managed to provide more reviews of top game controllers than any other site, although reviews of recently released devices are scarce and the list is littered with discontinued models. Reviews are thorough, based on hands-on testing and include references to each device's competitors so you know how it stacks up to other options. Each device receives a rating on a 10-point scale, and IGN designates the best products. The X-Arcade Tankstick and Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control are the best-rated game controllers overall, with ratings of at least 9 out of 10. To see reviews of controllers that work for consoles as well as PCs -- such as the Xbox 360 controller and the Razer Onza Tournament Edition gamepad -- you need to visit the review pages for the console, rather than PC gear.
Joysticks and Gamepads
by Editors of TechRadar.com
Our AssessmentTechRadar.com's reviews are not as thorough as others', but their advice, based on first-hand testing, is sound. They seem to have taken 2010 off as far as controllers go, but they've recently begun reviewing input devices again in 2011 and feature a fairly sizeable selection of older, but relevant, critiques. They review the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel in the gaming accessories category.
AVSIM Commercial Hardware Review -- Pro Flight X-65F
by Angelique van Campen
Our AssessmentAngelique van Campen delivers one of the most thorough reviews we've ever seen on any topic -- a nearly 10,000 word critique that looks at every aspect of the Saitek X-65F Pro Flight Control System in exacting detail (that's nearly as long as this entire report, for some perspective). "Is this the ultimate HOTAS equipment? For me it is!" van Campen gushes in closing.
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Review
by Douglas Helmer
Our AssessmentLike many other flight-stick reviews from the hardcore simulation community, Douglas Helmer's look at the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog is long and leaves no stone unturned. From installing the game to the final landing, Helmer covers every aspect of the flight stick in this review. He comes away highly impressed, awarding the stick a CombatSim.com Top Pick award.
HOTAS Warthog Review
by Dave Gamble
Our AssessmentThis review at GamingNexus.com doesn't quite match the depth of Douglas Helmer's review at CombatSim.com, but is still extensive -- if not quite exhaustive -- and far deeper than controller reviews at more mainstream sites. He says the controller is by far "the very best PC joystick" that he had ever used, but it seems so hand-tailored for a DCAS A-10C simulation that using it to fly another sim plane could result in some "compromise."
Review: Logitech G27 Racing Wheel
by Konrad Gawronski
Our AssessmentThis review from Konrad Gawronski is a double whammy; not only does it include a long written review of his impressions of the Logitech G27 Racing wheel, it also features fifteen minutes worth of video review time as well, so readers can see the issues the reviewer is talking about. Although a few flaws are noted, the review is overwhelmingly positive. "If you're in the market for (a racing wheel), the Logitech G27 should be on the top of your list," Gawronksi concludes.
PC Gaming Hardware
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com's game controllers section includes subsections for gamepads, joysticks and steering wheels and pedals, but you'll have to look in the video game department for the user favorite Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, which is compatible with PCs. While user reviews generally do not compare products, they can help ascertain a product's durability and usability in real-world conditions. User favorites include several different brands such as Logitech, Saitek and Thrustmaster.
PC Game Controllers
by Contributors to Newegg.com
Our AssessmentNewegg.com users tend be more technology-focused than the average Amazon.com user, and that expertise shows in the feedback in the PC game controllers category. Several products from a variety of brands come highly recommended by users, and detailed pros, cons and additional thoughts about each controller are provided.
by Editors of FlightSim.com
Our AssessmentFlightSim.com reviews an impressive amount of flight simulator hardware, including one of the best reviews of Saitek's new Pro Flight Combat Rudder Pedals. The reviews are thorough, providing results of hands-on testing as well rundowns of features. Unfortunately, all of the products are almost unreservedly recommended, and none are directly compared to each other.
Gaming Gear and Culture
by Editors of BrightHub.com
Our AssessmentBrightHub.com is the only site besides About.com that has rankings for gamepads, joysticks and steering wheels. Although the articles are not terribly detailed, lack some standout top-end models and aren't based on firsthand testing, they do an excellent job of summing up the consensus picks. Most importantly, their roundups are quite recent, making BrightHub.com a decent site for the most current top picks for any type of game controller.
Flight Simulator Controls
Our AssessmentThis article provides a succinct overview of the leading peripherals for flight simulation. Although the product descriptions focus primarily on listing features and do not include testing results or rigorous comparisons with other products, contributors to the site do an accurate job of casting each device within its competitive landscape.
Razer Hydra Review: Smooth Controller, Rough around the Edges
by Bryan Edge-Salois
Our AssessmentThe content at Examiner.com varies greatly in depth and credibility, but this review by Bryan Edge-Salois is one of the better ones. Extensive play-testing is conducted and all aspects of the device are discussed. Although Edge-Salois calls the Hydra "a pleasure to play with" for supported games, he recommends that most gamers may be better off waiting until new drivers and software support are released.
Razer Hydra Review
by Michael Aulia
Our AssessmentAustralian reviewer Michael Aulia gets ahold of a Razer Hydra and delivers a fairly balanced review that does a good job of identifying both the strengths and the weaknesses of the motion-based controller. While the conclusion of the article is nothing but upbeat for the future, the body text identifies several areas in need of improvement in the short term.
by Editors of I4U.com
Our AssessmentGadget website I4U.com reviews an array of peripherals, including gaming mice, keyboards and other controllers, but many of their reviews are of older models. Few current controllers are covered, and you need to wade through all the reviews in order to find the peripheral reviews, as there is no way to filter review results. On the plus side, the reviews are detailed, covering each device's features with a separate page listing specifications. Each reviewer discusses impressions from hands-on testing and provides a final verdict and a rating.
Razer Hydra Review
by Marco Pasqua
Our AssessmentThis article looks at the Razer Hydra's use as a therapeutic device as well as its use as a gaming accessory from the perspective of a disabled individual. While the controller's review is largely positive -- especially since the Hydra is the first PC-only motion-based controller -- reviewer Marco Pasqua says the precision needed to use it with some games leaves a lot to be desired.
Best PC Gaming Joysticks
by Christine McKee
Our AssessmentAbout.com's guide to PC Hardware, Christine McKee, offers a roundup of the best PC gaming joysticks that focuses entirely on flight sticks and doesn't include any joysticks used for arcade-style games. Though four flight sticks are highlighted as being the best of the best, the review of each only consists of a brief paragraph. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Top 10 Game Pads
by Michael Klappenbach
Our AssessmentMichael Klappenbach, About.com's computer action games guide, outlines his picks of the top 10 best gamepads. Like McKee's roundup of the best PC gaming joysticks, Klappenbach's ordering system leaves no question as to which controllers rate the best with him, but each only receives a single brief paragraph of description. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Hardware Reviews: Gadgets/Accessories
by Editors of HardwareHeaven.com
Our AssessmentThis site does not review many game controllers -- instead focusing on graphics cards and PC components -- but their reviews are thorough and credible. Although editors do not review the Xbox 360 PC Controller, they say the Razer Onza Tournament Edition improves on it. The Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick also receives praise as being a fantastic value for the price.
by Editors of FileFactory Games
Our AssessmentFileFactory Games is by no means a comprehensive source for gaming hardware reviews, and in fact, it hasn't been updated in years, but the items it does cover receive excellent, detailed reviews based on hands-on testing. Most of the game controllers reviewed get very high scores, but the conclusions are not out of line with other sources. Their review of the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke system is one of the best we found, although most of the other hardware critiqued by the site is now discontinued.
Best PC Arcade Stick? Help!
by Contributors to GameTrailers.com forums
Our AssessmentIn this forum thread on the popular GameTrailers.com site, one user asks which available joystick is the best for arcade-style games. Other users chime in with several responses, but the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition is the one generally regarded as the cream of the arcade joystick crop.
by Bruce Williams
Our AssessmentBruceAir.com is a website devoted to flight instruction with sections on flight simulation and product reviews. Although Bruce Williams, a professional aviator and instructor, does not review many devices, his discussions of Saitek's Pro Flight Yoke System and the CH Products Eclipse Yoke are among the most detailed and credible available. The reviews portion of the website hasn't been updated in a couple of years, however.