The Twenty Weirdest Video Game Controllers

Senior Contributor
12.07.11 11 Comments

The controls are a crucial part of any video game. A game’s no fun if you can’t figure out what to do and when to do it.
That said, the argument over what kind of controllers a game should have has been…ongoing, to say the least. So we thought we’d collect the weirdest controllers we could find and see just how far we’ve come, or not, in our ideas of what a human being is willing to pick up, strap to themselves, climb into, or otherwise completely humiliate themselves in order to shoot zombies in the face.
Needless to say, we haven’t actually come that far.

This was released with “Resident Evil 4.” Impossible to use, but hey, it looked neat!
Yes, that is a grown man inside a giant plastic hamster ball. Yes, they actually tried to market this to civilians.
No roundup of weird controllers is complete without “Steel Battalion”, the only game that required you to properly boot the controller to actually play.
Somebody discovered Fimo!
We don’t know. We don’t want to.
And now, to remove any actual benefit from playing DDR, here’s the palmtop controller!
This came with an “Onimusha” game. We’re sure the form factor helped.
Yep, that’s a fishing controller. Sega made it for their bass fishing games. It’s one of the few controllers on here that’s genuinely effective for the game it’s paired with, actually. Still funny-looking, though.
The idea behind this one was to play racing games by twisting the controller. Namco still blames no “Gran Turismo” support for this failing. Yeah, guys, we’re not sure that’s really the problem here.
Be a PC gamepad, or a console controller, but…don’t try to be both
All we know about this beast is that whoever made it wanted $2800 for it.
This is actually sold to people as a way to more easily play Flash games. We guess sacrificing your dignity for a high score at work is worth it.
Remember the Wu-Tang fighting game? This is the controller that came with it. More memorable than the game, really.
Oh, Nintendo…
Yes, that’s a Wii bowling ball. Some people take Wii Bowling very seriously.
Finally, a custom controller for all those train simulators. No, this isn’t a professional educational aid: it’s designed to go with train simulators. That people play for fun. Really.
To be fair to Logitech, they never intended this to be a game controller. That didn’t stop people from trying, and failing, to use it as a gamepad.
Because the N64 controller just didn’t have a weird enough form factor.
Well, at least you won’t miss the buttons.
Hinged. For his pleasure.

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