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Six of the Most Ridiculous Videogame Controllers Ever Created

Most Ridiculous Controllers

Holding your DualSense or your Xbox Series controller in your hand, you’re probably struck with how perfectly it fits, how almost every element of the controller has been considered to maximise its ergonomics and functionality. They’re both feats of engineering, that’s for sure. But not all controllers have been created in the same way. Throughout the history of gaming there have been some downright ridiculous controllers – and we’re here to walk you through the best (and worst) of them.

Some of these controllers were meant to be gimmicks – Resi chainsaw controller, we’re looking at you – but others have been designed to be fully-functional, daily-use controllers. We’re not sure what went through the designers’ minds with some of these, but they’re fascinating to look back on all the same.

So: without further ado, here are six of the most ridiculous videogame controllers ever created. Enjoy.

Related: The 7 Best (and 3 Worst) Game Console Controllers Ever Made

Atari Jaguar Controller

Atari Jaguar controller
Image: Atari

Released in North America in 1993 and elsewhere in 1994, the Atari Jaguar console was a commercial failure. Part of the reason must have been its controller, which was ridiculous and wrong on so many levels. Just look at it: it looks like an answering machine for Heaven’s sake.

Simply seeing an Atari Jaguar controller put us off actually playing anything on the console thanks to its myriad of buttons and unergonomic design. Partway through the short life of the Atari Jaguar the controller got a redesign, too, adding even more face buttons and some triggers. It was a little bit better to use, but still absolutely hideous.

Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller

Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
Image: Capcom

You could have played Resident Evil 4 when it originally launched on GameCube with a standard GameCube controller. Or, if you wanted the full experience, you could buy a fancy chainsaw controller instead. Given that Leon never actually uses a chainsaw in Resident Evil 4, we always thought it was a bit silly that a chainsaw controller was available. It truly was a gimmick.

A fun one though, because who doesn’t like to game with a fake chainsaw in their hands? A PS2 version of the chainsaw controller was also made available, albeit in red rather than yellow. And while these were made for Resident Evil 4, as they have a full set of buttons and the like, you can actually use them with pretty much any games released on the respective formats.

Steel Battalion Controller

Image: Wikipedia/John Tregoning

Developed by Capcom exclusively for the original Xbox console, Steel Battalion had one aim: to make you feel like you were actually piloting a mech. In that pursuit, it could only be played with a special, and rather large, controller specifically made for the game. Sat behind the Steel Battalion controller you felt like you were in a cockpit, with some 44 inputs at your disposal encompassing two joysticks, three foot pedals, a throttle handle, a radio dial, and a whole lot more.

Needless to say, playing Steel Battalion was a learning experience, but those who put in the effort were rewarded. A sequel to the game was eventually released that also used the gargantuan controller. For the third game in the series, released on Xbox 360, Capcom opted to make use of Kinect instead.

Farming Simulator Equipment Bundle

Logitech farming simulator controller
Image: Logitech/Amazon

The Farming Simulator series is insanely popular. It’s no surprise, then, that peripheral manufacturers have jumped at the chance to perhaps make playing various entries even more immersive and rewarding. If you’ve got the space, and the inclination, Logitech will very happily sell you a heavy equipment bundle, designed to make your Farming Simulator endeavors even more authentic.

Not only does it include a rugged set of pedals, but also a steering wheel designed for heavy use vehicles and a side panel with a large array of buttons. There are other manufacturers that offer similar sorts of setups, too, and while they are undoubtedly a bit ridiculous, if you’re big on farming sims it might be worth investing in one of these controller ensembles.

Namco’s NeGcon

Namco Negcon
Image: Wikipedia/Malcolm Tyrrell

Originally made to replicate the analogue-stick movement of the arcade game Cyber Sled, Namco’s NeGcon was one of the weirdest and most ridiculous controllers ever released for the PlayStation, although it was also compatible with the PlayStation 2. Intended for use in racing games such as Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo, it allowed players to have more control when taking corners on account of its design.

Basically, with the two halves of the controller connected by a swivel-joint, you can twist the two sides to turn. It’s as weird as it sounds. The NeGcon wasn’t Namco’s last foray into experimental controllers, either, with the Jogcon, released a few years later in 1998, incorporating a rather large dial that could be used as a steering wheel.

Fishing Controller

Image: Sega

In all honesty, we miss the days when games used to be compatible with ridiculous and outrageous accessories and controllers. Take the Dreamcast release of SEGA Bass Fishing, for example, which was best played with a bespoke fishing controller. Designed to look just like a fishing rod, it featured all the buttons you needed to play SEGA Bass Fishing, but also had a reel which you could use to reel your catches in, as well as motion support.

Hell, it even vibrated when you caught a fish. Multiple games were released for the Dreamcast which made use of the controller, and amusingly it could be used in some non-fishing games, too, such as SoulCalibur. We just don’t understand why no one has made one for modern fishing games.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!