Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Great Games Ruined By Terrible Controls

The controller has been a standard of gaming since the '80s, replacing the arcade joystick. Though it doesn't make sense to reinvent the wheel, gaming manufacturers have tried. Sometimes a novelty control scheme works, but more often than not it proves to be more trouble than it's worth.


Controls play such an important role in a game's success that a title can be completely ruined if it handles poorly enough. Conversely, some games are so good that fans will simply overlook a frustrating control scheme. Still, it's all the more disappointing when your favorite game is hampered by its handling. When the poor controls are the result of a bad controller, it's even more upsetting.

Everyone has had to grin and bear it at some point with a beloved game, but not every experience is salvageable. Here are some great titles that were ruined by terrible controls.

Metroid Prime Hunters

Metroid Prime is an incredibly popular franchise that doesn't get the attention from Nintendo some gamers feel it deserves. While the trilogy is revered by fans, few talk about the forgotten DS title Metroid Prime Hunters. Considering it was not only a way to play the Prime series on the go, but to play and chat with other players around the world, it seemed like it should have been a guaranteed hit. But it wasn't.


To bring a first-person shooter to the DS, the dev team decided to get creative in a way that may have negatively impacted its chances of success. You control Samus' direction with the D-pad and aim her arm cannon by using the touch screen. Vice's Mike Diver stated that Metroid Prime Hunters had an "underrated charm," but that its "workarounds for portable play made it a sometimes uncomfortable ride."

Multiple users on Reddit mostly share this sentiment, proving that while it may have been the only way to properly bring Prime to the DS, it was not a user-friendly experience. Metroid Prime Hunters is still largely considered a good game, but the unusual DS controls ruined it for many who played this portable FPS.


Super Mario Galaxy

Though whether the Nintendo Wii was a success or a failure is still hotly debated, it did change the way people played games by opening the door for many non-gamers to enjoy the experience for the first time. While some loved the innovative motion controls, Redditors have demonstrated they were not for everyone


How a title makes use of the motion control system has heavily influenced the concept's reception. Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 — though often considered the best in the Mario series — have been pegged as two of the Wii's biggest motion control offenders.

Danielle Riendeau of Vice asserted that "Super Mario Galaxy was brilliant, but motion controls ruined it." It seems the game had the potential to handle like a standard platformer, but Nintendo forced motion controls, adding what she and many others saw as a needless maneuver. As Riendeau pointed out, the requirement to shake the Wii-mote poses accessibility problems for those who have any related wrist issues. What's worse, there is no alternative to this function. Even the Super Mario 3D All-Stars port retained this feature.


While few would deny Super Mario Galaxy is a great game, few would likely agree the Wii's controller added to the experience.