My Arcade GamePad Classic Controller (Hardware) Review

Putting space between us.

One of the biggest gripes (outside of not being able to find one) about the NES Classic is that the cord that comes packed in the box is simply too short. So the question then becomes, what is a good alternative? Well, I have spent some quality time with the My Arcade NES Classic Controller, and while it may not have the most visually appealing design, it gets the job done, and actually feels a lot better than it looks.

On the surface this controller looks absolutely horrendous. The design made me wary about prolonged use, even more so than the square design of the original controller. After spending some time with it though, it actually feels fine. While it looks cheap, the design is well made. The buttons feel good, and the d-pad is very responsive. Overall I was impressed with the design once I got it in my hands.

The controller runs on batteries, and the lifespan is quite good. The box claims 75 hours of charge per set; I have yet to hit that threshold, but it is still churning. The range is also great. I was able to move freely around the room without a loss of signal. The controller comes with a dongle that sits right in the console, and I have had no issues playing it from any angle, or distance within my office.

MSRP: $14.99
Price I’d Pay: $14.99

Another really cool feature of this controller is the ability to jump back to the main menu during game play. One of the other biggest gripes of the NES Classic is that players have to get up to reset the console to play a new game. This controller built that functionality into the device. By pressing the Start and Select buttons I am able to go back, save my game, or switch games on-the-fly, which is a huge quality of life improvement.

One important thing to note about third party controllers though is that the system requires the original controller to be plugged in for authentication. Much like the PS4 does, this is a nightmare for companies building these devices. I only had to do it once per session, but it was still a giant pain.

The My Arcade NES Classic Controller is a great supplement to one of the machine’s biggest problems. The authentication sucks, but almost everything else makes life easier when playing it now. The price is also more than reasonable considering the battery life and convenience. For anyone who managed to get one of these systems this controller almost feels essential. Otherwise you will have a weird setup of the system dangling from its cables across the room to get any decent distance from the TV.

Review copy of controller provided by publisher.

  • Great range
  • Being able to go back to menu from controller
  • Solid build
  • Weird design
  • Authentication sucks
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.