Best Retro Gaming Controllers

Best Retro Gaming Controllers

Dive into nostalgia with our expert-selected list of the best retro gaming controllers for 2023, guaranteed to enhance your classic gaming experience.

December 05, 20234 min readTech

Key Takeaways

Top Pick8BitDo SN30 Pro
Best for XboxHyperkin Duke Wired Controller
Best for PC8BitDo Pro 2 Controller
Best for SwitchPowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller
Best for SegaRetro-Bit Official Sega Saturn USB Controller
Best BudgetRetro-Bit Legacy 16 Wired USB Controller

We at Wiredinnovator have curated a list of the best retro gaming controllers to bring back those classic feels. Whether you're playing on a contemporary console or reliving the glory days on a PC, our guide will walk you through the finest options that strike a perfect balance between vintage design and modern performance.

Don't have a retro console? No problem. We've got you covered with our guide to building a raspberry pi retro game console to help you get started.

Introduction to Retro Gaming Controllers

Rediscovering the classics is more authentic with a retro-style controller. Despite the advancement in controller technology, sometimes the charm of a bygone era is what you're after. Retro controllers capture the essence of old-school gaming, providing the tactile nostalgia we often miss. Let us explore some exceptional choices that give us a blast from the past while keeping up with today's gaming standards.

Best Overall Retro Gaming Controller: 8BitDo SN30 Pro

8BitDo SN30 Pro - A Modern Take on a Classic Design

The 8BitDo SN30 Pro is our top retro controller pick for good reason. It mirrors the feel of the iconic SNES controller, yet it comes with all the trappings of modern functionality including Bluetooth connectivity and rechargeable batteries, ensuring compatibility across a multitude of devices.


  • Compatibility: Nintendo Switch, Windows, MacOS, Steam, SNES, Classic SNES
  • Battery: 500mAh Li-on rechargeable
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Wide compatibility, rechargeable battery, full button set
  • Cons: Not compatible with Xbox or PlayStation consoles

Price: Approximately $45

A Nod to Nostalgia: Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller Cortana 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

Hyperkin Duke - Xbox Retro Revamp

For Xbox enthusiasts, the Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller with its special 20th Anniversary Cortana design is a true throwback. The controller features a nostalgic Xbox button montage and comes equipped with a 3.5mm headset jack, offering a blend of classic form and modern function.


  • Compatibility: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC
  • Connectivity: Wired, USB-C cable

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Faithful to the classic Xbox design, headset support
  • Cons: Premium price, limited color options

Price: Around $88

PC Gamers' Retro Delight: 8BitDo Pro 2 Controller

8BitDo Pro 2 - Retro Precision for PC

The 8BitDo Pro 2 Controller enhances the PC gaming experience with its nostalgic design and cutting-edge features like programmable buttons and motion controls. This controller is a must-have for gamers who demand precision coupled with a retro touch.


  • Compatibility: PC, MacOS, Android, Raspberry Pi
  • Battery: Up to 20 hours of playtime
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Versatile compatibility, customizable controls, ergonomic design
  • Cons: Not an exact replica of any classic controller

Price: Estimated at $50


Q: What's the best feature of retro controllers?

A: Retro controllers are best known for their nostalgic designs that replicate the look and feel of classic gaming hardware.

Q: Can these controllers be used with current-gen consoles?

A: Yes, most retro controllers are designed with modern connectivity options to support current-gen devices and PCs.

Q: Are these controllers officially licensed?

A: Some retro controllers are officially licensed, while others are homage products designed with classic styling in mind.

Join us as we delve deeper into each of these retro masterpieces. We at Wiredinnovator celebrate the timeless appeal these controllers bring to the contemporary gaming realm.


Our journey through the world of retro gaming controllers reiterates one truth – the classics never go out of style. From the versatile 8BitDo range to the specific delights of Hyperkin Duke for Xbox, there's a perfect retro controller out there for every gamer. As we embrace future innovations, let's not forget the heritage of gaming captured so vividly within these exceptional peripherals.

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