The Fanatical Blog
The best games to play with a controller for PC gamers
By Guest - 18th Feb 2021Games
Top pick of games for when a keyboard and mouse just ain't enough
Let's start with the obvious note; you won’t find any third of first-person shooters on this list!
Even first-person RPGs are absent - any of these games, when played on PC, should take advantage of the mouse and keyboard combination. Even if you are new to PC gaming and you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to adapt, you will!
And then you will stand on a level ground with other PC players - a mouse offers better precision for aiming. Generally, many genres favour the traditional PC inputs.
However, there are times, and certain games, where a controller is preferable. Sometimes you need the freedom of movement that WASD just cannot offer. Or sometimes you need to bash some buttons and a controller is well set up for that. Here are a few examples of games and game series where a controller is preferred.
Yes, the series about clambering around on rooftops and leaping into bales of hay, is best played with a controller. Ideal for a multitude of Assassin's Creed games The multi-directional inputs of an analogue stick allow for defter movements and simpler climbing when scaling large buildings.
The last thing you want when you fumble an assassination is hundreds of keystrokes during a group fight with guards!
Much like the above, Dark Souls - or indeed any SoulsBorne title - requires the multi-directional analogue inputs, plus the juggling of button presses during a boss fight. That is not to say you can’t use a keyboard, but the flow of combat suits a controller.
It's all about button pressing; to stutter step backwards is far easier on controller to tilt your thumb a few times, than stab at a key which doesn’t allows for subtle movements.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Which brings us to Aloy’s journey through the wastes of her world and analogue sneaking in Horizon Zero Dawn. Many modern games which start out life on console, and utilise stealth mechanics, rely on the analogue sticks.
Tilting the stick along a full angle makes the character run, while tilting slightly allows for a slow walk. Keyboard movement is not so subtle - full press for run, tap to step forward. Again, the controller wins out.
Cuphead, and in fact many platforming games, run a little better on PC due to the unlimited framerates and smoother graphical options. But it’s no use having that lovely buttery performance if your keyboard skills are woeful.
Sometimes a game just feels smoother with a controller as it gives a more arcade feel. See also fighting games, and brawlers…
Like any of the traditional Yakuza games, where Kiryu must not only be controlled to move in several directions, but quick tap combos meted out against large groups of enemies. It's a lot tougher to use one hand for movement and the other on the mouse, especially if the developer introduces many key presses into a fight or scene.
Players who have used keyboards for years mostly know where each key is by memory, but if you’re newer to PC playing, falling back onto what you know with a controller, is far better.
GTA V & GTA Online
Now this could be considered part of that ‘third-person shooter’ category we mentioned at the top, but as with any entry on this list (and others you might think of) GTAV and its online component feel great on a controller. What you lack in aiming with the mouse, is made up in swift movement and increased control over driving sections.
In fact, we would suggest this mostly because of the driving and being able to feather the accelerator and brake. Just be aware a mouse and keyboard player might out-frag you online!
You can find a whole host of games worthy of your controller right here on the Fanatical Store!
Article by Daniel Lipscombe