Ever since Nintendo launched its NES Classic Edition with the included hilariously short-cabled controller, third-parties have come up with their own solutions. But My Arcade is potentially the best.
The My Arcade GamePad Classic wireless controller is an ideal solution for nostalgic gamers who want to enjoy their NES Classic without having to sit on the floor or drag a cable across the room. You can get one for just $15.
What you’ll like
The best thing about the My Arcade GamePad is that it feels right when you’re playing games. I previously reviewed the 8Bitdo wireless NES Classic controller, and it was fine — but using the My Arcade alternative made me realize how imperfect 8Bitdo’s gamepad really is.
The My Arcade controller is bigger and bulkier than a standard NES pad, and that makes it more comfortable to hold. On top of that, the D-pad and buttons are responsive and accurate. While I occasionally noticed the 8Bitdo eating some of my inputs — especially when it came to trying to move diagonally — My Arcade’s GamePad doesn’t have any of those troubles.
This means that I can enjoy retro gaming without having to struggle with the controls or with an annoying wire, and that makes the My Arcade an easy choice.
In addition to the solid inputs and wireless connection, the My Arcade wireless controller benefits from some extra buttons. While you can get to the home screen of an NES Classic on other gamepads by pressing down and select, this controller has a built-in home button. This might not seem like a big deal, but it makes it a lot easier for people who may not go online and look up how to get back to the home screen without pressing the reset button on the NES Classic itself.
I also really love the extra buttons on the My Arcade controller. Having A, B, X, and Y on the front is great because instead of bending my thumb for hitting B to run and A to jump in Super Mario Bros., I can rest my thumb naturally and hit X to run and A to jump. It makes a huge difference to the ergonomics.
What you won’t like
You can also use the MyArcade GamePad Classic with the Wii or Wii U, which is probably something I will never do. I wish I could use it with 2D games on my PC, but it doesn’t support Bluetooth. The dongle is also built only for the weird port on the front of the NES Classic Edition, which means you can’t connect that via USB to your laptop or desktop. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s frustrating to have such nice controllers that don’t work with everything.
If you need a second controller for your NES Classic still, the My Arcade GamePad Classic is a no-brainer. It is inexpensive, and it works as well as — and sometimes better — than the included Nintendo controller. It will also free you from that stupid cable.
MyArcade provided GamesBeat with a sample controller for the purposes of this review. It is out now for $15 or bundled with an extension cable for $25.