In recent years, native support for console controllers has become much more common if not recommended, which has led to some PC exclusive games that just feel so much better when played using a controller rather than le olde keyboard and mouse.
Below, you’ll find a couple of big PC exclusive games that you should play using a controller.
So technically Cuphead isn’t just exclusive to the PC — it’s also available on the Xbox One, but that’s pretty much the case with PC exclusive games these days. Regardless, in this punishing platformer, accuracy is everything; make the slightest mistake and you’ll die. And though the keyboard and mouse work well enough, there’s just something about the precision of traditional controllers and their d-pads that fit Cuphead extremely well.
With a controller, you’ll feel less frustrated playing Cuphead. Though it won’t make the game any less challenging, you at least won’t die as many times anymore.
Rivals of Aether is an indie fighting game made from the same mould of Super Smash Bros. That alone is reason enough to pick up a controller if you plan on playing the game alone or with your friends. Sure, it’s nowhere near as good or as polished as Nintendo’s offering, but it’s one of the few worthy alternatives available on the PC.
MMO’s very rarely feel right when played with a controller, but Final Fantasy XIV is different. The developers built it with controllers in mind.
Square Enix’s MMO take on the Final Fantasy franchise has only continued to evolve since its release in 2010 and is an adventure best undertaken laid back on the couch with a controller in your hands.
Hollow Knight has been one of the most pleasant releases over the past five years and seems like the type of game built with consoles in mind. But the Kickstarter success is not available on consoles. Or at least, it won’t be until sometime later this year when it will be made available on the Nintendo Switch.
A modern take on classic Metroidvania games that made a name for themselves on the SNES and PS1, Hollow Knight is the closest you can get to a Castlevania-like experience these days. Some would even go as far as to say that it’s better than the games it takes up after, which is lofty praise but not exactly undeserved.
In any case, Hollow Knight is one of the few PC exclusive games that doesn’t really make use of the mouse. You play either with the keyboard or with a gamepad or controller, which pretty much makes controllers a must-have to enjoy this game.
Much like Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight is another of those PC exclusive games that started with Kickstarter and was eventually ported to other consoles because of its success. A throwback to the age-old platformers like Mega Man, Duck Tales, and Super Mario Bros, Shovel Knight feels just right at home when played with a controller. This is especially true with the addition of local co-op, as it’s much easier to make two controllers work than having to do something ridiculous like sharing the same keyboard.
Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons plays so well on the controller that even Steam’s store page requires a controller to play the game. This is because the game has a relatively unique approach where you control each of the game’s two central characters using the controller sticks.
Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is a rather short game that you could probably finish in one sitting, but it offers a lot in that short period of time.
Valve may never know how to count to three and release a trilogy, but you can’t exactly blame them when you have games like Portal 2 to live up to. Portal 2 is an improvement over its already excellent predecessor in every way possible. Dare I say, Portal 2 and couch game with a controller is a match made in video game heaven.
Speaking of games and couch gaming, do you know anyone who plays Euro Truck Simulator 2? No? Well, if you do, or if you’re one of them, then I suggest getting a controller because you’re missing out a lot when you can’t lean back, relax and prove yourself as one of the best truckers out there.
More of a casual game, Euro Truck Simulator 2 continues to see dev support years after its release, with new content coming every now and then. Not to mention all the incredibly detailed countries you get to drive through during your travels. Meanwhile expanding and managing a trucking company is genuinely refreshing and fun.
If playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 has not made you seriously consider becoming a trucker at one point, you’re playing it wrong.
Perhaps one of the most underrated PC exclusive games and MMOs out there, Warframe has kept on chugging along for years. Ever since its release in 2013, Warframe has received one update after another, making the game infinitely better than it was when it first launched and is easily one of the few free-to-play MMOs out there that don’t feel like you have to spend money to get ahead of the curve.
And oh, did we mention that it’s one of the few MMOs on the PC that offer controller support?
A game that you could literally play and complete over and over again dozens of times and still find something new, The Binding of Isaac is a dark, humorous roguelike that revolves around the titular character Isaac hiding into their basement to escape from his deranged mother who has started to hear the voice of God.
Get a controller, boot it up and give it a go.
A game years in the coming that finally came into fruition thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Valdis Story: Abyssal City is a game where the developers intended to create a mix of Metroidvania games and Guilty Gear and successfully pulled it off. Not much can be said more of the game other than it’s good and you should absolutely play it. With a controller, of course.
If you have a couple of hours and bucks to spare, a controller in your hand and if you’re even just slightly interested in Metroidvania games, then you absolutely have to play Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight.
The fourth instalment in the Momodora series of video games, Reverie Under the Moonlight checks all the proverbial boxes and will keep achievement hunters, as well as Metroidvania fans, entertained for hours on end.
As you can see, there are plenty of PC exclusive games that feel right at home on the controller. Though not all of the games on our list are exclusive only to the PC, nor is it conclusive, it is, at the very least, a good start if you’re looking for a list of games to try out and break in your brand-new PC gamepad.
What are other PC exclusive games that you absolutely recommend people should play with a controller? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.