Best overall

Xbox Elite Controller

Xbox Elite Controller

See at Amazon

Microsoft really knocked it out of the park with the Xbox Elite Controller. At its core, it's the same great design that arrived with the Xbox One, which means it's well laid out and oh so comfy to use. But the Elite has been given a 'pro' makeover with grippy, soft-touch finishes, interchangeable rear paddles, thumbsticks, D-pad and trigger locks.

The components are all made of a higher grade material, so they shouldn't wear out nearly as quickly under heavy use. Right now, this is the Ferrari of controllers for the Xbox, and with Windows 10 natively supporting it all you have to do is just plug in and play. It's not the cheapest controller at $150, but you pay a premium for premium quality.

Bottom-line: For the controller best around, grab the Xbox Elite.

One more thing: To use the Elite wirelessly with your PC you'll need to pick up the Windows USB adapter which plugs into your PC and acts as the interface for the controller.

Why the Xbox Elite Controller is the best

This Ferrari of controllers is good for both Xbox One and Windows gaming, and it's worth every penny.

'Pro' grade customizable controllers aren't a new idea, but the Elite is Microsoft's first take at that tier. Every single part of the Xbox Elite Controller oozes quality. From its sleek, soft-touch exterior to the metal thumbsticks and D-Pad via the removable paddles on the rear. This is gaming your way, and it's good on both Xbox One and Windows 10 gaming.

This is gaming your way on both PC and console

Since Microsoft added native support for officially licensed Xbox accessories into Windows 10, there's zero hassle getting going. You plug it in, you start playing. It's that simple. If you prefer a wireless approach you will need the extra USB dongle, but that's your call.

Through the free Xbox Accessories app for Windows 10 you can configure the button layout of your controller, remapping things to your own personal tastes. You've got the ability to store two profiles on the controller at once, which is great, because it helps limit the amount of time you need to spend going back and forth into the app! Set up all your favorite profiles and load up the two you're going to use at any one time.

The Xbox One controller is a fabulous controller in its own right; it's well-designed and very comfortable to use. The Elite Controller is all that good stuff but with an added kick in the pants to make it something very special. It's not the cheapest peripheral around, but you can't argue with its value.

Best for PC/PS4 owners

Scuf Impact

Scuf Impact

See at Scuf Gaming

If you play games on a PC but also a PS4, an Xbox controller won't be as much use to you as one of these. The Scuf Impact is the best PS4 controller ever made and it's also pretty handy for PC gamers too.

It might not work with Windows Store games, but most everything else works great. You've got a sleek, comfortable design, removable paddles and a ridiculous number of customizations to really make it your own. Prices start at $130.

Bottom line: Perfect for those who want a controller for PC and PS4.

One more thing: Scuf will let you design the controller of your dreams with multiple color choices and optional bits for your controller.

Best for Steam

Steam Controller by Valve

Steam Controller

See at Steam

The Steam Controller is pretty unique among its peers in both design and approach to controller based gaming. The big idea is that it makes keyboard- and mouse-focused games easier to play from the couch. The innovative trackpad has a learning curve to it, there's little doubt of that, but for those who get to grips with it it's pretty effective. And don't be fooled by it's somewhat cheap looking exterior. The Steam Controller is sturdy and well made and offers very good value at around $50.

Bottom line: There is a learning curve to the Steam Controller but once you're over that it's an effective way of playing PC games on your couch.

One more thing: If you're on the fence, check out our review to help you decide!

Best budget

HoriPad

See at Amazon

The Horipad is an Xbox controller that's perfect for Windows 10 gaming, as well as Xbox One games, and it doesn't cost a ton. This wired, third-party option is officially licensed by Microsoft and has a layout that's representative of the official Xbox One controllers.

It's a little glossy and something of a fingerprint magnet, but it's well made and great to play with. Especially when you consider it only costs $30.

Bottom line: A solid controller at a great price.

One more thing: The HoriPad is only available with wires so take that into account when buying.

Conclusion

For Windows PC gaming with a controller it's hard not to recommend something from the Xbox One family. There are plenty of official and third-party options out there, but you simply cannot beat the Xbox Elite if you're looking for the very best you can get.

Best overall controller

Xbox Elite Controller

Xbox Elite Controller

See at Amazon

Microsoft really knocked it out of the park with the Xbox Elite Controller. At its core, it's the same great design that arrived with the Xbox One, which means it's well laid out and oh so comfy to use. But the Elite has been given a 'pro' makeover with grippy, soft-touch finishes, interchangeable rear paddles, thumbsticks, D-pad and trigger locks.

The components are all made of a higher grade material, so they shouldn't wear out nearly as quickly under heavy use. Right now, this is the Ferrari of controllers for the Xbox, and with Windows 10 natively supporting it for easy plug in and play. It's not the cheapest controller at $150, but you pay a premium for premium quality.

Bottom-line: For the best controller around, grab the Xbox Elite.

One more thing: To use the Elite wirelessly with your PC you'll need to pick up the Windows USB adapter which plugs into your PC and acts as the interface for the controller.

Updated November 3, 2017: No updates to our picks, these are still the best PC gaming controllers you can buy.