Daniel Rubino's 5 favorite Xbox controllers ever

Xbox One Controllers
Xbox One Controllers (Image credit: Daniel Rubino | Windows Central)

Microsoft recently shared a video going through the trove of Xbox One controllers the company has created over the last few years. Anyone who watches our weekly podcast may notice I'm quite the avid collector of these controllers just because some of them really look great.

Since Microsoft is highlighting its work on these gems, I figured I'd share a few of the favorites I've collected over the years.  

For the true Gears fan

Xbox Elite Gears of War (Limited Edition)

Limited Edition Xbox Elite Gears of War controller

The Elite controllers are always fun to use as they feel significantly better in hand, offer more customization, and at least, in this case, offer one of the best designs yet.

The Limited-Edition Gears of War controller coincided with the Gears 4 release in late 2016. While it costs $200, the blood-red design with physical claw marks and hidden gems made it a winner. Need more? Go see my full review including video to learn all about it.

(No longer available).

So fresh

Xbox One Sport White

The Sport White controller came out in late 2018. With its pure white military-inspired design, and silver and teal accents, this beauty is perfect for the minimalist gamer. This design screams "fresh," and it is easily one of my favorites.

Pure and clean

Xbox One Phantom White

I have both the Phantom Black and Phantom White controllers because you got to get 'em all. Both of these controllers look amazing with their simple color schemes. But it is the half-translucent top half that lets you peek into the controller's innards that makes this stand out. If you like Sport White but can no longer find it, Phantom White is your next best bet.

It glows!

Sea of Thieves – Limited Edition

Of all the Xbox One controllers the Sea of Thieves one is easily the best creation yet. It's purple, has some translucency, lots of hidden Easter eggs with minute detail. And those green/blue color blotches? They glow in the dark! Combine it with its matching (but optional) recharge stand, and this the pinnacle of design and customization.

You can still find this beauty online, but it now fetches $300 without the stand.

Oldie but goodie


The Titanfall (2015) special edition controller was Microsoft's first foray into custom hardware for its new Xbox One. The color palette on this one, with orange, black, and white, looks awesome and like nothing Microsoft has created since. The good news is you can still pick this up if you want one.

Over to you ...

Which is your favorite? If you need to see more, don't forget our running guide of all the 54 different Xbox One controllers (so far). And if you don't like any of these, you can always make your own using Microsoft's Design Lab.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.