Everyone knows that when it comes to taking your games seriously, you need the right equipment. Especially when it comes to the Wii U, the stock gamepad doesn’t always give you an authentic feel nor does it always give you the feel you want. Luckily, third party companies are there to step in and fill the gaps where Nintendo has left them. With that said, we introduce you to the My Arcade GamePad Classic, a retro style, wireless controller for use with the Wii U. When you boil it down, the My Arcade GamePad Classic is a modern recreation of a classic Nintendo Entertainment System controller. Many of the visual elements follow the original color palette, and the feel is very similar. However, this gamepad is wireless and features a few new design choices that would better suit modern gamers.

First, while the gamepad looks a lot like an NES controller, the d-pad and buttons feel much different. The buttons feel more like a standard PlayStation or Xbox button does which should be more familiar for today’s gaming public. They are very responsive, and as someone who grew up with the NES, the buttons feel much better and won’t hurt your fingers or cause fatigue. The d-pad is also similar to a PS4 or Xbox One d-pad rather than a traditional d-pad. This gives you a modern feel for a classic design. These elements are more suited for today’s games and give you a more precise feeling and control to your games which is what you want when you play retro games on your Wii U, NES classic or Wii. Sure, you may not necessarily need a controller like this to play those game, but having that retro feel gives you a greater feeling of authenticity, and in some cases; control, then the standard controller can offer.

Second, the controller is completely wireless, which is almost a necessity in today’s 3rd party controller market. However, the controller only works with a dongle that connects to the pro-controller port on the Wii U. This isn’t a big deal, but it does take a controller slot not allowing you to use other 3rd party controllers at the same time. Again, not really a big deal, just something to note. The only bad part to this controller is that it requires two AAA batteries, which we find is not the most convenient way to keep devices powered. Having disposable batteries around is not part of a standard gaming setup, so having an internal rechargeable battery would have been a better solution.

Finally, as far as performance goes, we found that the controller works great. We did not experience any signal lag or connection issues that we came across, so we are confident that this controller would be a good fit for anyone looking for a controller like this. We would not recommend this for standard Wii U games, especially those that take advantage of the tablet screen, but if you are looking for something to play retro games on the console, this is an ideal controller. This controller really shines on the NES classic edition. We all know that the standard cables on this controller are woefully short so this controller far outshines the standard controllers. Having the wireless capability plus the superior feel for the controller makes this a must-own accessory.

All in all, this is a great option for people looking for a very specific controller for a specific application. This isn’t going to replace your pro controller on the Wii or Wii U but it does give you the best approximation of an NES controller as you can get. However, if you are buying this for the NES classic edition, this controller will make your life a lot easier and make gaming on the console more enjoyable. It isn’t often that a 3rd party accessory can change the user experience as much as this controller does, so picking this up is paramount if you want to get the most from your NES classic edition. It does a great job, it’s reasonably priced and what you see is pretty much what you get. So if you happen to be in the market for a controller like this, you can buy this one without hesitation and enjoy a controller that will take you back to the good ol’ days of retro gaming while having the convienances of a modern console.

Peripheral Review: My Arcade GamePad Classic
Overall Score8.5
  • Modern Feel
  • Wireless Capability
  • Responsive
  • Uses Disposable Batteries
8.5Overall Score
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