Keyboard and mouse might be the old standards of the PC platform, but they're by no means the only way to game on a computer. Native support for Xbox controllers and a wide range of other dual-analog controllers are now commonplace, and sometimes recommended, for PC games. Whether you're cracking out that fancy Xbox One Elite, or picking from our list of recommended controllers, these are 15 big PC titles you should be playing with a gamepad.
Illustration: Tom's Guide; Microsoft
Don't let its beautiful cartoon visuals fool you — Cuphead is a punishing bullet-hell platformer in which the slightest mistimed move will get you killed. As such, you're going to need the precision of a traditional controller, particularly one with a very good d-pad. Playing Cuphead with a controller will give you much finer control over your movement, and will make it far easier to jump, shoot and launch special attacks all at once.
Credit: Studio MDHR
Batman: Arkham Knight is one of those third-person action games that just never quite seem to translate well to a keyboard-and-mouse setup. It's here that a gamepad will offer better camera and character control. Full analog movement should prove useful for the game's various stealth sections as well as the versatile Batmobile that's capable of switching into "combat mode" with a full 360-degree-turning radius.
Credit: Warner Bros Games
Rivals of Aether is a fighting game that models itself very closely on the unique gameplay found in the Super Smash Bros. games with a big focus on competitive play. As such, a controller with two analog sticks will be key for anyone looking to dive deep into the first worthy alternative to Nintendo's venerable fighting series. And if you're super-serious about it, you might want to use these drivers that let you use a GameCube controller on the Steam version of the game.
Credit: Dan Fornace
The entire Dark Souls action-RPG series is best played with a controller, and Dark Souls III is no exception. If you've managed to make it through Dark Souls and Dark Souls II on a PC without a controller, we're very impressed, but you could be making it so much easier on yourself! You'll find many instances where controlling the speed of your walk with the analog stick to be invaluable for sneaking up on enemies or being able to get through menus in a flash in the middle of combat.
Credit: Bandai Namco Games
Okami HD is a remastered version of one of the PlayStation 2's most beloved action/adventure games, so naturally, it's made to be played with a controller. This gorgeously cel-shaded experience is essentially Capcom's answer to The Legend of Zelda, and guiding the wolf-goddess Amaterasu through the game's mix of combat, platforming and puzzle solving will feel best on a traditional gamepad.
Square Enix's massively multiplayer online RPG is constantly evolving with new content, and whether you're just jumping in or are starting a new character class, it's worth your time to explore this game with a controller. MMOs might not seem like a good fit for controllers, but Final Fantasy XIV was built with them in mind. They've made it incredibly easy to use and swap between the large list of combat skills so you can nail that rotation and pump out big damage.
Credit: Square Enix
Nier: Automata is a game made with consoles in mind, which means it was made for a controller. A lot of the functions that are relatively effortless on a controller can be awkward to pull off with a keyboard and mouse. Dodging requires a double key press of W, A, S, or D and camera sensitivity is simply not calibrated for use with a mouse. The game also launches into top-down shooter segments occasionally, where the lack of analog movement can be sorely missed.
Credit: Square Enix