The 7 Best Rhythm Games You Can Play With a Controller

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The 7 Best Rhythm Games You Can Play With a Controller

When you think of rhythm video games, you usually see plastic instruments for Guitar Hero and dance mats for Dance Dance Revolution. While some games are entertaining, the need to utilize specific peripherals is inconvenient. Especially given the amount of room needed.

Fortunately, there are numerous fantastic rhythm games that can be played with little more than a standard controller. So, instead of buying and storing bothersome plastic accessories, here are the finest rhythm games you can play with only a controller.

1. Superbeat: Xonic

Superbeat is an excellent option if you want a simple rhythm game with a large range of songs. It includes almost 50 tunes from various genres such as indie pop, techno, and even metal.

The game was first launched for the PlayStation Vita and made use of the device’s touchscreen. However, it is currently accessible on all recent consoles that allow controllers. In three difficulty levels, you must press the correct buttons in rhythm with the notes: 4 TRAX, 6 TRAX, and 6 TRAX FX.

4 TRAX’s notes are played with just four buttons (plus control sticks), making it ideal for novices. 6 TRAX adds an additional button on either side of the controller, while 6 TRAX FX goes one step further by including shoulder buttons. You may vary the pace at which the notes arrive and even apply handicaps to make the task more difficult.

As you go through the game, you will earn challenges in the World Tour mode to put your talents to the test and unlock additional content. If you wish to pay for additional songs, DLC is also available for purchase.

Buy: Superbeat: Xonic for Switch | PS4 | XBO | PS Vita

2. Persona Dancing Series

Persona 3 through 5 each have their own dance game in the Persona series. Each one is quite similar: strike the beats in rhythm with the music using the face buttons and control sticks. You may change the clothing of your character and choose from a variety of remixed music from each game.

Playing them will spoil the mainline games since they take place after the narrative of their respective Persona titles. So, if you’re interested in the Persona series, try a game before diving into its Dancing equivalent.

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These games are clearly designed for series lovers, but rhythm fanatics will like them as well. If you don’t care about Persona, the greatest Dancing game to play is the one with the best music. And you can find out by listening to the soundtracks on YouTube.

Persona 4 Dancing, in particular, offers a genuine narrative mode; the others are more barebones. Persona 4 Dancing is not available as a separate download on PS4. The Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection, which contains all three games, is the only way to obtain it on PlayStation 4.

Buy: Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight for PS4 | PS Vita

Buy: Persona 4: Dancing All Night for PS Vita

Buy: Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight for PS4 | PS Vita

Buy: Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection for PS4

3. Thumper

Thumper is an intriguing beast that the makers describe as a “rhythm violence game.” In it, you must lead a beetle along a track while using the correct button inputs to escape harm. Jumping over obstacles and twisting to traverse abrupt curves are examples of this.

You’re rated based on how well you do in each portion and level, so arcade lovers will enjoy striving to beat their previous high score as they go. The game is accessible on a variety of platforms, with VR functionality available if you own an Oculus, HTC Vive, or PSVR (have a look at the best free Oculus games if you just got a VR headset).

This is a good one to try if you enjoy rhythm aspects but want something a bit different.

Buy: Thumper for PC | PS4 | XBO | Switch | Oculus Rift

Buy: Thumper: Pocket Edition for Android | iOS ($4.99)

4. Rhythm Heaven Megamix

Rhythm Heaven is a Nintendo series that focuses on rhythm gaming. It consists of mini-games in which you use the buttons (or touchscreen) to keep the action moving along with the music.

Ringside, for example, assigns you the responsibility of replying to a reporter’s questions after a wrestling bout; you must press the button a particular number of times based on what she asks. Each game has its unique set of rules, although they are all influenced by music. Because Rhythm Heaven was created by the same team that created the WarioWare series, they share a weird sense of humor.

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The most recent addition is Rhythm Heaven Megamix, which is a collection of classic mini games from previous versions as well as exciting newcomers. If you’re new to the series, it’s an excellent place to start.

Buy: Rhythm Heaven Megamix for 3DS


VOEZ was first launched on mobile devices before making its way to the Switch soon after its first release. Because of its origins, the game may be played fully on a touchscreen. It may also be played with a controller, however this isn’t the best method to play.

It’s a straightforward rhythm experience in which notes fall from the top of the screen and you must touch, hold, swipe, and execute other actions in sync with the music. The design is simple, and the game has three difficulty levels so you may play at your favorite level.

Notably, VOEZ on Switch includes all of the tunes that were previously available individually in the mobile edition. There’s a lot to love here, with over 100 songs and a tale to explore. The music prioritizes East Asian electronic and pop music, thus there isn’t as much diversity as there is with Superbeat.

Buy: VOEZ for Switch

VOEZ for Android | VOEZ for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

6. Crypt of the NecroDancer

Crypt of the NecroDancer is mainly a roguelike game, but it has significant rhythm components that make it a must-play for fans of both genres. You’ll be crawling through dungeons full with foes, traps, and upgrades.

The fact that you must move to the rhythm of the music for the greatest outcomes distinguishes this game. If you make a mistake, you will lose your beat multiplier, which has a number of bad effects.

Crypt of the NecroDancer has severe difficulty; if you die, you must repeat the level from the beginning, and it will take you hundreds of tries to discover adversary behaviors and the best techniques to win. You also can’t remember dungeon layouts since it’s produced at random.

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If you don’t mind a challenge, you’ll love moving to the rhythm and exploring the game’s crypts. The game’s music is superb, and you may choose from a variety of remixes in different genres.

Crypt of the NecroDancer is available on PC, PS4, XBO, Switch, PS Vita, and iOS.

7. Cytus Alpha

Cytus is created by Rayark, the same company that created VOEZ. The game was first launched on Android and iOS, and the sequel is also available there. The original title, Cytus Alpha, has been remade for the Nintendo Switch.

The game is centered on a horizontal line that travels across the screen. As the line passes over each note, you must touch, hold, or drag; the color dictates whether you should strike it on the upswing or downswing. Like VOEZ, you may play with the touchscreen or controllers.

There’s a lot to do in Cytus Alpha, which includes a narrative mode and online combat in addition to 200+ tracks. However, at $50, this is the most costly rhythm game on the list. You should first test one of the mobile versions to determine whether you enjoy it enough to purchase the official Switch version.

Buy: Cytus Alpha for Switch

Buy Cytus for Android (free with in-app purchases) or iOS ($1.99 with in-app purchases).

Cytus II for Android ($1.99, in-app purchases available) | Cytus II for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Ditch Those Plastic Peripherals!

We’ve looked at a number of excellent rhythm games that don’t need any special equipment or a lot of room. Allowing you to use a regular controller to play. So, whether you want to tap buttons in time with the music or explore how another genre incorporates rhythm components, these games will keep your feet tapping.

If you loved these games, you should look at the music genres that gamers adore.

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