Meet the best gaming peripheral I've purchased for any system yet: a cheap USB gamepad from Speed. It's got good heft, fantastic grip, multiple control points, and several buttons.
I'd give you the link to the manufacturer of this little bundle of joy, but I can't seem to find it anywhere anymore. You see, I purchased this gamepad a couple of years back and only recently decided to resurrect it for Ubuntu.
Ubuntu recognized the gamepad immediately upon connection.
[17179584.928000] input: DragonRise Inc. Generic USB Joystick as /class/input/input1
[17179584.928000] input: USB HID v1.10 Joystick [DragonRise Inc. Generic USB Joystick ] on usb-0000:00:03.3-2.1
The device node for the gamepad is
I installed two other packages for supporting the gamepad:
joystickprovides calibration testing tools for the joystick devices. It's useful to see if the gamepad is responding properly but is otherwise unnecessary.
xserver-xorg-input-joystickprovides driver modules for X. I installed it just to be on the safe side.
See my section on Ubuntu games to see which games support the gamepad.