Ranked: The best video game weapons

All the top guns, swords, and other odd things we've wielded in battle
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A great video game weapon can make the difference between winning and dominating; between an ordinary offensive and slaying with style.

The best gaming weapons turn decent characters into legends, and turn otherwise fun games into absolute classics, making you feel like an ultimate, unmatched badass in the process.

There have been hundreds of truly spectacular video game weapons throughout the years - our starter list had dozens of options - but after much debate, we've trimmed it down to the 20 most iconic blades, firearms, and other curious creations of all time.

Give it a read and see how your list compares to ours. Then go back and play them all again.

20) Paint Roller (Splatoon)

Splatoon feels like a very classic Nintendo move, putting a cartoonish take on the typically violent squad-based shooter genre and tasking you with spreading around paint instead of enemy blood.

But despite the innocent premise, the Paint Roller weapon is undeniably badass. The oversized roller is used to cover as much of an arena with your team colour as possible, but get an enemy in your sights and you can just roll him/her over with the sheer force of the thing.

19) Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (Portal 1 & 2)

Alright, so the Portal gun, as it's commonly known, isn't really a weapon in the conventional sense. But it is gun-shaped. And you can use it to destroy security cameras. And besides: it's one of the greatest point-this-thing-at-something-else-and-press-fire things ever seen in any video game, so we just couldn't leave it out.

 

18) Brick (The Last Of Us)

"A brick's not a weapon!!" we hear you cry. You try telling that to the fungally-infected mutant whose head you just smacked with one.

The Last Of Us isn't the first game to let you use a brick - the excellent TimeSplitters, for instance, had one as an unlockable weapon in pretty much every game - but it really came of age in Naughty Dog's PlayStation classic.

It's just so versatile. You can throw it at an enemy and stun them, before charging out of cover and stabbing them in the head. Or you can skip the throwing bit, charge out of cover and whack the bad guy repeatedly in the face with one. Lovely. Plus, they're also extremely useful as distraction tools.

Best of all, they respawn, making them effectively unlimited weapons - which in a game that's as parsimonious with its ammo as The Last Of Us, makes them very useful indeed.

17) Plasma cutter (Dead Space)

Dead Space's gameplay was centred around dismembering Necromorphs in space, so it needed a weapon that was both accurate and satisfying for picking off limbs. Thankfully, it had the plasma cutter, a mining tool repurposed by engineer Isaac Clarke, who found its ionized plasma jets were just as effective at tearing apart bodies as they were at tearing apart space rocks.

The genius of the plasma cutter was that it switched from a vertical to a horizontal configuration, which, in conjunction with limited ammo, made lining up that perfect shot incredibly tense. The evasive, flailing undead enemies were tough to hit, but in your favour you could use Stasis on a group and dismember them one-by-one in slow-motion. It's just one of the details that made Dead Space arguably the last great survival horror game.

16) Gjallahorn (Destiny)

In a game filled with exotic guns, you know you've got something special when literally everyone playing wants one. This golden beast of a rocket launcher ruled Destiny's first year, wrecking multiplayer lobbies and assassinating Atheon on a daily basis.

It was all down to one little perk: wolfpack rounds. Fire Gjallarhorn and one rocket splits into multiple cluster missiles, each doing the same damage as a regular rocket launcher. In Destiny, a game more obsessed with numbers than HMRC Self-assessment Tax Simulator 2017, it was nigh-on unstoppable. Until Bungie nerfed it to hell, anyway. RIP Gjallarhorn - you will be missed.

15) Type-1 Antipersonnel Grenade (Halo)

Otherwise known as a plasma grenade, these glowing blue balls of explosive energy/death aren’t just brilliant because they stick to whatever you lob one at. What really makes them such fun to use is what happens in the second or two before they explode.

As soon as you land a slam dunk and stick your foe, they know it's game over - but that won't stop them running around like a maniac before they go boom. If you're lucky, they'll dash towards their teammates and score you a multi-kill. Glorious.

14) Master Sword (Legend of Zelda)

A most legendary blade for one of the most Legend-ary game series of all time, the Master Sword is the ultimate weapon of the Hero of Time himself, Link.

Given that Link must endure major trials and a significant chunk of each game's adventure before receiving the weapon, the Master Sword's unearthing is always a turning point – and it's the only sword capable of banishing Hyrule's grandest threat, Ganon. We'll surely have another go with it soon in Breath of the Wild, too.

13) Bomb (Bomberman)

Good ol' Bomberman would be nothing without his trusty bombs, but just as sure as it's in his name, it's also in his games. In fact, Bomberman is built entirely around the bombs, as the primarily multiplayer-centric, grid-based action finds players dropping bombs, running like hell, and hoping they trap a foe in the detonation.

Bomb upgrades can change the effects, but the basic bomb still rules above all in Bomberman – and Bomberman obviously rules. Here's the upcoming Nintendo Switch version in action.

12) Holy Hand Grenade (Worms)

Tense Worms matches may force players to try and request a bit of divine intervention, and the Holy Hand Grenade hilariously provides just that.

Clearly nicked from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the weapon looks like the Pope's hat and has a three-second countdown after being launched. Once it comes to a complete stop, a chorus sings "Hallelujah" before absolutely biblical damage is dealt, sending the annelid warriors flying in various directions.

11) Triple Red Shell (Mario Kart)

The infamous Blue Shell popped to mind first, but let's be honest: everybody, except the last-place driver in any given race, hates the damned thing. However, the 3x Red Shell is tough to dispute as a lucky draw in any position.

Not only does it give you three homing shells to launch forward or backwards as needed, but they'll also rotate around your kart as a makeshift shield to guard against attacks. Power and versatility alike make it a driver's best friend.

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