Video games are one of the best artistic mediums for escapism. They can tell stories, introduce us to new characters, and take us to exciting worlds we'd never be able to explore in real life.
Unlike movies and TV shows, video games let us take control of a character and create our own decisions. They let us tell our own stories and allow us to move around at our own pace, at least to a certain extend.
Different games offer different levels of explorationm, customization, or dynamic stories and environments.
One of the most important parts of how a game plays is the tools it gives the player - specifically the weapons it lets us wield. Most video games have opponents of some kind whether they are other players or computer enemies.
If the game is going to be fun and memorable, it has to have satisfying weapons.
Many video game weapons have stood out over the years. However, some have stood far above the rest. These weapons bring unparalleled destruction to the player’s opponents and they are as iconic as the games they come from.
If it’s dangerous to go alone, take one of The 25 Most Powerful Video Game Weapons, Officially Ranked!
25 RED SHELL - MARIO KART
Every Mario Kart racer dreads seeing one of these behind them.
However, gamers are extremely happen when they are able pick one up for themselves.
When a racer uses a red shell in a Mario Kart race, it will home in on the nearest racer and smash into them - and almost nothing can stop it.
Every racer has been in a race where they were only a few feet away from coming in first before a red shell whacks them and they grind to a halt.
The person who threw it usually then pulls ahead and wins.
24 THE SPY’S BUTTERFLY KNIFE - TEAM FORTRESS 2
Every class in Team Fortress 2 comes with some kind of melee weapon just in case there's trouble close at hand.
The Spy prefers up close and personal attacks. His butterfly knife can swipe at opponents like everyone else's, but it's better to watch your back when you know a Spy is around.
If a Spy positions himself properly behind his opponent, he can backstab them with the butterfly knife and instantly dispatch them.
Not even a Heavy with over health can withstand a backstab from a Spy.
Some variations of the Butterfly knife let the Spy instantly disguise themselves as their backstabbed victim.
23 SMART PISTOL MK5 - TITANFALL
Titanfall is a hectic first person shooter multiplayer game. It’s got sophisticated sci-fi weapons and pilots that can scale walls and leap around the map.
Moving around is key. So why not bring along a weapon that can lock onto enemies’ heads?
Every Titanfall player has been caught by a burst of fire from the Smart Pistol MK5.
The wielder just has to hold the lock on feature while facing a target’s general direction and the pistol will do the rest.
It can either lock onto multiple targets or lock onto one target multiple times. Three rapid lock-ons are enough to take out an enemy player.
22 EXCAVATOR - DEAD RISING
Being trapped in a mall with endless hordes of zombies doesn’t sound like a good time in real life. However, it's an exciting premise for a video game.
In the Dead Rising games, you can pick up virtually anything you find in the game and use it as a weapon against the zombies.
One of the most effective weapons is the excavator.
Conventionally, the excavator is a construction or mining tool.
However, in Dead Rising, you can rev it up, shove it through a zombie, and hold their spinning body out in front of you, knocking other zombies out of the way.
You can do this until the impaled zombie finally breaks apart, at least.
21 WABBAJACK - THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
The Wabbajack is one of the artifacts of the Deadric Prince of Madness, Sheogorath.
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sheogorath gifts the Wabbajack to the Dragonborn. However, you’d better not count on what may happen when you use it.
The Wabbajack can do any number of random things to its target.
While it can cast fire, ice, or lightning attacks, it can also transform its target into a chicken, a pile of cheese, or a mudcrab.
It may also increase your target’s strength, strike fear into their hearts, take their armor off, or decapitate them.
In the pursuit of chaotic fun, no magical weapon is more effective.
20 THE GOLDEN GUN - GOLDENEYE 007
GoldenEye 007 was one of the earliest, most popular console shooters. It let players stomp around the world of the Bond movie Goldeneye and other famous movie locations from the franchise.
It also had a wildly fun multiplayer mode.
You could fight it out as any of the Bond heroes and villains that the game had to offer.
If you got Francisco Scaramanga’s Golden Gun, you’d best be prepared to get a scolding from your friends.
The Golden Gun can take down any player in one shot - it doesn’t matter where you hit them.
Golden Gun-only duels are some of the tensest multiplayer matches you’ll ever have on the N64.
19 HIDDEN BLADES - ASSASSIN’S CREED
The Assassin’s Brotherhood has used these retractable wrist blades as their signature weapons since ancient times.
They are easily hid beneath sleeves or robes and the wielder can extend the blade with a flick of the wrist.
Ezio Auditore used two hidden blades during the Italian Renaissance so that he could easily assassinate two targets at once.
The blades are also sturdy enough to use as melee weapons in open combat.
If you are quick and careful enough, you can waylay whole crowds of guards with stab wounds then slip back into the shadows or a bale of hay.
18 AWP - COUNTER STRIKE
The Artic Warfare Police Magnum Rifle, or AWP, is a bolt action sniper rifle found in the Counter Strike series.
It is available to both the Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist teams for a heavy price tag. However, the destructive power of the AWP is well worth it.
The AWP can take out any player on a body shot or head shot, even if they are wearing full armor.
It can also penetrate a considerable amount of any cover and still take out a player behind it.
You’d best make your shots count, though, as the AWP takes a long time to reload.
17 GRAVITY HAMMER - HALO
There are many memorable weapons from the Convenant and the UNSC in the Halo hames. However, one weapon stands above the rest for melee effectiveness.
In the campaign, Brutes use the gravity hammer to smash marines and Spartans left and right.
However, if you can subdue the Brute, then it's your turn to go to town.
The gravity hammer makes a shockwave around it whenever you swing it, which means that you can eliminate multiple enemies with one mighty swing if they are close together.
With the gravity hammer, you can charge into battle and send those grunts flying.
16 THE KEY BLADE - KINGDOM HEARTS
The keyblades are magical tools in the Kingdom Hearts series. They can lock or unlock the heart of their corresponding world.
Because of this, they must be kept out of the hands of evil or darkness.
Sora, the series' main protagonist, uses a keyblade, along with many other recognizable characters.
Even without a conventional blade, the keyblades are powerful weapons.
They can be used up close against enemies or they can project potent beams of light to banish your foes.
Each keyblade is linked to their chosen wielder and can’t be used by another.
15 GRAVITY GUN - HALF LIFE
Once you get the Gravity Gun in Half Life 2, you almost never need any other weapon in the game - almost.
Technically it’s called the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator, but it can lift heavy objects without touching them and propel them away at great speeds.
This includes some very unconventional, but very dangerous projectiles.
If you find explosive barrels laying around, you can pick them up and shoot them at your foes. Lose saw blades in rundown buildings will also make for dangerous improvised ammo.
When the Gravity gun becomes charged with dark energy it can even grab hold of organic enemies and hurl them like lightning bolts.
14 BEAM KATANA - NO MORE HEROES
For an organization of nerdy assassins, beam katanas are some of the most popular weapons - at least they seem to be, since they're Travis Touchdown’s favorite weapon.
They look like they're out of Star Wars, as the beam katanas are projected blades of high energy.
They can cut through just about anything, and unlike in Star Wars, you’ll still turn your enemies into gushing messes when you decapitate or dismember them.
Travis Touchdown gets multiple beam katanas with different blade modifications in No More Heroes.
Some models, like the Tsubaki Mk-II, have 5 separate beam blades. Because of this, Travis needs two hands to wield the weapon.
13 THE BFG 9000 - DOOM
In the Doom games, this weapon is supposedly named the Bio Force Gun. However, we all know what it’s called among Doom fans.
This big clunky beast of a gun has always been the most powerful weapon in the Doom games.
The limited ammo and charge up time takes some getting used to, but the BFG 9000 unleashes a devastating blast of green plasma that can wipe out most non-boss enemies in a single shot.
Most groups of enemies will be eliminated with a single pull of the trigger.
12 VAMPIRE KILLER WHIP - CASTLEVANIA
For generations, the Belmont clan has fought Dracula and other demonic forces with the holy Vampire Killer Whip.
While it was originally a powerful whip enhanced with alchemy, Sara Trantoul sacrificed her soul to imbue the whip with divine power.
In the Castlevania games, the Vampire Killer sometimes appears as a whip, a flail, or a meteor hammer.
However, regardless of the form it takes, it is a versatile and potent weapon.
Certain games let the player swing the whip freely as much as they want to in order to damage enemies.
It can also be upgraded with elemental attacks.
11 THE DAGGER OF TIME - PRINCE OF PERSIA
In the Prince of Persia trilogy, The Dagger of Time is a mythical weapon tied to the Sands of Time.
Whoever wields the dagger is protected from the effects of the Sands of Time.
They can also use the dagger’s powers to stop, reverse, slow, speed up, and resume the normal flow of time.
Such powers make the dagger a very effective weapon.
With it, the Prince can gain the upper hand against many enemies he encounters. It was also the only weapon effective against the Sand Creatures created when the Sands of Time were accidentally released.
10 SPREAD GUN - CONTRA
There aren’t many classic 2-D side scrolling run and gun shoot-em-ups that compare to Contra. This series lets you live out your Rambo fantasies as a buff dude with a big gun.
As soon as you could, you had to pick up the winged “S” power up.
This transforms your gun so that instead of shooting one small pellet, you can now shoot five super pellets.
The pellets fly across the screen in a 45 degree angle as fast as you could press the button.
Contra just wouldn’t be the same without this absurd weapon.
9 SLEDGEHAMMER - RED FACTION: GUERRILLA
The Guerrillas of Mars will not be kept down by the Earth Defense Force’s draconian greed. They are prepared to wreak havoc on whatever settlements and equipment the EDF brings with them to Mars.
The Sledgehammer is one of the most powerful weapons in Red Faction: Guerrilla.
However, it is no ordinary hammer. Not only can it incapacitate enemies in one hit, but it will send enemies flying through the air in whatever direction the hammer stuck them
Those enemies can then smash into buildings and wreck them.
A single Guerrilla with this Sledgehammer can reduce an entire settlement to rubble.
8 PANDORA - DEVIL MAY CRY
Dante in the Devil May Cry games has many outrageous weapons in his arsenal, but none are as creative or devastating as Pandora.
Pandora is an ominous suitcase that supposedly has 666 different forms it can take. The seven you can access in the game are dangerous enough.
Each of the forms take a name from one of the evils that the mythical Pandora ’s Box unleashed on the world.
Revenge is a huge spherical laser canon as big as Dante himself, while Argument transforms the case into something like a spherical vehicle with rocket launchers on every possible surface.
7 BUSTER SWORD - FINAL FANTASY
Cloud Strife standing with his gigantic buster sword hanging over his shoulder is one of the most iconic profiles of any character in gaming.
Cloud inherited the weapon from Zack Fair and Angeal Hewley. He swore that he would honor the legacy of its previous owners.
Cloud has to be strong as an ox to wield this weapon effectively.
The six feet long, foot wide, single edge blade really packs a wallop.
With his special abilities and limit break attacks, Cloud can destroy many foes with the help of the weapon - and he’ll look weightless and graceful while doing it.
6 BAYONETTA’S HAIR - BAYONETTA
Bayonetta’s hair is more than just nice to look at - it’s a magical medium through which Bayonetta can summon demonic forms to use in combat.
These so-called Wicked Weaves are both brutal and impressive.
Since Bayonetta made a pact with the Infernal Demon Madama Butterfly, henever those huge fists or heels come bashing through portals in Bayonetta’s hair, they belong to Madama Butterfly.
However, Bayonetta can conjure or summon even more demonic creatures with her hair too.
When Bayonetta uses her Umbran Climax, Madama Butterfly may appear to truly devastate her enemies.
5 R.Y.N.O. - RATCHET AND CLANK
Rocket Launchers are pretty great in video games. However, the Ratchet and Clank games have a rocket launcher that’s got more rockets than any other.
Meet the R.Y.N.O. or the “Rip Ya a New One.”
Its origin is different depending on the games - it was developed by the blarg or by the Gadgetron Corporation. However, it’s destructive power is always unrivaled.
The R.Y.N.O. launches a torrent of rockets and any target in front of you.
You can just walk forward, pull the trigger, and the rockets will seek out enemies to smash into smithereens.
4 THE BLADES OF CHAOS - GOD OF WAR
No mere sword and shield would do for the God of War. The Blades of Chaos were fashioned by Ares himself for his most effective servant.
The chains attached to each of the blades were seared into Kratos’ forearms as a reminder of his oath.
Kratos is a dangerous machine with the Blades of Chaos.
The curved jagged blades can rip into all sorts of enemies - even other gods.
With the chains, Kratos can extend his reach to lodge the blades in distant foes and hurl himself towards them in a fearsome rage.
3 EXPERIMENTAL MIRV - FALLOUT
Some might say that the last thing the world of Fallout needs is more nuclear weapons.
There are over the shoulder launchers in Fallout that can fire miniature nukes. However, most of them are compatible with an experimental MIRV (or multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) upgrade.
Instead of launching just one mini nuke, the MIRV upgrade makes the weapon fire multiple mini nukes over a wider area.
Each nuke has a little less damage, but it is still more than enough to incinerate just about any enemy in the game.
2 THE HF BLADE - METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Raiden is given a very high tech melee arsenal.
The weapon at the core of the game’s mechanics is the High Frequency blade.
With an electrified current and a high frequency vibration, this type of blade can cut through just about any material in one easy swing.
Raiden’s speed and true power with this weapon is demonstrated every time he enters Blade Mode. This lets him hack and slash at any vulnerable enemy at any angle he chooses.
Not even tanks or Metal Gears are immune to the blade’s cutting power.
1 THE MASTER SWORD - THE LEGEND OF ZELDA
Whenever the chosen hero of Hyrule appears to combat villains, you can bet that the Master Sword will come into play.
This legendary blade usually waits in some hidden part of Hyrule, waiting for a worthy hero to claim it.
The Master Sword is imbued with the power to repel and defeat enemies.
It can slay bokoblins and other monsters with ease, and it’s usually the only weapon that can defeat Ganondorf.
In each game, it can be upgraded and enhanced with more damage, projectile beams, or protective properties, making it truly the most powerful weapon.
Are there any other video game weapons that you think deserve a spot on this list? Let us know in the comments!