The Coolest Videogame Weapons of All Time

In the right hands, anything can be a weapon. A sandwich can be a weapon. Apparently, bananas can be weapons, too. Human beings have been trying to kill each other with everything we can get our hands on since we first crawled out of the primordial slime and learned to walk upright. Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in strength from “irritating” to “world ending.”

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Videogames, in particular, have extremely creative weapons. They tend to have the weapons that are, without a doubt, the very best to have in your arsenal. So, I got to thinking, what are the very best videogame weapons (the ones that you’d absolutely HAVE to have in the likely case of a zombie apocalypse)?

I came up with a list. Now, I’m not judging simply by effectiveness here. That would be boring. In my book, videogame weapons get points for style, especially if they are so stylish that they become totally impractical. So put some more tassels on that sword, friends, cause here are the coolest weapons of all time.

The Buster Sword and Masamune

(image credit: Square Enix)

The Final Fantasy series is lousy with cool weapons. So many we can’t name them all. It’s got gunblades, fancy staves, and even weaponized beach balls. But one thing the Final Fantasy series does best is big swords. And these two big swords from Final Fantasy 7 are (arguably) the best around.

The Buster Sword is ridiculously impractical, and gets extra points because of it. I mean LOOK AT IT. It’s a hunk of IRON. First off, no human being could possibly wield this sword. It would just be too heavy. Cloud Strife can wield it because he’s super strong, but even for a character with super strength it’s wildly impractical. You don’t need to make the whole sword bigger to increase the cutting power, just the top of it. There’s a historical weapon called a falchion that does just this. The blade of the falchion becomes thicker at the top so the sword can gather more momentum in its swing and have an impact more similar to an axe. But if the whole sword was bigger it would be too heavy to wield properly and would tire the user out. But we don’t care about well engineered weapons, we care about cool weapons. And the Buster Sword is cool as they come. It’s so big it even blocks bullets. I’d like to see a silly lil’ falchion do that.

Masamune, meanwhile, is a skinny little thing but it makes up for it in length. The two handed katana is over seven feet long. That’s the most impractical length possible. For one, the metal of swords has to be flexible. You can actually bend the blade of a historical sword quite far to the left or right. This marvel of metalworking allows the sword to be more durable, as a brittle sword would shatter after a few uses. Swords need to be light enough to wield and long enough to stick the pointy end in someone from a reasonably safe distance. Sephiroth’s sword should be great at that, right? Wrong. The blade is so long that the sword would actually collapse under its own weight. It would be like swinging a metal noodle around. It would be embarrassing for ol’ Seph and everyone watching. BUT this Final Fantasy sword is made of fantasy metal and therefore remains straight. But what happens if Sephiroth has to fight in a narrow hallway? Doesn’t matter. He never will. He only has to fight in wide open spaces, and God help you it you meet him in an open space. God help us all. I’d die from being exposed to so much raw coolness. I’m sure you would too.

The Master Sword

Screenshot from Breath of the Wild 2 release update trailer of Link and the Master Sword
(image credit: Nintendo)

The Blade of Evil’s bane. Sword That Seals The Darkness. Would this list be complete without the legendary Master Sword? I think not. It is the hallmark of the Legend of Zelda series. The deities of the Zelda universe are like Oprah—”YOU GET A MASTER SWORD!” “YOU GET A MASTER SWORD!” “YOU ALL GET MASTER SWOOOOOOOOOORDS!!!!!”—and so every single Link has one. The sword never rusts, it never dulls, and it never breaks (for the most part). It’s the Legend of Zelda equivalent of Spongebob’s favorite jellyfishing net “Ol’ Reliable.” It can cut through darkness and demons like butter. And sometimes, it can ever fire sword beams. Yeah, it shoots out magical light that cuts things. While it’s not my favorite Zelda weapon (that would be the Fierce Deity Sword from Majora’s Mask for its beautifully impractical double helix shape) it’s the most iconic weapon of the series. And one of the most iconic video game weapons of all time. Also, it’s pretty damn practical.

The Sawed-Off Shotgun

(image credit: Rockstar)

The Red Dead series has a veritable cornucopia of shootin’ irons that a cowboy can use to rain hot lead on his enemies. While the series contains a myriad of badass revolvers, the sawed-off shotgun has become emblematic to the series. It’s a key component in the cover art for Red Dead Redemption, and while there isn’t a “special plot centric sawed-off” in the game, the image of John Marston holding the sawed-off was so artistically impactful, that the writers of the game created a cutscene in Red Dead 2 where John performs his iconic sawed-off pose (before blowing the brains out of one of the biggest assholes in the series). It’s a weapon that represents the series as a whole, a force of Old Western destruction that leaves nothing but ruin in its wake. Flying lead doesn’t care who it hits.

Sly’s Cane

(image credit: Sucker Punch)

The ultimate weapon of the thief, this simple cane has a million and one uses, each one effortlessly cooler than the last. Sly uses the cane to swing from the rooftops, pick the pockets of guileless guards, and put the hurt on a rogue’s gallery of big bads. The cane is special because it has a deep family history to Sly, and was passed down to him by his father (before the latter’s untimely death). It is the symbol of a dying clan of thieves, and something like an Olympic Torch of hope to be handed off to future generations. Hopefully, Sly passes it down to one of the litter of half-fox/half-racoon babies that he has with Interpol Agent Carmelita Fox. (Or me, I’m HAPPY to be bequeathed it). Whether his kids decide to use it to uphold the law or break it, is up to them. And fine, it’s probably better that it goes to one of them than me. I’d probably just break my neck trying to zip-line with it.

The Plasma Cutter

(image credit: EA)

The plasma cutter from Dead Space is hellishly creative, a clever gameplay mechanic and piece of story telling rolled into one. The series’ protagonist, Isaac Clarke, is an engineer, and therefore, only has access to an engineer’s tools when fighting the alien Necromorph threat. Ironically, the plasma cutter works better than military weapons against the Necromorphs, as the nasty buggers can only be defeated through dismemberment. While bullets work well to neutralize a human target, they don’t exactly blow a limb off every time. The plasma cutter, meanwhile, casts a bolt of superheated plasma out in a wave in order to, spoiler alert, cut things. While it isn’t stylish, it is practical as hell. And in a rare turn of events, I’m awarding points for practicality. Look, I contain MULTITUDES.

The Keyblade

(image credit: square enix)

First off, it’s a giant fucking key. All practicality has gone out the window here and I love it. This staple weapon from the Kingdom Hearts series would be downright impossible to wield. It’s awkwardly shaped. It’s heavy in all the wrong places. It isn’t sharp (though somehow it can cut through buildings) and it does not fit in your pocket like a normal key should. But the cool thing is that it fits in the pocket of your heart and you can magically make it disappear and call it back to you. If you throw it, it comes back. If you drop it, it comes back. If you leave it locked inside your car, it comes back. It’s a key that you can’t possibly lose. Oh yeah, and it does other cool shit like locking the hearts of worlds away so they can’t be corrupted by darkness. It can also open portals to Kingdom Hearts (which is kind of like the Heaven of Absolute Center of the Universe in the series). And you can use it to cast magic. You can freeze shit, set shit on fire, and irradiate shit with holy light. And the best part? There are so many different designs. Each more impractical than the last! My favorite is the Metal Chocobo because it’s just a hunk of iron that you use to beat Heartless to death. The keyblade is the key to my little heart. Literally.

The Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos

(image credit: Sony)

Perhaps the most hardcore pair of weapons on this list, the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos of are a deadly duo (trio?) of functionality and elegant design. In the hands of Kratos, the literal God of War from whom the series draws its name, these weapons are capable of inflicting untold devastation upon gods and demons alike. The Leviathan Axe is perfectly practical, and is the spitting image of historical bearded axes used by the Vikings. The axe head is shaped that way so that a normal human wielder can use it to hook an opponent’s weapon and parry, but Kratos isn’t a normal human wielder, so he just uses it to bash enemies skull’s in. Delightful! This thing has ripped apart trolls, gods, and corrupted valkyries alike. And the best part? Like the keyblade, it comes back when you throw it. The blades of chaos meanwhile are shaped similarly to the Spartan kopis, a one handed blade with a single cutting edge. They do, however, feature some badass bells and whistles that are total useless but make the swords look dope. But do they come back when you throw them? Yup. They’re chained to Kratos’s forearms so all he needs to do is give them a yank and they’re back in his hand. It’s unlikely that a human would ever be coordinated enough to swing the blades of chaos effectively in battle, but Kratos isn’t a human being is he? He’s a god, and it’s in your best interest not to forget it.

Featured image credit: Square Enix

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.