by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 4th September, 2018
When we talk about video games we talk about interactive experiences that usually include some form of combat. And most of them include weapons used to obliterate enemies to oblivion. And while most games go for usual combination of either melee or ranged weapons like regular swords, bows, and arrows, spears or their modern counterparts in form of various guns, many games try to go a couple of steps further and leave their mark by offering players unique weapons that are so cool they stay in our memory even after the events of the game and its characters fade away out of this plane of existence.
In some rare (or not so rare, depending on the ratio between average and awesome games you play) cases video game weapons are so cool and distinctive they become a sort of a trademark of some video game, or even an entire series. Fans start connecting a game with that super cool weapon and it becomes a sort of a digital icon that is brought to life in various cosplay shows - as a simple fan creation, not a real thing although some of those weapons could see the light of day in the future because they do have some immensely cool effects.
Anyway, the number of super cool video game weapons is surprisingly large. It may not seem that way but try thinking about cool pieces of hardware you used in your favorite video games and you'll soon realize there are dozens upon dozens weapons that come to your mind. Unfortunately, we had to limit this list to mere 20 weapons, so if your favorite doesn't show up don't worry. Maybe we haven't played the game where your favorite can be found, or we never heard of it all. Also, there's the good old difference of opinions, but we believe that 99 percent of gamers will approve 99 percent of this list. Let's start.
On top of being one of the most original weapons found in any video game, Gravity Gun is immensely cool. If we had to rank it, the Gravity Gun would probably end up in the first place. The sheer power of it is unrivaled and the number of ways it can be used is bigger than all of the other weapons combined.
You could do so many things with the Gravity Gun because Half-Life II and its two episodes feature amazing physics, allowing for some barrel throwing, car moving, enemy killing with random objects found around the game. With Gravity Gun anything can be turned into a lethal projectile, making Half-Life II one of the best games ever, weapons-wise. And while Gordon Freeman was pretty cool even before he got his hands on this baby, he sure got cooler when he wielded the Gravity Gun.
Gravity Gun is one of the coolest and most iconic weapons in the whole history of gaming, period.
Okay, lightsabers didn't originate in the world of video games, but they are so cool we just have to forgive them their film origins and include them in this list. Ever since the first game with lightsabers was the light of day (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Jedi Arena back in 1983) lightsabers became the holy grail of gamers who happen to love Star Wars. The chance to be able to wield them and use to defeat those pesky Stormtroopers and Siths was enough for lightsabers to become one of the coolest weapons in video games ever.
The best game featuring them is probably Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. There you were able to wield two of them at the same time (as well as lightsaber pike), and since that game had superb combat with lightning-fast moves and great visual representation of lightsaber attacks, each fight was epic and unforgettable, especially those against enemy sith. And that feeling in KOTOR when you finally crafted your first lightsaber, hours after the game started, is one of the most iconic video game moments ever.
Kratos is a pretty cool guy with a bit of an anger issue - which got under control in the last game - and he started his journey of vengeance and death wielding one of the coolest weapons ever, the Blades of Chaos.
Two huge-ass blades that look like they could kill an elephant with one swing, permanently seared onto the wielder and being capable of stretching their chains in order to hit far-off enemies could be a definition of cool in a dictionary. Add to all the Blades of Chaos' power to light enemies on fire and you got yourself a weapon worthy of one super angry god (okay, he wasn't a god back in the first game but you get the point). And the fact they were forged in the darkest depths of the Underworld by Ares (the original God of War) himself simply makes their cool meter to explode. One of the coolest and most badass weapons of all times, for sure.
Halo series is filled with cult classic games that defined a whole genre. And Master Chief is definitely one of the coolest and most iconic video game characters of all times. But his usual weapons, while powerful and extremely enjoyable to use (we are talking about Bungie here, the masters of gunfight mechanics) they just aren't that cool.
You have a futuristic assault rifle that has a perfect kick while shooting, that funny looking but not ready for jokes Needler and the destructive sticky grenades capable of evoking one of the best feelings in video games ever when you stick them to a grunt, but the energy sword tops them all. Firstly, it was originally used by Covenant Elites, making it even better when you finally could use it as Master Chief. Next, its limited usage gives it a sense of value making each kill with it even more satisfying. And finally, sticking the energy sword into an enemy while being on the cusp of death is crazy satisfying. And let's not forget that sweet feeling when you wield one in multiplayer and then one-strike kill ten foes in less than one minute.
While not technically a weapon, the portal gun can be used as one and that's why it ended on this list. It is an ingenious tool that helps Shell in overcoming some of the most interesting puzzles in video games history and it can also be used for creating your own cool contraptions when you get bored and decide to see whether you can send that box sitting next to you to the other side of the room by using multiple portals. And that's the best thing about the portal gun. Similarly to the Gravity Gun, it gives players a huge number of ways to utilize it, depending on the situation and level they are currently playing. A legendary weapon that didn't get the level of attention it deserves.
Isaac Clarke was a silent engineer - at least in the first game, we wished he stayed silent in the other two but oh well - and his way of making statements was his faithful plasma cutter. That thing was so cool! The kick when firing it was better than with most classic weapons we used in hundreds of other games and the effect it had on Necromorphs, dismembering them limb by limb, is still unmatched by any other survival horror title. And the fact that plasma cutter was the first weapon you got in Dead Space just further increases its cool level because most of us kept it as a primary weapon until the end of both games (the fact it could be upgraded in multiple ways didn't hurt) even though the game had some other pretty cool weapons. But the small but deadly plasma cutter cut them all and landed on our list.
Worms games are filled with insanely cool weapons. From the simple cluster grenade, through the Holy Grenade, to the huge glass donkey that simply obliterates half a map, Worms have some pretty cool and iconic weapons. But the Super Banana Bomb is something special. While Banana Bomb also is pretty powerful, its super version is devastating no matter how good or bad you throw it. It explodes multiple times then it divides into a huge number of cluster bananas that also explode multiple times.
When thrown at the right time you can kill the whole enemy team with the thing. This is probably the reason why most people simply disabled it before starting a match. Weaklings. The only weapon that can come near the Super Banana Bomb is, you've guessed it, the Prod. Pushing an enemy off the cliff by the Prod is probably the greatest way of humiliating them, and also making them stop playing Worms with you.
Big "Freaking" Gun, or Big Frickin' Gun, or let's be honest and call it Big F#$%!*g Gun, is one of the most powerful weapons in any video game. It is capable of obliterating whole rooms stacked with demons with just one shot (if we could call that huge green sphere of destructive demonic energy a "shot") and it can kill any boss in just a couple of seconds. And it looks cool as hell.
Ever since it appeared in the first Doom, the BFG become some sort of a legend. Back then, when the internet was nothing more than an exotic way to access information, everyone talked about how they managed to find some ultra-cool secret weapon and then everyone who heard that played the game until they found it too. Oh, the good ol' days.
That moment when you first use your Lancer Rifle to rip open the poor wretch who lunged towards you was a sort of a revelation. No other game managed to create a weapon that provided that level of gore, ever. And immediately after you discovered what the rifle is capable of doing, you probably tried to shred every other enemy the same way. We know we did, every time.
The chainsaw on the lancer is immensely cool and after everyone tried it in the single-player portion of the original Gears they all realized that killing foes in multiplayer with it is the better than teabagging them. So everyone tried chainsawing everyone else in Gears multiplayer, and they still try it today. Oh man, what a gem of a weapon and one of the coolest weapons ever designed.
Assassin's Creed is one of the most recognizable video game series today and, aside from Ezio, huge open maps, the eternal struggle between Templars and Assassin's, one of the most recognizable things about it is the weapon of choice of every assassin, the hidden blade. It became a cult classic immediately after Altair used it for the first time, and when Ezio managed to wield two at the same time, we all cried tears of joy.
Silent, deadly, capable of making every opponent to simply forget what they were doing and to simply try stopping the huge fountain of blood pouring from their necks, the silent blade is the best ever stealth weapon used in video games. And when Assassin's Creed Origins showed why every Assassin has to lose their finger, it just made the blade cooler than ever.
This is the weapon we all started one of the most memorable video game journeys ever with so it simply has to be included in this list. Before being transformed into the unstoppable killing machine, Gordon Freeman had to use the crowbar for killing those nasty head crabs. And he did that with great efficiency.
And after he got access to all sorts of powerful weapons he continued to use the crowbar. Not for killing foes (well for that also, when bullets were in short supply) but for breaking boxes and simply swinging it joyously while running around. Oh, that sweet crowbar, the iconic weapon from times when games were simple and when long single player campaigns were the norm.
Okay, Fallout games have all sorts of cool weapons you can use and one of the coolest is Fat Boy, a huge ass launcher capable of sending mini nukes towards your mutated enemies. It is immensely powerful and capable of killing almost everyone in just one shot, including you if not being careful. But there's a weapon even cooler than this one.
In Fallout 3 and 4 you could get a nasty thing called Experimental MIRV. It is basically a shotgun version of the Fat Man. Instead of firing up one, the MIRV launches eight mini-nukes in total. While it can empty your hard earned mini nuke supply in just one shoot, the weapon is super cool to use if for nothing else then for simply seeing eight mini-nukes exploding at once. And it literally can kill every enemy with one shot, including Deathclaws and Super Mutant Behemoths.
If there's a weapon cooler than the MIRV in Fallout games, it is the Euclid's C-Finder. This one is obtainable via a side quest in Fallout: New Vegas and those lucky to obtain it will be disappointed for wasting their time because the thing you get does nothing, apparently. But after you find a way to activate it, the weapon becomes more powerful even than the MIRV.
You see, this one is a control mechanism for an experimental weapon satellite sent into orbit before the start of the nuclear war that wiped out most of the world. And once you discover how to use it, the C-Finder will activate the satellite and start creating hell on Earth.
It works like the Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War. You activate the weapon and aim towards the place where you want to obliterate all life and then wait for a huge, deadly beam to arrive wiping out everything between it and the clouds. Extremely powerful, extremely useful, and extremely cool.
Similar to the Portal Gun, the Shrink Ray is not really a weapon. You cannot shoot it at someone and kill them. But this little gadget (it's rather large actually) is extremely fun to use because its effects cannot be cooler. You see, when you shoot the Shrink Ray at any enemy it will instantly shrink them to a minuscule size. All you have to do then is to stomp them with your foot and that's it, they're gone!
The only downside is the fact all bosses are immune to its effect but the good thing is that all other enemies, including those who are ten floors big, can be shrunk without any problem. While Duke Nukem Forever is one those games the world shouldn't saw in the first place, at least it gave us this little thing, a sole silver lining of one completely horrendous game.
Green Shells are cool when hit but they are very hard to aim at enemies. Red Shells are way cooler because they track the racer they are aimed at, making them the second coolest weapon in Mario Kart, and in the whole Mario universe. But Blue Shells (Spiny Shells) are the best ever because they do everything.
When launched it will start to travel towards the leader hitting anyone standing in its way, meaning it can knock down everyone except the racer who launched it. It can be avoided by other racers but they have to be lucky and have pretty fast reflexes. And the poor race leader practically has no answer to the weapon; all they can do is to wait for the shell to hit them so they can regret their skill at Mario Kart, leading them to always be the target of Spiny Shells.
The Spiny Shell is extremely rare to obtain, making the weapon even cooler. And in recent Mario Kart games, there are a couple of ways to avoid it, like taking different paths on certain tracks or using a Mushroom. Nevertheless, the Spinning Shell is mouthwatering to some players (the bad ones) and the worst enemy to others (the skilled ones).
One-shot kill weapons are quite rare in most games. They are usually used by some enemies and bosses and in cases, they are obtainable by the player, they can be used just a couple of times before becoming useless. This is also the case with the Golden Gun, a weapon so powerful it defined one of the best shooters ever.
The famous weapon can be found in one bonus mission during the campaign and while being practically unstoppable it cannot be used outside it. On the other hand, the game's multiplayer mode containing the Golden Gun is completely another story. There, you can be the fortunate wielder of the weapon, allowing you to kill everyone with just one hit, making everyone else's sole mission to kill you and get their hands on their precious.
But the weapon has one major downside. It can fire just one bullet before having to reload. Despite that flaw, the Golden Gun was the favorite weapon of everyone who played Golden Eye 007 and is one of the coolest and most iconic weapons ever in video games.
No matter how much modern Tomb Raider games are trying to push the bow as Lara Croft's signature weapon, we all know she likes her dual pistols more. Those two are another weapons that defined a whole game series, and one of the most popular video game series at that. They were mighty cool back when we get to know Miss Croft back on the PS1, and they are still immensely cool today.
And while today they are surpassed by other weapons that are more powerful, the dual pistols stay one of the most recognizable video games weapons of all times, so they simply have to be on this list.
Simple yet effective, the fiber wire from Hitman games shows that a cool weapon doesn't have to be extraordinarily powerful, or to sport astonishing design, or to define a whole game. This simple gadget made out of piano wire is more deadly than you think. Sure, it's hard to use because you have to sneak up to an enemy from behind but technically, the wire is a one-shot kill.
And the feat of strangling some poor, unsuspecting guard or even better your main assassination target, with piano wire like in movies, perfectly transfers the feel of being a real hitman. If Agent 47 worked for the Italian Mafia, the wire would be even cooler.
This is one of those exotic weapons from a game many didn't hear of, lest played. And if you didn't play Singularity do yourself a favor and get it, right now. This sleeping hit featured many cool moments and gadgets but the best out of them all is the time manipulation device.
The gadget has many purposes and can be used in practically any situation. You can reverse time, or accelerate its flow destroying obstacles or creating objects helping you to overcome hurdles on levels. You can use it to kill poor enemy soldiers by accelerating their aging process and turning them to skeletons in just a second. Or you can use it for other enemy types to slow them down and to make them go berserk and attack their buddies.
The weapon is upgradable allowing the player to even pull or push objects, to lift them into the air, to create spheres where time runs much slower, and for many other purposes. And the device looks awesome, like Iron Man hand repulsor just cooler. If Singularity ended up being a massive hit everyone would talk about the TMD, but instead, it became a sort of an underground cult video games weapon.
"Come over here!" is a shout instantly recognizable by everyone who played any Mortal Kombat game. That's because everyone argued about who will play with Scorpion at least once in their lifetime because the undead ninja is the coolest character of the entire game. And the coolest character wields the coolest weapon in the form of Kunai strapped to a chain that stuns opponents (and impales them) while pulling them next to Scorpion, ready to experience a mighty uppercut or some destructive combo.
The move is easy to perform, so you can bet the enemy Scorpion will should his three signature words every five seconds unless you pick Scorpion. In that case, the enemy will hear those three words coming over from your side every five seconds.