Top 10 Video Game Weapons That Aren’t Guns

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For better or worse, weapons are ubiquitous with video games. We use them to enact our heroic fantasies, to showcase our power, and to dismantle those with opposing goals or ideas. If you want to hear the conversations behind this list, you should check out the Leaderboard podcast, the show where we discuss, debate, and often argue about the games that should make this list.

So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Video game weapons that aren’t guns.


10. Master Sword – The Legend of Zelda

master sword botw

Possibly the most quintessential sword in video games, Link’s Master Sword has been an iconic weapon since its first appearance in the original Legend of Zelda. What makes this sword special is its history. Created to combat evil, the Master Sword has been Link’s primary weapon in all of his major appearances. With each iteration, a bit more backstory and significance is added. This same sword which was used to kill dragons in the original NES game, was also the one that helped us redeem Hyrule in Breath of The Wild. This is the same sword we used to slay bokoblins in Twilight Princess and defeat Ganon in Ocarina of Time. The Master Sword is one of the most seasoned weapons in video games.

– Blessing Adeoye Jr.

9. Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker – World of Warcraft

thunderfury

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, one of World of Warcraft’s first legendary weapons, was a sword that instantly set apart the person who wielded it, as the path to obtaining it was incredibly convoluted. To even begin the questline to obtain it, players had to hope for a rare boss drop, the Bindings of the Windseeker, in the WoW’s first 40 man raid, Molten Core. The quest item had such a low drop rate that many people seeking the legendary sword farmed the Molten Core raid for years. If a player was lucky enough to eventually obtain the bindings, they were sent on one of the most expensive questlines WoW has ever known, wherein they’d have to collect extremely rare materials and resources in order to have the weapon forged. The materials were so expensive that entire guilds would pool their resources together and then elect one of their leaders to wield Thunderfury. Once the crafting materials were finally turned in to the quest giver, a surprise raid boss would spawn which players would then have to defeat. Once defeated, the questing player would then be given Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, the legendary sword of lightning that granted its wielder the envy of the entire realm.

– Alex Van Aken

8. Saw Cleaver – Bloodborne

saw cleaver

Every weapon in Bloodborne is either arcane, some real weird object, or a feat of mechanical engineering worthy of adulation. Bloodborne’s incredible armory of weapons deserve a list of its own, honestly, but if I had to pick one weapon that deserves top honors, it’s ol’ faithful: the Saw Cleaver. The cleaver’s particularly grimy look recalls nightmares of dirty hospitals, its aggressive aesthetic fulfilled and complemented by the games expert ability to replicate the sound of a serrated blade tearing through flesh and its ability to retain power across both forms is indicative of its majesty. One second you could be unleashing an intimate flurry attack and the next you can extend the blade outward and bring it down on fools like they were on the chopping block.

– Moises Taveras

7. Scorpion’s Kunai Spear – Mortal Kombat

top 10 video game weapons

Anyone even remotely familiar with the Mortal Kombat franchise has one guttural battle cry permanently etched into their brains… “Get over here!”. Those who have been on the receiving end of Scorpion’s kunai are likely also familiar with the taste of blood and defeat. While the kunai weapon’s design was fairly nondescript, a spear-like blade with an attached rope, its use was all but forgettable… impaling enemies only to then drag them across the battlefield to their doom. It’s an experience that few of us will ever forget.

– Brandon Wilson

6. The Penetrator – Saints Row 3

the penetrator

Nothing says “eat a dick” quote as well as Saints Row’s Penetrator weapon. What looks like a giant dildo at first sight, might just end up being your best friend. The Penetrator lands a spot on this list because of its status as an icon and the hilarity of using it. It’s a big dildo that you whack people with, and somehow the joke never gets old. It’s one of the shining gems that established Saints Row 3’s over-the-top comedy and it’s one of the funniest weapons that exists in video games.

– Blessing Adeoye Jr.

5. Beam Katana – No More Heroes

beam katana

How do you give life to a glorified rip-off of a Star Wars lightsaber? By putting it in the crass hands of Travis Touchdown. Travis’s Beam Katana is swift, ruthless, and ideal for taking down the leaderboard (no pun intended) of assassins that stand in the way of him and the title of #1 assassin. Whereas its inspiration is a symbol of good and righteousness, the Beam Katana is all about eviscerating people in the bloodiest manner. What makes this weapon special is how well it works with the Wii’s Wiimote controller. One second, you’re tapping A to get a flurry of hits on your opponent, the next, you’re swinging your arm to the right to deal a final blow. And if those motion controls weren’t enough for you, try recharging the beam katana…

– Blessing Adeoye Jr.

4. Red Shell – Mario Kart

top 10 video game weapons

Have you ever visualized what raw power looks like? You know, the ability to ruin your fellow man’s day with the drop of a hat? It’s probably incredibly difficult to do yet somehow Nintendo pulled it off with stunning simplicity in the design of the Mario Kart’s Red Shell. A projectile, it homes in on the target immediately in front of its user for a guaranteed stun, unless they have a means of blocking. If you get triple red shells, you’re nigh unstoppable, and if you see someone with them, run. Even positioned on a list populated by many actually deadly weapons, the Red Shell manages to instill the most fear in me.

– Moises Taveras

3. Blades of Chaos – God of War

blades of chaos god of war

The Blades of Chaos hit home on multiple levels. Narratively, their origin in God of War is dark and ruthless, spawning from a pledge Kratos made to Ares and serving as a reminder of the heartbreaking fate of Kratos’ family. Aesthetically, these chained blades hit the perfect balance of badass and functional as they are imbued with fire and serve as a dynamic, mid-distance weapon that makes the user appear almost ballet-like in action. The blades provide fun gameplay as they take the mechanics of the popular hack and slash genre of the PlayStation 2 era and add even more fluidity and flow that makes for a satisfying feeling.

– Blessing Adeoye Jr.

2. Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts

kingdom hearts 3

The idea that a blade in the shape of a key is one of the most iconic, beloved and versatile weapons in video games is flabbergasting. Nonetheless, the Keyblade is exactly that and more. The hallmark of a series originally pegged as Final Fantasy meets Disney, the legacy of the Keyblade has proved to be as long-winded and nonsensical as the plot of Kingdom Hearts. The ability for the weapon to change aesthetically to fit the abilities you decide to equip it with is neat (shout out to the wombo combo that is Oblivion and Oathkeeper). Sure, it’s place in the lore of Kingdom Hearts as the most blatant and flagrant usage of heavy handed symbolism is solidified, however it’s a damn key that’s a blade and it doesn’t have a single edge. For that alone, it deserves everything.

– Moises Taveras


Honorable Mentions:

  1. Leviathan Axe – God of War
  2. Gravity Hammer – Halo 3
  3. Poltergust 5000- Luigi’s Mansion

1. Energy Sword – Halo

energy sword

The iconic glowing sword, first revealed in Halo: Combat Evolved but not useable by players until Halo 2, injects a set of mechanics that contrast the typical FPS experience. Instead of pelting enemy Spartans with a spray of bullets, the Energy Sword allows players to lunge across large distances to insta-kill enemies in one fell swoop. It’s also a popular countermeasure to the series’ Overshield, which as the name suggests grants a player a massive amount of protective shielding. Not only is the Energy Sword incredibly powerful, it brings balance to the combat of the Halo franchise. The legendary Covenant blade is an icon within the video game industry, and represents one of gaming’s most important franchises. Halo’s Energy Sword grants ultimate power to ever wields it, and strikes fear into the heart of any player standing on the wrong end of its blade.

-Alex Van Aken


So there you have it: the top 10 video game weapons that aren’t guns. How do you feel about our list? Are there any weapons missing that should’ve been included?

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