From shotguns to rockets, chainsaws to weapons that fire right through walls, weapons are what make gaming fun. You can have the greatest game out there, but if the weapons sound weak and don’t pack much punch, you’ve lost something in the interface between the gamer and the world you’re trying to immerse him into. It’s vital for a hard-hitting action game to have appropriately powerful guns, but it’s also important to have weapons that are fun to wield, require in-depth strategy to use, and don’t look and act like the same old thing from every other game. We’re counting down our list of the top 50 video game weapons of all time.
For those that prefer to keep their Metal Gear Solid 4 gameplay stealthy, the Mk. II is a godsend. Control this little bot with your six-axis and dispatch enemies with an electric charge. Plus, it adds some much needed humor to the otherwise dark storyline. Yeah, it might not be the most useful weapon in Snake’s inventory, but it may be the most fun.
Let’s start this off with some facts: the M1 Garand, a common rifle for the U.S. Army in World War II, was in fact able to be reloaded in mid-clip. Sure, plenty of games (like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor) have “changed history” and made it so the M1 can’t be reloaded until you’ve blown the whole clip, so we’ll have to dock the developers points on this one. But even if you can’t reload the thing in games, it’s still an incredibly powerful weapon with an easy-to-use sight, great stopping power, and semi-auto firing capability. The Brothers in Arms games gave it a more realistic reload ability, but Call of Duty 2 made it more powerful and fun to use. There were more advanced weapons in the Army’s arsenal, seen in many WW2 games, but the M1 was always there as an excellent backup.
It’s amusing to me that in this legendary mod for Quake 2 (and eventually Half-Life as well), the best equipment to pair up with the sawed-off shotgun is a pair of stealth slippers. Yes, slippers. The Hand Cannon itself was such a fun and powerful weapon, but it was almost useless beyond ten feet. Players could hear your footsteps coming a mile away and could usually take you out with a more powerful ranged weapon. But if you picked those goofy slippers as the one item you get to equip, then you could sneak up and give other players a huge surprise right in the back. In AQ2 you could even do a sort of combo when you’re sneaking up behind a sniper looking out of a window. Jump kick them to send them off the ledge, ensuring their demise, and a split second later go ahead and let loose with the Hand Cannon. It was the ultimate humiliation in a superbly hard-hitting, hilariously fun mod.
No weapon in Dead Rising ever seems to last long enough to really satisfy a player, but I’m trying to see through that right now and recognize that sometimes it’s more about the fun than the ridiculous killing power that some of the implements of destruction on this list possess. One such example is the Excavator, a digging type of drill that lets you fully impale a zombie and spin him around on it like a top. Then just walk forward into the rest of the horde of zombies and they’ll all go down, with the limbs of the first impaled zombie flying off in random directions. Honorable mention must go to Dead Rising‘s lawn mower, but it’s the Excavator that really gets us going.
Few items in this ever-popular online shooter have the power of the Flashbang. It can be used as a match-winning single move, blinding a whole team as your own team moves into position to mow them down. If it’s botched, it can also blind your own team, causing you to totally screw up any hopes of winning. It’s just as powerful in the Source Engine-powered Counter-Strike Source as well, where extra special effects give you a sound-killing whine and even leave an after-image of the last thing you saw before the flashbang went off. No matter how you look at it, it’s just as important to use correctly as any gun in the game and is a corner stone of any good strategy for serious teams.
There’s more than one weapon on this countdown that lets you see through walls, and Red Faction‘s Rail Driver is one of them. Firing a massive metal spike that not only penetrates through walls, but breaks them on the way through, the Rail Driver is a force to be reckoned with. It’s got an alternate fire that gives you thermal imaging so you can do crazy stuff like line up multiple people to take out in a single shot. But it’s in the comparison to the rest of Red Faction‘s weapons where the Rail Driver shines, as the game’s guns – despite being able to break walls in many places – simply feel too weak. But once you get this one, the game suddenly becomes massively fun and sometimes you’ll really need the power of the Rail Driver to drive home a win.
Want to know the rest of the top video game weapons of all time? Click here to find out more!
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