Last time we put together a list, it was on the best gaming protagonists. With all of that ‘story’ nonsense out of the way, it’s time to focus on what gaming is really all about. Shooting things (and in a couple of cases, stabbing them instead). So here are our picks for the best gaming weapons.
The Smart Pistol MK5- Titanfall
A controversial one to say the least, Titanfall’s smart pistol has been accused (by many) of breaking the game’s balance. And for an exclusively multiplayer game, fairness should be a top priority. Unlike with a single player campaign, there are real people at the other end, and they can get very, very irate. The reason the smart pistol has often been labelled as ‘overpowered’, or as a ‘noob’ weapon then, is that it supposedly takes little skill to use. The gun automatically scans for hostile targets who are within a short range, and locks onto them. Any rounds fired will then maneuver to hit the locked targets. The more time you give it to lock on, the better your chance of scoring a head shot are. So yes, you can see why people might get a little mad.
However Titanfall is one of the most smartly balanced shooters out there. There are very few games that could pull off allowing one player to be in a giant mech suit, while the other runs around on foot, and still give both players an equal chance. The smart pistol might have it’s benefits, but it confronts players with tactical choices. They have to choose when is the right moment to fire, how many targets they’ll take out, and they are burdened with a handicap in the amount of time they need to prepare a shot. Still there’s no denying the immense satisfaction of running into a room and taking out 3 guys with the single click of a button.
Words by Harrison Abbott.
The Groovitron Glove/ Dubstep Gun- Racket & Clank Series/ Saints Row IV
Bullets. Electrocution. Energy Pulses. Blades of death. The Groovitron Glove has none of these offensive capabilities. When it debuted (as simply the Groovitron) in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools Of Destruction, it was classed as a “device”. What does it do? When thrown, the mirrored ball comes to life, illuminating a group of enemies in disco lighting and BeeGees-esque music, forcing them all to dance and forget their troubles. Insomniac games, masters of the invention of insane weaponry, truly outdid themselves with this elegant and utterly daft distraction. Nothing quite compares to blowing up an enemy who is completely distracted, John Travolta-ing the battlefield to their heart’s content.
On a similar note, as seen in Saints Row IV, the Dubstep Gun is… a gun that fires dubstep. You get three types, the default, the Industrial, and the Popstar. Each is ridiculous. Anybody you’re fighting will go flying miles with each wub, as the citizens around you just get down and dance. Upgrade the gun with ‘Explosives Wubs’ and you’re in for some absolute insanity, with a gun that virtually sells the game it’s in, on its own.
Words by Thomas Davies and George Seabrook.
Battle Rifle- Halo Series
When asked to choose my favourite weapon from a video game, it just had to be something from the diverse and expansive Halo universe. Granted, when you think of best weapon you’d usually describe something completely overpowered, something that makes you foam up at the mouth thinking about the potential impending destruction you’d unleash. Focussing on Halo, I could’ve easily picked the ridiculous Gravity Hammer that even Marvel’s Thor would struggle to hold, or the UNSC-wielding Spartan Laser that oozes satisfaction, should you actually be able to hit the unfortunate target. However, only one weapon truly stood out as the perfect companion both online and in the numerous campaigns – the infamous Battle Rifle.
This semi-automatic three-round-burst rifle is highly accurate at medium range but, with its 2x scope, is still very effective at longer, sniping ranges. This made the Battle Rifle indispensable during the campaigns, allowing a ‘range of ranges’ adding to the all-round ability of the weapon. Highlights include the satisfaction when headshotting a crafty Grunt from a Ghost and most of all, protecting myself from the infuriatingly accurate Jackal snipers during the early part of the Halo 2 storyline.
If it’s good enough for the Spartan, Master Chief, then it’s definitely good enough for me. A must in any firefight.
Words by Marcus Bridgland.
Bow and Arrow- Tomb Raider
The first long range weapon you find in Square Enix’s island-based reboot of their classic Tomb Raider series, and most likely the one you’ll return to the most often. We appear to be an archery mad culture at the moment, but when you use your bow and arrow here – going from a bundle of sticks at the beginning, to a batlike metallic deathbeast by the end – it’s hard to deny the thrill. It has a surprising number of uses, include setting things on fire, creating rope bridges, and luring enemies with the noise of an arrow impacting a tree. Even better, you can recover spent ammunition. I died many times in firefights because I could not bear to part with my stringed friend, in favour of a louder, albeit more appropriate, tool.
Words by George Seabrook.
M86/FL Thermite Rifle- The Order:1886
The weapons are some of The Order:1886’s only redeeming features and the Thermite Rifle is the best of the bunch. Appearing early in the game, the gun fires a shot of magnesium, followed by a regular bullet that ignites the magnesium – subsequently engulfing the enemy in a bright white flame. As one of the game’s many ‘science weapons’ that combine futuristic technology with the world of Victorian London, the M86 adds something different to The Order’s otherwise generic gameplay. Rounds can also be used to burn through enemies’ cover and ignite exploding barrels. It’s a weapon that can be used in all situations. Dull game, excellent weapon.
Words by Tom Hopkins.
M40A3- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Star of thousands of Youtube compilations and many gamers’ weapon of choice in one of the best online shooters in gaming history, the M40A3 is one of the best sniper rifles in the Call of Duty franchise. It was confined to the multiplayer but it was powerful, lightweight, accurate, and more importantly, available from level one. Although it was fine as it was, adding the shorter range ACOG scope drastically improved it. Unlike every other weapon, the scope change increased damage, from 70 to 75 in this case, making it a one-shot kill weapon. Manoeuvrability and aim speed were also improved, making it useful on every map and in every game mode. Best of all though, it made an extremely satisfying ‘clang’ with every bullet. It cannot be customised in the detailed way the weapons are in the series’ most recent iterations, but it’s better than anything that came since its first appearance in 2007.
Words by Tom Hopkins.
Dawnbreaker- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Dawnbreaker is a unique one-handed sword and is one of the Daedric artifacts in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Sporting medium to high damage for a relatively low weight, while also automatically having a fire enchantment, Dawnbreaker is a great addition to your inventory at any stage of the game. The swords usefulness is aided by it being moderately easy to obtain, unlike many of the Daedric artifacts, requiring just a short hike up a hill and getting past some draugr. Not only does it have great stats, but it also looks really cool, it’s gold, and on fire, and glows like the sun and everything. Even though its damage is quite good for a sword, it probably still wouldn’t be your first choice in a fight, luckily it compensates for slightly lower damage by making undead enemies explode when killed. In a giant wave of fire. This will cause others to take damage and flee if nearby. So Dawnbreaker is a glowing fire sword that makes enemies explode when you poke them, how could it not be the best?
Words by Christopher O’Moore.
The Gravity Gun- Half-Life 2
Let’s be honest, there is nothing that isn’t cool about the Gravity Gun. Introduced about halfway through Half-Life 2, the Gravity Gun takes advantage of the physics engine built specifically for this game, allowing you to pick stuff up and pelt it, full force at your enemies. The weapon is also used for problem-solving, but seriously who cares about that!? You can use it to slice zombies in half with sawblades! You can throw paint cans at the oppressive Combine, and coat them in white paint! Somebody tosses a grenade at you? Pick it up with this gun, and lob it right back! And this isn’t even covering the sheer intense joy you receive when the weapon is upgraded at the end of the game, allowing you to pick up actual goddam people before throwing them at their friends. The Gravity Gun is the most pure fun you will ever have with a gun in a video game, though special mention goes to another of Valve’s creations, the Portal Gun.
Words by Thomas Davies.
The Hidden Blade- Assassin’s Creed Series
The Hidden Blade is one of the more unique and versatile weapons of the last few years. Its inclusion in the Assassin’s Creed games has created a new type of stealth gameplay. Players can kill silently in crowds, from cover, or go in all guns blazing- using the blades like short swords. Sneaking through the shadows, taking out unsuspecting foes never gets old, but unlike standard stealth weapons, the Hidden Blade allows for a quick, clean and silent kill. Players can also leap from buildings for impressive aerial assassinations- just one more of the ways the weapon can be used. It became such a popular part of the series, that when it was nowhere to be seen in the early trailers for Assassin’s Creed 3, fans loudly expressed their concern. Simply an effective and efficient weapon that has changed the way gamers see stealth gameplay.
Words by Tom Hopkins.