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What's the best weapon in video games?

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Games just wouldn't be the same if you were forced to go around giving enemies a stern talking to, instead of blasting them into oblivion or or cutting them into steak tartare, so we decided to show our appreciation for our favorite video game weapons. 

This is the latest in a series of big questions we'll be interrogating our writers with, so share your answers and suggestions for topics with us on Twitter.  

The Groovitron from Ratchet and Clank

(Image credit: Insomniac)

Move over Fortnite, Ratchet and Clank's bonkers weapons have had a decade headstart on getting your enemies to wiggle their way to defeat. While Epic Games' own Boogie Bomb has become the best trolling gadget for GamesRadar's regular Fortnite sessions, Ratchet and Clank's Groovitron has been getting on down since 2007 when it was introduced in the PS3 title, Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction. And oh boy, what a tool it is. Basically a disco ball embedded in a glove, when it's thrown out the sparkling ball flies into the air, and plays disco music that mesmerizes anything near it to dance uncontrollably for a short space of time. Catching any enemies mid-Night Fever pose with a thwack of your trusty OmniWrench meant you could usually take them out in one shot. Handy, and snazzy. The best combo. Sam Loveridge

The ebony bow from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The temptation to be topical (and potentially controversial) by answering with 'Geralt's TWO swords' is strong, but in all honesty I'm a stealth player at heart. The weapon that has undoubtedly seen me through the best of times, and the blurst of times, has to be the ebony bow from Skyrim. After finding one in a cave and enchanting that baby with fire, the two of us were unstoppable. Although I'm super indecisive when it comes to what race I play as, one thing I know for sure is that my furry/ scaly/ Nord-y fingers will always be reaching for my ebony bow. Dragons are no match for me and Bow Burn-'em (does anyone else name their weapons, or is that just me). I can think of few things more satisfying than landing the perfect head shot with a bow, EXCEPT landing the perfect head shot with a bow and getting to see it in sweet, sweet slow motion. God bless you, Skyrim. Ellen Causey

The ebony blade from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

An old adage that floats around the internet is 'no one heals themselves by wounding another'. Above is a picture of the Ebony Blade. Why? Because hilariously this blade is the exception to that rule: it absorbs the life essence of your foes and is 'strengthened by the blood of deceit', so the more of your family you kill with it the stronger it gets. Even though I played a pyromaniac mage in my first Skyrim playthrough and didn't have the guts to kill any NPCs I got remotely attached to, I reserved this sword for executions of particularly irritating enemies that had proved pretty damn difficult to kill. Whipping it out as soon as my foe was almost dead, the Ebony Blade has a fond place in my heart because regardless of whether or not I had deceived anyone, it completely played into my mage's dramatic streak. Plus, the mental image of my short character wielding a blade almost as big as her was one I enjoyed very much. Zoe Delahunty-Light

Explosive farts from Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus

(Image credit: GT Interactive Software)

Guns are boring. Swords make me yawn. But weaponizing your own farts? Utterly brilliant. I want to preface this by saying that, no, I am not an eight-year-old, but I find Abe’s Soulstorm Brew-enabled guffs just as hilarious today as I did back in 1998. The game doesn’t just stop at simple old blowing off, for lack of a better phrase, either. Later on in Exoddus, you can even possess your own explosive farts and guide them towards either friend or foe to let them quite literally taste the foul stench of death before blowing them to smithereens. Name a worse way to go. I'll wait. Here’s hoping the upcoming quasi-remake, Oddworld: Soulstorm, can really nail the farting mechanics. Which is a sentence I’d never thought I’d write. You can shove your one-note weapons where the sun doesn’t shine. Explosive farts, both in terms of power and downright playfulness, will always be king. Bradley Russell

Hidden blade from Assassin’s Creed

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

It may not be the most devastating, ostentatious or mind-boggling, but the hidden blade is certainly one of the coolest and most iconic weapons in games, and, thus, definitely one of the best. Plus, I’m playing most of the main Assassin's Creed games right now, all in a row, so I can barely think of anything else. Part of a costume rather than a wielded weapon; part of a culture and history as opposed to the latest advancement in weaponry, and, just like the Assassins, hidden in plain sight. It balances technical wizadry and lethal simplicity - it’s just a dagger after all - and is responsible for the deaths of so many medium-to-high importance NPCs. Also, it must just be very handy to have around the house. Need to open some beers? Got some light weeding to do? Anything that needs screwing or unscrewing perhaps? Prepare to do it all in the coolest way possible. And then subsequently just to wear about your person, casually, because it's so cool. So, points also for versatility, but the hidden blade is genuinely one of the best I've ever used in a game and definitely one of the coolest. Did I mention how cool it is? Rob Dwiar

The Lancer from Gears of War

(Image credit: Microsoft)

There’s something weirdly satisfying about Gears of War’s chainsaw-gun. Besides allowing you to rip foes into giblets, firing it gives off a percussive rattle that helps you feel every bullet thumping into its target. The timed reload mechanic is a stroke of genius, too; there’s no feeling like pulling off a perfect reload before popping a headshot for good measure (complete with that melon-bursting ‘splat’ sound). The over-the-top scream of your character as they saw something in half is equally silly yet memorable, while chainsaw duels remain some of the tensest multiplayer one-on-ones you can get. Yes, the Lancer’s ridiculous. But it’s also kinda awesome. Benjamin Abbott  

Resistance Crossbow from Half-Life 2

(Image credit: Valve)

Half-Life 2 is full of memorable weapons; the Gravity Gun needs no introduction, but I could also spend hours launching Dark Energy balls into crowds of Combine with a Pulse Rifle or doing Dirty Harry impressions as I one-shot alien fascists with a Colt Python. However, none match the thrill of pinning an enemy to the wall with a red-hot rod of rebar. Watching bad guys hang from wherever your Resistance Crossbow bolt struck them is a macabre delight (extra points for dangling limb shots), but the most satisfying part is the sound. The understated "vooomp" of the bolt as it takes to the air, the sizzling "kzzt" as the crossbow starts superheating a fresh piece of rebar, and of course the faint modulated groan of your distant quarry. The Resistance Crossbow is made from mismatched construction materials, a lantern battery, and pure satisfaction. Connor Sheridan

Revolver Gunblade from Final Fantasy 8

(Image credit: Square Enix)

I'm not necessarily convinced that it's the best gun I've ever used in a game, but Ben stole the Gears of War Lancer so this is where we're at. As a result, I've been forced to choose a weapon that is even more mechanically implausible, the Gunblade. Specifically, the Revolver variant that Squall wields like the gothic-badass that he is all throughout Final Fantasy 8. It literally makes no sense; the general design and overall weighting of this thing would make it impossible to wield and yet Squall does so with such grace and poise that I can't help but wish I had one IRL. Besides, forcing you to smash R1 in time with a sword strike to trigger the firearm component of the weapon was a fantastic way to keep you engaged during the ATB conquests. All hail the Gunblade, the best gun/sword/hellish-hybrid ever made. Josh West