The sword is a weapon as old as civilization itself. Across the planet, blades of all shapes and sizes have become a de facto weapon for hunters and soldiers, and their presence is beginning to be reported in the media. Stories and plays have used swords on a regular basis, so their inclusion in video games was only a matter of time.
While many games refer to swords as being one of several weapons the player can choose from, some have featured swords that have taken to the realms of legend. Monster slayers, god slayers, and game changers, some Blades have become icons in their own right and serve as faces of the franchises that spawned them.
10 Irondite – Witcher
A silver blade for hunting monsters, the stuff of legends in the world of The Witcher. Less effective against mortal men, the weapon is a physical embodiment of what the Witchers stand for in a world of predatory beasts and demonic entities.
Geralt of Rivia was awarded this blade by using it repeatedly during his career as a monster hunter. Aerondight was often the last thing a monster would see daring to cross Geralt and the player.
9 Blades of Chaos – God of War
Unconventional Blades are designed to serve in unconventional combat. The Blades of Chaos became Kratos’ signature weapon during the original race of the God of War series as he ripped through the ancient Greek and Roman gods and their legions of minions.
From lowly demigods to Zeus himself, the Blades of Chaos have brought chaos and death to everyone who stood in Kratos’ way on his path to avenge his family’s death. Even in the distant future during his war against the Scandinavian pantheon, the Blades of Chaos still exist, inviting Kratos to add them to his arsenal again.
Often times, in-game knowledge has to be put in a back seat in order to play. While not perfect, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is far better than most in this regard. Raiden’s custom katana can cut through most non-construction objects in the game world, including massive trees and entire cars, helping to further immerse players as they point the weapon at multi-story Metal Gears, nanomachine-enhanced politicians, and self-fragmenting ninjas who embrace The cultural power of memes.
The main battles in Metal Gear Rising keep players on their toes, each requiring a different fighting style that changes the pace of combat, and with a knowledgeable player, the katana can easily keep up. In a world that is violent, self-conscious, and filled with political take on real-world issues and events, Raiden’s Katana can cut through the worst of it with ease and style. Who needs the rules of nature when your sword defies physics?
7 Keyblades – Kingdom Hearts
Have you tried locking the door with a key before? With three main entries and plenty of spin-off tales under its multiple belts, the Kingdom Hearts franchise has always had Keyblades as the player’s primary weapon against the forces of darkness.
If that’s good enough for Goofy, Sora, and Buzz Lightyear, it’s good enough to beat out competition of any shape or size. As unusual as a slew of keys might be in any other medium, video games allow them to become icons of a beloved series that can vanquish the eternal darkness that tries to creep in.
6 Lightsaber – Star Wars
Not a video game originally, but a recurring weapon for gamers regardless. Sith and Jedi lightsabers alike have appeared in fighting games, third-person RPGs, Souls-like games, and shooting games over twenty years in the Star Wars universe with amazing results.
Players were on either end of these crystal-powered blades, making the sight and sound of them as memorable in-game as they are on screen. In a galaxy far, far away, there is little that can outweigh the usefulness of a blade that can cut through a ship’s hull like butter.
5 Diamond Sword – Minecraft
The apple of the mind’s eye to millions of people, and the ultimate desired target weapon for Minecraft players. The most powerful default weapon in the game, Diamond Swords can become even more powerful with enchantments and add-ons added to the game over time, enhancing weapon variety.
With games, posters, and books galore, Minecraft and the Diamond Sword go hand in hand in and out of the game itself, proving its longevity in the hearts and minds of gamers, both professional and casual. Whether it’s fighting zombies in abandoned mines or other players in PvP, if it’s not a diamond sword, it’s not worth it.
4 Buster Sword – Final Fantasy VII
The bigger and more unwieldy it is, the cooler it looks when gamers put it to good use. One of the most iconic swords not only in video games, but media in general, thanks to its extensive use in Final Fantasy VII in-game and in promotional materials, magazines, and posters.
Seeing such a powerful and unique weapon come to the fore helped make the Final Fantasy series stand out amid the plethora of Japanese-produced content that began flooding into the Western market in the 1990s. In Cloud and player’s hand, the Buster Sword can carve through hordes of opponents with a dexterity and grace that complements the sword’s formidable stature.
3 Frostmourne – World of Warcraft
The soul-shattering longsword of the dreaded Lich King, and one of the most sought after and most iconic weapons in World of Warcraft. Through a series of high-stakes missions to free the countless souls trapped within its blade, millions of players forge memories alongside their peers as they traverse the world to rid this weapon of the harm it has done.
If many know the sword and its story, what else can it be called besides legend?
2 Energy Sword – Halo
The King of Infection game mode, the birth of map hopping, and the only weapon everyone in the game will fight for. The Halo franchise’s energy sword is a modern take on an ancient sword from elite pre-Covenant history, and it’s one of the few weapons that can easily pierce Mjolnir’s powerful, high-tech Spartan armor. In Halo 2, the weapon became infamous for being able to glitch a combat range to fly across entire multiplayer maps in the blink of an eye.
Starting with Halo 3 and continuing into the present with Halo Infinite, Energy Sword will become prominent in the Halo community with the introduction of the Infection game mode, pitting a team of sword-wielding zombies against gun-wielding survivors. The mode has become extremely popular and has transitioned from a spinning game mode in Halo 3 to a dedicated base mode in Halo Reach, 4 and 5, with Infinite adding the mode sometime during 2023. With an abundance of appearances in games, media, and merchandise, the Energy Sword is just that. The face of the franchise is like the Master Chief himself.
1 Master Sword – The Legend of Zelda
While not the first sword to appear in a video game, nor even the first sword in gaming to gain public recognition, the Master Sword has transcended its predecessors and become a pop culture icon independent of the Legend of Zelda series itself. Time and time again, the Master Sword has been wielded by a hero named Link across timelines and eras when Hyrule is under threat and not once has it failed to deliver.
From the powers of Ganon to the Moon itself threatening to crash into Earth, Master Sword has served the Master Sword, and players, faithfully and with beautiful design for nearly 4 decades and shows no sign of slowing down.
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