The 10 Best Starting Weapons In Video Games


Arthur Morgan with the Cattleman Revolver in Red Dead Redemption 2 / Cloud Strife with the Buster Sword In Final Fantasy 7 Remake

In most video games that feature weapons, you usually have one that you start with. Usually, they tend to be underpowered and forgettable, only enough to get you through low-level enemies and to some better gear.

Related: Game Characters With Weapons In Their Limbs

Some games, however, went extra hard on the first piece of your arsenal. Whether they’re reliable workhorses that never let you down, or so iconic that they’re still on your mind, here are the best starting weapons in video game history.


10/10 211-V Plasma Cutter – Dead Space Series

Dead Space Quote with isaac and plasma cutter

Trusty and reliable, the Plasma Cutter is a mining tool repurposed for a much grimmer task: dismembering the murderous Necromorphs. Luckily, superheated plasma works almost as good against dense flesh as it does against mineral deposits.

If you keep it upgraded, you’ll never really need to use another weapon in Dead Space. In fact, the only weapon that’s actually a weapon is the Pulse Rifle, and it’s pretty ineffective against the Necromorphs. You get an achievement for only using the Plasma Cutter in the first game, easy enough, given how effective a weapon it is.

9/10 Combat Shotgun – Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal Combat Shotgun Sticky Bombs Mods

Doom Eternal Combat Shotgun Sticky Bombs Mods

Living up to its credo as one of the most hardcore games around, Doom Eternal wasn’t content with giving you a dinky starter pistol like other FPS games do. Instead, it starts you off with the demon splattering crowd-pleaser, the Combat Shotgun.

Every weapon in the Doom Slayer’s arsenal is certifiably badass, so the Combat Shotgun will never really let you down, especially if you like to keep combat up close and personal. This weapon is no slouch at longer range either, since the Sticky Bomb mod allows for major damage with pinpoint precision.

8/10 Handgun – Resident Evil Remake

Chris examines the Handgun

The Handgun in the REmake, is your best friend as you explore the biohazard-infested halls of Spencer Mansion, something you especially appreciate when playing as Chris Redfield, who unlike Jill, does not start with it.

Related: The Best Pistols In The Resident Evil Series

Though other weapons in the game surpass it in stopping power, you’ll never really want to shelve this bad boy. Resource management is a key part of RE games, and you never want to use rare ammo when the trusty 9mm will do the job. The Handgun handles the fodder with aplomb, even occasionally getting a crit, permanently ending recurring shamblers. It is also the basis for the iconic Samurai Edge line of sidearms, ensuring its legacy goes beyond its premier game.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Snake Pointing M9

The M9 is an underrated gem of a weapon. Sure, it doesn’t have the stopping power or rate of fire of the other weapons available in MGS2, nor is it a sweet Vibrokatana like the HF Blade. In fact, in straight-up combat, the M9 is almost useless. Its slide locks upon firing, needing to manually be recocked and unless you land a headshot, it takes time for the anesthetic to take effect.

But that’s the thing, MGS2 is not an action game, it’s a stealth game and for that purpose, the M9 outshines all of the other weapons in the game. It’s silenced by default, so you’re free to use it at will. It also leaves enemies asleep instead of dead, so you’ll never need to stash the bodies. If another guard stumbles upon a sleeper, they’ll assume they were dozing off and not raise an alert.

Raiden from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance holding his sword

This weapon IS a sweet Vibrokatana, which allows you to embody your inner Vitamix blender and slice, dice, chop, or puree any opponent that gets in your way.

Related: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Sub-Weapons, Ranked

Though other options show up in the game, you’ll never really need another weapon besides the HF Blade, especially since it’s upgradeable. In fact, the other options are even downgrades that require alternate playstyles. The HF Blade is your most powerful companion throughout most of MGR. Well, until the plot gets in the way, at least.

5/10 Amicia’s Sling – A Plague Tale Series

plague tale amicia using sling

The only weapon you’ll need to get through the rat and bloodthirsty soldier-infested world of A Plague Tale – and in the first game, the only one you get. Amicia is not a head-on combatant, but she’s a wizard with the sling, and with a few upgrades, has in her hands a (mostly) silent death-dealer with unlimited ammo.

In the sequel, she gets a Crossbow, and while it’s more powerful, able to kill even the dreaded helmeted and fully-armored enemies, ammo for it is limited and should be saved for truly tough enemies. Everyone else gets a rock to the dome.

4/10 Rebellion – Devil May Cry Series

Dante holding Rebellion in a fighting stance

There’s no shortage of iconic weapons in the Devil May Cry series. The weapons are so lovingly crafted and instantly recognizable that they’re almost characters themselves – sometimes they actually are characters.

Still, one Devil Arm reigns supreme in the DMC series, Dante’s own signature blade, the Rebellion, which is seen in every game. It never really falls off in power either, with other weapons functioning more like sidegrades than straight up improvements. It looks cool, it kicks ass, what else could you need?

3/10 Buster Sword – Final Fantasy 7

cloud buster sword
via Square Enix

Everyone knows the simple yet unmistakable shape of Cloud’s Buster Sword, even if they’re not into Final Fantasy. It’s simply one that has been ingrained into pop culture consciousness, and has been parodied, paid homage to, and been taken inspiration from time and again. At this point the comically huge sword has become a trope all its own, and it was arguably codified by Final Fantasy 7.

There’s just something about wielding a sword almost as big and wide as you are, with the ease of wielding a kitchen utensil, something about the combination of power and grace that makes you think ‘Damn, that’s pretty badass’. Though FF7 is ultimately more than just pretty boys with big swords, it should still be considered a part of its success.

2/10 Revolver – Final Fantasy 8

final fantasy 8 squall gunblade

Ever since we first saw this weapon fly out of Squall’s hand and plant itself in the dirt in the memorable opening of Final Fantasy 8, it’s been an iconic design that has been emblematic of the weapon aesthetic of the Magitek-aligned Final Fantasy games. That is to say, it looked really damn cool.

Other models that you upgrade to in FF8 are straight up boosts in power, but none really capture the beauty of the Revolver. Despite being a completely fabricated fantasy weapon, it has married the classy six-shooter look with the old-world elegance of a finely crafted broadsword into something of a neo-classical look. All the other models (except Seifer’s) are tacky and over-designed in comparison.

1/10 Cattleman Revolver – Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Arthur holding Cattleman Revolver

There’s plenty of old-west armaments in RDR2, many of which have become icons of a wilder and untamed time in American history. But, there’s nothing quite as recognizable as the image of a six-shooter in the hands of a gunslinger. When the game starts you already have this beauty in your hands and though by the time the credits roll, you’ll have a veritable armory, all you really need is your Cattleman Revolver.

Not only does the gun look good, but it has a high firing rate, quick to reload and is accurate at close to mid range, where most of your fights will take place. If you really want to complete the Desperado ensemble, you can double your fun and equip a second one to really bring the hurt.

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