Top 10 Iconic Horror Game Weapons

Everyone loves a good monster. But just as memorable are the weapons that players have used to burn, bludgeon, blast, and otherwise maim these gribbly beasties with over the years. This listicle raises a salute to ten of the most iconic tools of destruction from horror game history. 

10. Servbot Mask, Dead Rising

One of the original launch titles for the Xbox 360, Capcom’s Dead Rising captured players’ hearts, minds and other assorted viscera with its insane number of on-screen zombies. Equally insane was the amount of gratuitous and goofy ways that game gave players to put these suckers back in the ground. One such weapon is the novelty mask, an easter egg reference to Mega Man Legends, also developed by Capcom. Although largely ineffective as a weapon, it’s still pretty funny to see grizzled protagonist Frank West go about stuffing one of these on some hapless ghoul’s head. 

9. Wooden Plank, Silent Hill 2

Good survival horror is all about disempowerment, and it doesn’t get much more disempowering than only having a 2×4 with a nail in it to fend off your worst nightmares. While an overabundance of handgun ammo meant that, even on Hard mode, you never really needed to rely all that much on melee weapons, James Sunderland’s trusty piece of timber stands out as the very definition of a last-ditch weapon used by a desperate horror game protagonist. 

8. VK-12 Combat Shotgun, F.E.A.R.

Right, enough messing around with bobble heads and sticks; let’s have some proper guns! A thinly veiled copy of the real-life Franchi Spas 12, this absolute beast of a weapon becomes an apocalyptic force of nature in the hands of Point Man. Truly, there are few spectacles of carnage more satisfying than seeing this thing tear scenery and soldiers up in bullet time like a slo-mo industrial shredder. This is the first shotgun on this list, but it certainly won’t be the last.  

7. Ray Gun, Call of Duty series

Few video games induce that same panicky, sweaty tension that comes from trying to fend off the reanimated forces of the Reich for another round in COD’s zombies mode. So the relief is palpable when the ever-fickle Mystery Box finally deigns to bestow the Ray Gun on your sorry ass. Even though it looks and sounds like a child’s toy from the 1950’s, its plentiful ammo and ability to one-hit-kill those zombified freaks even in late-game rounds lets the user breathe just that little bit easier… for a while, at least. 

6. Heather Beam/ Sexy Beam, Silent Hill 3

This utterly bonkers bonus weapon takes Silent Hill 3’s nail-biting psychological horror and turns it on its head. After defeating 333 monsters, players will unlock the Heather Beam, a magical energy burst Heather can shoot out of her head at enemies. When Heather transforms into her Princess Heart costume, things only get nuttier. She can now shoot friggin’ laserbeams from her eyes! Who knew that the best way to confront otherworldly nightmares of flesh and rust was the power of anime?  

5. Plasma Cutter, Dead Space

This mining tool-turned-makeshift-weapon swiftly becomes Isaac Clarke’s bosom buddy as he navigates the necromorph-infested USG Ishimura. Its ability to rotate its beam 90 degrees is so useful that finishing the game with just this gun is an eminently viable tactic. ‘Cut off their limbs’, instructs a blood-scrawled message above a workstation. Well, you don’t need to tell me twice!  

4. Saw Cleaver, Bloodborne

Ah, good hunter…  one of the first weapons players unlock in Bloodborne, for many it remains their go-to beast-slayer of choice, at least during their first playthrough. And it deserves its popularity. I mean, just look at it; this thing is badass. It’s an iconic blade for a hunter of Yharnam: a gore-soaked, gothic hunk of serrated metal that looks like it was dragged straight from Poe’s Pit and the Pendulum

3. Camera Obscura, Fatal Frame series

Fear is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. This couldn’t be truer than when you’re photographing phantasms in this creepy Japanese survival horror series. A recurring feature of the franchise, the Camera Obscura allows its wielder to see and banish the unquiet spirits of the dead. There’s a twist, though. Ghosts are at their most vulnerable only when they’re leaping at you, forcing you to set yourself up for a jumpscare if you fail to click the shutter in time.  

2. Shotgun, Resident Evil 4

I told you there’d be more shotguns, didn’t I? Compared to some of the previous entries, this weapon seems fairly mundane at first glance; a simple hunting gun found hanging on the wall of a dilapidated farmhouse. But when you actually pull the trigger for the first time, you realize it’s anything but. The simple, visceral pleasure of cutting through a crowd of Ganados or scoring a perfect, brain-busting headshot with this thing is enough to set your heart racing every time you spy one of those precious green and yellow ammo boxes. RE4’s legendarily well-designed combat makes the shotgun an absolute joy to use. Still, there’s one more boomstick that tops even this one… 

1. Super shotgun, Doom series

Well, you knew this was going to be here, didn’t you? From its first appearance in 1994 to its modern, hookshot-sporting incarnation, Doom’s super shotgun remains the final word in twin-barreled demon-killing. Able to gib most enemies to a pulp at close range, the super shotgun is loud, unsubtle, and totally devastating, just as a horror game weapon should be. Chuck-chick, boom!