The Ten Most Outstanding Swords of Gamedom

The sword is probably the most classic of the video game protagonist weapons. From the quintessential knight in shining armor to the plucky village boy turned savior of the cosmos, the sword dominates the fantasy landscape and has a respectable presence in other settings. There are many games in which the player acquires progressively better swords for their hero over the course of the story. There are other games in which you constantly upgrade your only weapon, which could be either a family heirloom or an ancient artifact. In either case, whatever amounts to being the “ultimate weapon” in such games is aggressively and relentlessly sought by completionists and power-hungry players alike.

Here I’ve outlined what I believe to be the ten greatest, most outstanding, most powerful swords in the gaming universe. I say “gaming” because it includes swords from sources outside of video games. As always, I’m using non-poser tactics and only including items from games I’ve actually played (and in almost every case beaten). I’m also only including swords that are obtainable by players by standard means (i.e., no swords only useable via GameSharks, hacking, etc.). Finally, I’m only including swords that originate in gaming in some way. Sorry, there are no lightsabers, Excaliburs, Masamunes, etc.  If you don’t see a particular sword on this list, chances are I either haven’t played the game/series in question, or the the sword simply doesn’t measure up to those I included.

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10. The Sword of the Golden Lion – Wizards, Warriors, & You

Sword_of_the_Golden_LionThis sword comes from a lesser-known series of role-playing books in the tradition of Choose Your Own Adventure. The series is set in the fantasy kingdom of Silvergate, ruled by King Henry. The kingdom’s champions are a powerful wizard and a mighty warrior who are often called upon to rid the world of evil. Readers can choose either the path of the wizard or the warrior. Those who choose to play the part of the knight can pick three pieces of equipment from a list of powerful and wondrous weapons. However, the one weapon the knight always has is The Sword of the Golden Lion.

This finely-crafted golden sword was created by the same Avalonian Elf who forged the legendary Excalibur. The blade itself is indestructible, and the word “FOREVER” is inscribed upon it. Over the course of many adventures, it has been used to slay both villains and mythical beasts alike.

crissaegrim9. Crissaegrim – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Sharing its name with a mountain range in Tolkien lore, this blade drops randomly from Schmoos in the Forbidden Library. Widely considered a game-breaker, it delivers four cuts for every single attack. A single swing is joined by three blades of wind. Additionally, its recovery time is so fast that players can chain together strikes with blinding speed, seemingly limited only by their ability to jam on the attack button. With the power to deliver a frightening number of cuts, no creature–goon and boss alike–is able to overcome its devastating speed.

Chillrend8. Chillrend – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Hidden in the tunnels under the house of Thieves Guild leader Mercer Frey, this glass, one-handed sword is imbued with enchantments that cause frost damage and paralyzes its victim for 2 seconds. It is leveled loot, which means the higher the level you are when you find it, the stronger it is. In the case of Chillrend, level 46 or higher will garner the highest base stats. It is one of the strongest weapons a player can obtain in Skyrim. Enterprising players can also enhance its frost power by taking the Augmented Frost perk, and Chillrend’s base power can be strengthened by those with the Arcane Blacksmith and Glass Smithing perks.

Vigilance7. Vigilance – Dragon Age: Origins — Awakening

Crafted by master armorer Wade for the Warden-Commander of Vigil’s Keep, this remarkable and powerful sword is made from Eldest Dragon Bone. The sword’s mystic augments enhance its wielder’s abilities, and its diamond-edged blade is sharp enough to split a human hair. Magically enhanced, it is warm to the touch, and, when brandished, has the power to unleash enchanted flames upon its wielder’s enemies. Ultimately lost to the ages after being stolen by Antivan Crows, legend has it that Vigilance now has a life of its own, drifting along in time from hero to hero, and is still growing in power.

 ALttP_Master_Sword6. The Master Sword – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Probably the most famous sword on the List, the Master Sword has appeared–in various incarnations–in numerous The Legend of Zelda titles. Also known as the Sword of Evil’s Bane, it positively seethes with holy power and was designed for battling the forces of darkness. Its power is granted to Link only after proving his worth by gathering three symbols of virtue: the Pendant of Courage, the Pendant of Power, and the Pendant of Wisdom.

The Master Sword has the ability to dispel enchantments and break through mystical barriers. It can also deflect certain types of magical energy. If used in conjunction with the proper medallion, Link can perform devastating elemental spells. When Link is uninjured, he can project concentrated bursts of holy energy from the sword to strike his enemies from afar. Two upgrades are available for the weapon–one from a pair of dwarven smiths, and the other from a fairy. Once fully powered, its melee strikes are superior, able to slay most monsters in a single blow, though its beam attack never increases in power.

 5. Holy Avenger: Carsomyr with Eye of Tyr – Baldur’s Gate II

Carsomyr_With_Eye_of_Tyr

This sacred greatsword is considered one of the most powerful weapons ever created in Faerun, and can only be used by paladins. It is found in the hoard of Firkraag, a powerful dragon. Its magical enhancement is so strong that it can either break through or outright ignore even the most sophisticated protective magicks. When it connects, it dispels magic against its victim. It also does extra holy damage to creatures of the chaotic evil alignment.

The wielder of Carsomyr is granted strong resistance to magic and the ability to use dispel magic as the spell three times per day. When the artifact gem Eye of Tyr is set into the hilt of the sword, its power increases dramatically, doing even more damage to chaotic evil beings.

4. Illumina/Lightbringer – Final Fantasy VI

Illumina_FFVI

EPIC 16-BIT IMAGE

The most powerful weapon obtainable in Final Fantasy VI, this blade is won in the Dragon’s Neck Coliseum by betting the sword, Ragnarok, and winning the fight. Considered to be a perfectly crafted, balanced, and honed weapon, the carrier of this outstanding blade will notice a boost in their physical strength, speed, stamina, and magical power. It also enhances its user’s ability to dodge attacks from both physical and magical sources.

Additionally, when attacking, Illumina saps a bit of its wielder’s will in order to inflict a critical hit. Additionally, it randomly casts Pearl (Holy) on its target, causing even further holy damage. Finally, this sword enhances its holder’s tenacity to such an extent that its swings lose absolutely no force, even when making defensive strikes.

3. The Sword of Kas – Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5

Sword_of_KasThis epic blade was crafted by the Archlich Vecna for his most trusted lieutenant: the vampire, Kas the Bloody-handed. After years of loyal servitude, Kas eventually turned on his master. Some say it was the sword itself that whispered for him to do this. In the ensuing battle, Kas was able to cut off Vecna’s left hand and remove his left eye before ultimately being defeated. Only the hand & eye of Vecna and the sword remained after the battle, and the sword is said to harbor intense feelings of vengeance towards Vecna.

The onyx-black longsword’s magical enhancement is strong enough to wound deities. Its chief enchantment produces unholy energy when it strikes, inflicting terrible damage to good-aligned beings. It also possesses the keen quality, which makes the blade preternaturally sharp. Additionally, the Sword of Kas is a vorpal weapon, making it deadlier still, able to sever heads (or hands) with ease. Just holding the sword tremendously improves its wielder’s physical strength. Furthermore, it can be used to cast several spells once per day: blasphemy, call lightning, and unhallow. It can also be used to cast slay living once per week. Finally, the sword itself is intelligent and is of the chaotic evil alignment. Anyone seeking to control it must engage in a battle of wills, particularly if the weapon deems its holder’s actions incongruent with its own desires.

2. Elsydeon – Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium

Elsydeon_CollageAn ancient and mysterious blade, Elsydeon houses the spirits of those who have fought to protect the Algo Star System. It was created by the great wizard, Lutz, and the Espers in order to combat the evil forces in Algo. It is said to be the only weapon capable of defeating the Profound Darkness. Possessing incredible attack strength, its holy power is such that an evil-aligned creature struck by it has a chance of being instantly slain. Additionally, possession of Elsydeon is necessary for learning the supreme destructive technique Megid.

Finally, its most impressive feat occurred when Chaz and his companions defeated the Profound Darkness while it was attempting to pass into Algo. After winning the battle, the dimensional tear kept open by the Profound Darkness’ power began to collapse into a time warp, endangering the party greatly. At that moment, the Elsydeon–as if responding to the party’s distress–shattered and created a pure-white mist that shielded the entire party from the force of the black hole and transported them safely back to the surface of Motavia.

1. The Monado – Xenoblade Chronicles

Shulk_Holding_MonadoA supremely powerful energy blade that is said to have been used by the great titan Bionis in its legendary battle with the Mechonis. With the ability to affect the mysterious ether and the power to reshape reality, it responds to the will of the one who uses it. It also grants its wielder the power of foresight, allowing them to see and react to events before they happen. Particularly skilled users can also employ an array of combat arts to make fighting easier. Those foolish or ignorant enough to take on the wielder of the Monado are faced with an opponent who is able to move with confounding grace and who possesses the power of a blade seemingly limited only by its user’s strength of will. At its pinnacle, the Monado is capable of killing god-like beings.

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So that’s it: a veritable storm of steel (and other otherworldly metals) if ever there was one. I’m sure you’ve already thought of some of your most favorite, end-boss-destroying swords while reading this list. So, what sword do you find to be the most dominant in your gaming career? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

 

Photo Credits:

http://www.gamebooks.org; http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net; http://www.uesp.net; http://www.dragonage.wikia.com; http://www.blueamnesiac.deviantart.com; http://www.baldursgate.wikia.com; http://www.finalfantasy.wikia.com; http://www.goingdungeoncrawling.blogspot.com; http://www.forums.nexusmods.com; http://www.xenoblade.wikia.com; http://www.swordforum.com; http://www.wallpapervortex.com/

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Happy gaming!

Steve Schoen

Live to game; game to live. Nominal Christian from birth; practicing Christian since 2002. I love to talk all things gaming, from console classics to Dungeons & Dragons.

20 Comments

  1. Jorge Ochoa on January 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I would have put Frostmourne somewhere, just based on power but the lists seems pretty great

    • Steve Schoen on January 15, 2015 at 5:34 am

      Frostmourne is not obtainable by players.

      • Jorge Ochoa on January 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

        Well, it is in Warcraft 3 since you play as DK Arthas who has Frostmourne.

        • Steve Schoen on January 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

          Ah. Well, I’ve never played Warcraft 3. Not a huge RTS guy. LOL So, it still wouldn’t qualify based on my personal restrictions on only including swords from games I’ve played.

  2. obiwattkenobi on January 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I guess lightsabers are too overpowered to be on this list :p

    • Steve Schoen on January 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      See the second paragraph at the very top.

  3. Staci on January 14, 2015 at 2:49 am

    Simple though they may be but what about the Keyblades from Kingdom Hearts? Now those are some beautiful swords yet with very unique abilities 🙂

    • Steve Schoen on January 14, 2015 at 4:23 am

      Well, ignoring the fact that I’ve never played the Kingdom Hearts games, I don’t really consider the Keyblade to be a sword.

  4. Doppelgamer on January 13, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the list, Steve!

    Some other fascinating swords in gaming:

    * Lilarcor – The sadistic, talking sword from Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. For the sake of one’s sanity, I would not recommend using this blade over an extensive period of time, but the things the sword says are rather amusing for the first little while. Said to possibly contain the spirit of one “Lawrence Lilarcor”,

    * Atma (a.k.a. Ultima Weapon) – While there are other versions of the “Ultima Weapon” in other FF games, the one that resonated most with me, was the iteration found in Final Fantasy VI. The “Atma” is an energy blade that gains in power based upon your level and current HP. The downside being, that when you are low on HP, the damage is low also. Besides the visual style, and how the sword actually changes size, I appreciated being able to use the sword from when I acquired it, till the end of the game. Said to have been forged during the “War of the Magi”, around the time that the similarly named monster known as the “Atma Weapon” or “Ultima Weapon” was created. Sure, it’s not the best sword the game has to offer, but it’s not bad either.

    * Dragon Sword – The katana, which is wielded by “Ryu Hayabusa” from the NES series “Ninja Gaiden”. Supposedly forged from the fang of a dragon. The Dragon Sword has an evil equivalent, the “Dark Sword of Chaos” or “Chaosium”. “Chaosium” was made from the bone of a demon, which was defeated with the previously mentioned Dragon Sword. (Note: I have barely any experience with the newer 3D Ninja Gaiden series. My comments pertain to the NES series.)

    * Valis – The sword which lends its name to this series of PC Engine/TG-16 & Genesis/Mega Drive games. Like the famed blades of the Ninja Gaiden series, there is an evil equivalent to the “Valis Sword”, known as “Leethus”. Valis is capable of projecting energy blasts and grants the user special armor.

    * Cypher (a.k.a. Plasma Sword) – Strider series from Capcom. From what I understand, this futuristic weapon using electricity to enhance the damage of the blade. It also makes a cool sound and looks nifty. ^_^

    * Rune Sword – This odd weapon is thrown, and returns to the user like a boomerang. A rare drop from the Dodo Bird enemy in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the Rune Sword displays the word “Verboten” in the trail behind it, which means “Forbidden” in German.

    • Steve Schoen on January 13, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      I had initially thought of including Atma Weapon, but eventually included Illumina because it’s stronger.

    • Maurice Pogue on January 29, 2015 at 5:48 am

      Cypher is a cool sword, but Strider is a little-known character.

      I never did understand why the Dragon Sword was so special. Forged from the fang of a Dragon? Am I supposed to be impressed? TBQH, the other weapons were more fun. The nunchucks and in Black, the dual swords especially.

  5. Maurice Pogue on January 13, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Your feature photo includes Soul Edge, but it’s not included in your list. WAT???

    Personally, I’m a fan of Akujiki (Shinobi).

    • Steve Schoen on January 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Yeah, well… #1 I’ve never played SoulCalibur, and #2 I didn’t pick that featured image. I was told the one I wanted would not display correctly.

      • Maurice Pogue on January 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

        That’s unfortunate. The entire Soul Edge/Blade/Calibur series revolves around the evil sword Soul Edge. Story gets murky when Namco introduced Soul Calibur as its “counterpart,” but still, a franchise spanning at six sequels (if my count is correct) revolves around a single, evil, sentient, sword.

  6. Tristan Kelsey on January 13, 2015 at 1:54 am

    I am so glad you put a sword from a table top game on here. I personally prefer board games to video games so seeing an item from the former brings a smile to my face.

    • Steve Schoen on January 13, 2015 at 3:44 am

      Always happy to show my readers that I’m more than just video games. I’m a huge D&D/Pathfinder player since 2004. And Carsomyr was actually inspired from the v.3.5 DMG’s Holy Avenger. But when I remembered about Baldur’s Gate II, I just had to put the mightiest Holy Avenger on the list. But hey, we all know what inspired everything in the Baldur’s Gate series. 😀

  7. Andrew McCue on January 13, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I do adore the Legend of Zelda series, and think overall by fame and ability the Master Sword should’ve been higher on this list. But dang, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super happy with the Monado being there, and at #1 no less!

    • Steve Schoen on January 13, 2015 at 12:42 am

      Fame wasn’t a factor, or else it certainly would have beaten Carsomyr and Sword of Kas. And Sword of the Golden Lion would likely not have ranked at all. LOL Thanks very much for reading!

  8. Joe Morgan on January 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I love your #1! Excellent choice.

    The LoZ fanboys are going to burn this place to the ground…especially with a #6. MWA HA HA HA HA

    • Steve Schoen on January 12, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      ROFL. Thanks Joe. I actually love Zelda, but I was determined not to let bias influence me. The order changed so many times while I was putting it together, as I continued to do research, think, and establish feats. It’s good to be back.

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