The FPS genre has been around since the early days of gaming, when graphics and gameplay were a bit more simplistic. Since the early 90s, the genre has grown into one of gaming’s most popular, with countless memorable franchises and series. As we spent hours upon hours blasting down aliens, monsters, and other assorted baddies, some of the weapons of destruction have become more iconic than others.
On this list, we break down the most iconic guns from the FPS genre; from the classic to modern, they’re all here. From DOOM to Call of Duty, we’ve tried to ensure that all manner of guns have been considered.
Vote for your favorite and let us know which gun you think is best!
#1 The BFG – DOOM
The DOOM series is full of awesome guns and power-ups, but the elusive BFG is arguably the most valuable. With a blast of green energy, this massive high-tech weapon is able to clear an entire room of enemies with one single round.
Shredding your opponents to pieces in the blink of an eye, the BFG lives up to its name. An acronym for "big f*cking gun", the BFG is sure to make any hellspawn turn tail and run. Whether you're using it in the classic original DOOM or the newer DOOM from 2016, the BFG will be a saving grace when things get too hairy.
#2 The AWP Sniper – Counter-Strike
Counter Strike is easily one of the most competitive multiplayer FPS games of all time, with a popular eSports league and a rabid fan base. The AWP Sniper is the one gun that, if you invest the proper amount of training time and practice, can simply destroy the competition without fail. It's no wonder that a gun with this enormous level of power has become the most memorable gun in the game.
The AWP is incredibly risky to use; it's expensive to obtain, slows you down, and takes forever to reload. However, it can also kill an enemy with one body shot, eliminating them in the blink of an eye. Professional players have used the AWP to pull off some absolutely insane no-scopes and trick shots, making it a favorite for FPS compilations and other flashy videos.
#3 The Battle Rifle – Halo
If you have ever played online multiplayer in any of the Halo games, you'll know why this gun is on the list. Its three-shot burst was one of the most accurate damage dealers besides the sniper rifle, making it highly sought after during competitive matches.
Combine the battle rifle with a fully-charged plasma pistol and you have what's lovingly referred to as the "noob combo". Capable of taking out clueless opponents in the blink of an eye, this combo made it simple to rack up killing sprees.
#4 The Portal Gun – Portal
While not a gun in the truest sense of the word, the Portal gun from Valve's puzzle game Portal has quickly become one of the most iconic guns in modern gaming. Firing both a blue and orange portal, this experimental piece of Aperture Science tech makes navigation a fun physics-based affair.
The Portal gun has gained a pretty big cult following online, popping up in several fan-made games and mods. The Portal gun makes any game instantaneously more fun, despite its non-lethal ammo. Eventually, the sequels added in even more portal options, but we prefer the original two-portal version.
#5 The Fat Man – Fallout
In a franchise that's all about the rough and dangerous wastelands of post-apocalyptic America, what better gun to showcase than the Fat Man. More of a catapult than a gun, the Fat Man sprinkles a bit more nuclear destruction into the environment with its mini-nuclear payloads.
When all else fails, the Fat Man is the perfect weapon for completely annihilating any wasteland scum that crosses you. It shoots a freakin' mini-nuke. Both completely over-the-top and overpowered, the Fat Man is a weapon that only seems reasonable in the twisted world of Fallout.
#6 The Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle – Gears of War
As a standalone weapon, the Lancer Assault Rifle is a pretty standard affair. It's got a decently sized ammo limit and deals a good amount of damage, but that's not what makes the Lancer memorable. It's the freaking chainsaw attached to the underside of its barrel.
Whether wielded in campaign, horde, or multiplayer modes, this weapon can be revved up and used to split your enemies in half. Resulting in a shower of blood and gore, using the chainsaw on the Lancer is one of the best ways to get under your opponents' skin (both figuratively and literally).
#7 The M16A4 w/ Grenade Launcher – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Take one step into a match of Modern Warfare online and you'll probably encounter this incredibly powerful weapon combo. Available from the start with no unlocks needed, the M16A4 assault rifle was many players' first pick when charging onto the multiplayer battlefield.
This is most commonly due to its great accuracy and damage, as well as the massively overpowered grenade launcher attachment. Even disregarding its use in the field, the grenade launcher was an excellent way to bombard the enemy team's spawn with a handful of explosives at the start of a match. Equal parts infuriating and effective, the M16A4 and grenade launcher attachment will go down in history as one of Modern Warfare's unforgettable guns.
#8 The Nailgun – Quake
Although there are many more powerful weapons than the Nailgun in Quake, its incredible accuracy and brutal ammunition perfectly embodies the essence of the game. This double-barrel weapon blasts rusty nails at your demonic foes, penetrating them with surprising force.
The Nailgun is also one of the most useful weapons for long-range players, as the nails travel in a straight line with no drop-off. It's also a more common weapon to come across, so you can always rely on the Nailgun to give you the burst of power you need.
#9 The Golden Gun – GoldenEye 007
The Golden Gun is one of the hardest guns to find in GoldenEye 007, but it's also one of the strongest. Stylish, sleek, and completely covered in gold, this pistol is as cool looking as it is deadly. However, you're only able to take one shot before reloading, so accuracy counts when wielding it.
Unless you come across it in the Egyptian bonus level, you'll most likely have to unlock the Golden Gun using cheat codes. However, there are a few multiplayer modes that feature the Golden Gun. Seeing your opponent grab the Golden Gun was good for an instant heart attack, and an easy way to mix up the multiplayer scoreboard.
#10 The Laptop Gun – Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark was essentially a more futuristic version of GoldenEye 007, but that's not exactly a bad thing. The high-tech spy thriller introduced a handful of really cool weapons, namely the Laptop Gun.
This incognito SMG is designed to look like a simple laptop, but it can unleash a flurry of bullets after just a few seconds. For added strategy, you can also deploy it as an automatic turret. Both useful as an offensive weapon and defensive tool, the Laptop Gun was viable in almost every combat situation imaginable.