Many gamers associate handguns with weakness. Most of the time, these small firearms serve as a last resort for when the more powerful weapons run out of ammo. However, that’s not always the case.


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Some games defy that assumption. They offer handguns with unprecedented levels of damage and ammo attributes. Players usually have to work hard to unlock these mythical pistols. In other cases, though, handguns are just a signature quirk of the character. Whatever the circumstances, these pocket-sized weapons put their big brothers to shame.

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7/7 The Golden Gun – GoldenEye 007

The Man with the Golden Gun and GoldenEye 007

Name aside, this piece doesn’t come from GoldenEye. It’s actually the personal weapon of Francisco Scaramanga, the eponymous villain of The Man with the Golden Gun. He purports himself to be the world’s greatest killer, rivaled only by James Bond. As such, he carries a tool to match that illustrious reputation.

In the GoldenEye game, this pistol is well worth the trouble of unlocking. It can fell any enemy in a single shot. The downside is that it only holds one round at a time, meaning players must repeatedly reload. Seasoned agents have good aim, though, so they can make that shot count

6/7 Lara Croft’s Twin Pistols – The Tomb Raider Series

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider Anniversary

The globetrotting heroine of Tomb Raider always has these dual guns at her hip, so she’s an old hand at using them. Firing them in rapid succession, Croft can stop both men and beasts in their tracks. This makes even basic pistols seem infinitely more imposing in action.

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Later titles increase that sense by letting Lara customize her weapons. The iconic pistols have a plethora of mods to equip. These can double their damage, as well as the rate and range of fire. With such versatility in power, Croft can take on entire armies of mercs. These handy handguns are truly invaluable to any adventurer.

5/7 Johnny’s Gun – Cyberpunk 2077

Johnny Silverhand and his Gun in Cyberpunk 2077

This gun belongs to rocker/eco-terrorist Johnny Silverhand. He takes great pride in all of his gear, and this is no exception. They’re part of his signature, but the gun gives ample reason beyond that to treasure it.

During Cyberpunk‘s flashbacks, the maniacal musician mows down countless corporate jackboots with this one-handed piece. He can even blow armored enemies to pieces with a single shot. As if that wasn’t enough, he reloads the weapon with a flick of the wrist. While not quite as deadly in V’s hands, it’s still better than any Smart gun in Night City.

4/7 Shock Pistol – The Sly Cooper Series

Carmelita Fox in Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus

Every crook in Sly Cooper better watch out for Inspector Carmelita Fox. Not only does she have dogged determination and hardened police instincts, but she comes with seemingly the mightiest weapon in the world. Her signature shock pistol fires balls of electrical energy. She never uses it to kill anyone, but it can incapacitate targets with unparalleled efficiency.

The most hardened perps are no match for Inspector Fox’s firearm. Sly, his gang, and most thugs go down in one or two blasts. Even stronger mob bosses, normally impervious to melee attacks or gadgets, are nothing but cannon fodder for Carmelita. Granted, some of that is for the slapstick effect due to the game’s cartoonish style, but one can’t argue with the results.

3/7 Ebony & Ivory – The Devil May Cry Series

Dante in the Devil May Cry Anime

Dante’s go-to guns in Devil May Cry may not have much power on their own, but the point is to combine them with sword strikes for style points. With that, though, comes an impressive feat.

Ebony & Ivory can be devastating in the right hands. Their bullets have enough speed and force to juggle demons in midair. Beyond defying physics, they can also amplify their damage output. Charging the shot can inflict more recoil on enemies and potentially bust through armor. Dante can power them up further when he activates his Devil Trigger form, as this infused them with demonic energy. Few other handguns can boast that, and few are as effective against the legions of Hell.

2/7 Squall’s Gunblade – Final Fantasy 8

Squall Leonhart in Dissidia NT Final Fantasy

Among the more unique entries on the list, Squall’s weapon from Final Fantasy 8 has a dual function. The sword has a pistol chamber, meaning he can fire off ranged attacks like an oversized pistol. These definitely pack a punch, staggering larger foes and wiping out smaller ones entirely.

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More damaging is the blade portion. Like many JRPG heroes before him, Squall’s melee attacks can topple behemoths ten times his size. He doubles his damage when combining his strikes with pistol shots. The gunblade’s design may not make much sense, but the same goes for most Final Fantasy weapons. Like those tools, it looks great in motion and plays even better.

1/7 M6D Pistol – Halo: Combat Evolved

M6D Pistol in Halo: Combat Evolved

This gun is infamous among the Halo community for being overpowered, and it’s easy to see why. The M6D can blast straight through shields, obliterating the most imposing aliens in a few shots. Its kinetic energy gives it force well beyond its size.

It also has longer reach than most handguns. With it, Master Chief can tackle long-range targets with the accuracy of a sniper rifle. One would think this diminishes the pistol’s potency, but that’s not the case. The M6D is so deadly in all areas that it practically renders the rest of the arsenal obsolete. No wonder the developers took it out of subsequent entries.

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