Top 10 Video Game-Ruining Power-Ups


10. The Sawed-Off Shotgun in GTA: San Andreas


True, you needed to be at Hitman level to get the full effectiveness out of this weapon (i.e. run around with two of them). But it’s second only to the Minigun in terms of firepower, and you find it a lot earlier. With the sawed-off and enough ammo (and that’s painfully easy to get once you find the other game breaking problem, the save point near the gambling den) nothing’s a problem for you. Not fellow gangsters, not cars, not planes randomly crashing into the ground, nothing- because you can basically spray it with lead pellets until it goes away. Then again, GTA isn’t noted for its realism, so there is that in its favor.

9. The Biggoron Sword in Ocarina of Time


Right now, Nintendo fans are screaming in frustration because the Biggoron Sword is so difficult to find that…oh, wait, Nintendo gives you a big orange arrow on the map telling you where to go next to find it. And there’s no time limit either, so you can just go through the admittedly elaborate fetch quest the game requires you to travel on, and then you’ve got a sword that wipes out almost every non-boss in the game with precisely one hit. Yeah, that won’t drive down the difficulty curve or anything. (Image:

8. The Five-Seven in Splinter Cell: Conviction

Let’s go down the checklist:  Silenced? Check. Biggest magazine size? Check. Better accuracy? Check. After one upgrade, a function that lets you take out up to four enemies automatically? Check. So, explain to me again…why does this pistol turn up practically immediately after you start the game?

7. Holy Water in Castlevania

Have an enemy you want to kill? Even a boss? Well, that’s why you have Holy Water. Holy Water not only inflicts damage as it is thrown, but also freezes any enemy it touches and also burns them. It is so effective that, with enough Holy Water, you can drop bosses in seconds- memorably even Dracula himself at one point.

6. The Pistol in Red Faction

To be fair to Red Faction, the pistol has a problem that any FPS (first-person shooter) will have if it’s not well-programmed. Nobody bothered to set a maximum rate of fire on it, so the pistol is essentially a garden hose, except instead of water it sprays bullets. This is fine until you realize it means you can pound an enemy to death (even if he’s got full armor) just by tapping the fire button rapidly.

5. The Farsight XR-20 in Perfect Dark

OK, so the bullets can pierce anything. That’s…ridiculous, but of course the weapon is low damage to balance it, right?  Well, no, actually, it can kill you in one hit. So clearly shields are highly effective against it, right?  Er, not really, the shields get taken out in one hit. But at least it’s not a sniper…no, wait, it is a sniper rifle.
And it has an X-ray scope.

Did nobody at Rare ever play multiplayer?

4. The Human Pistol in Halo

What do you call a gun that’s most effective at long-range, using headshots, and has a zoom function?

In Halo, they call that the weapon you start with, the pistol. This might actually be the most overpowered starting weapon in a video game, so much so that hardcore players actually prefer the pistol and its head-shotty goodness. And then you get the Plasma Pistol, which can take out shields and also happens to have homing shots.

By the way, that video is from Halo 3. After they rebalanced the pistol.

3. The Cloak in Crysis

One of the few non-weapons on this list, the Cloak gets special mention for its magical powers. We say “magical powers” because magic is the only way to explain how this device is 100% effective against all methods of detection and makes it absolutely impossible for enemies to see you. Come on, even the Predator at least had that weird shimmery effect that tipped people off as to what it could do. It’s like the designers wanted something to inspire spawn camping.

2. The Grenade Launcher, Call of Duty 4

A weapon so easy to use and so effective it’s been nicknamed the Noob Tube. The main problem with the grenade launcher is that it can arc over cover, making the main way of defending yourself useless. Oh, and everybody gets one. Plus, when you spawn, you’ve got two rounds. So essentially, it turns a serious, balanced simulation game into GoldenEye with one-hit kill and grenade launchers.

1. The .44 in Saint’s Row

Sure, the .44 is badass. It’s the gun of choice for manly men, doing manly things, and has the Clint Eastwood Seal of Approval. So obviously it’s a powerful gun in Saint’s Row, allowing you to kill most enemies in two shots, and it has pinpoint accuracy to boot.

And they did try to balance it, by giving it a slow fire and reload rate; plus, it’s a revolver, so you’re reloading constantly.

Then somebody decided to make it possible to dual-wield it. So much for balance!

by Dan Seitz

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  1. Sorry to burst your bubble, buy there are a few time-limited portions of Biggoron’s quest. In fact it is one of the harder parts of the game. The sword is a well-deserved reward

  2. number 8 it’s only sam fisher’s favorite pistol, the one he uses ALL the time, the one he trained with ALL the time. it makes sense if you played the older games that it would be sams most powerful pistol, if not weapon in the game because you can practically go thru the game with only the Five-seveN.

  3. This list is completely false if they have no mention of the Metal Blades from Megaman 2. It’s easily one of the most over-powered weapons in history, and it actually makes the game more fun because you can shred through anything, with 2 minor exceptions.

  4. Clearly you haven’t used the Farsight.
    A slow firing rate ensures that you only have one shot before the most primitive of player/AI tears you apart.