Swords are not always the best weapon – guns have better distance, bombs do more damage, and I can never tell whether or not to pronounce the 'w.' But swords were always preferable, since they offered a nobler kind of combat: up close and personal, with the winner determined by skill and strength alone. Also, game developers got a lot less angry letters from parents when they didn't include guns, so that helped too. Here's our tribute to the greatest blades ever virtually-wielded…

10. Lilarcor (Baldur's Gate II)

Lilarcor is a special sword – not only does it talk (frequently, and mostly about fighting and its desire to kill as many things as possible and as soon as possible) – but it also has the soul of a man trapped within it. In this regard, Lilarcor is really more of a character than a weapon, although it serves both roles nicely. If only it could be used as a vehicle and house, it would be pretty much the only item you'd ever need.

9. Sora's Keyblade (Kingdom Hearts series)

Maybe it technically isn't a sword (that may have been a little too violent for a Disney game), but the Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts was unique and powerful enough to come pretty close to that definition. It's a giant key (one of those ones you can't make a copy of), wielded like a sword (except without a sharp edge), and it's effective at combining your childhood memories of Disney films with your adolescent memories of gender-confused Final Fantasy characters. Also, the Keyblade could lock or unlock any lock you came across – a magical world for some, a horrifying dystopia for locksmiths.

8. Masamune (Chrono Trigger)

Masamune was a chore to get in the game – you had to fight two weird-looking elf-creatures and go on a time-traveling scavenger hunt, and even then, only Frog could use it. Was it worth it? Oh hell yes. Suddenly you have a weapon that's super-effective against evil wizard extraordinaire Magus, and Frog becomes a useful part of your party, instead of the noble but worthless and lazily-named amphibi-man. Really, the only way they could've gotten lazier with a character is naming the main character "Crono" and a robot "Robo." Oh…right. Nevermind.

7. Lightsaber (Jedi Knight series)

A lightsaber is only as awesome as the one wielding it. That's why – despite having ninety spinning laserswords – General Grievous remains a pretty forgettable villain, while Darth Vader remains the galaxy's greatest asthmatic badass. However, a sword made of pure energy does have a lot of potential, and the ones used by Kyle Katarn (part-time Jedi/all-time badass) were always spectacular (and within reason, before the way over-the-top Force Unleashed games). You could slice through stormtroopers, droids, and everything in-between – and, in the meantime, completely forget that there were other weapons in the game. Why would you ever use a blaster? Why would the programmers even bother putting them in? A mystery, that is.