When you absolutely need to blow everything to pieces, accept no substitutes for these incredible iconic video game rocket launchers.
When players need to cause the most destruction possible, there’s no substitute for a good rocket launcher. Rocket launchers have always had a hallowed place among the best power weapons in video games. A good rocket launcher is a weapon that players work towards acquiring and save for the toughest battles when overwhelming firepower is needed. However, a genuinely great rocket launcher is a pure thing of beauty, a weapon that not only strikes fear into the hearts of those on the wrong side of its business end but a tool that empowers players and makes gameplay moments truly unforgettable.
In the hundreds of shooters released over the years, there have been countless iterations of the rocket launcher, but very few have truly become iconic in the minds of video game players. To reach these lofty heights, a rocket launcher needs to be good to look at and a bombastic tool of destruction that thrills players with each pull of its trigger. Here are five of the most devastating, satisfying and just plain fun-to-use video game rocket launchers of all time.
DOOM Eternal Paingiver
DOOM as a series has consistently provided players with some of the most iconic and useful rocket launchers in the history of video games, so it is no surprise that the excellent DOOM Eternal continued this trend with its devilishly named Paingiver. Completely redesigned from its original DOOM 2016 model, the Paingiver doesn’t just look more dangerous; it is more dangerous.
This rocket slinger may fire slower and have slower projectiles than its DOOM 2016 cousin, but it makes up for this with increased damage and wider splash damage kill zone. These small changes bring the Paingiver more in line with its original classic incarnation, a welcome change for purists. This return to form for the Paingiver, coupled with its terrifying design, makes it one of the most fun modern rocket launchers in gaming.
Duke Nukem 3D Devastator
Of all the best video game heroes, few are as bombastic as Duke Nukem, so it makes sense that this steroid-fueled muscle man wields not just one rocket launcher but two. Or rather a beast of a weapon appropriately named the Devastator.
First appearing in the classic Build Engine shooter Duke Nukem 3D, the Devastator does everything to live up to its name as it fires rockets at enemies with the speed of a machinegun. Each pull of the trigger fires not one but two rockets at a time, absolutely shredding any enemy unlucky enough to be on its bad side. Duke Nukem has always been a series about taking things over the top, and the Devastator is one of the best examples of this design mantra.
Halo M41 SPNKR
Speaking of iconic rocket launchers, the M41 is one of the most recognizable weapons in Halo and a rocket launcher that has become synonymous with the incredible world of hero Master Chief and his galaxy-spanning battles. Originally meant to be an anti-vehicle weapon, the M41 has made a name for itself as a destruction spewing double-barreled tool of mayhem in just about every Halo game to date.
Although rather standard in its operation and possessing a rather long reload animation, most players would still prefer this weapon to be close by at all times, as it is a one-hit kill to almost any threat in the Halo universe. The added ability to wield it as a club makes the M41 lethal even without ammunition.
Resident Evil 4 Infinite Rocket Launcher
One of the absolute best things about Resident Evil’s survival horror gameplay loop is how it continues to empower players as the game is completed multiple times. The very best games in the series begin as daunting challenges, with players scrambling to learn the maps and survive, ending with them wielding incredibly powerful unlockables that break the gameplay.
This has never been better realized than in Resident Evil 4‘s Infinite Rocket Launcher. After beating the game once, players earn the opportunity to purchase this beast based on the real-world RPG-7 design for a cool 1,000,000 pesetas. This incredibly high price is a steal, as this infinite ammo launcher kills every enemy and boss in one hit, making protagonist Leon Kennedy a walking personification of death.
Quake Rocket Launcher
Rocket launchers would not be notable without the ultimate rocket launcher in gaming. First introduced in the iconic 1996 release of Quake, this is the definitive rocket launcher, hands down. Simplistic in its design and operation (due largely to its early 3D design), this rocket launcher has been blowing apart AI-controlled antagonists and player-controlled foes for over 20 years now and shows no signs of stopping.
The Quake rocket launcher was the weapon that created the rocket jump, and for that alone, it makes it an all-time greatest multiplayer weapon. This weapon helped introduce multiplayer strategies like weapon control and map dominance, and still to this day is a blast to wield in an online deathmatch. Many have come and gone since, but this rocket launcher is still the greatest of all time.
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