For the purposes of this list we're going to stick to swords from modern fantasy fiction (i.e., the last couple hundred years) and skip "real-world" legendary ones such as Excalibur and Kusanagi. We're also skipping things without metal blades, so try not to freak out that lightsabers aren't on the list (and we'll see how many people failed to read yet another intro). That said, here are 14 of the most famous fantasy swords.
14) Sting, The Hobbit
13) Soul Edge/Soul Calibur
12) The Atlantean Sword, Conan the Barbarian
The "Atlantean Sword" (as it's referred to on the film's soundtrack) from Conan the Barbarian is one of the most iconic weapons in fantasy cinema (next to the sword-that-shoots-swords, of course). It was designed by Ron Cobb, who also contributed designs to Star Wars, Alien/Aliens, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Total Recall. The sword was not only Conan's signature weapon in the first film and its forgettable sequel, Conan the Destroyer, but the Governator himself kept the prop sword -- which was actually a usable weapon -- in his office.
11) Buster Sword, Final Fantasy VII
Probably the most famous weapon of the Final Fantasy franchise, the Buster Sword was wielded by the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife. Though it's quickly superseded in the game by better swords, its use in all the cutscenes and marketing art, combined with its uniquely minimalist appearance -- it's basically a massive kitchen knife -- made it memorable. Ridiculous? Yes. Iconic? Definitely. It generally appears whenever Cloud Strife does, including all his FF side story appearances and in Kingdom Hearts.
10) The Sword of Shannara
9) Frostmourne, World of Warcraft
While some might argue Frostmourne is a copy of the #1 sword on this list, it's still the best-known weapon from World of Warcraft and plays a central role in the Warcraft storyline. It was carried by Prince Arthas Menethil, one of the central WoW characters, who used it to kill his own father before the dark spirit inside it transformed him into the Lich King.
8) The Sword of Truth
The Sword of Truth is the eponymous weapon of the popular fantasy series by author Terry Goodkind. Wielded by the series' protagonist, a "Seeker" named Richard Cypher, the sword can cut through almost anything that is perceived by the Seeker as an enemy, and can deflect magical attacks.
Tags: Books, Conan, Fantasy, Final Fantasy, Harry Potter, He-Man, Legend of Zelda, Lord of the Rings, Soul Calibur, The Hobbit, Thundercats, World of Warcraft