->''"Standing before the sword you long sought after, I can only wonder at what thoughts must have passed through your mind as you learned the truth of its awesome, terrible power. Soul Edge's legacy lives on to this day. It most likely will live on forever, for humans will always desire the ultimate weapon."''
-->-- '''Tristy''', ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur II]]''

There's always that one rule in fantasy worlds that no matter what other, more potent weapon types that exist, the sword is the one weapon type that is always held as the standard by which the others are judged, usually due to some ancient InfinityPlusOneSword that just so happens to exist. Yeah, that's right, even compared to a powerful WaveMotionGun or a crossbow shooting explosive shells, the fine blade always comes out on top. It becomes all the more persistent in a world where HeroesPreferSwords and corresponds with the main character being a sword user, in cases where the overall weapon type roster is of limited availability to characters.

This is mainly due to the GoodWeaponEvilWeapon principle making it the norm to have the InfinityPlusOneSword or the swordly MacGuffin be in the hands of the Hero, ([[HeroesPreferSwords because straight-edged longswords are considered heroic weapons]], [[{{Troperiffic}} and everybody likes to see the best stuff in heroic hands]]), so the end result is that all Infinity Plus One weapons must be swords.

See also KatanasAreJustBetter for when it applies to, well, [[CaptainObvious katanas]]. Related to RockBeatsLaser, with the sword being the rock.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Slayers}}'' normally plays this straight, but it's averted by the ''TRY'' season of the anime -- the "Bow of Light" is the most powerful of the five Darkstar weapons.
* There are a few of these in ''Anime/ToukenRanbuHanamaru''. The catch? They're not props, they're characters. All of the characters are [[MoeAnthropomorphism historic Japanese swords turned human]]. So swords like this manifest as extremely powerful -- and [[{{Bishounen}} beautiful]] -- "Sword Warriors."

* Dyrnwyn in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain''.
* In the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' series, high Lords, including the First Lord often wield a ''FlamingSword'' when going into battle. Here, the sword itself is a typical sword, but their Furycrafting imbues it with fire.
* And in Creator/JimButcher's other series ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', there are 3 Swords of the Cross. When wielded by the appropriate people, and doing God's work, they are well-nigh invulnerable and unstoppable, as seen in "Changes" when [[spoiler:Karrin Murphy]] wielding one, takes down several high Red Court nobles who are nearly {{Eldritch Abomination}}s in terms of power.
* Creator/MichaelMoorcock
** Stormbringer in the ''[[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melniboné]]'' stories.
** The Sword of the Dawn in the ''[[Literature/TheHistoryOfTheRunestaff Hawkmoon]]'' stories.
** Stormbringer returns to be wielded by Urlik Skarsol in the ''The Eternal Champion'' (Erekosë) series.
* Lightbringer in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' However, [[spoiler:it's a fake]].
** Almost all Valyrian steel weapons in Westeros are swords, owing to the setting's HighFantasy roots. Each is considered an AncestralWeapon to some family or other, so even if a newer, more efficient design came along, it's unlikely they'd have it reforged.
*** As an example House Lannister lost its Valyrian steel sword [[NamedWeapons Bright Roar]] some time ago when the then ruling lord when missing. Tywin Lannister has been trying to buy the swords belonging to impoverished houses but they hold the honour and prestige of owning a Valyrian steel sword higher than any amount of money offered by the Lannisters (and that's a lot).
** Justified in that in the real Middle Ages, the sword was the weapon of choice of the feudal nobility, and most [=ASoIaF=] characters are exactly that. The Valyrian swords are rare weapons, and no common knight or mercenary can hope to have one, unless that knight receives one as gift from a high lord (we're looking at you, Brienne of Tarth).
** Also [[ThunderboltIron Dawn]], the ancestral weapon of House Dayne which is unique while Valyrian steel weapons are merely rare.
* The Literature/SwordOfTruth. Besides being an AbsurdlySharpSword, it's unbreakable, can under certain circumstances confer the skills of previous wielders on the current wielder, can act as a bit of a MoralityPet, and is also [[spoiler:the counter to Chainfire and the key to Orden]].
* Callandor in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The Sword That Is Not A Sword is a sword-shaped crystal sa'angreal, and one of the most powerful, though flawed. Surprisingly, it still functions as a melee weapon.
** True Heron-marked blades are all indestructible by dint of magic.
** The Dragon Reborn tries this with a sword made of fire. His enemies laugh at him for it, remembering his past life when he was a PersonOfMassDestruction.

* Excalibur in the Myth/KingArthur stories.
** How Almighty is a sword that breaks during the first war it's used in?
** Also, the scabbard was mightier than the sword.
** While Caliburn made a lot more sense, back when Arthur was the leader of a band of warriors, not a king with a bunch of knights, Excalibur ends up being mostly symbolic. Pulling it from the stone (a common theme throughout the stories, lots of knights pull swords out of stones) represents him being King by Divine Right, and being handed the new sword by the Lady of the Lake... is mostly included to make the two versions coexist, but fits in with Merlin's arch. Point is, most combat from Malory on has knights fighting with lances, halberds, and other more knightly weapons, and Arthur not actually using the sword to often (he is King, not a knight).
*** {{Excalibur|InTheStone}}, the sword (plus scabbard) King Arthur got from the Lady of the Lake never breaks. It's the sword he pulls from the stone (often called Caliburn) that breaks by itself because King Arthur is about to use it against the code of chivalry.
* Averted in [[Myth/CelticMythology Irish myth]]; while their are plenty of powerful magical swords, such as Fragarach and Caladbolg, Cu Chulainn's spear [[BladeOnAStick Gae Bolge]] is probably the most enduringly famous weapon in the mythos.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Masamune in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' is powerful enough to cleave an entire mountain in half with a single swing of it, and after a sidequest, becomes Frog's ultimate weapon. This is in spite of the fact the party is travelling with a robot capable of shooting lasers, as well as a ScienceHero that fixed him capable of building bombs. Reforging the sword also requires the player to jump through multiple timelines just it get all the necessary ingredients, and then find the world's best swordsmith. It even gets some GameplayAndStoryIntegration as being necessary to defeat [[ClimaxBoss Magus]], as well as [[spoiler:the Red Knife used to stop the Mammon Machine turning into the Masamune once it's used]].
* The best recurring weapon in ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}'' (and usually the SwordOfPlotAdvancement) is the greatsword Demonslayer, both because of its high damage, and because a lot of the nastier boss monsters are demons. On the other hand, there are occasional one-off weapons that are more powerful (like Bloodthirster, a spear made by LizardFolk that does bonus damage to humans.)
* The ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' games have had a bad case of this. There's always a long list of weapons available, with a variety of advantages and disadvantages, but swords always stand out as ''the best'' one way or the other. It was particularly bad in the first game, where the most powerful sword available (The Yoshitsune) had more attack-power than the most powerful axe (so much for being considered ''raw power'') AND had a range of 5 panels, far more than any other non-ranged weapon with none of their handicaps. On top of that, the sword's special-moves cover a wide variety of areas - from large fields to long lines - making them useful in a wide variety of situations (meanwhile, axes only have range-1 single-target specials). Later games tried to balance things. By the third game, it would be fair to say that swords are still ahead, just not quite as much.
* As far as video games are concerned, both ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' and ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' helped codify this concept to a T, right down to having swords be ''the'' weapon type that helps strike down the BigBad (alongside some LastDiscMagic, of course).
** Averted by ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' with the Zodiac Spear, surpassed only by ''FFXII [[NoExportForYou International]]'''s invisible bow, the Seitengrate. In storyline terms, however, [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement the Sword of Kings and the Treaty Blade]] are still considered ultimate weapons for their ability to [[spoiler:sunder Nethicite]].
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' plays with it. There are two options clearly designed to be the game's top weapons, both swords: the one-handed EasterEgg upgrade for Goldbrand called Eltonbrand (which is a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana to boot]]), and the two-handed "Paladin's Blade" Chrysamere. In practice, however, there are other weapons which can surpass those two (such as the blunt-weapon Sunder or the short-blade Black Hands Dagger) due to their enchantments, faster attacking speed, etc. Played with because, if you've been focusing on increasing your Long Blade skill, the sword options will still be better than the others because you're more skilled with that type of weapon. The ''Tribunal'' expansion then adds the SwordOfPlotAdvancement FlamingSword True Flame, which you reforge with the intent of using it to kill a ''god''. After completing the expansion's main quest, you'll also get it's twin, the [[ShockAndAwe Lightning Sword]] Hopesfire. Unlike Eltonbrand and Chrysamere, which require a time-consuming GuideDangIt sidequest and completing the Imperial Legion faction questline, respectively, Trueflame and Hopesfire are simply handed to you during the main plot of the expansion.
* In a somewhat meta example ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' has the Saber class of Servant noted as being the strongest on average and having the best record in previous iterations of the Holy Grail War. In practice, though, the two most powerful Servants have actually been an Archer and a Lancer.
* [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight Fa]][[VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden lc]][[VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem hi]][[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening on]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Tyrfing, the Book of Naga]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade the Binding Blade]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Durandal, Armads, Sol Katti]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Ragnell, Alondite]], and [[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates Yato]] in ''Franchise/FireEmblem''. All legendary weapons, only usable by one character each (with some exceptions depending on the game [[note]]the Legendary Weapons of Elibe first appear in ''The Binding Blade'', where anyone with a S Rank in the respective weapon type can use 7 of the 8 weapons available, but in the prequel ''Blazing Sword'', Durandal and Armads are exclusive to Eliwood and Hector, and another Legendary Weapon, Forblaze, is Athos's personal tome; Alondite is initially an enemy-only weapon, but is obtainable in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Radiant Dawn]]'' after the Black Knight is defeated in Rebirth 2 and can be wielded by a character with a SS Rank in swords; Armads and Ragnell, along with the Twelve Holy Weapons of Jugdral, later reappear in ''Awakening'' as S-Rank weapons with no other unit restrictions (or the [[HeroicLineage Holy Blood]] mechanic from ''Genealogy of the Holy War'')[[/note]]) and (often) the only weapon that can damage the final boss.
* In Creator/HamumuSoftware's ''VideoGame/KidMystic'', the Armageddon Sword is the strongest weapon you can get despite the fact the main character's WeaponOfChoice is a staff that shoots fireballs.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' intended to avert this, placing [[CarryABigStick clubs]] as the premiere weapons. The best available melee weapon over the course of a typical ascension will be a club. Though updates in recent years have added many swords comparable to the best clubs, they can't take advantage of the most powerful weapon skills -- unless the player has a special skill that enables them to grab them by the blade and wield them as clubs.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' allows your character to use a wide range of weapons, but in the end you are stuck with the SwordOfPlotAdvancement, even if you are a mage (thankfully the sword gives abilities more along the lines of "boost intelligence" and "more spells" if you are one).
* In ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', the only weapon that can be [[spoiler:infused with Mana Magic]] and therefore the only weapon that can harm the final boss is the sword.
* In pretty much every game in the ''Franchise/{{Shining|Series}}'' series, the weapon with the most attack power is ''always'' a sword and only the hero (provided [[PrestigeClass he's promoted to his Hero class]]) may wield it.
** Averted in the ''VideoGame/ShiningSoul'' editions, however, where the main character can be multiple classes.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Soul|Series}}'' series has Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. The plot of the games is driven by the swords and those who seek them out. While Soul Edge and Soul Calibur [[MorphWeapon can transform into other weapons to suit their wielders]], their default forms are swords.
* The Material Blades in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', since they form into a SwordOfPlotAdvancement, the Eternal Sword, which is required to make the Giant Kharlan Tree rise and stop the cycle.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In Season 2 of the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', guess what weapon is the symbol of the Immortal who originally defeated Shendu? Go on, guess! Hint: [[spoiler:It's the same kind of weapon that, when properly ensorcelled, Jackie used to both exorcize the demon from Valmont, and re-banish him to another dimension.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' treats the Sword of Omens as one such weapon. The EvilWeapon the Sword of Omens was forged to fight against is also a sword, namely the Sword of Plundaar.