It isn't a true GTA experience if there isn't devastating carnage and chaos at the hands of the player.
Weapons have always played a monumental role in the GTA series. While plenty of missions can be played without using a gun, some missions do force the player to use a weapon of some kind. When they aren't being forced to use a weapon, players tend to gravitate towards the most devastating weapons of the GTA game they're playing.
For clarification purposes, this list is solely for equippable weapons. As a result, there are no Hydras, Rhinos, or any other vehicle with combative capabilities. Also, these devastating GTA weapons are being compared to what they can accomplish in the confines of their own game.
Top 5 devastating weapons in the GTA series
#5 - Homing Launcher (GTA V & Online)
Homing launchers are a noob's favorite weapon. While it largely lacks skill, it's still nonetheless a devastating weapon. It'll destroy plenty of vehicles, which can make it devastating in some lower-leveled lobbies. Considering most players are in that bracket, the homing launcher is definitely worth to be on the list of the most devastating weapons in GTA just for how many vehicles have been blown up online with it.
However, there are some drawbacks to it. It's practically useless against a sniper if the player doesn't know where they are. Likewise, it won't destroy all vehicles in one shot, which can allow the player to get ran over. Still, it's among the easiest weapons ever made. Another bonus to this weapon is that it can kill several people in one shot.
#4 Grenades (Any GTA game)
Explosives will always have a place on a list for the most devastating weapons in GTA history. Unlike the homing launcher, grenades have a higher skill ceiling. Both explosives have a low skill floor, which makes them dangerous. However, grenades have the added bonus in that it doesn't require line of sight and can ricochet off of walls.
When a player considers the sheer versatility that a grenade brings to the table, it's easily a great weapon. Like the previous entry on the list, it can kill several people at once, especially considering how easy it is to spam. The main drawback to the grenade is that it's really easy to kill its own user if not thrown properly.
#3 - Heavy Sniper (GTA 5 & Online)
If the homing launcher is a noob's favorite weapon, then the Heavy Sniper is often a pro's favorite weapon. The amount of sheer damage a player can cause with this weapon is absurd. Even body shots can do sizable chunks to players, and the heavy sniper allows its user to use it from afar. Hence, they don't even have to be seen using this devastating weapon by their victim.
A good sniper can often run a lobby. Even if other players are trying to ignore them, it only takes a single sightline for them to become the sniper's next victim. Anybody who plays GTA Online knows the hatred they have towards players that no-scope them out of nowhere. The main drawback to the Heavy Sniper is that it's practically useless in the hands of a player that cannot aim.
#2 - Spaz 12 (GTA Vice City)
Imagine a weapon that shoots rapidly, practically one-shots everybody, and has a wide range that makes it hard to miss. That's what the Spaz 12 is in GTA Vice City. It's expensive, so players would have to spend a bit to get loads of ammo. However, it's absolutely worth it.
This weapon will be like an easier to use rocket launcher in terms of destroying vehicles. A single second of using this weapon will destroy anything. If vehicles get wrecked easily, it's also important to note that there isn't any NPC that's going to be surviving a player that's spamming this devastating weapon. If a player knows where it spawns, then they can easily break GTA Vice City however they please.
#1 - Minigun (GTA San Andreas)
The minigun has always been a treat in the player's hands. While the minigun could be described as devastating in several games, it's GTA San Andreas where it truly stands out.
This statement is especially true when the player performs the "Infinite Ammo" glitch in the mission Up, Up, and Away. This glitch requires a jetpack (which can be considered an overpowered weapon in its own right), as the player must be wearing one when they get to the point with the mounted minigun.
The minigun has virtually no recoil, so having a ton of ammo makes it even better. It'll shred through any vehicle effortlessly to the point that it can be dangerous to the player. Aside from that, it'll clear gangs easily in gang wars, so it's easily one of the most devastating weapons in a casual player's hands.
Its main drawback is that the player cannot sprint with it, but that's hardly an issue when enemies are killed effortlessly when using one. It is undeniably one of the most devastating weapons in GTA history.