There is no more iconic, trusted, or reassuring weapon in video games than the shotgun. The simplicity of the single-shot reload, the raw power of the shot, the cathartic kick-back as recoil and exploding head meet in a dizzying dance of devastation... It's a delight that never wears thin.
But while (almost) all video game shotguns are great, not all are created equal. When you've fired enough of them, you realise that they're an eclectic and nuanced bunch, each bringing its own quirks, charms and idiosyncrasies to the killing floor. Every one is a beautiful little snowflake of explosive havok, and deserves to be appreciated on its own terms. As such, I felt the need to write a detailed tribute to 16 of my favourites. So I have. I've tried not to get too romantic, but you know what it's like with shotguns.