The 15 greatest guns in Xbox history

Shots fired

Guns! They're great, aren't they? In games, we mean. The look and feel of a good gun can single-handedly transform a by-the-numbers shooter into something a bit special. And it helps if it looks badass too, since you spend 99% of your in-game time staring at the back end of it. In celebration of the gun, we've rifled (ha!) around the Xbox's back catalogue to bring you 15  favourite boomsticks of all time...

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Gravity Gun - The Orange Box, 2007

The Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator isn't a toy, scolds Judith Mossman as Alyx Vance fiddles with the Half-Life universes most iconic gun but who wouldn't love to unwrap one of these bad boys on Christmas Day? It's dual blow/suck functions allow Gordon Freeman to hoover up heavy objects and propel them elsewhere at speed excellent for solving physics puzzles or, more entertainingly, to flatten some Combine soldier's skull.

Crossbow - Oddworld:Stranger's Wrath, 2005

The crossbow on its own is not much to write home about, but the ammo it uses? You'd better get your momma on the blower NOW. The ammunition's most notable feature is that, uh, its alive with projectiles ranging from smart-mouthed chipmunks who lure enemies away from their posts with verbal barbs, to skunk bombs that cause baddies to spontaneously vom. Lovely.

Roman Candle - Sunset Overdrive, 2014

Sunset Overdrives weapon shed is packed to the rafters with comedy weapons that try just that little bit too hard to amuse with wacky conceits often gaudy monstrosities that spit out vinyl discs, teddy bears and other assorted nonsense. We're taken by the Roman Candle, however - it's basically an assault rifle with half a dozen sizzling fireworks strapped to the barrel. When the rockets strike their target they explode on impact, flooding the screen with a network of tiny, dazzling firework displays. Ooooh. Aaaaargh.

Red 9 - Resident Evil 4, 2011

Resident Evil 4 has built its legacy on finding ways to disempower its players -from claustrophobic alleyways to Ashley, to the famous tank controls that limit your movements. But provided you actually have some bullets to put in the damn things, the guns offer a rare chance to bite back. The Red 9 is our favourite of the pack. The most powerful handgun in the game, it delivers a satisfying punch that belies its antiquated look, and when partnered with the accuracy upgrade it's nigh-on unstoppable.

Laptop gun - Perfect Dark, 2010

A weapon thats able to transform into a laptop? Handy for covert operations, or satisfying those mid-mission cravings for a cheeky game of Spelunky maybe. However, the ever-pragmatic Joanna Dark gets far more use out of the Laptop Guns third form as a portable sentry gun that spews death on anyone who's foolish enough to get too close. It's handy for covering blind spots, too, if you can withstand the Spelunky cold-turkey symptoms long enough for someone to blunder into your trap, that is.

Hand cannon - Destiny, 2014

We cant deny it took a while to wean ourselves off Destiny's bog-standard assault rifles, but as the saying goes: Once you go Hand Cannon, you don't go back. (That's not how the saying goes.) The Hand Cannon might be hindered by a slow rate of fire, and it's got more recoil than a shy slinky, but it's got a satisfying kick to it, and that's what keeps us from grinding it into scrap.

Bane - Borderlands 2, 2012

You're given this special weapon after completing a mission for Roland, and it comes with some seriously impressive stats: it dishes out an incredible amount of damage and it holds more bullets than Apu from The Simpsons. But the trade-off is that it forces you to slow to a crawl, and more disconcertingly, lets out a blood-curdling scream every time you squeeze the trigger. There's no getting away from it, either - even setting the in-game audio to zero wont stop it from getting its point across.

Fat Man - Fallout 3,2008

Nothing says humankind has learned absolutely nothing from the complete and utter annihilation of civilisation from irresponsible use of nuclear weapons like strolling around with a tactical catapult that fires off mini-nukes left, right and centre. While obviously destructive, one drawback is that these nukes are incredibly heavy so they only travel a short distance before falling to the floor, making it all too easy to melt your own face off in the crossfire. Worth it, though.

Mr Toots - Red Faction, 2011

The point-missing follow-up to the excellent Red Faction: Guerrilla does at least feature one memorable moment: Mr Toots, a sentient weapon that unlocks once you've finished the campaign. This unorthodox shooter takes the form of a little white unicorn who blasts a solid beam of rainbow from his backside, much to the chagrin of his tiny unicorn sphincter, if his pained facial expressions are anything to go by. There's a sentence I never thought I'd write. 

Freeze Ray - Duke Nukem Forever, 2011

Okay, so the game itself turned out to be about as fun as a Lego massage, but at least Duke Nukem Forever didn't take itself seriously and the frivolous tone bubbles over into its arsenal. The Freeze Ray is arguably the fan favourite a cannon that emits a chilly beam that freezes its targets solid. You can then stroll up to them and wallop them into a trillion pieces in one of the game's rare highlights. One word of warning, however: don't try to use the gun underwater.