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...
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.
Battle rifle - Halo 2, 2004
Ridiculously overpowered over medium-to-long distance shootouts, the Battle Rifle was the weapon of choice in both Halo 2 and Halo 3. It's been tamed since those heady days, and we'd argue Halo 5's version could actually do with being beefed up a tad, but Ol' Faithful will always have a special place in our cold, dark hearts. It's arguably the most iconic gun in all of Xbox history. Tempt us all you want with exotic Convenant weaponry; when the chips are down, its the BR all the way.
BFG-9,000 - Doom 3, 2005
The weapon that first made us fall in love with pixelated guns. The iconic BFG 9000 (it stands for Big, uh, Freakin' Gun, so now you know and there's no need to Google it, kids) is a whopping energy weapon that blasts out huge plasma bolts that kill opponents on impact. Doom 1's version made it famous, but we've got a soft spot for Doom 3's charge-based variant, which has a little more oomph to it.
Handheld Portal Device
An experimental gun that shoots out beams of light that unwrap into a portal when they come in contact with a flat surface. Two of these portals can be linked together, which comes in handy if you're late for work, fancy hiding the boss stapler for a prank, or if (just for example) you find yourself trapped in a hellishly sterile test centre where every single room is a spatial puzzle. Except for the bathroom. One hopes.
Flailgun - Bulletstorm, 2011
The Flailgun works by firing out two grenades that are tethered together by a chain. These grenades explode after a few seconds, as grenades are wont to do, but its possible for you to hasten their fate with a quick button press. Equally destructive and tactical, you can use the Flailguns unusual projectiles to truss up a nearby enemy, and then kick him towards his mates, using him as an organic grenade. That is what we call a....*puts on sunglasses* epic flail.
MK 2 Lancer Assault rifle
The Mark 1 Lancer, which predates the Gears of War series (but appears in Gears of War 3 due to fan demand), is a rather unremarkable weapon with a standard-issue bayonet affixed to the end for close-quarter skirmishes. So far, so World War II. The Mark 2 Lancer, on the other hand, is our idea of a dystopian future-gun not only did it hold more ammo, it replaced the pointy bayonet extension of yore with a fully-operational chainsaw capable of drilling a Locust clean in half.