Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog are two of the few video game protagonists who have lasted as long as they have in the past. One of them would be Lara Croft. When Tomb Raider came out in 1996, it was very unusual for a video game to have a main character who was a woman. The only notable exception was Samus from the Metroid series.
Tomb Raider became a huge franchise that lasted for a long time, then it was rebooted with a new series of games that had a lot of success in the 2010s, making it even bigger than before. Tomb Raider games with the worst Metacritic scores are the ones that people don’t like the least and the best.
Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness (2003) – 52
A darker and grittier game came out when Lara moved from the PlayStation to the PlayStation 2. Many people were disappointed by it. People didn’t like The Angel of Darkness because it didn’t have good controls or a camera they had to fight more than the enemies. There were also a lot of bugs and glitches.
The developers said that they didn’t have enough leadership and were too ambitious for the project, which caused a lot of problems with the game players got in 2003. The Angel of Darkness has some good ideas and could be a good story, but it’s hard to recommend it right now. Out of all of Lara Croft’s adventures, this would be the best one to remaster or make into a new game or movie.
Tomb Raider: Chronicles (2000) – 63
By the time Chronicles came out, the people at Core Design were already tired of Tomb Raider. Thus, they tried to kill off Lara Croft in the previous game, but Eidos wanted to keep the series going as a cash cow. This is why. This led to the last game for Lara on the Playstation.
There was a mixed reaction to Chronicles. The general consensus is that it was not bad, but it was very uninspired and forgettable, and there was little to no difference between it and the previous games. Another PS1 Tomb Raider game. This one goes in one ear and out the other.
Tomb Raider: The Prophecy (2002) – 66
Lara went from a third-person adventure to a Zelda-style overview when she moved to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance with a game that was only a little popular. There were a lot of people who thought Tomb Raider: The Prophecy was very good for being a Game Boy Advance game.
Even so, it got a lot of bad reviews for its boring gameplay, lack of story to drive the action set pieces, and other things. There was a title that even Tomb Raider fans have forgotten about over time. The Prophecy isn’t great, but it’s a good handheld game in the series.
Lara Croft: Relic Run (2015) – 71
This mobile spin-off took a lot of chances to show the series to people who didn’t know much about it. Relic Run is basically a Tomb Raider version of the mobile game Temple Run. It has some of the game’s trademark features that make it stand out in the endless runner genre, which is what the game is about.
There are new things in the game, like wall-running and using weapons. It’s more like an evolution of the endless platforming genre, though. People who aren’t very familiar with the series can start with Relic Run, even though it’s a little too simple.
Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris (2014) – 74
In 2014, the Tomb Raider games tried out arcade-style gameplay with co-op at the top. The Temple of Osiris can hold up to four people, including Lara, and each of them has unique abilities and traits.
That means that it gives you a top-down look at what’s going on. This takes away some of the franchise’s charm because the camera is so small. Apart from that, the game is a lot of fun for a group of people to play together, making it a small but fun addition to the series.
There are two Lara Croft games coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2022: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
Tomb Raider 3 (1998) – 76
As a threequel, Tomb Raider 3 is a good one, but it isn’t as popular as the first two games in the series. It made everything bigger than ever before. This, of course, took away a lot of the mystery and suspense that had been in the previous stories.
It also didn’t have a lot of new ideas, which made Tomb Raider 3 feel more like an add-on to the second game than a big-budget follow-up. Despite these complaints, Tomb Raider 3 is still one of the best classic games in the series. Anyone who likes Lara’s previous two games will enjoy this one, too.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (1999) – 79 (GameRankings)
The Last Revelation is best known these days for being a bad attempt by the series to kill off Lara Croft and introduce a new character. It’s still a good game that shows how games looked and played back then.
In this game, there are no new ideas. But there are buckets full of nostalgia and Tomb Raider entertainment. Puzzle-solving is more important in this game than in other games in the series, making this one a more subtle addition to the series.
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008) – 80
It came back with Anniversary and Legend, but Underworld was Tomb Raider’s biggest return. This game had a mix of old and new mechanics with pretty graphics from the Xbox 360 and PS3 era. Underworld led to an entry that fans thought was a good ending for Lara Croft, the original Lara Croft, so they were happy.
As you might expect, the game wasn’t perfect. The combat system was a little old-fashioned; the story was short, and Underworld couldn’t figure out how to use the camera like in Angel of Darkness. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a good game. It’s still a good adventure game that shows off Lara at her coolest.
Lara Croft Go (2015)
Formats: PC, Android, iOS, PS4, PS Vita, Mac
This is a very clever way to show Lara’s adventures on her phone. An updated turn-based Tomb Raider game has many fan-friendly references to older games like the secret chime and ledge handstand animations. There are also cleverly-designed levels that make it hard to die, but not impossible. The game looks good, but it still feels like a Tomb Raider game, even though it’s a lot more like the old games than the modern-day Lara.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007)
Formats: PC, PS3, PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii
One of the best remakes of the original classic that stays true to the original. You might not like it, but when everything else is so well done, it’s hard to complain about it too much. Anniversary, even though it softens the hard-core, unforgiving nature of the 1996 original, it still has enough of Lara’s pioneering spirit to make it worth playing.