Tomb Raider has been around for 22 years now, and in that time, since the first Tomb Raider game in 1996, over 20 official Tomb Raider games, excluding the game's spinoffs, have been released. In total, there have been over 58 million copies of the game sold world-wide, and with the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider around the corner, the series is still going strong.
Here is a list of Game Rant's top 5 Tomb Raider games to date in the franchise's history.
5 Tomb Raider Legend
Tomb Raider Legend was released in 2006 after a string of unsuccessful Tomb Raider games from 1999 onward. Legend was the first Tomb Raider game that was developed by Crystal Dynamics after Tomb Raider and the Angel of Darkness, released in 2002 by Core Design, was met with such bad reception. From Legend onwards, the series was revived as other successful Tomb Raider games like Tomb Raider Anniversary were released. Legend was praised for its modern look, Lara's smooth acrobatic movements, and a variety of locations.
4 Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider 2, which was released in 1997, is up until today the second overall best selling PlayStation title in the UK. The game sold over 8 million copies worldwide and it is the second best selling game in the Tomb Raider franchise, which indicates this game's popularity and positive reception. Tomb Raider 2 built on the success of Tomb Raider 1 by adding new weapons, extra moves, and a set of vehicles for Lara Croft, and despite its low-key graphics, it remains a fan-favorite up until today.
3 Tomb Raider Anniversary
Tomb Raider Anniversary celebrated the anniversary of the original Tomb Raider in 2007. As the name suggests, Anniversary is, in fact, a remake of the original Tomb Raider, and with its use of the Legend engine, improved graphics, and smooth gameplay, it received critical acclaim from fans and critics. Many called it a worthy remake of the original, which indicates its success, especially if one takes the success of Tomb Raider 1 into consideration.
2 Rise of the Tomb Raider
After Tomb Raider was rebooted in 2013, Rise of the Tomb Raider continued the new Lara Croft's journey on next-generation consoles in 2015. Rise of the Tomb Raider featured everything that fans loved from the reboot, but added more content such as extra game modes and a chapter in Croft Manor. It did not sell as many copies as the reboo, but was nonetheless a worthy successor of the critically acclaimed Tomb Raider reboot.
1 Tomb Raider (2013 reboot)
In 2013, after five years without a new Tomb Raider game in sight, the franchise was rebooted and Tomb Raider featuring a new Lara Croft was released. Tomb Raider was a reboot of Lara Croft's origin story and reinvented the character in a completely new way. This game was crucial for the survival of the series, as it created a Lara Croft who was more realistic and relatable.
This version of Tomb Raider also featured more intricate combat and an open-world approach. Tomb Raider is also the best-selling game in the series, having sold over 11 million copies worldwide. The game's great reception by old and new Tomb Raider fans, as well as its high sales undoubtedly puts it at the top of the list of best Tomb Raider games to date.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider also features the new version of Lara Croft in an adventure that promises to be as exciting as her journey through Yamatai and Kitezh. From promotional material of the game released so far, it looks as though players will spend a lot of time exploring the main story and then checking out the new game modes.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 14.