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From the 90s games to now: Ranking every version of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

She hit the slay button again for the new remastered trilogy

Today marks the day where the original Tomb Raider trilogy remasters finally hit modern consoles – lovingly recreated in stunning detail that lets fans choose between original graphics and an updated 2024 refresh with extra depth, lighting and, most importantly, a brand new Lara Croft. Lara Croft is a bonafide gaming icon – the industry’s leading lady. She’s been through so many iterations over the near 30 years since her inception and to celebrate the Tomb Raider remasters, here’s every main game version of Lara Croft ranked.

12. Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara

The survivor trilogy of Tomb Raider games from 2013 onwards sought to de-objectify Lara Croft. The trilogy has a lot of merit, but I think it was a very 2010s idea of feminism way of approaching the character because they lose a lot of what makes Lara Croft who she is. This Lara is apologising for her own existence every two minutes, and the middle child Lara of the trilogy is one who spends the entire game whining and covered in snow. It’s completely at odds with how every time there’s any combat she ends up massacring over 100 human enemies without a second thought. It’s a vibe clash.

11. Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Lara

Erm, anyways. A lot has been said about Lara’s breasts over the years, but on her fourth game she looked like she got designed by a particularly horny 12 year old boy.

10. Underworld Lara

I need to call a HR meeting with whoever decided Lara’s main outfit should just be… plain brown shorts and a plain brown top. I get they’re going for grimier, but it just feels uninspired.

9. Shadow of the Tomb Raider Lara

Lara Croft ranked

I think in this day and age it’s hard to talk about Lara Croft and Tomb Raider games without addressing the problematic essence of a game about a rich white woman plundering ancient tombs in lands that aren’t her own, taking artefacts and putting them in her mansion. The survivor trilogy tries to reframe Lara Croft as less of a rich, smug and cocky raider – but for better or for worse that is the essence of the character. At least in Shadow, Lara’s problematic nature is back and addressed and she faces consequences for her actions. Slay outfits too.

8. Legend Lara

Lara Croft ranked

Lara Croft ranked

Lara Croft ranked

She had a teal vest, polygon pointy boobs and a dream. The blueprint, but it’s been bettered.

6. Tomb Raider 2 Lara

Lara Croft ranked

A satisfying evolution of Lara from Tomb Raider 1, but with more charm, more attitude and more LOOKS! Shoutout to the wetsuit making its first appearance and the iconic Tibet bomber jacket.

5. Tomb Raider 3 Lara

Lara Croft ranked

I feel like from the original trilogy, it’s Tomb Raider 3 Lara where Croft really hits her stride – and gets ranked first of the top five because of it. Great mix of outfits that are now all iconic – from her classic to her catsuit, her Nevada blue camo and a toasty Antarctica look. Peak early Lara.

4. Anniversary Lara

Lara Croft ranked

Anniversary was the remake of the first Tomb Raider game, and with it came a gorgeous redesign of classic Lara Croft. I mean, look at her. She looks amazing, the iconic look is perfected and modernised and you can change into all the looks from the games up until that point as a bonus.

3. Angel of Darkness Lara

Lara Croft ranked

A much maligned and often decreed as the worst Tomb Raider game – but what no one can take away from Angel of Darkness is how much Lara Croft slays the hell out of it. Goth Lara. All her outfits have a grunge feel to them which suits the dark tone of the game after Lara gets framed for murder and has to go on the run. The double denim look is my fave.

2. 2013 Lara

Tomb Raider’s survivor era Lara divides fans, but I think that the 2013 iteration is a barebones Lara Croft that deserves her flowers in her own right. There are no extra costumes, no bells and whistles – just a woman plunged into chaos who goes through hell. A simple but realistic outfit and a good character evolution. She’s not the Lara of old, but she’s a great version in her own right. She’s also not problematically raiding tombs here which is a bit of a win. At least she isn’t as a profession, anyway.

1. Tomb Raider I-III remastered Lara

She might be the newest, but she’s also the best. Ranked as the pinnacle of Lara Croft, this trilogy remastering has to take the crown because it gives us three optimum versions of a golden age of Lara. She perfectly blends the old and the new. I can’t wait to spend the next few weeks putting a billion hours into this trilogy and getting fully obsessed with Lara all over again.

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