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Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered: All Games, Ranked

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Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered: All Games, Ranked

All the craze once began with Tomb Raider (1996). The game introduced beloved Lara Croft to the world, who quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. It was no surprise when Tomb Raider 2 (1997) and Tomb Raider 3 (1998) soon followed, and, well, the rest is history. Now, developer Aspyr has finally given Tomb Raider fans the chance to relive iconic gaming moments in history with a fresh coat of paint. 

Scoop up the latest Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered, and you’ll have the chance to play all the first three games ever in the Tomb Raider series, including each game’s expansions and secret levels. Graphics and mechanic improvements aside, how does each game in the compilation compare? Keep reading to see how we rank all the games in Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered.

6. Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business (1998)

Lara Croft inTomb Raider: Unfinished Business

The first-ever Tomb Raider expansion didn’t quite cheer up the masses. It built upon the original Tomb Raider (1996), extending the adventure for fans who couldn’t quite get enough of Lara Croft’s escapades. The expansion came soon after Tomb Raider 3 (1998) and featured bonus secret levels, weapons, enemies, and items to collect. Specifically, the expansion added four bonus levels, taking place in the city of Khamoon, Egypt, a couple of months after the events of the original Tomb Raider

Now, part of the reason Unfinished Business didn’t quite hit the mark was a repetitive loop in the level design. Sure, you did get a few interesting jumps and tricks. However, for the most part, the expansion only gave fans a few levels with slightly better graphics than the original and, more or less, the same gameplay. Is it worth playing, though? Absolutely! It’s still a really fun explorative game that sees you prolong your adventures by galavanting in ancient tombs just a little while longer.

5. Tomb Raider 2: Golden Mask (1999)

Lara croft Tomb Raider 2: Golden Mask

Similar to Unfinished Business, Tomb Raider 2: Golden Mask is an expansion that adds bonus levels, weapons, enemies, and secrets to the sequel. It follows Lara into a hidden realm in Alaska in search of, alas, the golden mask. Overall, the second expansion pack was a solid one. Of course, the sequel base game still offers a better experience. Yet, the expansions add a tad more interesting levels to keep your adrenaline juices flowing post-credits. 

4. Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artifact (2000)

Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artifact Lara croft

Fun fact: The Lost Artifact was sold as a stand-alone expansion, unlike the first two, which also means you don’t need to play Tomb Raider 3 to play the expansion. Lara takes you on yet another adventure hunting for four mysterious artifacts, which, as always, includes additional bonus levels, weapons, enemies, and items to discover. You enjoy well-designed levels that look stunning. Its secret areas stand tall above all else, with intriguing elements to discover. You’re also constantly challenged, with certain parts of the game proving more difficult. All in good fun, though, with lots of fun locations and ideas to unravel.

3. Tomb Raider 3 (1998)

Laracroft in Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered GAMES

Now, the base games, of course, beat the expansions by far. Unfortunately, Tomb Raider 3 is the least favorite for most fans of the game. It is still a solid game that is built upon its predecessors. However, in the process of expanding its gameplay, the core suspense and mystery that made the predecessors intriguing got lost on the third try. 

Additionally, Tomb Raider 3 feels less innovative, so much so that it feels like an expansion pack to Tomb Raider 2. From awkward hacks on stealth to too much time spent underwater, Tomb Raider 3 trails behind the first two entries. Otherwise, it still remains a viable romp worthy of checking out, especially for Tomb Raider fans.

2. Tomb Raider 2 (1997)

Kara croft in Tomb Raider 2

After the huge success of Tomb Raider (1996), a sequel followed soon after. Further, the developing team added improvements to the original’s gameplay. You can drive for one, plus the plot feels more engaging. In a way, Tomb Raider 2 was a statement piece that Lara Croft would go on to become a global sensation. Tomb Raider games have always been challenging, and the sequel to the original took it up a notch, a decision that some fans didn’t quite fancy. 

Still, the sequel's attempts to expand on the original don’t go unnoticed. You explore bigger and better environments. You even go outside in the sun, engaging in more action and driveaways. The maps look more detailed. Gunplay extended beyond the caves and tombs. For some, it took away the essence of Tomb Raider, but others welcomed a more well-rounded experience. 

1. Tomb Raider (1996)

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered GAMES

Well, at the end of the day, nothing beats the trendsetter. Tomb Raider (1996) introduced Lara Croft to the world, and for that sole reason, credit is due. Its graphics, level design, gameplay, and atmospheric settings all culminated in an experience that fans couldn’t get enough of. Of course, now you may wonder what all the fuss was about with the game having aged over the years. But at the time, Tomb Raider (1996) aimed to please. 

The game’s story doesn’t quite hit the mark. But that’s totally fine, as the core experience lies in the adventures. What’s more? Lara Croft makes up for any issues with the plot as a strong female protagonist with an intriguing personality. Groundbreaking is the right word to describe Tomb Raider (1996), with the sequels and reboots to follow building on a solid concept, combining exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving into one package.

Speaking of reboots, the remastered version upgrades the visuals and controls for old and new gamers alike to enjoy the classics. The game maintains the classic 32-bit charm that was all the rage back then, albeit adding a fresh coat of paint for a contemporary audience. At its core, though, the same experience remains, inducing the proper nostalgia you need.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our ranking of all the games in Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered? Let us know over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.