Tomb Raider turns 27 years old and classic Lara Croft is returning from the dead

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The legendary Tomb Raider franchise turns 27 years old. Miss Lara Croft has been an icon of the video games industry ever since her debut on the PlayStation One all the way back in 1996. Since her birth, she’s starred in a dozen video games with the Survivor trilogy the most recent saga. Although critically acclaimed, the Survivor trilogy has split the Tomb Raider franchise as many fans prefer the old-school Lara Croft. Survivor Lara is here to stay with the upcoming Netflix series, but classic Lara is set to return from the dead.

It has been a great year for Tomb Raider fans. There was a collaboration between Call of Duty and Tomb Raider back in September, and it provided voice lines from Legend trilogy voice actress, Keeley Hawes. And, in October, we got our first glimpse of the Netflix anime series starring beloved Marvel actress, Hayley Atwell. While the Netflix series is exciting and impeccably cast, what’s most exciting is the upcoming remasters and new game in development.

Tomb Raider turns 27 years old

The Tomb Raider franchise turns 27 years old on October 25th, 2023. The very first game hit PlayStation One on October 25th, 1996, and it remains arguably the best of the franchise despite its outdated graphics and controls. Its puzzles remain a blast, the Lara Croft character is basic but iconic, and the level designs are more sinister than most gamers remember. There is the spookiest scene of the series with doppelganger Lara, and the game’s take on Atlantis is forever creepy.

Since the inception of Tomb Raider, the British heroine has starred in movies portrayed by Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander, and she’s had three different generations of games. There are the classic installments from the 90s, there’s the Legend trilogy from 2006 to 2008, and there’s the Survivor trilogy from 2013 to 2018. The Survivor trilogy is probably the most critically acclaimed of all, yet many fans are tired of Crystal Dynamics telling the story of how Lara Croft became the classic Tomb Raider we all know and love.

Survivor trilogy Lara is continuing in the Netflix series voiced by Hayley Atwell, but classic Lara Croft is returning to the world of video games. There’s the Tomb Raider 1-3 trilogy remaster coming out on her birthday, February 14th, next year, and then there’s the new game in development. What we know of this new game is that it takes place after Tomb Raider Underworld, and it’s a unified Lara Croft meaning we should finally be getting more of the experienced Tomb Raider full of acrobatics and wit.

The unified Lara Croft concept means the Survivor trilogy origin is canon, meanwhile, all of the events of the other games will remain canon too, but with details slightly altered. Lara Croft’s next adventure is officially being developed by Crystal Dynamics using Unreal Engine 5, and it will be published by Amazon Games. There is hope that her next adventure will be revealed at this year’s Game Awards as reports have suggested Crystal Dynamics has committed to a reveal this year while speaking to investors. The development has reportedly been full throttle since leaving Marvel’s Avengers, so fingers crossed that a reveal does happen before 2024 arrives.

Details for the next game are scarce at the moment, but it’s the events taking place after Tomb Raider Underworld that should have fans most excited. This means we won’t be getting another installment of Survivor Lara, and will instead see the return of a Lara Croft that resembles her classic and Legend portrayals. Here’s hoping it all takes place in a globe-trotting adventure where teamwork and friends aren’t the key to victory.

About the Author

Callum Smith

Callum Smith is a freelance gaming writer for Videogamer. He covers news for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, and he has over five years experience covering the video games industry.