September 1, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 1: Favorite game in the series

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

So here we are in the long, dry season between games. E3 is long past and it will probably be some time before we see more TOMB RAIDER previews, let alone a demo. As my hero Stimpy would say, "What'll we do till then!?"

Fortunately, the awesome Jeremy has come to the rescue with his tomb raider 30 day challenge.*

I'll post one challenge question each day in September. Answer any or all. Feel free to go back and comment on past days if you missed them. Write as much or as little as you want to. Include image links if you like. I'll be posting my responses both here and on my Facebook page. I hope you'll join in. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Today's challenge question: What's your favorite game in the Tomb Raider series?

*To the best of my knowledge, this first appeared on Jeremy's Tumblr blog,, but I've seen it reblogged on other Tumblr sites, on Twitter and elsewhere.


  1. There are some parts I enjoy and some I dislike in every game. But if I had to choose a single “desert island” game, I'd definitely pick the original 1996 Tomb Raider. It was my first TR experience and the one that got me hooked, so I'll always have a soft spot for it. Even with the blocky environments and Lara's cone boobs, it still manages to create a feeling of total immersion in another world. It's like you're there with Lara, moving through spaces no human being has seen in centuries. Magical!

  2. It has to be Tomb Raider 2 for me Stella :') I'm replaying it right now and id forgotten how good it was (I haven't had the chance to play it for a while) I dunno what it is about it really, i just love the levels, the upgraded arsenal from TR1. I think 40 Fathoms will always be my favourite Tomb Raider level of all time (unless something better comes along next year ;) haha) i just love the rush you get at the beginning. No air supply, two great white sharks out to get you. I can't tell you how many times i died at the beginning because i didn't know what to do haha i kept swimming down to the wreckage or swimming the wrong way because i didn't turn around. EVENTUALLY i saw the line of debris and i got on track haha. That level has always stuck in my mind ever since the first time i played TR2 :') Also the addition of vehicles was great! Gotta love the snowmobile with guns strapped onto it :L Great for taking down those pesky henchman that always got in the way! Another bit that has always stuck in my mind is the 2 T-rex's in The Great Wall. I had no idea about them the first time i played through it because it is not obvious at all, you would only know if you explored (which probably not many people did because the zip line is right in front of you and people normally just go straight away), or if you went online and found out, or someone told you. So after i found out i went back and went down to get the secret, and fought them. When i found out i was quite surprised seeing as it was on the first level of the game. And considering that secrets on later levels are much easier to get (eg. a running jump away or killing a few henchman) but i guess Core Design wanted to challenge experienced players ;) Anyway, I've just noticed how long this is!! Haha :L So overall, TR2 is my all time favourite. But Legend is my 2nd :) Hmm i will probably comment on every challenge day, but hopefully in the future they won't be this long -__- haha it has taken about half an hour to think of what to write and actually type it :) Ergh and now I'm just making it even longer! Right! I will leave you with a picture showing my love for TR 2 :') Until next time!

  3. Personally Tomb Raider 1 (for me) is the best game in the entire series so far. There's great puzzles, great levels and story. The only problem I had with the tomb raider (PS1 Series) was the jumping. U had to be a certain amount of steps away from a cliff to make a perfect jump. (if you know what I mean) I would die so much times but then again that is what made the games tense and interesting. So this would be the best TR for me by far, because there is nothing like it and won't ever be nothing like it.

  4. Tomb Raider 1. Possibly because it was the very first, but I suspect it's more than that. Like the other games in the original "trilogy" there's an atmosphere, maybe helped by not having continual musak. The sound effects are great and the game is creepy. There are many more "golly!" moments than in the other games - the T. Rex, the zoom back from the sphinx's head, the underwater temple, Mr. Torso, a room full of eggs, the centaurs, etc, etc - plus some wonderfully ludicrous things like the invisible platform in the Sanctuary of the Scion. Plus how many games feature a puzzle that uses a death trap? - the hand of Midas. Unique stuff. And don't get me started on the awesomeness of Natla.

  5. I know this wasn't the question. But on the topic of "What'll we do till then!?", I'm playing through the Assassin's Creed series. There's a lot to like about those games if you're a Tomb Raider fan, even if you're not that keen on the blood and assassination parts.

    Underworld is my favorite for the graphics (that's undeniable). But Legend for the gameplay. Those two are probably the ones I played through the most times.

    Among the oldies I would say TR3, because that's the first game I ever bought, for my first and only console, and it got me hocked on the series.

  6. I just post on facebook that my favourite is Tomb Raider 2....favourite from classic games...but from the new ones I like Underworld the best...before Underworld my favourite from new ones was Anniversary...but today I feel happy when I am replaying Underworld,i don't know its strange,maybe I am just happy because Lara finaly finds what she was looking for...:D

  7. Hi Stella, yet another great innovation!

    Well, my favourite game... it's hard to tell. The first game I ever played (TR and non-TR) was Tomb Raider 2. It was instant connection, I really loved it, it fascinated me. And I remeber that time at my sister's friend house where I gave the first jump as Lara in the Great Wall level. After that I decided I wanted a tomb raider game. So, I remember that time that I just had been from the store (it was lunch time) and I was extremly excited to play Tomb Raider IV. I played it in the Dreamcast, and since at the beggining I didn't have a memory card, I would always, everyday almost, play the same levels. When I first got to The Temple of Karnak I was stunned by the visuals, it just felt refreshing. When I finaly got the memory, I got to the end. Such sense of accomplishment. Then, I went for another trip to the store, this time on foot (remeber it very well), to buy TR3. Another great game that I took forever to complete. But I tried so hard that I made it. Of all three, TR IV is my favourite. The egypt inspires me a lot, and I have great memories with it. I find it a very clever, giant game, with great graphics. I feel this is the best of the series, and I like it the most since it was my very own first Tomb Raider, and third game I every had (being the first sonic adventure and the second space channel 5)

  8. I think I would also have to say Tomb Raider 2. Although the original game was amazing and the birth of a gaming phenomenon, the second installment just took it that one step further. It is hard to pick because each game is so unique but I think 2 is just in the lead! :)

  9. Tombraider: Lost Artifact is consistently my favorite.

    The attention to breathtaking scene, detail, location, replay-ability, and explorability was a huge step up from the previous games IMO.

    However, i will note--isn't it interesting that no one so far has mentioned any of the *newer* games as their favorite? Why have the newer games failed to deliver or improve upon what we all got out of the older/classic TR series?


  10. Thanks for all the great comments, everybody. They bring back some good memories.

    @Rebecca: Sounds like you've hit on the next blog topic; i.e., What'll we do til then? Good work!

    @Harry: Awesome! :D

    @Ostercy: Natla indeed. (See today's topic.)

  11. Tomb Raider 1 is my favorite, as it was the first one I played. It was a little hard to master the moves, but eventually I was able to. I loved the music, and the sights were like actually being there, and with all that it felt like you could be her for awhile. Discovering all the things during the game and fighting off the wild things. It was great.

  12. I honestly think 2 was the BEST one in the series. I am actually constantly replaying that one!

  13. I played the first 4 tomb raider games when they came out back in the 90', but kind of got away from it after that. But after seeing the promotion of the coming tomb raider I tracked down and bought the remaining 5 and have just spend the last month playing them all, it was fun, I felled in love whit the game all over.

    They are all great games and are not without flaws, but as the best... I have a hard time, choosing between TR3 or Underworld, I think that the Nevada Level is the best level in all the tomb raider series, but Underworld has the best story, and was a big step back to the real Lara. On her own, without those two invisible and annoying sidekicks who comment everything she was doing in Legend.

    But if you force me to choose:-), Underworld.

  14. Tomb Raider 1
    It was the first game, and I can still remember fond memories of playing this with my older brother, and I do remember near the end, with the mutants (especially the Torso Monster) I would run off and hide behind the couch. The music is great and iconic (and underrated), the graphics were pretty good for that time (not that I normally care about graphics), and the gameplay was fun and timeless. And the story was pretty good. And the characters. ARGGHHH I love it! It also harboured a awesome remake.

  15. mine would be between the very first one, part 2, and legends. i mean i love em all its just so many to choose from, but im gona go with the classics. ^_^

  16. Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, NO DOUBT! Great music, great game play (for me anyways, so shut up -.-) , great model, and great voice actress. I can already hear the hate

  17. For me it has to be The Last Revelation, I've always loved Egypt and having the whole game there was mind-blowing. The game is also epic and has such a variety of levels (my favourite being the one on thee train). I've played through the game a few times and still tense up at the beetles, and gasp in awe at the beauty of Cleopatra's Palaces.

  18. From a visual standpoint, my favorite TR would have to be Underworld. I also like the story for that one as well. But I think my first love from all the TR games would have to be TR3. I've mentioned before that it was the first Tomb Raider game I ever played, so I'm partial to it automatically. I love the variety of locales, the colors and the music, and how lost it got me (I wouldn't have found your site if it hadn't been for that game, Stella!). The Last Revelation follows a close second; I loved that graphic improvements that game made, and I'm an Egyptology nerd, so liking it came easily :)

  19. Well,my favorite game?All games are my favorite..But if I must..xD from TR1 to TR6 favorite games are Tomb Raider1 & Tomb Raider3.
    I love so much Underworld it have awesome story and it was hard.Legend was to easy,still amazing game.Anniversary perfect to..but I still think that the earlier games were more interesting,because they had a specific movement(controls).."Poor" graphics make the game somehow different from all others...As I said all games are awesome.Some levels are good some better,some parts boring or to easy(or to hard)..sry bad eng.:D

  20. My favourite has always been TRII. It was also the first I bought - along with the PlayStation and Tekken 2, my reason to get the console in the first place - but just by a few days. My next day off I also bought part I and I hadn't even gotten through China yet. I then played both games, always alternating when I was stuck. I had much more fun with II though. (Save anytime - not only at the crystal locations. No Atlantis - hated it. Venice - loved it. Motorboat and snow mobile fun. And the weapons arsenal was great - funnily nowadays, after missing them dearly in AoD, I am glad as long as I have the twin pistols with unlimited ammunition.)

    Why not one of the new games? It's tough to beat that feeling you got when you played the game which made you a fan. I really liked Legend, too short though. And Underworld had a good beginning, but it went downhill after Mexico. Plus stupid Secrets. Anniversary had most of it right, but wasn't a fresh game.

    TAoD had a good story - very detailed but alas not gapless when released...- and many fresh ideas, but some did not work. The controls sucked.

    Basically I have fond memories of all the games, but II is the one. Although if I'd have to pick between II and III plus their add ons, I might pick III. I loved Scotland and LA is my favourite add on by far.

  21. TR2 was my first, favorite, and most played.
    But I have enjoyed all of them in many respects.
    The spookiness and originality of TR1. Immense!

    The variety, and improved graphics of TR3.
    Area 51 and Antarctica were especially memorable.

    Again, much better graphics in TR4!
    Great Egypt play! Giza was my fave level.

    TR5 was enjoyable in its own way,
    but somewhat disappointing due to
    the shortness of level games.
    But still, some good adventures!

    I hated AoD at first. Lara was, at first,
    very unsympathetic and jerky (like a
    "crack ho" as I stated on TR forums)
    I never liked Trent in the game.
    Still, the game did grow on me
    and had some really great levels.

    Legend was "short and easy", but beautiful!
    My favorite (prettiest, sexiest) Lara so far, IMHO.
    Love the MC rides! PLayed them many a time, hehe!

    Anniversary is an absolute joy!
    Wonderful in most all ways-
    except the adrenaline dodge.
    Grrr, never really got good at that.

    Underworld is an achievement,
    but not my fave. Hard to say why...
    Maybe because I played it on Mac/PC
    and suffered many tech problems.

    Waiting for the next, hopefully on Mac!

  22. Personally my favourite is Anniversary as it captures the essence of the original game but bring it into the 21st century in terms of gameplay and graphics. If Anniversary didn't exist then TR1 would be my favourite

  23. It's really difficult to pick one. There's always something from every game that makes is unique. I think I will pick the original Tomb Raider. I played the Playstation version first.

    The feeling of the game, the puzzles, the music, the scenarios, everything was so completely different and exciting.

    After that first game I couldn't wait for more and thank God there have been many more!

  24. Gotta agree with you, Stella! The first Tomb Raider ever is also the best ever!

    When I played it the first time, I couldn't help but to wonder what kinda genius people came up with the idea of creating the game! The environment, the enemies, the gameplay, the weapons, the secrets.... They're just magnificent!

    I also loved the second one, especially the Great Wall stage.

    In modern times, I loved the Anniversary as it brought the nostalgic yet in a whole new version of the very first.

  25. Although Tomb Raider 2 (so classy) and Tomb Raider 6 (the story!) are close behind, for me it has to be The Last Revelation.

    It's so dark and lonely, and it's mostly set in tombs!

  26. This is a toughy. I agree with anyone who says they like and dislike certain things from each game. I love the underwater levels from TR2, traps in Atlantis from TR1 and exploring Mexico in TRU. The series just offers so many things to enjoy! But nostalgia gets the best of me on this one. I have to say that my favorite game is TR2. The level design is just excellent, and environments are cool and mostly believable (except the random TNT crate in Venice....) I especially love the Temple of Xian. My favorite room in the entire series has to be the chamber with an elevated walkway suspended precariously above a pool of lava. As you start running, a boulder falls in an Indiana Jones-esque manner, and at the last possible second, you can jump and grab for a ledge beneath a giant dragon head, or backwards roll and grasp the edge of the platform as the boulder rolls off. And to boot, TR2 was the first game I remember playing in the series. And then, years later, it was the first classic Core game I beat without the handy, dandy level skip cheat. ;) TR2 has to be my favorite, but I'm also in love with Guardian of Light and TR1. Those come close in second place. :)

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  28. TR3 was the first one I played and will probably always be my favorite. (Hey, cool! I finally figured-out how to get a picture up instead of that orange E. It wouldn't let me upload it directly.)

  29. Atmospherically, TR2 and 3 together with Lost Artifact are my Core Design favorites. Especially liked these experiences: the white water rafting in Madubu Gorge, the Nevada desert, Shiva statue in the Temple Ruins, Chunnel excavation site, the entire Scotland, Mad House and Reunion levels. My fondest memories are those from that sunken ship level, Maria Doria in TR2 and those creepy mutants in the snow tunnels in TR3. And out of the newer Crystal D games, can’t pick a favorite game, they’re all really great. The music is a bit distracting and over done at times, but the Lara body models in Legend and Anniversary are my all-time favorites. And the walk, run and control animations in Underworld are without a doubt the best. - Don

  30. TR2 was my 1st game and it affected me more than the others. When I finally finished the game I kinda missed being the character.

    I loved the puzzles and the story was great, & so was the gameplay.

  31. Last Revelation was my favorite game as a whole. It was haunting and rather scary in some parts. I absolutely love Egypt and its history!

    WISHFUL THINKING: I also wish there was a way to incorporate different levels from each game to make some sort of "super-game".

  32. TR3 is definitely my favourite one, has always been. <3 It was the first TR I played as a kid, so I love the nostalgic feeling that I get when playing it. And not only that, it's a perfect game. It's challenging, beautiful, diverse, a lot of fun, has the best vehicles and enemies, plus the story is interesting. And I love TR3 Lara too. I love that when I replay the levels, I still might find something new I didn't notice before. Like new ways and places to go. Although I think now I know everything about it :') I recently replayed it with all secrets and I already feel like I want to replay it again :D I also love to try different bugs and glitches, it's so much fun!

  33. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that TR5 is actually my favorite. I really love the original and TR4, but I always had a soft spot for TR5 (maybe because it's the underdog). Right now I'm playing through the Black Isle levels and lovin every second of it!

  34. Oh yeah. I love the Black Isle levels too...come to think of it, any level where Lara loses her weapons or doesn't have any. It's fun to have to rely on wits and agility to get through. I'm looking forward to that aspect of the 2012 game.

  35. I'm like, MEGA behind on this...but for some reason I never think to check the blog, even though I've been using your walkthroughs for years.

    Anyway, I've only played the classics and Legend thus far, but my favorite out of those is TR2. The Great Wall and Venice levels were just amazing, and the boat was our first vehicle! At first I thought the Maria Doria was annoying (I hate the blue lighting) but in hindsight, the levels were actually really fun. The Opera House was just amazing and huge. But the Tibet and China levels were my favorite. I love the design and there will probably never be another TR level like the Floating Islands.

  36. Underworld. The first game I ever played was anniversary, and I've never played any Core Design games. Underworld was my favorite because of the graphics, story, puzzles and length. I do enjoy Tomb Raider: Survivor, (My name for TOMB RAIDER [2013]) but there's so much fighting and gore. I want to raid tombs!!!!

    1. This is simply an update to the comment above. It's still Underworld, but I think Rise will be one of my favorites, due to their being an open world, a crafting system, and more ways to avoid combat. Hopefully the game won't be too combat focused, and I can focus on exploring.