Tomb Raider I-III Remastered – Lara never got on well with animals (Picture: Aspyr)
The original three PS1 Tomb Raider games are remastered for modern consoles and they look and play a lot better than you might think.
Earlier in the year we reviewed a compilation of Monty Mole games from the 8-bit era of British gaming. It’s a franchise that will be all but unknown outside of Europe and yet in the late 80s it was considered one of the best and most influential on the home computer formats of the day. It was great to see the series being remembered in this day and age but at 40 years old the games had little to offer a modern gamer, even those that fondly remembered them from the first time around.
Tomb Raider will be 30 years old in 2026 and you can’t help but wonder when it too is going to pass the event horizon of being too old to be appreciated as anything but a museum piece. We’re happy to say that, thanks to these new remasters of the first three games, that moment is not yet here, even if this compilation is unlikely to earn the series any brand new fans.
That’s remarkable, not just because of the game’s age but because it was one of the very first modern 3D games of any kind. The original version was released only four months after Super Mario 64 and while Tomb Raider was not as polished as Nintendo’s classic it had just as much influence on modern third person action adventures, particularly in the West.
The other key innovation of Tomb Raider was, of course, having a female protagonist, which was almost unheard of at the time. There was always plenty of talk about Lara Croft’s pyramidal breasts but beyond that the games were considerably less sexist then you’d assume for the period, with Lara largely treated like any other wisecracking action hero (which wasn’t a very inspired approach but considerably more interesting than the dour killing machine of the more recent games).
There is a disclaimer that appears before any of the games load, but it was only shown for a second the first time we started up the compilation and has never reappeared, so we only got to read the first half, that warned about stereotyped portrayals of indigenous people. Whether the second paragraph mentioned sexism we don’t know.
Rather than being a bad omen, that apparent bug is not indicative of the rest of the compilation, which has had an unexpected amount of effort put into it, considering the very reasonable asking price. Not only are all three PS1 era games included but so too are all their extra levels and expansions, all of which can be played exactly as they were originally, only at a higher resolution and 60fps frame rate.
That doesn’t, unfortunately, include the cut scenes, which are so primitive it’s often hard to make out what they’re meant to be showing, but the …read more