Review: Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered - Lara Croft's Nostalgic Return!

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Lara Croft returns in a nostalgic trilogy with Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered! Check out in this review what we think of one of the most anticipated Remasters of the year!

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Tomb Raider turns 28 in 2024 and one of the best gifts that older lovers of the franchise (who, like me, were always playing with their PlayStations standing up) could receive was the remaster of the classic trilogy of the most famous explorer in video games.

Lara returns in these three games, with completely reworked graphics, as well as extra content! Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered is available on the Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Series S|X, PC and Nintendo Switch platforms.


This review was made based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

Differences between the Original and Remastered

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Growing up in the 90s, when we come across something we experienced in our childhood, it brings back many good feelings, memories and moments that could only be experienced at that time.

Tomb Raider was my second PS One game (the first was Dino Crisis 2). When starting this remaster, I was filled with memories and an absurd feeling of nostalgia. Everything that existed in the original was there, with a new look, but without losing the essence of the original game. This feeling of returning to childhood is something that few remasters can bring.

Just like in Halo Combat Evolved* remastered, which has a button capable of changing between the new graphics and the original ones in real time, Tomb Raider even has this option included in the menus! When we start the game even in its current version, we may not feel that much of a difference, but after pressing the + button (equivalent to start on Xbox or Options on PlayStation), we see the difference from how the old game was. At this point, it is clear how ahead of its time this trilogy was and explains why it had such an influence on the way the next 3D exploration, adventure and action games would be made.

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The content implemented in this remaster includes: a button for quick switching between classic and remastered modes, tank and modern controls, the option to save at any time in the game, action indicators and even a photo mode with the L3 + R3 buttons.

Furthermore, there is something very interesting about the classic: bosses now have life bars. Despite sounding like something simple, this function helps the player a lot to save their ammunition and build their strategy to face certain bosses.

Tank Control Vs Modern Controls

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For me, who played Tomb Raiders on PS One for years, replaying the trilogy with tank controls was simple and extremely comfortable, as well as nostalgic. For new players, they can seem very stuck and even imprecise due to the various jumps and acrobatics that we need to do to solve puzzles or to get out of dangerous situations.

Modern controls, for me, ended up making it more difficult than helping. Through them, it is possible to control the camera with the right analog stick; however, Lara will move wherever you are looking at, making it more difficult for those who were used to the previous system. For weapons, instead of pressing the X button (Y on Xbox and Triangle on PlayStation), you must hold down the L2 button to keep them in hand and R2 to shoot.

Gameplay and Content

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The games kept everything as in the originals: puzzles, level design, enemies and equipment. Thanks to some additions mentioned above, such as the life bar on bosses and the action indicator, which helps you find items in darker places and make sure that a certain object is interactive, the game becomes a little more friendly.


Following the old molds, the games are by stages and at the end of them a table is presented with the completion time, items collected, enemies defeated, secret areas discovered and the accuracy of the shots.

However, for the unwary, the difficulty remains the same as the old version, which means that any mistake can kill you, such as falling from a very high place, being caught by an enemy behind a hidden pillar or even running out of breath while diving. When you die, the entire stage is reset, unless the player has previously created a quick save, so I recommend saving whenever possible to avoid losing your progress.

In general, each of the games can take around 5 to 7 hours to complete, varying depending on the player's skill and the time that can be spent solving each of the puzzles present in the game.

With the addition of expansions, fascinating and rich content that was included in this remastered, the time to finish each game can be increased by at least two hours. Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered, for those looking to get their 100%, especially on platforms like Xbox and PlayStation, which have an achievement system, can take around 30 hours or more!

Another interesting detail is that they kept most of the codes and cheats that existed in the original games, adding even greater fidelity and immersion to the Tomb Raider experience in the 90s!

The Remaster's Graphics

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This new Lara Croft game doesn't have state-of-the-art graphics like more recent games, nor even something similar to the last game released (Shadow of The Tomb Raider, in 2018), but its aesthetics please the eyes of those who don't know the franchise and maintains the nostalgia of older players.

All textures were reworked, the lighting system redefined and this can even cause discomfort in some parts that ended up becoming darker than in the original. The applied anti-alignment keeps objects with rounded and smooth corners, without losing the charm of a polygonal 90s game.

The sound design was kept as the original, something that I consider particularly good: much of the essence of the old games is present in it, and we can only achieve the maximum experience of what games from the 90s were like thanks to it.

The game remains dubbed in English as in the original, but this time it has subtitles for over 20 languages.

Pros and Cons

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Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered is a game that the most nostalgic and those who grew up in the 90s will be excited to try. However, not everything is perfect:


  • The games' expansions are included.

  • Inclusion of systems that help new and old players, such as action indicators and life bars on bosses.

  • Excellent remastering of textures and 3D models without losing the essence of the original games.

  • Viable option for new players to discover the classic games from this franchise.



  • New players may feel trapped in playing due to the old gameplay system and design.

  • There are no innovations in extra content, which may not provide the game with too much replayability.

  • Lack of a checkpoint option can frustrate new players by dying and losing all their progress.

    Score: 8.5


    Tomb Raider I-II-III Remastered was one of the best surprises compared to the last remasters ever made.

    Just like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro or even Shadow of The Colossus, this remaster managed to bring all the feelings I could experience as a child when playing these games for the first time. Replaying with a different mindset made me realize how ahead of their time these games were in terms of Level Design, innovation in gameplay and controls, aesthetics, exploration of current elements.

    The game's plot, which is now subtitled, for those who couldn't understand it at the time due to language limitations, becomes a pleasure to follow, showing how using clichés from 90s action films can make a game so fun and unique.

    My final score is 8.5/10. Despite having a target audience of older people and those who are already fans of the franchise, I believe that new players may like the difficulty presented in the game and so, who knows, the studios will once again create games with such immersive level design.

    It delivers everything that the most perfectionist fans loved about games at the time, as everything was maintained with care and respect for the original work, only being reworked with the highest care in its entire look, more updated mechanics and even achievement systems!

    Comment below about your experience with the franchise. Are you playing or intend to play Tomb Raider? Did you already know the old franchise, or do you just know Lara Croft from the 2013 reboot? Be sure to check out our article with the Tekken 8 Review!link outside website