Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Starring Lara Croft Review - Screenshot 1 of 4

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Starring Lara Croft may just set the new standard for PS1 re-releases. Aspyr, a developer which has a long history with the iconic platforming property, has done an outstanding job reimagining these 90s classics for a new audience, without losing any of the magic that made them iconic to begin with. If you have any love for Lara Croft, then you owe it to yourself to own this outstanding compilation.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Despite including a more modern control scheme, which replaces the traditional tank controls with a more contemporary setup, these games very much subscribe to a classic design philosophy that’s largely outdated by 2024’s standards. Movement is cumbersome and puzzles are obtuse; the entire opening level of Tomb Raider 3: Adventures of Lara Croft, set in India, is an unmitigated mess.

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But that’s just a consequence of Aspyr remaining faithful to Core Design’s original releases. These remasters are built upon the exact same code as the PS1 versions, meaning they’re as authentic to the source material as it’s possible to be, with all of the secrets, collectibles, and Easter eggs replicated exactly as you remember them. Even more impressively, you can toggle between the updated graphics and the 32-bit visuals at any time you like with the push of a button. And this ability to switch back and forth extends to every aspect of the three games, including even the artwork that displays during loading screens.

But while we love the look of the originals, ground-breaking as they were at the time, we reckon Aspyr has absolutely nailed the remastered graphics. The games look like you remember them, which is the biggest compliment we can pay the artists, as levels feel nostalgic despite the very obvious increase in texture quality and lighting. Lara’s character model, distinctive and so important to the overall experience, is arguably the biggest achievement – it closely matches the look of the original artwork, and is likely what the developer intended but couldn’t achieve on the hardware of the time.

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Despite the good looks, you do need to approach these games with a retro mentality: unlike in modern series such as Uncharted, where climbing amounts to little more than steering protagonist Nathan Drake with the analogue stick and pushing a single button, you really need to think about how you’re going to get to where you need to be. Lara has a pretty acrobatic toolset, which involves backflips and shimmies, and you’ll need to combine all of her skills to make it to the conclusion of her adventures.

The original game, Tomb Raider, is masterful at gradually introducing these abilities and then layering them on top of each other. The sequels, especially Tomb Raider III, are less successful – largely because they assume some knowledge of the previous games. As a trilogy, presented back-to-back here, these flaws are perhaps less problematic, because most players will probably prefer to play through each title one at a time; obviously, in the 90s, this familiarity with the franchise couldn’t be presumed.

The games definitely do get more ambitious over the course of the series, but all three are globe-trotting affairs, taking you from places like Peru and Antarctica to London and China. Some more experimental aspects, like vehicles and level select, are introduced in the later games – but the core puzzle platforming remains consistent throughout all three titles. Even with the modern controls enabled, steering the camera and lining up Lara can be annoying, and we reckon the lack of a rewind function is a glaring oversight considering the precision required here.

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However, it is fun to play a trio of games where the athletic abilities of the protagonist take centre stage. Even in combat, you’ll need to use Lara’s rolls and gymnastic-style jumps to gain an advantage, otherwise enemies will crowd you and plunge your vitality. The combat is largely sloppy, and even small things like activating switches, can be an exercise in patience – but it’s authentic to the experience of the originals, and just something you have to accept considering these games are almost 30 years old.

It should be noted that this is a comprehensive package on top of being a well-executed one, with all three expansions for the original trilogy also remastered – and almost 300 Trophies to collect across the entire compilation. Our only criticism is that the PS5 version lacks Platinum Trophies, an irritation which we’re attributing to a bizarre Sony policy change, and thus not necessarily the fault of the developer. The one saving grace is that the PS4 builds – which do include Platinum Trophies – are practically identical, and can be played on the PS5 through backwards compatibility without any issues at all.


Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Starring Lara Croft is a lovingly crafted compilation which may set a new standard for PS1 re-releases moving forward. Based on the original source code, this trilogy flawlessly reframes three iconic PS1 puzzle platformers as you remember them – warts and all. While you will need patience to navigate this trilogy of globe-trotting escapades, the upgraded art style sticks closely to Core Design’s intended vision and it’s a genuine pleasure to experience these 90s classics on all-new hardware. It’s comprehensive, too, with each game’s expansion pack included – and an enormous list of Trophies to unlock.