It’s debatable whether Lara Croft represents female empowerment or crass objectification in polygonal form, but our protagonist delivered so much more than titillation in her 1996 archeological action debut.
It looks raw now, but the original Tomb Raider game channeled the directorial sweep of cinema – luxurious camera pans, hyperbolic set design and moody lighting – to a generation of gamers via their PlayStations.
Aside from whatever gee-whilikers Lara’s impossible proportions gave you, what you ultimately got from Tomb Raider were Saturday morning serial thrills that you could live inside of, caves where you’d hunt for treasure (and actually find it) and far-flung territories it was okay to conquer. A first-class adventure in which dudes were okay with being a lady? One for the record books, indeed.
Next Final Fantasy VII