Tomb Raider Games Ranked
Image: Nintendo Life

Some people might understandably associate the Tomb Raider series, like WipeOut and Crash Bandicoot, with PlayStation. Lara Croft shot to prominence as the poster girl of gaming in the lad-mag era of the late-'90s and feels forever tied to the cultural gaming cornerstone that is Sony's debut console.

However, Core Design's original game launched for Sega Saturn and PC, too, and while Sony negotiated console exclusivity for the sequel, the series has appeared on practically every game platform made since the turn of the millennium, including Nintendo platforms. And with the release of Tomb Raider I-III Remastered on Switch, we're finally able to enjoy Lara's original adventures in their original form (almost).

But what's the best Tomb Raider game? That's what we're here to find out. This ranked list of every Tomb Raider game ever on Nintendo consoles is governed by each game's User Rating in our database and is subject to real-time change depending on its score, even as you read this! Simply click the star rating and assign a score from 1-10 to exert your personal influence on the ranking. (You'll have to refresh the page to see the changes, if any, take effect.)

Before we begin, series fans will quickly note the absence of several entries, including the excellent Survivor trilogy — Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider never came to Nintendo consoles, unfortunately. Fingers crossed for a 'Switch 2' port, perhaps?

Enough exposition. Let's grab our guns, pull on our relic-hunting pants, and discover the best Tomb Raider games, starting at the bottom...

11. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend (DS)

Lara's DS debut, this isn't a bad effort — not legendary, but not bad. Much like its portable predecessors, Legend on DS is a fair stab at translating the gun-toting, puzzle-platforming sensibilities of the 3D games into a side-scrolling format which makes sense on more modest hardware, and the extra power of this console over its predecessor meant that these handheld tombs certainly looked better than ever. We'd never choose to play this over the full-fat version, but it comfortably beats the GBA entry that carries the same name.

10. Tomb Raider: Legend (GBA)

Human Soft developed both handheld versions of Tomb Raider: Legend, and this is the lesser of the two. The game isn't unimpressive in the visual department, with clean animation and sprites created from renders (think Donkey Kong Country) and a story that's conveyed through comic book-style stills. Lara's repetitive grunts as she clambers around the scenery soon begin to grate, though. Couple that with irritating motorcycle-shooting sections, and it's not a game we're desperate to dig up.

9. Tomb Raider: Underworld (DS)

Santa Cruz Games took the reins on this reworked side-on platforming version of the home console game. This portable version of Lara's ninth official adventure manages to cram in voiced cutscenes, along with the requisite inventory access on the touchscreen and continues the calm and calculated platforming of the Game Boy entries. DS Underworld isn't a must-play, but it's not an embarrassment to the Croft name, either.

8. Tomb Raider: The Prophecy (GBA)

Developed by Ubisoft Milan, this is a 3/4 top-down affair featuring Lara's familiar acrobatic platforming and that slow-and-steady run cycle of hers that makes her the envy of marathon runners the world over. Tomb Raider: The Prophecy an unremarkable but fairly enjoyable jaunt featuring all the environmental puzzling and gunplay you'd expect from lofty Crofty, although it can't hold a candle to the home console games.

7. Tomb Raider (GBC)

Lara Croft's first venture onto the Game Boy Color, Tomb Raider is a side-on action platformer which sees the titular raider of tombs scrambling up walls, swinging across vine-filled ceilings, and leaping over chasms searching for treasures and the like. It's a more cinematic, slower-paced plunder — more Prince of Persia than Mario — but features some impressive animation. Overall, a decent 8-bit interpretation of Croft's 3D adventures.

6. Tomb Raider: Underworld (Wii)

Tomb Raider: Underworld represents Crystal Dynamics' last attempt at what many deem to be 'classic' Lara Croft before rebooting the franchise completely in 2013. You'd be forgiven for thinking that Underworld is a bit of a wet lettuce in terms of quality, then, but it's actually a solid entry in the franchise that's well worth checking out with some decent motion-controlled puzzles to solve. Unfortunately, after multiple entries in quick succession, Underworld suffered from being 'just another Tomb Raider' and performed well below publisher Eidos Interactive's expectations.

5. Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword (GBC)

This sequel to Lara's first Game Boy Color adventure had Activision on publishing duties and was launched just a couple of weeks after Angelina Jolie's cinematic debut as Ms. Croft. Curse of the Sword followed the formula as its predecessor, with the same style of acrobatic, slow-and-steady gameplay taking you out of the tombs from New Orleans to New York. Given the limitations of the system, Core Design did another decent job distilling the core tenants of Lara's 3D exploits for the GBC.

4. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend (GCN)

Crystal Dynamics' first foray with Lara after taking the reins from originating studio Core Design, Tomb Raider: Legend centres on Croft's search for Excalibur, mythical sword of King Arthur (and a John Boorman film).

Legends was a more modern-feeling take on the tomb-raiding formula following the poorly received Angel of Darkness on PS2. Keeley Hawes took over Lara's voice in this entry, and with its new approach to the classic character, this reboot helped get Lara back on her feet after a stumble, bringing her properly into the 21st century and introducing the '90s icon to a new audience.

3. The Lara Croft Collection (Switch eShop)

The Lara Croft Collection sees two excellent Tomb Raider spin-offs hit Nintendo Switch in an excellent package that offers plenty of puzzles, slick combat, and fun local co-op action. There are a few performance issues in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, and the lack of online co-op for both games is a shame, but overall we recommend picking this double pack upup. They may initially look like watered-down takes on the main franchise but make no mistake, these are two of Lara's very best outings.

2. Tomb Raider: Anniversary (Wii)

A co-developed project between Crystal Dynamics and Buzz Monkey Software, who handled the Wii port of the game, Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a 2007 remake of Core Design's original 1996 Tomb Raider, and forms part of the 'Legends' trilogy, which was capped off with Underworld the following year. This remake modernised various aspects and overhauled the visuals, with the Wii version adding motion controls and exclusive puzzle gimmicks, too.

As with many a waggle-filled Wii port, the motion controls were cute and immersive to some, and an irritation to others. But overall, Anniversary was a relatively classy reimagining and for many years remained the only way for Nintendo gamers to experience Lara's very first adventure.

1. Tomb Raider I-III Remastered (Switch eShop)

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is one of Aspyr's most accomplished projects, successfully giving three of gaming's most iconic titles a much-needed lick of paint while upgrading the controls to give newcomers a welcome leg-up. Some of the lighting is a bit off with the new visuals, and the need to manually save your game is a big no-no for us these days, but if you're curious as to how Lara Croft got her start in gaming, then this is an impressively faithful rendering of some classics, and easily the best way to experience the original trilogy.

Some real treasures in there, along with a handful of unpolished gems. Disagree with this Tomb Raider ranking? Remember, you can rate the games you've played even now and influence the ranking in real-time. Just click on the stars on each entry to assign a score from 1-10.