Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Review – Faithfully Nostalgic

Lara Croft running into a cave in Tomb Raider 2
Image Credit: Aspyr.
Lara Croft running into a cave in Tomb Raider 2

Tomb Raider has always been a huge part of my life, as it was a strong hyper-fixation throughout my childhood. I replayed these games to death. To see that the first three have been remastered was the best news anyone could have given me, and I can safely say they did the games justice. It is everything I could have hoped for, and I’m so glad I can finally play it across multiple consoles. Being the huge nerd I am, I own it on Nintendo Switch and PC. 

So, is this Tomb Raider remaster really worth the money, and is it everything a long-term franchise fan would want? 

A Faithful Upgrade

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 1 remastered fighting an Atlantian in Egypt
Image Credit: Aspyr.

Loading up the menu for the first time, I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed hearing the music again. This is something that I’d been waiting for for a long time, and I was honestly surprised when it was announced. The remastered graphics are beautiful, and while some may feel conned by the fact that they aren’t “up-to-date,” they fit the franchise well. Sure, they may not be ultra-HD or anything, but they feel suited to the aesthetic that Tomb Raider 2 Lara had. If you aren’t a fan of the new graphics, you can easily toggle them with a press of a button and go back to the original graphics!

The sound design and effects kept the same, so it was an incredibly nostalgic adventure. Reliving my childhood as I raided Tombs, hunted down secrets, and killed a gigantic T-Rex, this game was everything and more. I am so glad the sound design didn’t change; they remain iconic. From hearing “no” to the lightning strikes in Thor’s room in St Francis’ Folly, the nostalgia was coming thick and fast. 

On top of that, some of the pictures you could take with the brand-new photo mode made for a stronger story being told. With the poses you could put Lara in and the outfits, you could make up a whole new story and adventure for her using her surroundings! The photo mode is a lot of fun, and you could spend hours trying to get some fantastic shots.

Nitpicking Details

Lara Croft jumping in Tomb Raider 2 China
Image Credit: Aspyr.

Overall, the Tomb Raider Remastered collection is near perfect. The flaws are so minute that they don’t affect the game’s overall play. Currently, there is a mild teething issue with trying to stream the game on Twitch and struggling to capture it. A workaround exists for those adamant about streaming, but it’s still an issue. 

There are also some very minor bugs in photo mode that reveal some faults in the skybox, but again, they are incredibly minor and barely affect the gameplay. I also experienced some disappearing water, depending on where you are in the game.

The one thing that could be added to the game is some graphics settings. There needs to be a way to set resolution, change gamma, and more. While the original Tomb Raider games had these settings, the remaster doesn’t. Not having these settings meant that my experience was slightly dampened. However, I could predominantly fix these issues by turning up the screen brightness on my laptop or Nintendo Switch or swapping to classic graphics where everything is significantly brighter.

Cheats or No Cheats?

Lara Croft fighting a lion in the Colosseum in Tomb Raider 1
Image Credit: Aspyr.

What I really love about this remaster is that they kept the capability to cheat. Since I was relatively young when I played this, I would use all sorts of cheats. From infinite ammo to level skips, I would use them all. Who could forget the best cheat, exploding Lara? What is the point of it? Who knows! Not only that, but there are also the fun corner skips where you get stuck in a wall and end up on the roof! I may or may not have utilized them in St Francis’ Folly to save myself from pushing a block.

The remastered collection is fantastic, and the modernized graphics showcase the beauty of each game in this trilogy. It allows you to play it however you want. Whether you want to use the original tank controls to stay faithful to the original or mix it up and try the modern controls, the choice is yours. There is something for everyone, even those completely new to the franchise. This remaster has made the collection that much more accessible for those who want a retro experience and want to know more about the origins of Tomb Raider. For that, I commend their efforts and the hard work they put into this collection.


Lara Croft running into a cave in Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Review – Faithfully Nostalgic
The Tomb Raider I-III collection is faithful to the originals and is a beautifully mastered collection. While I may be incredibly biased, as Tomb Raider is quite literally the reason I’m a games journalist today, it still holds up so well, and you can choose whether you want a modernized or a dated experience.
Incredibly similar to the original
Stunning graphics
Fun photo mode
More accessible than the originals
Very minor bugs and glitches that break immersion
Avatar photo

Written by Amy Eastland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *