27 Years of Tomb Raider & Lara Croft

I liked the first two Tomb Raider games and the Guardian of Light game, all other Tomb Raider games I've played were trash.
The first game was mind blowing for it's time. The T-Rex scene was terrifying, but probably looks laughable in 2023.
It was massive. The mid 90s were a British media renaissance and I remember it well. The Spice Girls and Britpop, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Trainspotting and even arguably influencing the popularity of various American movies such as the likes of Austin Powers. Lara Croft and Tomb Raider was unquestionably a big part of that, driven by ridiculous PlayStation sales.

It was the perfect platform in the perfect era for a game like TR to take off. Massive numbers of gamers matured into teens and young adults. For me the game didn't actually bother me, it felt clunky even for the time but there was no escaping the publicity. The zenith of awareness were those years of the Angelina Jolie movies, 2001-2003. Then came the crash with The Angel of Darkness that year, launched close to the second movie.

It felt played out for a decade. Uncharted took up the baton and ran with it, Uncharted 2 in particular. The reboots were pretty good though. Shadow of the Tomb Raider wore out that formula again somewhat. Sometimes series just need a rest to let the market breathe and the industry move on before they reappear.
Played through the first 3 on the original PS in the late '90s. As I hadn't been gaming for a decade by then, I thoroughly enjoyed them even though the gunplay was clearly just an afterthought. I forget if I got 4 and 5 (or they were even released for orig PS), lol just checked- have them. Clearly I was burned out and probably only started each.

Played 2013 reboot and it's great, also plays on a potato and looks good at all low settings plus AA and low shadows. Rise was also very good but soooo much shooting. Just finished Shadow a few weeks ago, that game looks stunning and plays well on modest cards today. I can't speak to the state the game was released in but it's pretty well optimized nowadays for an i7-4790 and 5600 XT, both of which are available for cheap nowadays.
Eh, too bad they "rebooted" from bad*** tomb raiding Laura to whatever this "uncharted" version of her is supposed to be...

I played only the first rebooted game and Lara is a cross between being a Terminator, John Wick and Rambo.

Rambo because you can survive and use a bow like no other. John Wick because you have made shooting skills, even when hanging upside down. Boom! Headshot! If you put enough points into the right skill you can even disarm/takedown bad guys like you see John Wick do many, many times in the movies. Terminator because she can fall from great heights, bounce off tree limbs and get up and keep going.

All those aspects rolled into one character and it's just f'ing laughable when she gets caught (I think it happened twice) and she's knocked the f out with a punch....I laughed hard and loud when I watched this happen. It made zero sense based on how much she went through already.

Who wrote this garbage? Also, let us not forget that there was no tomb raiding in this game. No puzzles outside of ones that took about 2 minutes to figure out and complete so you can get a measly little reward.

This wasn't Tomb Raider by any means and I don't understand how it went on to garner the idea of needing more of them.
It sucks the current reboot trilogy just turned her into an over-serious me me me psycho.

It's like they looked at Drake in uncharted and said oh no, there's no more room for quips and light-heartedness in this category so let's just beat the ever-loving stuffing out of Lara instead.

The last 3 games aren't bad by any means, they're graphical powerhouses, and action packed romps(mostly), just none of them stuck the landings.

spoiler for Rise ahead... how? how in the world did the bad guy in rise strip her of every weapon during that boss encounter? this chick has been climbing, jumping, falling down cliffs, fighting dudes nonstop and never lost a weapon then this one sticky fingered deviant somehow snatched a pistol, bow, shotty and rifle off her to make one of the most annoying boss encounters in history! rant done.
"...but in the past decade, her character has evolved into a more realistic and relatable figure."

Whiny and waifish isn't relatable. The character swings between doing the impossible, given her size and strength, to easily defeated (because "plot" demands it). I would definitely not call what was done to the character an evolution.
I just replayed SOTTR and was reminded once again why it is in my top 10 games of all time. It stands the test of time and the parkour is second to none in my gaming history. Graphics still look gorgeous and I had to confirm this now that I own a QD-OLED monitor.
Uff, that latest version of Lara looks like she is mother of all previous Laras...
I live in Derby, we also have Rolls Royce, Toyota and the British Railway headquarters.
Peak District close by as well as Donington Park racing circuit.
Biggest football team in the area, despite what that shower down the road in Nottingham say.

Lara though, ain't what she used to be.
I never really got into the first Tomb Raider games, as their controls were clunky, complicated and frustrating even by that era standards. Had some fun with the TR1 demo on PC but that's about it, once the novelty wears off the game's flaws become too apparent. I also remember sequels not being unanimous among fans of the original in many reviews, criticizing TR2 and 3 for having smaller and more linear levels. Later installments, especially Chronicles and Angel of Darkness, corrected many control and gameplay flaws but the game design was really lacking and uninspired.

All that said, the Lara Croft celebrity status hype during the late 1990s really was enjoyable and fun to see, even if I didn't really play the games.

However I loved the Tomb Raider Legend trilogy and think these games (Legend, Anniversary and Underworld) are very underrated. Too bad they were eclipsed at the time by the Uncharted series and also because they were released during the peak of the military shooter era.

The last 3 games are good and technically impressive but forgettable.
For me only the early ones were fun, with mind puzzles and adventures, kind of reminds me of Portal. I tried some of the newer ones but didn't care for the gameplay that lacked those things.
I remember playing the first Tomb Raider and buying a Voodoo 3DFX for it and being blown away at the time! It was so much fun!
I prefer the older TR games (TR2, Legend, Anniversary, Underworld) with the focus being on puzzles. I don't understand the new trend to change action adventures into an RPG and have half the game be optional - I want to feel I truly finished the game by the time the story has ended.
I also didn't like how they wanted us to sympathize with Lara after her first kill in the 2013 reboot but now she's totally fine with killing.
Give me that isolated feel again, without me feeling like a mass murderer, and let me explore the manor as a fully playable area.