In some games, she appears as a character skin, while in others, she pops up in the background or hides in secret areas. And when you're not fortunate enough to spot Croft herself, you might come across delightful Easter eggs referencing her, like the iconic Croft Manor or her classic outfit. So, while we anxiously await the next Tomb Raider installment, let's embark on an adventure to discover some of the places where the intrepid explorer makes her appearances.
Updated on January 26th, 2024, by the ever-vigilant Erin McKendrick, we find ourselves eagerly anticipating the Tomb Raider trilogy remaster set to release in February. Fortunately, we have other versions of Lara Croft to keep us company in the meantime. The Secret Lair Superdrop of 2023 in Magic: The Gathering introduced six new cards that pay homage to the Tomb Raider series. From the classic games to the rebooted series, Secret Lair x Tomb Raider covers the entire timeline. The real gem among these cards is the mechanically unique "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider" card that takes us back to the roots of Croft's treasure-hunting escapades.
Back in 1997, shortly after the release of the original Tomb Raider, the first-person shooter series Shadow Warrior gave us a hidden gem—a special cameo appearance by Lara Croft. Locked away in a hidden cell, you can find Croft, looking exactly as she did in the original game. Sporting her classic outfit, complete with a braid, tank top, shorts, holsters, and boots, Croft is a sight to behold. Upon discovering her, the game's protagonist snidely remarks, "She's raided her last tomb." It's safe to say that even in less-than-ideal circumstances, this cameo remains one of Lara's most unique appearances.
When it comes to downloadable skins, Lara Croft is no stranger. After gracing two other multiplayer games, she found her way into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 2 as part of the Operator Pack Bundle. Unlike her often cartoonish appearances in other games, Call of Duty portrays her hyperrealistically. The talented Keeley Hawes reprises her role as Lara's voice actress, incorporating quotes from all eras of the Tomb Raider series. This version of Lara is a perfect combination of all three, making her a force to be reckoned with in the Call of Duty universe.
Fortnite, the ever-popular battle royale game, offers not just one but four Lara Croft skins. From the survivor Lara to the classic Lara and the 25th-anniversary edition, each skin pays homage to different eras of Croft's adventures. Additionally, there's Lara Croft (Gold Anniversary), a reference to the iconic scene where Lara turns into gold upon stepping onto King Midas' hand. Regardless of the skin you choose, remember that even though Fall Guys might not make you look any less like a giant bean, having an iconic character like Lara Croft by your side is always a plus. With a blend of her classic and survival eras, Lara sports her signature braid, holsters, belt, gloves, and the iconic Tomb Raider 2013 necklace. And when she slides or dives, she playfully mimics finger guns, a nod to her classic dual pistols.
While the Lara Croft series stands apart from the main Tomb Raider series, it deserves its moment in the spotlight. Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris offer a top-down gaming experience, focusing primarily on puzzles and treasure hunting—a refreshing departure from the evolution of the main series. These puzzle games provide players with an opportunity to step into Croft's shoes while eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Tomb Raider saga.
Astro's Playroom, a delightful platformer that doubles as a guide to PS5 controls, is not only a fun tutorial but also a treasure trove of video game character cameos. Among the easter eggs referencing popular games like Metal Gear Solid and Horizon Zero Dawn, we find Lara Croft in all her glory. Dressed in her classic outfit, complete with her trusty braid, Croft showcases her parkour skills as she gracefully leaps between two cliffs—a true testament to her agile nature.
Brawlhalla, the free-to-play fighting game, boasts an impressive roster of fun characters, and Lara Croft stands tall among them. In the Tomb Raider Crossover Event, Croft appears as one of the EpicCrossovers, bringing her unique skills to the arena. With her dual pistols and acrobatic moves, she fits right in with the fast-paced action of Brawlhalla, giving players a chance to unleash their inner Tomb Raider.
From first-person shooters to battle royales, puzzle games to platformers, Lara Croft has made her mark on numerous gaming titles outside the Tomb Raider series. Her appearances as a character skin, hidden cameo, or playable character bring a sense of excitement and nostalgia to players. Whether you're exploring ancient tombs, engaging in epic battles, or solving intricate puzzles, having Lara Croft by your side adds an extra layer of adventure.
As we eagerly await the next Tomb Raider installment, let's appreciate the diverse gaming experiences that feature Lara Croft and celebrate the enduring legacy of this iconic character. From her humble beginnings in 1996 to her present-day appearances, Lara Croft continues to captivate players and inspire new generations of adventurers. So, grab your dual pistols, don your best explorer outfit, and get ready to embark on thrilling adventures with Lara Croft in the games that lie beyond Tomb Raider.