10 years on, fans reflect on what made Tomb Raider 2013 so great

Tomb Raider
(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics)

10 years after its release, fans reflect on what made Tomb Raider 2013 such a great game.

It certainly doesn't feel like it, but yesterday, March 5, marked ten years since the release of Tomb Raider 2013, the first game in the Survivor Trilogy. It was a new era for the long-running series; gone was the confident and highly capable Lara Croft, replaced with an inexperienced explorer stranded on a mysterious island and hunted by a sinister cult. With its intriguing setting, grittier feel, engaging gameplay, and more relatable protagonist, for many, Tomb Raider 2013 stands as one of the series' greatest entries.

In a tweet celebrating the milestone, Brian Horton, who joined Crystal Dynamics as a senior art director in 2009 and was game director on Rise of the Tomb Raider, wrote, "I can't believe it's been 10 years since the release of Tomb Raider. I'm honored to have collaborated with such talented developers, many who became lifelong friends. Thanks to the millions of fans who played this game!"

Fans were quick to share their fondness for the game, and its leading lady, in the comments. One fan said, "Definitely an awesome game to play! This entry revitalized my love for this character!" Another replied, "One of those games that mean the world to me. Been a TR fan ever since the start and TR13 has a very special place in my heart. Thanks for giving us our survivor."

The official Tomb Raider Twitter page also marked the occasion by asking players for their most memorable moments of Tomb Raider 2013. "Definitely the radio tower," said one fan. "I have a love-hate relationship with heights, even in games. It's exhilarating and scary, and this part sure conveyed it well!" Another commented, "I just remember loving the atmosphere of the island. The dark, rainy nature really helped with the survival theme."

For some players, Lara using her signature dual pistols to save the day is the highlight, while for others, it's a multitude of things that make the game so memorable. "Honestly, too many to count," wrote one long-time Tomb Raider fan. "The Oni reveal is probably one of my favorite moments in the entire history of Tomb Raider. This game is so damn special to me." Another replied, "Story was absolutely incredible, graphics and gameplay exactly what I was expecting. Excellent game"

The Survivor Trilogy concluded in 2018 with the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and exactly where the series will go from here is still very much a mystery. What we do know is that it's being published by Amazon Games and has been described as "the biggest, most expansive Tomb Raider game to date".

See which of Lara's many adventures we like the most in our rundown of the best Tomb Raider games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.