The highly anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is here! The excellent game is now available on the PlayStation 4, after launching over a year ago on the Xbox One and shortly thereafter on PC. Lara Croft is such an enigmatic figure, and the game is so good, that we are actually giving away two copies of the game: one for PlayStation 4 and one for Xbox One.

Our competition aside, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix recently released an explosive accolades trailer that showcases some of the 20 Year Celebration edition’s explosive scenes. It shows a mildly more experienced Lara take on some mercenaries, death-defying feats, and a huge mythical god. As I mentioned in a previous article: it seems to be all in a day’s work for young Lara Croft!

To celebrate the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have released a positively enlightening infographic. It is a nice little fact sheet about the last two decades of Tomb Raider. It condenses the various releases into their respective years with a bit of trivia on the side, and it looks pretty neat

It details the last 20 years in the Tomb Raider franchise and takes us back to the very beginning. I cannot help but be hit with a pang of nostalgia as I see the classic box art for Tomb Raider — the game that started it all.

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I remember popping the disc of the very first Tomb Raider into my old PlayStation console that my dad bought for me. It came with three games: Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, 007: Tomorrow Never Dies; and of course, Tomb Raider. I played all of these games until their discs would no longer work.

Although I started gaming on console, my entire life has consisted of me being more of a PC boy than a mere “console peasant” [Ed’s note: no matter how you choose to game, we at Vamers still dig you]. I have grown up, of course, and with that came the appreciation of console gaming, but I digress. I skipped the second Tomb Raider game, not knowing of its existence until the third dropped in 1998.

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Tomb Raider III was that one game that I will always remember. Mostly for “the creepy old stalker butler guy” that always followed Lara around in the Mansion… but also for the incredibly detailed levels that it offered. I used to spend entire hours trying to get past certain puzzles – which, in retrospect, were totally easy to solve.

Then came Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and boy was I not prepared for that emotional train wreck! Being the innocent little 10-12 year old that I was, I had no idea how the death of a fictional character would affect me. The worst part is that I did not even finish the game myself! I woke up one Saturday night, joined my dad in the game room and watched him finish the fourth Tomb Raider game. It sucked.

The Last Revelation was a good game. It began with a younger Lara Croft and mentor, Werner Von Croy, exploring ancient ruins in Angkor Wat, Cambodia. A massive adventure later, and the game ends with Von Croy “not” helping Lara escape a falling ruin in Egypt. The game ends with the insinuation that Lara had died (there was no other way to interpret that ending).

Of course, Lara had to survive The Last Revelation in order for Tomb Raider Chronicles to release. This was the last Tomb Raider game that I actively played and loved. It took me a while to get used to the idea that Lara had survived and was now gunning for vengeance. It took me even longer to get used to the insane new story, but it was an incredible game nonetheless.

Chronicles played pretty much exactly the same as The Last Revelation in that it had the same controls and featured the same graphics. It began with Lara’s close friends getting together to tell her stories. It was a great game that involved five different adventures, with the last ending on the revelation that Lara was, indeed, still alive. I felt like the ending was quite an unfaithful jab at longstanding fans, as it felt forced. Von Croy merely explains that they have “found her”! Yeah, that same Von Croy that we all went into the fifth game hating.

Chronicles was the last PlayStation game that released before the PlayStation 2 came out. This is where I strayed from the path and joined the ranks of the so-called “PC Master Race”. Skip ahead 13 years, and I rejoined Lara’s camp with a copy of Tomb Raider (2013). Long story short: it was great!

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to the rebooted Tomb Raider (2013) title. It follows a much more grounded Lara, who is in her twenties, as she experiences her first real ‘tomb raiding’ experience, in the foot steps of her father.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is out now on PlayStation 4, but the additional content is also available on PC and Xbox One for all Season Pass holders. As such, everyone will get the added “Blood Ties”and “Lara’s Nightmare” playable chapters; as well as a new multiplayer gameplay mode, and the Extreme Survivor difficulty mode. Five exclusive skins will also unlock for all Season Pass holders, which may cause some nostalgia strings to tighten up!

[Sources: Core Design (The Last Revelation & Chronicles Trailers), PlayStation Blog, Xbox (Tomb Raider & Rise of the Tomb Raider trailers)]