Ever since the original Tomb Raider title first debuted in 1996 for the Sony PlayStation, players have been falling head over heels for Lara Croft and her Indiana Jones-inspired gameplay. As the first few Tomb Raider games would go on to gain widespread success, all eyes were on Lara during the late 1990s, fixated on the new female face of the video game industry (sorry Samus).

To celebrate this week's launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider, it's time we go spelunking and exploring across the world in search of the best fan art we could find starring Lara Croft.

In 2001, Paramount Pictures released Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in theaters, which starred Angelina Jolie in the film's title role. A sequel film, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, was released in theaters two years later.

Unfortunately, 2003 was when things started to decline for the Tomb Raider franchise. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life was met with negative reception by critics and underwhelming sales numbers from the masses. Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, the sixth game of the series, was rushed to store shelves in order to make Cradle of Life's theatrical launch. Angel of Darkness was an unfinished, glitch-filled catastrophe and Cradle of Life barely made half of what the first film made at the box office. Underwhelming ticket/DVD sales and Angelina Jolie's refusal to continue playing Lara Croft resulted in Paramount pulling the plug on a potential third movie.

After Square Enix acquired Eidos in 2009, they decided to fully reboot the franchise. In 2013, we were introduced to the new Lara Croft in a title that was simply called Tomb Raider. This reinvented version of Lara was believable, gritty and more realistic. Lara's often exaggerated features were toned down to make her more believable. Now, Lara is back on her throne, and all eyes are on her yet again as we wait for the Rise of the Tomb Raider.


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