25 essential video games every gamer should know

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12. Tomb Raider

Impossible to pick just one of the franchise, the Tomb Raider series is one of the few game franchises that feature a female heroine and main character. While earlier games are often criticized for over-sexualizing Lara Croft with her tiny shorts, tank top, and large breasts, the modern games have rounded out her character further and focused on her strengths instead of her looks. In particular, the recent reboot of the series in 2013 brought many modern gameplay mechanics to the series and hence is easier for modern players to pick up.

The original game was released in 1996 for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and MS-DOS and follows Lara Croft, an English archaeologist, in search of legendary artifacts. With nods to the platformer genre, players will have to guide Lara through various settings to solve puzzles and complete the level.

Tomb Raider remains a very popular franchise today and the modern games follow a younger Lara as she becomes the heroine we’re familiar with. The series also has reached main-stream fame with several older movies starring Angelina Jolie as Lara, and a new movie released this year that is based on the 2013 reboot and stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft.