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Tomb Raider - Core Design 1996

Oddly, Tomb Raider hasn't made it into our list on the basis of graphics. While the sight of Lara Croft smoothly running through caves and leaping from waterfalls drew gasps when the game appeared eleven years ago, Super Mario 64 deserves the credit for showing the way forward for third-person gaming in 3D, and did so with more control and intelligence than Tomb Raider's less flexible system.
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Tomb Raider, however, has probably had the more impact on video games and video game culture as a whole. It brought a real level of cinematic spectacle to the action game, with its cool cut-scenes and huge set-piece moments, and created an iconic character that just about everyone could relate to - even if just as a weird, polygonal lust object.
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Wipeout might have been the game that bought consoles to the hip, club-going masses, but it was Tomb Raider that lured the real mainstream audience over to the PlayStation. The mix of Prince of Persia-inspired traps, platforming, puzzle solving and shooting was inspired, and moments like the early T-Rex encounter still remain in the memory of anyone that played it. This year's enjoyable anniversary update only proves how strong and vital a title this game was.

Mention: Lara's bust size, name and English background only came late in development.

Don't mention: The dodgy ‘nude raider' patches.

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