View Single Post
Old 19-11-19, 15:39   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 43
Default TR1/TR Anniversary Definitive Ranking of each level

Hey TR fans, been a long time since i've posted on here, used to be on this forum 10+ years ago with an older account & i'm glad to see some of the original guys are still here

We're all familiar with the level ranking threads i'm sure but perhaps there hasn't been too many ranking the 29 levels between the original TR 1 & Anniversary.

I've been playing tomb raider since i am about 7 all the way back in 98 so i grew up throughout the main classic series and the crystal dynamics series & unfortunately the uncharted like TR games we have today which are good for their genre but not necessarily like the classic TR games we all know and love.

Without revealing too much the original tomb raider has always been my favourite game, its so near and dear to my heart & you can imagine my excitement playing through anniversary when it came out. A game that done a spectacular job on remaining faithful to the original & throwing its own spin on things with excellent results.

Without dragging this on too much i would like to express my list and give a brief insight to its position where i've placed it, please feel free to share yours below as i would love to read through other peoples list even if it would take some time to do.

Okaayyy lets gooo.

29. Caves (TR)

So I guess surprisingly we have the original level that started it all, brings back a lot of memories started the game up but ultimately its very plain & unfortunately comes in dead last.

28. Mountain Caves (TRA)

I guess unsurprisingly the remastered version has followed the original in this list only slightly bettering it, honestly a good level but itís the shortness that kills that immersion of the opening level for me.

27. Atlantis (TR)

To my belief its a fan favourite, butttt yeah I wasnít into the whole mutant thing back when I was younger & despite liking it more upon replays I canít really rank it higher, the pulsating walls of blood & veins still remain in my head to this day

26. Final Conflict (TRA)

A great designed level imo, much better than the original but its the boss fights that kill it for me, the giant mutant is a bullet sponge if you donít land those critical shots & the natla fight wasnít much better. I felt compared to the original this felt liked a rushed finale to meet natla.

25. Tomb Of Qualopec (TR)

This is where the difficulty ramped up my opinion, back in the days where saves were scarce as hell you couldnít play this level without meeting your grim death through those damned spikes. A mediocre level that ends with a cool sequence of getting out before youíre crushed( donít forget about the secret underwater before the cutscene though

24. Natlaís mines (TR)

Back in the day was the first half of this level boringgg. Pushing many boxes around to find a switch was a bit of a pain to say the least. It was cool trying to find weapons having been stripped in the previous cutscene but once you get those pistols back you suddenly feel god like again. Loved the sequence with the skateboarding kid to get the legendary uziís back but ultimately the pacing in this level can drag on a bit.

23. City of khamoon (TR)

It seems a shame putting this here so low, it has a beautiful setting & weíre introduced to those creepy assed mummies for the first time, but saying that there was of block pushing to navigate your way around this level which slowed things down for me. I do have a lot of memories dying from this level too which probably has altered my opinion a bit :P

22. The Great Pyramid (TRA)

The penultimate level in anniversary confusingly after dropping Atlantis as a name, this level was very good at capturing the essence of being inside a mutant infected pyramidic ruin & it was topped off by a satisfying duel against Laraís doppelgšnger. I felt Anniversary pulled this level off in their own way but yielded better results as a whole compared to the original Atlantis.

21. The Great Pyramid (TR)

The finale of the original was quite a ride from killing a ginormous mutant to almost getting burned alive by lava & jumping your way across dangerous caverns when your face isnít getting eaten buy mutants, this level was quite a test in the original and brought a satistfying and fair test against our final enemy miss jacqueline natla, memories completing this game were brilliant as you climbed the huge pillars praying natla wouldn't wake up...again.

20. City of Vilcabamba (TR)

Not a whole lot to say on this one except watch out for the swinging axes, 3 yes 3Öand keep some of those medikits handy for that crazy bear at the end, he ainít friendly at all..

19. Tomb Of Qualopec (TRA)

I actually liked what they did with this level, expanding the main room + adding a more difficult challenge to the siderooms, the main room was turned into a manoeuvrable box/pillar puzzle which added some time but not very much thinking to the level. Not the most memorable level in the world but one you could say was overall pretty solid.

18. Tomb Of Tihocan (TRA)

now this was a controversial one for me as it merged 2 levels( Cistern & the original TOT) together which crammed what was originally about an hours worth of gameplay into half of that as so many segments were cut out here especially the cistern & its side rooms. It all led up the the fight with the centaurs & Pierre at the temple which really didnít need the critical hit quick time event moments in there to justify its merit. They done it right the first time why mess with the formula. Still a very good level but so much of Tihocan was cut out which is a crying shame.

17. Natlaís Mines (TRA)

Unlike the original version I had a great liking to this level, it felt more industrious than before. Even with it feeling shorter than the prior version I felt it served its purpose here, My first play through of this game was a nightmare in Natlaís mines as I somehow managed to get stuck at a checkpoint in which I couldnít progress any further. It was comical from the point of view the the big shotgun guy was frozen still in time in the level but after a day of grinding I managed to restart the game all over & got there after 6-7 hours of play :O also I kinda bugged me how they removed the skater section in the remake, that was my favourite part originally in this level

16. The Coliseum (TRA)

Another great imagining from anniversary here with the epic setting of a coliseum. Following on directly after st Francis folly , the coliseum had the un-enviable task of matching it! Which in some regards it did and in others not. But in particular I enjoyed this coliseum depiction from CD, I think the setting is fantastic & the coliseum is much better than the original. Why is it ranked lower than TR1? Again I think they dumbed down this level a bit in terms of length and challenge, the only challenging thing here was combat for me and it wasnít enough to cover up the shortness of this level. I still enjoy playing this level for the ambience that is set all over.

15. Temple Of Khamoon (TRA)

Credit to crystal dynamics for doing a great redesign of the main hall in this level. They really captured the essence of Egypt here with the attention to detail that can be seen from ever Inch of this level, even an unnecessary number of wall climbs coulídnt spoil this rendition of khamoon. I enjoyed how different it was from the original and admired the beauty that linked it to obelisk & SOTS. Very much enjoyed it here in contrast to the original even though I still love that one.

14. City of Vilcabamba (TRA)

Ah what beauty such a small level can bring. A short sweet and simplified version of this level you could say and itís all it needs to be a good one as a starting level in my opinion, gets straight to the point and shows us some beautiful village that really gets the mind thinking of who inhabited here before the big bear took over. Everything is relatively unchanged apart from what was around the small village in the original but I can live with that. Some of the art used to depict the tribes(for lack of a better word) who inhabited here before is very captivating & I enjoy playing this every time.

13. Sanctuary Of The Scion (TRA)

One of the levels I was anticipating the most coming into playing this game was this, and it definitely didnít disappoint! This level is as grand as the original, and presents itself well. The challenge of the side rooms was most welcome & despite the fact it doesnít measure up to the original I think the team done a fantastic job recreating it. I guess the only downside for me was when they changed the confrontation with Larson and moved it to natlaís mines, an unnecessary move but in the grand scheme of things this level still remains a great one.

12. Tomb Of Tihocan (TR)

While for some this may appear as an ordinary level of sorts I really took a great liking for this level as a kid and still retain that felling until now. It doesnít do anything grand or amazing that wasnít shown in previous levels but thereís something about its deadly traps, tough enemies including the introduction to centaurs, puzzles & all round eerie vibe that make this a full tomb raiding package. The shootoff with Pierre at end was fairly satisfying too after he had taken so much health off me in 3 of the previous 4 levels.

11. Midasís Palace (TRA)

A very much different looking level from the original, yet again it seems as though a lot of content/ rooms were cut from here, I guess they didnít see the point in them? But they are tombs after all theyíre going to vary in size and statureÖany who not taking away from the enjoyment of this level it gives you the same basis of collecting 3 bars of lead and converting them to gold. Pretty straight forward? SureeeeÖI did enjoy each themed room here immensely particularly the fire room which presented a fine challenge. Although it doesnít stack up to the original it should be commended for its own style and aesthetic which looks great.

10. Obelisk Of Khamoon (TR)

This level was fantastic! It continued on from the city of khamoon but brought a thrilling challenge of obtaining 4 artefacts you need for the obelisk to access sanctuary of the scion. The objective was to enter 4 different areas find 4 different switches to pull to lower 4 bridges, sounds simple? Hell no. Those mummies will see to end your existence so make sure youíre well stocked up on ammo & medikits. Plenty of climbing in this level which isnít a problem when you see the beauty of the rooms surrounding you. Definitely one of the most underrated levels in tomb raider and deserves its praise for what it presents to you.

9. Cistern (TR)

For some reason this level has never been held in high regard, some people may even say itís just a giant sewer with a few doors and puzzles, that may be true but I canít help but admire the beauty of this level. When all the side rooms have been completed(to which your goal is fill the main room with water) you are greeted to a mesmerising view of the cistern completely bathed in a green glow from the water below, this paired with the main tomb raider theme was one of my best memories I have playing this game & it still stays in my mind that even though thereís plenty of enemies including our French friend Pierre, this level still can give you a great experience each time you play & I would certainly go back and play it any day. Classic!

8. Lost Valley (TRA)

If this doesnít define a brilliant remake then I donít know what does! Once again the devs gave our lost valley a new face lift but still kept the core principles of the level in place. A big waterfall in the original turned into an epic one in the remake! A T-rex in the original turned into a full on boss fight in Anniversary which I think when you consider its size is justified, a few bullets wouldnít take this big boy down. Beautiful scenery was to be found in the valley itself & a brightly lit skybox indicated it is indeed in a valley & not deep in a cave like the original. I loved what they did with the passages to and from the valley & the mini puzzles on route to the cog wheels, it made for a thoroughly enjoyable walk back into the world of TR in the eyes of CD. Great job with this one.

7. Colosseum (TR)

Ahh if there was ever a level that had greatness in its name to live up to then it was the colosseum. this level is safely in the top 10 and for good reason.This level directly followed st Francis folly so it was always an uphill task following that but honestly it was nothing short of brilliant, full of secrets including the magnums, the colosseum offered a bit of everything, including its enormous arena(okay not quite colosseum shaped but brilliant nonetheless) I liked traversing across the arena getting through spike pits, timed doors, a flurry of enemies, shootouts with Pierre & a boulder trap that had us all confused at first. If you donít have a fun time here do you even like TR?

6. Sanctuary Of The Scion (TR)

Just missing out on the top 5 is another classic level shrouded in brilliance. It has a bit of everything for all fans, Giant Sphinx statue(check) Underwater puzzles(check) fighting against hard ass enemies with the flying mutants & a satisfying ending to the level wasting our good friend Larson(check). The level is easily the biggest in this game when you explore each area, itís such an impressive design by the team & hiding the Uzis on an invisible platform was a touch of genius. If you can get through this level without the use of a medikit then I salute you. This level is a tough one and is one of the primary reasons I love it. A great note to leave the Egyptian levels on.

5. Obelisk Of Khamoon (TRA)

One of few levels I loved over the original although not by much was TRA rendition of the obelisk of khamoon. Man did CD do their homework here on delivering a phenomenal level! The design of this level was perfect, they got everything right & even bettered the original. Each room in which you need to obtain an artefact was beautiful and really stood out from each other imo. The detail in the main room with the bridges and artefacts alone was staggeringly beautiful and something you could admire to look around at. They delivered a perfect combination of lore, setting, mood and ambience & it makes me look back in admiration all these years later. A really class level that only deserves the highest praise.

4. St. Francis Folly (TRA)

I think crystal dynamics knew they had quite a task on their hands when remaking one of the most famous and loved levels in tomb raider history, and what was the end result? A bloody good one. The opening room in this level is like a painting it was stunning! Especially with their being a roof overhead showing that picturesque sky. It isnít long before weíre greeted by the main room with the 4 themed greek gods & once again its more to behold as you scale your way down and figure out how to access each room by means of each level. Poseidon replacing Neptune was historically correct and provided a sterner challenge over the original, atlas took another approach over its predecessor and definitely delivered on its gameplay aspects. Damocles remained fairly similar apart from sword pits looking to rip you apart & the Hephaestus room brought back fond memories of Thors hammer from the original. I loved everything about this level & although it cannot top the original for me its easily the best in Anniversary.

3. Palace Midas (TR)

This was a very tough level to place 3rd as I wanted it to be higher because its just an unbelievably good one. From its opening minutes taking on gorillas & crocs to turning lead to gold this level keeps the action going all the way! Three intriguingly different rooms with spikes, fire & swimming/climbing your way atop an old ruin. Who could forget the little Easter egg of the hidden medikit on top of the unreachable pillar. This level really had it all & even offered us our first look at the sliding door trap that has claimed us so many restarts but matter not the experience this level will bring you is one of the finest you will find anywhere, The design is stunning from its greek themed ruins to its lush gardens to its swimming to spikes to fire to a giant hand that will turn you to gold! It was an unforgettable experience that will stick with me for life. A True Great thatís very much a fan favourite for good reasons.

2. Lost Valley (TR)

Most people would say this level defines tomb raider, others would say its the greatest level in a tomb raider game even to this day. Ask anyone old enough to remember this when it came out about what memories they took away from tomb raider & 9/10 they will say the T-rex from Lost Valley. Thatís what this level did! It gave people an incredible experience that was nowhere to be seen at the time of this games release. I have fantastic memories of this level, itís probably my most played TR level of all time up there with my no.1 pick. Getting 3 cogs to bring atop a waterfall and turn it off may sound like a basic enough concept, but it was the atmosphere this level brought, you went from wolves and bats to a friction Tyrannosaurus rexÖnot to mention all of his little buddies lurking in the shadows in the form of raptors. This is highly regarded as the best level of all time in all of tomb raider and I thoroughly agree because its classic tomb raider its very best, back to where it all started.

1. St Francis Folly (TR)

Call it love, call it nostalgia but itís incredibly difficult to sum up just how good this level is, I mean WOW! What can be said for it other than it is absolutely spectacular. I Have the best memories as a kid playing this level from the opening sequence climbing the pillars to cross the room to sliding down ramp with an opposing ledge that you would time right 1/10 times, to being shoved underwater getting interrogated by 2 crocodiles before being met with the outstanding amphitheatre that is St Francis follyís main room. My first impression was wow look at that drop, it wasnít long before Lara fell to her death and I learned exactly just how long the drop was. 4 Greek god rooms with their own peril await you from Lightning & a giant Thor hammer, to a legion of swords overhead waiting to impale you! A giant boulder & a long swim will keep you plenty occupied in the other rooms when youíre not tussling with Pierre or a barrage of lions & gorillas down below. I Truly believe this was the level that really set the standard for tomb raiders to come. Itís fair to say this is my favourite level of all time, and even more so as I experienced it with my dad as a child. He sadly passed away recently & Iíll never forget the happy memories these games and this level did in particular for us. THANK YOU Tomb Raider for all the wonderful games & happy memories

This took several days to compile so if you managed to read through it all then I thank you & wish to hear your opinions on this. I was considering doing a TRII & TRII Gold ranking list if anybody is interested in seeing that happen. Good day to you all and keep on raiding those classic tombs.

Last edited by Purcell91; 19-11-19 at 16:03.
Purcell91 is offline   Reply With Quote