Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
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  1. So while it's got enough faults to keep it from being a GOTY contender for most, it's still the best Tomb Raider title I've ever played, and I'm really curious to see what's next for the franchise once again.
  2. Games Master UK
    Nothing truly revolutionary here, but in many ways it's the finest Tomb Raider to date. [Christmas 2008, p.70]
  3. In tone, Underworld hits the target dead center, delivering the perfect mix of isolation and discovery with larger dramatic encounters. No modern cities mar Lara’s excursion this time – this is tomb raiding from beginning to end. Remarkable visuals sell the experience, and a moving score deepens your involvement. The formula behind the game is ready for some fresh ideas, but as a wrap up of old ideas, Underworld hits the sweet spot.
  4. In conclusion, Tomb Raider Underworld is what the series has been missing and although it may not the standout game of the year, it's definitely one of the better ones and it's good to see.
  5. 85
    Despite its failure to move the series forward, Underworld is still fundamentally an incredibly enjoyable experience and a real return to captivating tomb raiding on a grand scale. It might be the same Lara we’ve enjoyed over the years but there’s no denying the lady’s still got style.
  6. Tomb Raider Underworld was far more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be. The expansive environments, solid platforming sequences, challenging puzzles, and adventure-filled storyline should appeal to anyone who loved the Prince of Persia games and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Disappointingly, combat is fairly mediocre, and a lot of technical inconsistencies are troublesome. Nevertheless, Underworld is a very good game.
  7. Overall Clumsy combat, but enough quality puzzling to thrill lapsed fans.
  8. 83
    Crystal Dynamics has revived the core values of the original Tomb Raider games and reminded fans what drew them to the series in the first place. It’s an enticingly open action-adventure game with a seriously sexy lead.
  9. While it doesn’t propel the series forward to new heights, Underground is certainly an exciting and challenging Tomb Raider game worthy of Lady Croft’s sizeable talents.
  10. Tomb Raider Underworld is a fantastic proposal for fans of puzzles and platform gaming. Sadly its camera and control issues let down its many virtues. Nevertheless the new adventure of Lara Croft is brief but intense, and has plenty of good puzzles and great environments.
  11. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Running around robbing ancient artefacts, desecrating temples and cracking intense puzzles is just as satisfying as ever, and feels like vintage Tomb Raider through and through. [Dec 2008, p.92]
  12. A visually stunning, epic adventure that continues Crystal Dynamics' excellent run. We reckon it's the best completely original Tomb Raider (Anniversary was, of course, a remake) we've had in years, and is only let down by the odd control quirk and camera issue.
  13. Epic without ever pushing boundaries for the series, Tomb Raider: Underworld is a game that fans of the franchise will no doubt relish.
  14. Like her previous two games, Underworld is a welcome, if slightly flawed, addition to the franchise.
  15. games(TM)
    It’s no longer a culturally significant event, and even Lara’s charms are beginning to lose their edge. But make no mistake, it warms our hearts to see Lara back doing what she does best. [Christmas 2008, p.98]
  16. I really did enjoy the experience, as unchallenging as it felt (whether because the puzzles rarely required timing threatening death beyond falling, because the enemies even have visible health bars or due to the friendly checkpoint system) but felt that it was too quick to get through to justify a full £40 purchase.
  17. Okay, the new Tomb Raider adventure is not really innovative. But Lara has never looked so good before. The gameplay is smooth and the puzzles are great. But the stupid motorcycle trips, the camera and the senseless gadgets are fun-killers.
  18. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    If you've ever played a Tomb Raider game, you know what you're in for and whether it's for you. [Jan 2009, p.78]
  19. 79
    This should be a much slicker product. Still, it’s good fun for the most part, and at the end of the day that’s why we play, right?
  20. Tomb Raider: Underworld continues in the vein of the last three Tomb Raider games giving you more of the same with a few minor improvements.
  21. Then again, perhaps the short play-time is a blessing in disguise: it helps spare you from a really long adventure where you have to suffer with that camera.
  22. Long time Tomb Raider players will definitely enjoy Underworld, but it has both its minor and major flaws. The frustrating camera, the sometimes outdated gameplay, and the short main storyline make for a less-then-perfect experience. Thus, Underworld doesn’t live up to its expectations, but is absolutely worth a try.
  23. 75
    Underworld is an incredibly abrupt experience, so much so that it makes me question whether content was removed from the complete game to be made available later as the previously announced downloadable content. Six levels in (seven if you count the prologue), the game just...ends. Sure, the last level is a cool showpiece, but it lacks any sense of built-up narrative and even a final boss -- simply a closing cut-scene that wraps up most of the loose ends all too handily.
  24. 75
    An opaque plot, tacked-on combat and distracting camera issues prevent it from competing with the top tier holiday titles, but Underworld gets enough right to make for a modest success.
  25. Tomb Raider: Underworld is ambiguous, offering the best and the worst elements of the series. The camera is awful and there are quite a few bugs. It lacks polish, but still manages to be a good Lara Croft adventure…. And she's as beautiful and agile as ever.
  26. 75
    With a little more originality, and gunnery to match Lara's athletic prowess, Tomb Raider: Underworld would rank among the best the genre has to offer.
  27. 74
    Tomb Raider Underworld is a decent game that Lara Croft fans will enjoy, but it’s not quite the experience that will live up to or even surpass that of Legend.
  28. Fans of the series will no doubt enjoy what Underground brings to the table, and if newcomers can look past the fast-moving story and clunky fighting and enjoy the adventure elements for what they are, then they surely will have a good time as well.
  29. A game that falls short of expectations. You can see from the early levels and even a few of the later rooms that a lot of really creative ambition and skill was employed in its making, but for whatever reason it’s as though that particular tap of talent was turned to a trickle towards the end. Combined with some control issues that weren’t in the previous two games, Tomb Raider Underworld represents a bit of a downturn for the series.
  30. The more I played the game, the more frustrated I got with the camera, controls, and collision detection. Had those technical issues been resolved, Eidos would've had a great game on their hands.
  31. 70
    Tomb Raider: Underworld is fun, but despite its best efforts, does not advance the series as much as it should.
  32. In the overall impression of Tomb Raider: Underworld, I believe somewhere under this mess lies an actual good game you can play and enjoy. Unfortunately the lack of polish and refinement that could have done to fix the awful camera and frame rate might have saved the enjoyment of Lara Croft’s newest adventure.
  33. 70
    Overall, Underworld is a decent enough effort. It has slick controls, interesting puzzles and a story that's actually pretty interesting. However, it never fully compensates for a lack of compelling action and overall polish.
  34. After a pause, Lara is back and is searching for antiqu relics in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea, and she discovers a mystic glove, which makes it possible to use the hammer of the Norse god Thor. TRU promised more than we get.
  35. Tomb Raider Underworld will satisfy fans of Lara's previous adventures, but it does little to address previous games' problems.
  36. In the long run, the consistently buggy and flawed level design keeps Lara from reaching new heights.
  37. I still don’t understand how Lara can use her guns underwater or why she insists on kicking priceless vase’s, but niggles aside Tomb Raider Underworld is actually pretty fun in places. It’s just a shame that this so called update was is so horrendously out of date in comparison to something like Uncharted which trounces Underworld at every turn.
  38. A lack luster adventure, Lara looks great, but gameplay is predictable and thwarted by camera issues.
  39. 60
    While it's likely worth it for fans to get closure from Underworld, expect to trudge through a large amount of frustrating gameplay to get it. Suffering from a distinct lack of polish, Tomb Raider Underworld seems like it could have benefited greatly from a little more attention. If it didn't have so many technical issues, Underworld could have been a brilliant conclusion to Lara's latest trilogy.
  40. There are several interesting and exciting things in Tomb Raider: Underworld, but the game is still hindered by old-fashioned problems such as imprecise controls and a sketchy camera. The puzzles and new elements, such as the adrenaline moments and the motorbike scenes, make this a pretty and quite fun game to play, but Lara feels uninspired at times and could do with some more energy.
  41. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    What bothers us most about the entire package is this: quite clearly Tomb Raider Underworld was created without the intention of delivering a functional game...Honestly, post "Uncharted", there is absolutely no excuse for a game such as Tomb Raider: Underworld. [Christmas 2008, p.94]
  42. Both Lara and her series are well past their prime, and both try in vain to look half their age. Though she might be worth a few hours of your time, Lara’s best days are far behind her.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 191 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 191
  1. Sep 23, 2011
    This game takes one step forward and two giant leaps back. I'll get the positive things out of the way first, the grappling hook behaves muchThis game takes one step forward and two giant leaps back. I'll get the positive things out of the way first, the grappling hook behaves much better than previous games, the graphics are quite good (when still) and there are some genuinely clever puzzles to be solved. Now for the bad stuff... the camera almost never wants to cooperate with you, the frame rate stutters frequently, the controls for the platforming segments are clumsy and broken, the combat is still terrible (as it was in previous games) put all those things together and you have one bad game. Despite pretty graphics and clever puzzles, the poor execution of the other gameplay elements prevented me from enjoying this game. Full Review »
  2. anthonyg
    Dec 1, 2008
    First of all there is NO way this game deserves a 0-yes, there are camera issues but not bad enough to warrant a zero. This is a beautiful First of all there is NO way this game deserves a 0-yes, there are camera issues but not bad enough to warrant a zero. This is a beautiful looking and fun addition to the Tomb Raider series.True, it doesn't move the series forward in any dramatic way (like the upcoming Prince of Persia) but it is a solid effort---i would say an 8.5---a little too short but there is downloadable content to look forward to---this is a fun game if you are a fan of the series or even for newcomers. Full Review »
  3. Mar 6, 2013
    The last-best-real tomb raider!It has almost everything,grand puzzles,great platforming,"open" areas to explore,good story and superb voiceThe last-best-real tomb raider!It has almost everything,grand puzzles,great platforming,"open" areas to explore,good story and superb voice acting.Camera is still a bit tricky and the combat is nothing special but nothing is annoying enough to take out from this tomb raider experience! Full Review »