Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 73
  2. Negative: 1 out of 73
  1. 100
    You will rarely find a game that offers such phenomenal value for money, even at full price I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It's an exciting reinvention for a heroine whose light has unfortunately faded in recent years; an exciting parade of action, puzzling and exploration elegantly crafted with fresh direction, all while retaining that familiar Tomb Raider ethos.
  2. Bottom line; you won't find a better game on the Xbox Live Arcade this summer (perhaps ever) and you won't find a bigger bang for your $15.
  3. 95
    The balance between puzzling, platforming and combat is, well, delightful.
  4. 93
    The replayability is immense and after spending a whole weekend blasting through both single and co-op campaigns, I still went back to perfect my speed and score runs as well as collect up missing upgrades and items.
  5. Out of all the Summer of Arcade titles, Lara Croft earns that $15 the hardest. It could be my favorite Tomb Raider game of all time, and it is something no fan should miss.
  6. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but great co-op gameplay and solid action keep this title on point.
  7. This has to be one of my favorite downloadable games to date. With great game play, great co-op, tons of collectibles and a great price, you can't go wrong with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
  8. Heck, it's one of the strongest games of the season, period.
  9. Even if you're one of those people who has completely written off the Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is still worth checking out.
  10. 91
    Though the game would still be fantastic with its co-op dungeon puzzles alone, Guardian of Light contains a surprising amount of substance; each of its many levels offer a series of achievements that add interesting weapons and items to your inventory.
  11. An exceptional game that's in no way restricted by its modest price tag or status as a downloadable game.
  12. 90
    But whether you venture out with a pal or on your own, Guardian of Light is like a breath of fresh air in a corpse-cluttered tomb, and it signals a triumphant return for one of gaming's most iconic heroines.
  13. 90
    In terms of level design, pacing and gorgeous visuals, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light topples last year's XBLA king, Shadow Complex. But while a lot of this content is perfectly suitable for a six-hour single-player session, I'd urge you to discover the game for the first time with a co-op partner.
  14. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is slight in terms of storytelling – the one area seemingly skimped on to keep costs down – but everything else here is worthy of a full retail release.
  15. We didn't expect much from this game and it turned out to be excellent. Eidos has successfully given new breath to a classic franchise.
  16. A superb blend of twin-stick shooting, platforming, exploration, and tactical combat.
  17. While many players won't initially be able to experience the game the way it was intended, once the online patch becomes available, I would recommend it without reservation to anyone who's got at least one game-playing friend.
  18. There are few download games that offer this kind of value for money, and few that are as clever or effortlessly exciting. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light might be a move away from the Tomb Raider name, but it's a tremendous homage to its spirit.
  19. Pick it up and enjoy it and when the online patch comes out late September, play it all over again with your friends.
  20. 90
    The content, excitement and sheer amount of fun re-imagines Lara Croft in a way that will ensure she remains a powerful force in gaming for a long time to come.
  21. The mortal sin of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is that the co-op is only available, for now, locally. Your buddy needs to be on the same machine, you can't play with anyone online. There is a future patch that promises to implement online co-op, but for now it isn't there and that will have a tragically major effect on many people's abilities to experience it.
  22. The best non-Tomb Raider game ever, as well as being one of the best value Xbox Live Arcade games of the year and a superbly designed co-op game.
  23. Bursting with exploration, puzzles, and platforming, the pace isn't encumbered with unnecessary narrative, dialogue, or even character development. [Issue#209, p.89]
  24. Overall, this new Lara Croft game is a great accomplishment for the developers. I have really enjoyed all of the Tomb Raider games this generation, however, with that said, this breathes in some fresh air to a franchise some feel has gone stale.
  25. The frantic battles, great art style, and tons of gameplay make Guardian of Light a great downloadable title.
  26. The new "Tomb Raider" is one of the best XBLA/PSN games of the year. New look, new puzzles, new arcade gameplay style... a complete and beautiful makeover of the series that will keep you entertained for a long time. Instant buy!
  27. It is an expertly crafted, addictive experience that, while short, is easily worth the asking price. Especially in such a slow month for video-game releases.
  28. I feel comfortable saying that Guardian of Light may be the most fun I've had with Miss Croft in 14 years; it's that good. Guardian of Light covers a lot of bases -- solid action, clever puzzles, nail-biting platforming, and remarkable cooperative play; it's not to be missed.
  29. Guardian of Light crackles with energy, and Crystal Dynamics has clearly relished adding a different dynamic to the franchise. By marrying top-down shooter mechanics with a tidy co-op mode, it adds something the series was long thought to have lost: a sense of fun.
  30. 90
    Square Enix has shown the way for the rest to follow with this great Tomb Raider spin off.
  31. Guardian of Light is a safe bet in the adventures of the end-of-the-world that Lara Croft usually brings. It's remarkable adventure with good length.
  32. Lara Croft changes her typical gameplay, but it's even better right now: a huge game, full of elements, fun and compelling, with great visuals and gameplay. It's excellent overall, one of the best XBLA/PSN games out there.
  33. The Tomb Raider series has been largely stuck in the same design and play style since the first game was released on the PlayStation One way back in 1996. It was therefore a very brave move to change the appearance to this degree and it's succeeded remarkably well.
  34. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is another breath of fresh air, not only for the line-up of arcade games on Live, but for Lara herself.
  35. It looks great, contains solid gameplay, and has a wonderful sense of balance in almost every aspect.
  36. A retro-inspired shooter that's small in scale but big in entertainment.
  37. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is definitely a rebirth for the Tomb Raider series. A meaty puzzle-based platformer that will definitely have fans asking for more, it is the perfect conclusion to this year's Summer of Arcade and 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) well spent.
  38. Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light is one of the best action/adventure of the Xbox Live Arcade lineup. Great graphics, fast-paced action, an excellent offline coop mode and a high replay value, it's worth all of its price. Only issue is the lack of an online coop mode and some cheesy voice acting.
  39. Lara Croft is a good looking and well balanced puzzle gaming experience that breathes fresh life into the aging franchise.
  40. Combat, puzzle solving and exploration. Guardian of Light is an excellent gaming experience.
  41. Even though it doesn't support co-op over Xbox Live (for now) and the plot and characters are a little weak, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is absolutely worth its $15 price tag.
  42. Guardian of Light plays out like a deftly crafted, fun piece of arcade-style shooting and puzzling expressly made for buddy co-op night on Live. Who knew Lara was such a team player?
  43. 85
    A great adventure, especially if you're playing co-op. Despite the silly story and dialogue, I had more fun with it than any Tomb Raider in recent memory.
  44. Lara Croft's return to the XBLA is very good, and as part of the Summer of Arcade series a welcome addition to the great line-up we've had thus far.
  45. With more than a dozen levels in the campaign, about a hundred optional challenges, numerous collectibles and rewards to unlock you definitely get your money's worth here.
  46. Boasting a low price tag and the promise of more Lara action, The Guardian of Light seems too good to be true.
  47. Exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving come together beautifully in this rewarding, replayable arcade adventure.
  48. 85
    Lara is back in fine, downloadable form. A riveting quest from start to finish.
  49. Oct 22, 2010
    But collecting stuff is what Lara Croft does. And when it looks and plays as well as this, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had.
  50. A new title in the Tomb Raider series whose focus lies on co-op and puzzle-solving. A polished game with few letdowns.
  51. Regardless of whether Lara Croft: The Guardian of Light marks the future of the series or if is merely a side-project while the next full instalment is prepped and polished, it remains a remarkably successful experiment, and something of a bench-mark for downloadable gaming.
  52. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is sensational, offering both fully realized single player and co-op experiences. It's gorgeous, clever, and a brilliant new vision for the franchise.
  53. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light should please fans of the franchise while they wait for their next big Tomb Raider title. I also believe that this game will allow people who don't normally like Tomb Raider games to be finally able to enjoy a game staring one of the biggest females in gaming history.
  54. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is nothing short of a triumph for Crystal Dynamics and the buxom adventurer. The score-based gameplay and objectives are geared towards providing hefty doses of replay value, but even a single playthrough promises to be an exciting journey filled with top-notch action and ingenious puzzles.
  55. X-ONE Magazine UK
    A deep, involving and beautifully put together adventure. [Issue#63, p.99]
  56. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Not what you wanted but better than you'd hoped. [Nov 2010, p.118]
  57. A great new direction for the franchise and a great experience alone or with a friend -- purchase recommended.
  58. It's okay, co-op fans will be satisfied with this arcade title. But it's weird that DLCs are coming extremely fast, smells like napping the end-consumers.
  59. One of the best cooperative action game available on PSN and XBLA.
  60. This may not carry the Tomb Raider-name, but it has everything you can ask from a woman like Lara. And if that's still not enough, the highly intuitive co-op offers a semi-naked spear throwing friend to keep you company. In fact, this is better than Tomb Raider has been for a long time.
  61. The best Lara Croft game in years. Great local co-op action built on a tested foundation with modern gaming sensibilities layered on top was absolutely the right way to go. Proves that games needn't be huge-budget, cutting-edge releases to be fun.
  62. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light establishes itself as a truly entertaining, easy to handle spin-off, that offers a real refreshment to the saga. The game is challenging, long enough, and one gets used to the isometric 3D... yet with a longing for the time when one could still enjoy the gorgeous curves of the beautiful raider in full frontal glory.
  63. Oddly, the net effect of the old-school perspective shift is a game that feels more fresh and vital than a Tomb Raider game has in a while. It has a few hitches, but overall it's just a terrifically fun, well-paced game.
  64. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a good and entertaining Arcade game, especially if played in local co-op. Too bad the game doesn't support (yet, at least) online co-op too.
  65. AceGamez
    As a single-player experience, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is at best a modicum above average.
  66. 75
    Everyone who loves to play adventure games should try this one. It's absolutely a must have for those who like to play cooperative games. For a low price you get a full and exciting Lara Croft title.
  67. Call us old fogies if you like, but there's a pretty firm belief that when a game ships, it should be feature-complete, not "mostly done" with a promise of completion at some unknown future date.
  68. It might not be a Diablo-killer - it's not nearly deep enough on any front or with the scope of Hell to fight through - but what's here is entertaining and worth a play-through.
  69. games(TM)
    It's the co-op multiplayer that really allows Guardian of Light to shine. [Issue#100, p.136]
  70. Edge Magazine
    As the more intimate title suggests, this may be as much about Croft's brand awareness in the face of unprecedented (and Uncharted) competition. [Oct 2010, p.96]
  71. Proves too bland to satisfy anyone-even accounting for the fact that "Tomb Raider" is intentionally missing from the title.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 122
  2. Negative: 7 out of 122
  1. Aug 23, 2010
    This game brings back the core of what Laura Croft was always about. High Adventure and LOTS of fun. Crystal Dynamics have brought LauraThis game brings back the core of what Laura Croft was always about. High Adventure and LOTS of fun. Crystal Dynamics have brought Laura back with a vengeance. Outstanding! Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2010
    Lara Croft is finally back where she deserves too be, in a great game. Guardian of Light might be a new direction for Miss Croft but she sureLara Croft is finally back where she deserves too be, in a great game. Guardian of Light might be a new direction for Miss Croft but she sure seems to enjoy, cunning puzzles, numerous enemies and some really nice detailed environments, oh and there is also a 40ft fire breathing dinosaur. It just goes to prove that you dont need high rendered graphics to make a great game these days. Check the Croft out. Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2010
    The graphics are pretty average. Gameplay occasionally has some interesting puzzles but most of them are basically "go here, pull the lever,The graphics are pretty average. Gameplay occasionally has some interesting puzzles but most of them are basically "go here, pull the lever, watch the camera pan over to a door and run through quickly" there are a few nice tense moments but overall can get a bit repetitive especially as its been done so much before. I actually felt like I played this game before the way I steamed through it because every puzzle I have done in some form or other before. The story isnt anything special and the voice acting is pretty poor. The sound design is also pretty generic and doesnt really stand out much.

    This game is far from a 10 on originality alone but the fact there is still no on line co op 2 months after it came out is a big loser for me. I may come back and bump the score up a little higher when they finally update the multiplayer co op to be online because its not something I have experienced as I live out of town and generally out of convenience it is me visiting my mates rather than them coming all the way out to me where theres no pubs and clubs and the average age of the women is about 72. Its quite hard to tempt them round to play some split screen XBLA reboot title of a previouslyl dried up franchise which I would have to say to them "may or may not be good I havnt played it with anyone yet" Until I experience more than half the game its not going to get more than half the score. This 3 is out of 5 for the singleplayer. When they finally release the multiplayer online and the dlc Ive heard about then I may come back and rate it higher if Im not playing RUSE or Halo or FIFA or something too much.
    Full Review »