Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Awesome cinematic adventure packs rough language, violence.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Lara's a strong heroine with a sense of adventure but does lots of killing. Encourages treasure hunting but raises question of whether wealth is something to strive for or a shallow goal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lara Croft is smart, athletic, adventurous -- which could suggest positive role model for girls -- but she uses many weapons to kill enemies, mostly in self-defense but counters positive nature.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.


Lara uses many weapons -- guns, knives, a bow and arrow, explosives -- to kill enemies. She can sneak up behind someone, slit throats, stab in neck, strangle them. Along with blood, some cut scenes show Lara being beaten, gouged, impaled, groups of burned people, body parts strewn on ground.


One of Lara's hallmark features is a curvaceous figure, she sometimes wears skimpy outfits.


"F--k," "s--t" used frequently.


Latest in highly successful franchise that has spawned feature films, action figures, books, more. Supports downloadable content (DLC), which costs extra. The Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration includes all previously purchasable DLC, other content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rise of the Tomb Raider is the latest adventure title starring Lara Croft. This game is packed with violence, blood, and gore throughout. Though it's mostly in self-defense, Lara kills many humans, animals, and supernatural forces with guns, bombs, knives, a bow and arrow, and more. Though she can inflict some serious damage on enemies, she can also receive some brutal injuries and succumb to shocking death scenes. The game also has strong profanity, with "f--k," "s--t," and other words uttered by Lara during play and in cut scenes.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 11, 13, and 14-year-old Written bycurlybat March 1, 2016

Rated Appropriately - Language not Ignorable

Beautiful game and game play. It is violent but on a Teen level. All the positives, however, are thrown out the window with the language. This game will have... Continue reading
Adult Written byMOMOF43 October 3, 2018

Great Game for 12+

You can turn off all of the blood and language and other than that very little fighting.
Teen, 15 years old Written byRhinoGamerHD April 11, 2019


minor spoilers ahead.

pretty meh tbh, Lara croft is basically the bad guy and didn't have any other reason to get the artefact, the so called bad guy to m... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byUpstairsMejMe June 24, 2018

Know your kid

I am 14 and aloud to play games like these. If your child plays a ton of video games and gets angry or violent I would not recommend them playing anything like... Continue reading

What's it about?

RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER: 20 YEAR EDITION is a prequel that follows the iconic adventurer Lara Croft in her first tomb-raiding expedition. Played from a third-person perspective, Lara is in search of an ancient artifact that's said to hold the secret of immortality -- and through exploration, combat, and puzzle solving, she might just find what she’s after and walk away unscathed. Even more so than its predecessors, the single-player Rise of the Tomb Raider features a very strong story, cinematic sequences woven into the gameplay, platforming elements, and a clever crafting system. TheRise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration edition added a lot more content. This included a new story chapter entitled “Blood Ties”, “Lara’s Nightmare” zombie combat mode, PlayStation VR support for “Blood Ties” (PS4 only), cooperative ("co-op") Endurance gameplay, an “Extreme Survivor” difficulty, and 5 classic Lara Croft skins. It also included all of the previously released downloadable content (DLC), including “Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch," “Cold Darkness Awakened," along with 12 outfits, 7 weapons, multiple Expedition Card packs, and more.

Is it any good?

This adventure is one of the most engaging, atmospheric, and action-packed games worth paying for -- or dropping hints about to family members who are unsure of what to buy you for the holidays. This is further expanded thanks to all of the extra content you get in this title, although parents should take heed of the intense violence, blood, gore, and more. As with previous Tomb Raider games in the nearly 20-year-old series, Lara has a number of moves to help her navigate treacherous caverns, caves, and cliffs, but the gameplay is near photo-realistic, both in characters and environments, with huge set pieces to play in. Seriously, the graphics are amazing. Advanced lighting and a Hollywood-like score add to the cinematic feel as you explore, find items, hunt for food and other resources, use weapons to take down numerous threats, and solve some location-based puzzles in tombs and catacombs to push forward. Finding new gear is a thrill, as is modifying your weapons. This helps you customize the action to play how you like, whether it's adding extra arrows to your bow or more ammo to your shotgun. You can run into new areas like wildfire or choose to be stealthier. Your call.

Without giving anything away, the prequel story is well-written, well-acted, and doesn't feel like an afterthought or a way to justify the gameplay. There are many cinematic sequences where you can put your controller down for a bit and watch the situation unfold, but it doesn't detract or distract from the gameplay. Pacing is good, too. Along with the main mission, there are many side quests you can accept, along with secret areas that reward you for discovery -- both of which adds to the game's replayability. A word on the VR add-on in the Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration edition: it's great. The "Blood Ties" mission is a more of a narrative, exploratory experience than an action game, but has Lara navigating around a mansion to look for clues and unravel a mystery. She'll sift through notes, documents, photos and such, in this atmospheric adventure. The virtual reality effect works well and sounds good, too. Combined with the multiplayer modes, this game has it all, and is a "must-own" for players over 17 who like action-heavy adventures. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider. Why did Crystal Dynamics, the developer of these games, move toward more violence and blood? Does it need it? Does limiting their audience pay off because the developer has the creative freedom to take this series where they want?

  • Talk about body image. Does Lara project unrealistic body-image goals for young girls and set standards for young boys? Does it help that Lara is proportioned more realistically in this game than in previous Tomb Raider games?

Game details

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