Tomb Raider: Lara Croft voted 'most iconic video game character of all time' in BAFTA poll

The original Lara Croft created in 1996, alongside the updated character in Rise of the Tomb Raider, released in 2015. Credit: Core Design / Crystal Dynamics

Lara Croft has been named as the most iconic video game character of all time, to mark the 20th BAFTA Games Awards.

The star of the Tomb Raider video game series beat the likes of Mario and Sonic for the title in a poll of more than 4000 gamers from around the world.

Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man and Halo star Master Chief all made the top ten.

Tomb Raider was created and originally developed at Core Design in Derby.

Lara Croft was created in 1996 at Core Design in Derby. Credit: Core Design

In 1996, British archaeologist and heroine Lara Croft was born with the release of Tomb Raider on Sega Saturn, Playstation and MS-DOS.

Over the next seven years, it was followed by Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider III, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Tomb Raider: Chronicles and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness in 2003.

Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in two blockbuster films, released in 2001 and 2003. Credit: Paramount / Tomb Raider: Lara Croft

Lara Croft has since been portrayed on the silver screen by Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001 and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life in 2003.

Actor Alicia Vikander also played the heroine in Tomb Raider, released in 2018.

In 2013, the Tomb Raider gaming franchise was rebooted for consoles, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix.

Lara Croft was reimagined and brought back to life in Crystal Design's and Square Enix's 'Tomb Raider', released in 2013. Credit: Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix

'Tomb Raider' was the first instalment in the Survivor trilogy that reconstructs the origins of Lara Croft, followed by 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' and 'Shadow of the Tomb Raider'.

The original first three games created by Derby's Core Design have been remastered and were re-released in February 2024.

One game has a homage to the series birthplace of Derby, with a 'Made in Derby' cast iron plaque featuring in a level.

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