Tomb Raider was originally released in 1996 for Sega Saturn, PlayStation and MS-DOS.
Tomb Raider is one of those games virtually everyone has heard of. It is a 3D action adventure game that was originally released for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and MS-DOS based computers in 1996. It looks and plays somewhat similar to games like Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 but development was started well before that game was released.
The game centers around Lara Croft, an English archaeologist, who searches for ancient treasures. The story involves locating three mysterious artifacts linked to Atlantis. To make things more interesting, she has some nefarious competition. Gameplay is in line with a typical platform game. There is plenty of action but the focus is on solving various puzzles.
All three of the original versions of the game are very similar. Differences between the Sega Saturn version and PlayStation version are minimal. The PC version does have a couple of advantages though. First, it can be played in higher resolution than the console version. Secondly, unlike the console versions, you can save anywhere. This greatly reduces frustration levels as the console version had fixed save checkpoints that were pretty far apart and dying in between meant you had to redo the level.
Tomb Raider is one of the defining games of the 3D platform genre. It got very good reviews, was commercially very successful, and has influenced countless games since. There have been a large number of sequels, remakes and re-releases. Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider III were released in 1997 and 1998 respectively. These were released exclusively on the PlayStation and Windows based PCs. While there were graphics and gameplay improvements and changes, they were mostly more of the same successful formula. In 1998, shortly after Tomb Raider II was released, Tomb Raider was re-released on the PC as Tomb Raider Gold with additional episodes. There were a number of sequels in subsequent years, not all of which were as successful. In 2006, the series was rebooted starting a new timeline with a new incarnation of Croft. In 2007, Tomb Raider: Anniversary was released which was a remake/reimagining of the original game. It was released for the PlayStation 2, Windows based PCs and the Wii. After a few sequels, the series was rebooted again in 2013 initially for the PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360, with a much younger Lara Croft. One sequel has been released for this incarnation in 2015 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows. There have also been a few spinoffs.
If you want to play the original Tomb Raider, your best bet is probably an original copy for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn or PC. I prefer the PC version but that one will have a little added complexity to get it to work with a modern system. If you don’t want to go that route, then downloadable versions are available for the PS3 and PS4 and a DRM free version is available for the PC at gog.com.