Hardwood background
Hardwood transition
Video Games
Tomb Raider I-III Remastered
Tomb Raider III

Tomb Raider III Top 5 Levels

Mar 25, 2024

Tomb Raider III - Levels Ranked - Header

Tomb Raider III introduced a new landscape system (incorporating triangles) that allowed for smoother surfaces and architectural structures, along with new graphical enhancements such as multi-colored lighting and weather effects. Additionally, it introduced new moves for Lara and gave players the ability to choose the order in which they play certain sections of the game. 

Today, we'll explore the top five most memorable levels from Tomb Raider III

5. Coastal Village 

Coastal Village easily takes the award for the most gorgeous level introduction scenery. In her quest to find the meteorite artifact, the Ora Dagger, Lara arrives on the island of Kuru, swimming through coral reefs surrounded by colorful fish before she reaches the sandy beach where the waves are gently rolling in. Immediately, players are presented with two different routes Lara can take, both of which come with their own set of challenges, yet all lead to the same place – a local village.  

Lara swandiving into the sea.

4. Antarctica 

Lara travels to Antarctica aboard a Huey chopper, bound for the RX TECH research base to deliver meteorite artifacts to Dr. Willard. However, her flight is abruptly interrupted by a fierce snowstorm, forcing an emergency landing on an unstable icy surface. The ice breaks, forcing Lara to abandon the pilot and save herself at the last second before it plunges into the depths below. 

Lara reaches the RX EXPLORER ship and must find a way to reach the dinghy docked at the ship’s stern in order to progress. She soon notices that the research base is rundown, with equipment freezing up and scientists succumbing to paranoia, attacking Lara. The level evokes Carpenter’s 'The Thing' setting, which is further reinforced when Lara stumbles upon a mutated worker, indicating that something is very wrong with this base. 

Lara undocking the dinghy from the RX EXPLORER ship in Antarctica.

3. Nevada Desert 

Lara's pursuit of the Element 115 meteorite artifact leads her to Nevada, where she seeks entry into the famous Area 51 military base. Along the way, she encounters stealth fighter jets, indicating she's on the correct path. The Nevada Desert proves to be a highly atmospheric setting, characterized by rocky terrain and scattered cacti. Its vibrant orange hues juxtaposed against the blue sky create a captivating visual contrast, further enhanced by the presence of a river utilized for power generation by a nearby dam. Within this desert landscape lies a civilian research camp, where a group of enthusiasts diligently document any unusual phenomena observed in the area. But before she can reach the camp, Lara must navigate the canyon and quite literally 'blast' her way through. 

Lara Croft running through a puddle in the Nevada Desert.

2. Temple Ruins 

Temple Ruins is the quintessential Tomb Raider level, offering a vast array of traps, keys to collect, levers to pull, and doors to open. However, it falls short of claiming the top spot due to the challenging and sometimes unfair nature of its traps, particularly for newcomers. Many traps seem designed to catch players off guard, demanding prior knowledge to avoid them just in time. This level serves as an early test of players' abilities, reminiscent of the demanding final level of Tomb Raider II's Temple of Xian. However, unlike Temple of Xian, Temple Ruins is only the second level, making its challenges particularly daunting. Additionally, the level's considerable length turns it into one continuous trap fest from start to finish. 

Lara Croft fighting the Shiva statue in Temple Ruins.

1. Jungle 

Rarely does the first level claim the top spot; however, Jungle encapsulates all the great aspects of a Tomb Raider level. The beginning starts quite rocky, introducing us to the first boulder trap of the game along with a slope riddled with spike traps. But once you clear that initial slope, you're greeted by a vibrant and lush location just waiting to be explored. What's intriguing about the level's design is that you can see the end of it almost from the very start. However, Lara is required to take the long route because of a giant quicksand swamp that separates the two areas. There is a way, though, to cross the quicksand swamp by jumping over an obstacle and reaching the green foliage above. Additionally, this level introduces a new type of friendly NPCs in the form of monkeys, which quickly turn unfriendly if Lara harms them. Jungle is a perfect mixture of traps, secrets, and puzzles, also introducing the iconic 'Something Spooky in the Jungle' music track. While the opening of this level is difficult for first-time players, Jungle serves as an excellent introductory level that immediately sets expectations for Tomb Raider III.

Lara Croft admiring the view in an Indian Jungle.

What are your favorite Tomb Raider III levels? Sound off on social and let us know! 

Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook | Threads | TikTok   

Video Games
Tomb Raider I-III Remastered
Tomb Raider III

Related Articles

Paper Top Overlay
footer transition

Join the new Society of Raiders

Sign up to join our Society of Raiders and receive monthly newsletters & exclusive rewards. Adventure is calling!

© Crystal Dynamics group of companies. All rights reserved.

CRYSTAL DYNAMICS and the Crystal Dynamics logo, CRYSTAL NORTHWEST and the Crystal Northwest logo, CRYSTAL SOUTHWEST and the Crystal Southwest logo, TOMB RAIDER and the Tomb Raider logo, and LARA CROFT are trademarks of the Crystal Dynamics group of companies.