Tomb Raider, also known as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider between 2001 and 2007, is a media franchise that originated with an action-adventure video game series created by British gaming company Core Design. Formerly owned by Eidos Interactive, then by Square Enix after their acquisition of Eidos in 2009, the franchise focuses on a fictional British archaeologist Lara Croft, who travels around the world searching for lost artefacts and infiltrating dangerous tombs and ruins. The gameplay generally focuses around action-adventure exploration of environments, solving puzzles, navigating hostile environments filled with traps, and fighting numerous enemies. Additional media has grown up around the theme in the form of film adaptations, comics and novels.
Development on the original Tomb Raider game began in 1993. Its success prompted Core Design to develop a new game annually for the next four years, which put a strain on staff. The sixth game, The Angel of Darkness, faced difficulties during development and was considered a failure at release. This prompted Eidos to switch development duties to Crystal Dynamics, which has been the series' primary developer since then. Other developers have contributed either to spin-off titles within the series or ports of mainline titles.
Tomb Raider games have sold over 63 million copies worldwide. The series has generally met with critical acclaim, with the series being noted as one of the pioneers of the action-adventure genre. Lara Croft herself has become one of the most recognisable video game protagonists in existence, winning numerous accolades and earning places on the Walk of Game and Guinness World Records. Alongside being praised for pioneering female characters in video games, she has also been the subject of controversy due to her sex appeal being used for marketing.