May 2024's very first Xbox Game Pass update has brought Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition to the service more than 10 years after it launched on Xbox One, however, don't let the game's age put you off trying it out. This Tomb Raider reboot may have originated as an Xbox 360 game way back in 2013, but it's easily the best modern Tomb Raider game in my opinion, and it's up there with the best this franchise has to offer.

After developer Crystal Dynamics had gotten to grips with the series during the early days of Xbox 360, it decided a big change was needed following the release of Tomb Raider: Underworld. The team went the full reboot route once again, opting for an origin story that took Lara back to her roots - and it really worked.

Sure, there's been lots of debate in recent years about the balance between combat and exploration in the newer Tomb Raider titles, but I think the 2013 reboot got things just about right. I could have taken a little less gung-ho fighting, sure, but the game's grounded location with the island of Yamatai really helped it feel like you were exploring an actual place - and you weren't being fed overly-designed corridor levels filled with waves of enemies for 15 hours.

The Best Modern Tomb Raider Game Is Well Worth Your Time On Xbox Game Pass

In fact, this is one of the only 'open world' games that I've actually enjoyed exploring to its fullest in recent memory; finishing all of the little side quests and collectible hunts scattered around the island. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition isn't fully open world as such, but it has lots of interconnected open areas where you can backtrack at your leisure, and this hybrid structure made the game and its map feel nice and manageable throughout the whole experience.

As for the game's actual tombs, I quite enjoyed the fact that they were optional and felt naturally integrated into the game's environment. I know, I know - it's a bit silly for a game called 'Tomb Raider' to have its tombs as an optional mechanic, but the fact that I was still desperate to go ahead and explore them every time that neat little wind chime tickled my ears says everything you need to know. Plus, this particular game is supposed to be set before Lara Croft became an actual 'tomb raider', so, you know, just putting that out there.

The Best Modern Tomb Raider Game Is Well Worth Your Time On Xbox Game Pass 1

The game's storyline is probably Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition's weakest point - but let's be honest, story has hardly been a series high-point since Tomb Raider began beaming its way into our living rooms back in 1996. These games are all about selling that fantasy of being a badass gal exploring ancient civilisations, solving intriguing riddles and taking out plenty of baddies - and this Tomb Raider title delivers on all of that. If you've never jumped into this game and you like your third-person action-adventures, you really have no more excuses now that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is playable on Xbox Game Pass.

Well, have I convinced you to play some Tomb Raider on Xbox Game Pass? Tell us your favourite TR title down below!