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The new 'Tomb Raider' game is out today — check out how far its star Lara Croft has come since she debuted in 1996

Business Insider Logo By Kevin Webb of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 12:  Since her debut in 1996, the rise of Lara Croft - the star of the mega-popular "Tomb Raider" franchise - as the unofficial poster child for video games has been both unstoppable and inevitable. Croft's blend of sex appeal and gunslinger action-hero attitude spoke directly to a generation of gamers eager to prove that their hobby wasn't just for kids. With pre-rendered cut scenes, voice acting, and no shortage of violence, "Tomb Raider" was one of the first video game franchises to maintain a mature, cinematic aesthetic that continues to serve as an influence for countless action games. The newest game in the franchise, "Shadow of the Tomb Raider," comes out for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Tuesday. Here's how Lara Croft, and "Tomb Raider," has evolved over the decades since her grand debut.

Since her debut in 1996, the rise of Lara Croft - the star of the mega-popular "Tomb Raider" franchise - as the unofficial poster child for video games has been both unstoppable and inevitable.

Croft's blend of sex appeal and gunslinger action-hero attitude spoke directly to a generation of gamers eager to prove that their hobby wasn't just for kids. With pre-rendered cut scenes, voice acting, and no shortage of violence, "Tomb Raider" was one of the first video game franchises to maintain a mature, cinematic aesthetic that continues to serve as an influence for countless action games.

The newest game in the franchise, "Shadow of the Tomb Raider," comes out for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Tuesday. Here's how Lara Croft, and "Tomb Raider," has evolved over the decades since her grand debut.

© Eidos Montreal/Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

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