Once a niche hobby created exclusively for the convention circuit, cosplaying has become a rapidly expanding subculture populating television signals and Pinterest feeds. Popular cosplayers, themselves, are considered pseudo-celebrities among various fan communities, and some even make quite a good living out of it.
Every cosplayer has that ideal character that defines their fandom and career. This is a character who is so popular that it draws legions upon legions of people willing to go through the painstaking effort to recreate it for 3D, real-world consumption. The object of our affection for this conversation is the incomparable Tomb Raider herself, Lara Croft. No matter what incarnation of Croft women choose to undertake, there are thousands, upon thousands of cosplays of varying qualities archived on the internet.
Luckily, you have come to the right place to find out about some of the best ones ever created for the sake of our human eyeballs. So, grab a latte or an energy drink and find a comfy chair, because here are 15 of the best Lara Croft cosplays ever chronicled on digital cameras. You’re welcome, in advance.
15 Laura Craft
Former known by the name Katsurag and likely from the Scandinavian country of Finland, the Laura Craft is a multilingual cosplayer based in Sweden who not only makes her own costumes, but also does non-cosplay modeling. Heavily influenced by Lara Croft, Laura Sipilä changed her nickname to Laura Craft to pay homage to her favorite character to cosplay. Aside from being a cosplayer, she also appears on Twitch and is very active on her Facebook and Deviant Art page. Anyone who wants to see someone in costume play video games should definitely check out her Twitch. Be sure to look for her cosplays of Tifa Lockhart and the Major herself, Motoko Kusanagi.
14 Lilia Lemoine (Lady Lemon)
Also known as Lady Lemon, Lilia Lemoine is notable for having a myriad of sexy cosplays, with her Lara Croft being the tamest and most understated. Revealing on her Facebook that she wanted to become an astronaut and then working a decade in the IT industry, the citrus-named cosplayer decided to change up her career and work on special effects, which has aided her in the development of her outfits. She considers public appreciation for her craft as her award and maintains cosplay tutorials. Though I am not sure where she is based, Lady Lemon does appear to be a native Spanish speaker. Be sure to check out her Instagram, which is filled with many entertaining videos of her in cosplay, such as Supergirl dancing.
Hailing from the country from France, Tiphaine Vaudable, known as Illyne, has numerous cosplays from different properties, but none seem to draw her cosplay attention more than the Tomb Raider, herself. On her personal website, she has a section dedicated to her many cosplays of Lara Croft. TheChive even got a hold of her cosplay and featured it on their site. You know what the guys at theChive know best. My favorite is of her in the wetsuit from Tomb Raider: Underworld, which accentuates her athletic body frame. Honestly, all of them are considerably top-notch. No offense to her Croft stuff, but I cannot wait to see her upcoming cosplay of Sylvanas from Heroes of the Storm. The quality of the armor looks fantastic.
Berlin-based model, costumer, and graphic designer, Lena-Lara is the official Tomb Raider Cosplayer Ambassador for Germany. I didn’t even know they have designations like that. Though she has done other cosplays and modeling work, most of her career centers around dressing up as Croft and attending various Tomb Raider-related events around Europe. Her most notable Croft cosplay is of her in a black and yellow wetsuit from Tomb Raider: Underworld, but she has nearly done every incarnation of the character from the original version to the reboot. Lena-Lara does make her own outfits and posts her costume-making progress on her Facebook fan page. Unfortunately, she hasn’t updated her page since late last year.
11 Fuinur Croft
Speaking of ambassadors, Fuinur Croft is the Official Tomb Raider Cosplay Ambassador of Italy. Do they have an ambassador in every country? As the Tomb Raider, Fuinur has won multiple awards and was named the country’s official Lara Croft cosplayer in 2016. Quite an accomplishment, indeed. Some of her other cosplays include Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Babydoll from Sucker Punch, but her main focus is Croft. Many of her photos feature a great amount of photo-manipulation, but her outfits are spot-on and as close to the source material as you can get. As of this post, she is finally offering her photos for sale at her own online shop. Oh, joy.
10 The Artful Dodger
I am quite sure that this Artful Dodger isn’t from a Charles Dickens’s novel, but she does channel that industrial, turn-of-the-century essence in the creation of her steampunk-laced cosplays, especially her widely-popular Steampunk Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Besides her steampunk renditions of Disney Princesses and skintight outfits of Marvel heroines, The Artful Dodger delivers an equally-excellent rendition of Lara Croft. If you research her further, AD has some of the nicest business cards in the world, which looks like it came directly from a collectible card game. I wonder will she ever do a Steampunk Lara Croft? Let me get right on it, and send her a Facebook message.
9 Giorgia Cosplay
The multitalented cosplay known as Giorgia is not the Official Tomb Raider ambassador of Italy. That’s a shame, but she did receive two awards at the World Cosplay Summit 2005 held in Nagoya, Japan for Best Individual Cosplayer and Great Championship Cosplay Team. The annual event is probably the most prestigious international cosplaying event in existence. With credentials like that, it would be a huge crime not to include her on this list. If anyone does want to look over the many photos of her in Lara Croft gear, be warned. It is some sweat-inducing stuff. Am I the only one who sweat when he is in a good mood? Just me, then.
8 Yuki Lefay
Brazilian cosplayer Yuki Lefay almost gave me a proper heart attack when she debuted her Samus cosplay, both in her trademark armor and Zero Suit. If Nintendo still needs a booth babe, please give her a call. Like Giorgia, Yuki has also won an award at WCS representing Brazil in 2007. Admitting that she has cosplayed since 2000, it makes me wonder about her age? In addition to being a world-class cosplayer, she is a makeup artist and acts a judge at numerous cosplay competitions. Her Lara Croft cosplay almost seems pedestrian compared to her other works of art. That is probably because she is held to such a high standard.
7 Lisa Marie Cosplay
From the British Isles, Londoner Lisa Marie has one of my favorite Lara Croft cosplays, ever. In her photoshoot, she should get an award for Dirtiest Tomb Raider cosplay, literally. That’s a lot of mud, everywhere. She even manages to duplicate that same dirty look at various conventions, as well. I am pretty sure it doubles as a facial mud mask. Like many great cosplayers around the world, Lisa Marie is not a one-trick-pony. Her rendition of Amy Pond from Doctor Who, female Hawkeye, and Marvel’s Black Widow are some of her most notable cosplays. She maintains a Tumblr blog where she reveals her geeky thoughts for the general public and is a teacher. I wonder what topic she teaches. Makes me want to move to Europe, really.
6 Jenn Croft
“Crofting isn’t just a costume. It’s a way of life.” I present to you the Official Tomb Raider Cosplay Ambassador of the United States of America. From San Francisco, California, Jenn Croft has made her cosplay career dressing up as Lara Croft, including an amazingly awesome photo of her jumping off Macau Tower in cosplay. She has almost has cosplayed as long as the original Tomb Raider game has been out. That is longevity. There are probably people reading this post who were not even born when Jenn Croft started her craft. What is surprising is that she doesn’t have more followers on her Facebook. She is the national ambassador, after all. After you read this, head over to her page, and show her some love and support.
5 Alison Carroll
Born in London, Alison Carroll is known to fans as the final official Tomb Raider model. A former gymnast and a current model, her inclusion on this list is almost unfair. But no other lady seems to look sexier than Carroll in Croft garb, not even the incomparable Angelina Jolie. With the change in direction with the Lara Croft’s more serious characterization, it is unlikely that there will ever be another Tomb Raider model, which is a good and bad thing. One of her photos does feature her in a rather unsavory position. I blame the photographer for that gaff. But for the most part, Carroll was fantastic as the face of the franchise for the brief two years she was utilized.
Unfortunately, the cosplayer known as Soratane no longer updates her Deviant Art, but she is quite active on her Tumblr, Instagram, and has a slight presence on Twitch. Soratane cosplays as a wide range of characters and is an incredibly talented visual artist. The most notable aspect of most of her cosplays comes from the way she accentuates her eyes through phenomenal eye-makeup and circle contact lenses. Her Croft cosplay was so well done that it was indistinguishable from the computer-generated version. It really was that amazing. Also, it appears her Tomb Raider cosplay was just for one time only, which is such a shame. If you want a laugh, be sure to catch her numerous posts and reposts on her Tumblr page.
3 Abby Dark-Star
One of the more popular cosplayers in the world, Abby Dark-star has a tremendous list of cosplays to her name and nearly 500,000 followers on her Facebook page. Upon first inspection, it is likely she garners a lot of attention because of her bustiness, but she offers so much more than that, especially to the cosplay community. When she is not making her own outfits and posing in front of the camera, Abby is extremely busy on social media helping other people with tips and tutorials. Her Lara Croft cosplay features her well-endowed bust-line and curvy body, which is encouraging for female cosplayers who share her body type. She is a terrific ambassador to the cosplay subculture, and I have nothing but praise for her positive efforts.
2 Tanya Croft
Born in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, Tanya Croft cosplays exclusively as Lara Croft in her different incarnations. And when I say she has almost done every single outfit and appearance, it is not any form of hyperbole. She is very dedicated, indeed. Starting from the age of 15, her cosplays have improved dramatically in quality, thanks to her boyfriend, who makes the clothing and equipment for her, as well as composing the photography. What a guy. Tanya Croft is still very active and posts regularly on her Facebook fan page and is supported through her personal Patreon.
1 Sari Croft
Being a gymnast, Sari Ruoskanen, known by her cosplayer name of Sari Croft, can take the types of action photography other cosplayers could only dream about Photoshopping. Due to her athletic training, the Finnish Lara Croft often performs handstands, wall-scaling, and cartwheels in her photos, which makes her a unique and very special cosplayer worthy of our attention. She is like a walking, jumping, handspringing, real-life Tomb Raider. Isn’t that exciting? As of this moment, her cosplays feature exclusively-Croft in her numerous incarnations. But when you are capable of producing such amazing action shots, why even think about cosplaying as someone else? She is, by far, one of my favorite cosplayers in the world.