Are these the 20 best British games?

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft - an Indiana Jones for the PlayStation generation

"A female heroine in a videogame – that's never going to work?!" was a common refrain in dev studios prior to the release of Core's first ever Tomb Raider title.

Shortly after release, Lara Croft appearing on the cover of style bible, The Face marked the advent of "The PlayStation generation" – and videogames were officially cool. Something we had all known for years, of course…

"It came at the right time and showed what could be done with 3D on a new generation of machines," says TIGA's Richard Wilson. "The use of a female main lead was inspired and it is one of the most recognised British games."

"There was also a bit of luck involved in this,"'s Garratt reminds us. "Lara was originally supposed to be an Indiana Jones-style man, but Core eventually went with a woman as they were concerned about the "closeness" to the film character. The rest is history.

"I think it's important to remember that Tomb Raider wasn't just about having a female lead; the game itself was totally new, blending action and 3D manoeuvring like never before. It played a huge part in the success of PlayStation because of it's success in the third dimension. And let's not forget shooting a T-Rex with twin pistols. Seems obvious now, but back then it was completely thrilling. Absolutely classic game.

Phil Gaskell, Creative Director of Ripstone recalls that he was once told a story about how Lara Croft got her surname, "apparently one of the designers had a bottle of Croft Original on his desk and...well, okay in the cold light of day it does sound like I was being taken for a bit of mug!

"Still there's nothing more British than Core Design's tomb raiding heroine," Gaskell says "We all remember the moment the T-Rex stomped into view (something that will resonate with game makers from the PSOne days as Sony used a t-rex model to showcase their new console).

"What I loved the most though was finding the little control easter eggs, like getting Lara to swan dive, or do a handstand on the edge of a platform. Thank the Lord they didn't cast Harrison Ford in the role or we'd have been denied many an hour staring at a well-modelled digital derrière!"

Speedball 2

Speedball 2

Tron meets football

It is nothing less than criminal that Speedball 2 is yet to get the update respect it truly deserves in over two decades, according to Daniel Boutros, Games Creative Director at Skybound.

"The original is perfect with a d-pad, on the megadrive, with the sound all the way up on the biggest crap old telly you can find," Boutros recalls fondly. "Rugby in a giant pinball table is yet to be bettered."

Andy Payne, CEO of Mastertronic & AppyNation agrees wholeheartedly.

"Speedball 2 Atari ST is simply the best arcade [brutal] sports game there was or has ever been. Relentless and unforgiving, from an era where casual was a football terrace term and had nothing to do with computer and video games."

Editor in chief of TechRadar, Patrick Goss adds: "There was almost no more satisfying moment in gaming than smashing right through from kick off. I think I broke about four Zipsticks playing this game against my friends."

Project Gotham Racing series

Project Gotham Racing

PGR tears into the top 20, and rightly so

One of the greatest racing series was a product of a more recent golden era in Britsoft creativity.

"Bizarre Creations hit the big time with Gotham by tying it into the first Xbox and signing with Microsoft," says's Garratt.

"It was a trailblazing arcade racer which showed off the new console's power and cemented Bizarre's name as the premier car studio of the time. The developer met a nasty end at the hands of Activision in later life, but Gotham was gold."

Adam Hartley