Actually, Tomb Raider was evolutionary in the gaming industry, because it introduced the 3rd person perspective action game genre to gaming. In that aspect, it is as important a development in the history of computer games as Zork, Prince of Persia, Dune 2, Wolfenstein 3D/Quake/Half-life, Civilization, Rainbow Six, Homeworld, and all the other "groundbreaking" advances in computer gaming.

In addition, I'd say that Tomb Raider pushed gaming into the big markets. I really couldn't recall a computer game before Tomb Raider that was so well marketed. Those Eidos guys may be repetitive, but they know how to do marketing.

To be honest, I found the gameplay pretty decent. The controls were rather sluggish, but otherwise it made for a good gaming experience. The action was fast, but the puzzles were a tad annoying. Not that it matters, the game was a technological wonderpiece for its time, and was as much eyecandy as gameplay. I enjoyed it a lot.

However, its sequels did suck a lot. Gameplay was stale, controls still sluggish, and with the exception of more detailed graphics and some dynamic lighting, it was the same old deal. The introduction of Lara Croft with a ponytail in Tomb Raider 2 did cause an extra wave of teen masturbation fantasies, as I recall with some younger gamers I knew. Eidos should have stopped with the first sequel and worked more on better games like Commandos and Thief.