- Author's Saving Throw: Invoked in a very open way by the dev team itself. They were fully aware what kind of reception Chronicles would get. To lessen the blow, they added the Level Editor. And while it didn't work as intended and the game was still treated harshly, the Level Editor is still used and greatly improved by fans almost two decades later.
- Broken Base: The game in general struck the fanbase down the middle, but the Ireland level was particularly divisive. Some felt it was the best sequence in the game, with a great premise, a wonderfully spooky atmosphere, and excellent level design in a game otherwise criticised for lacking such. Others felt it was a bit too steeped in the supernatural, and frustratingly hamstrung Lara. Others still felt the latter was a good thing, and added to the level's charm and memorability.
- Designated Hero: The hardest blow from this trope in the whole franchise. In the last section Lara is doing a very bloody heist job to steal an artifact that Von Croy recovered in Cambodia back in 1984, after being abandoned there by teenage Lara in a death trap. It just makes her look petty. Bonus points for being a retelling of the events by her friends, who clearly glorify this action. This basically turns Lara into an outright Villain Protagonist, putting her on the dark side of Black and Gray Morality typical for Core games.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Zip was popular enough to survive the first Continuity Reboot, evidently - one of the few supporting characters from the original who can make this claim.
- Franchise Zombie: This game was thrown together for a quick buck during the production of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. It shows; the level design is generally less intricate and shorter than the previous games in the series, even the first one. It's also just a lot shorter than previous games, especially in comparison to The Last Revelation, which was the longest.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The second section of the game is mostly set around a Russian nuclear submarine that gets damaged and then completely sinks, taking its crew with it. The game was ready for shipment when Kursk disaster happend. Suprisingly, it avoided Too Soon issues when released in Russia - people were more focused on cheering for the portray of The Mafiya as evil scum and the Russian military as corrupt, but generally staffed with well-meaning guys.
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: Compared to the rest of the Core Design series, and especially the previous entry, this is a very short game.
- Sequelitis: Chronicles is universally acclaimed as this.
- So Okay, It's Average: The consensus. It doesn't play any worse than the previous four games, but it's obviously lacking inspiration, is short, and really easy compared to some of the tougher entries in the series (II and III).
- That One Boss: The gargoyles at the end of the second level are notoriously difficult to defeat; definitely a case of Easy Levels, Hard Bosses. Aside from being bullet sponges that can easily soak up all of Lara's reserve ammo and then some, they also breathe fire at Lara, which can quickly kill her if she gets touched even once. On top of all this, they fire at different rates, and are all very quick and accurate in their shots. Tip: stay away from them; getting even moderately close is a guaranteed death. Doubles as a Wake-Up Call Boss.
YMMV / Tomb Raider Chronicles