The Lord of the Rings is one of the best things that’s ever happened to mankind to be honest. Whether you’re talking books, movies, radio adaptations – as long as you’re not talking Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, it’s all good with me. But how does Middle Earth fit into the video game world? Well, surprisingly well. With more than 30 (yes, count ’em) Lord of the Rings games currently in existence, there’s definitely some misses, but there’s also a lot of hits.
If you’ve ever wondered which Lord of the Rings games are worth your time then here’s our definitive list of the top 10 LoTR games you can play right now.
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2, XBOX, GC)
Kicking things off at number 10 we have The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. This game is by no means the greatest LoTR of our time, but it’s definitely a fun one.
The first EA LoTR spin-off, The Third Age didn’t quite appeal to as many as the publisher’s later titles, but still earned itself a solid fanbase. This classic RPG followed some of the characters you’ll recognise, including Gandalf and Boromir, but follows an entirely different path to the books and movies. Is it worth your time? If you still have your PS2 set up, then absolutely!
9. The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II (PC, XBOX 360)
The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II slides into our ninth position for being a fun game that’s only slightly less exciting than its predecessor.
The Battle for Middle Earth series gave real-time strategy a Tolkien spin, but this 2006 sequel failed to impress as much as its older brother. It’s still an essential game for LoTR and RTS gamers everywhere, but it’s just not as great as the first.
8. Minecraft Middle Earth (PC)
It might not be an officially licensed Tolkien game, but the fan-made Minecraft Middle Earth has to get a shout-out here for its sheer excellence.
The project was in development for close a decade and it’s truly a labour of love.
The group describes itself as “a Minecraft community that recreates the world described by JRR Tolkien and his writings.” Realms in the project include the likes of Lothlórien, Rohan, Gondor and Moria just to name a few. Honestly, this is one you need to see to believe!
7. LEGO The Lord of the Rings (Available on everything from Steam to iOS)
It’s basically impossible to find a LEGO game that isn’t any good, and LEGO The Lord of the Rings is no exception.
Available on basically all platforms, this is a fantastic (and hilarious) take on the Peter Jackson trilogy. Well worth picking up if you’re a fan of either LEGO games or LoTR (but especially worth picking up if you’re both!)
6. Middle Earth: Shadow of War (PC, XBOX ONE, PS4)
Ah the Middle Earth: Shadow games. Firmly believed to be two of the best LoTR games of all time, both Shadow of War and Shadow of Mordor put a new spin on what a LoTR game can be.
Although 2017’s Shadow of War had a little more meat on its bones than 2014’s Shadow of Mordor, it didn’t quite shock and thrill its unsuspecting players as much as its predecessor. Nobody was expecting Shadow of Mordor to be good, and for that reason I have to rank it a little higher than its sequel. Is there anything better than falling in love with a game you didn’t have high hopes for? Nope!
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (PS2, PC)
A hack-n-slash game that closely follows the final movie in the Peter Jackson trilogy was sure to impress, but Return of the King is still fondly remembered even to this day.
Originally released in 2003, playing through this gem is probably one of the best moments of your childhood. Nostalgia – and the fact it’s a surprisingly solid and fun-to-play game – means this one ranks pretty high on our list.
4. The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth (PC)
The first of the Battle for Middle Earth games, this 2004 classic took the RTS genre and transformed it into something even bigger and better.
Battle for Middle Earth is still fondly remembered as being one of the best LoTR games of all time, and there’s even a fan remake in the works (check it out here). Though its sequel was definitely a great time, it didn’t quite make the same impact as the original. I’ve never been as enchanted with an RTS game as this one, so it comes at no surprise to see it place at number four.
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2, GC, XBOX)
A game that really needs no introduction, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is one of the best experiences you could have (and probably did have) on PS2.
Released in 2002, The Two Towers’ incredible hack-n-slash gameplay was like nothing we’d played before, and it’s stayed in our hearts ever since. Quite possibly one of the best EA games ever to grace the face of the earth, TT is a credit to developer Stormfront Studios. Hats off to you!
2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4, PC, XBOX One)
Shadow of Mordor amassed a huge following after it launched back in 2014. The game took what was great about the combat in Batman Arkham and turned it into something even more satisfying.
Adding in a heap of orcs plus a very well-executed Nemesis system gave us an almost perfect LoTR game that’s aged wonderfully. It’s hands-down one of the best Lord of the Rings games you can play right now, and if you haven’t yet picked it up then you definitely should!
1. Lord of the Rings Online (PC)
The reason I can’t play MMORPGs any more is due to a slight addiction I once had to Lord of the Rings Online.
A fantastically huge, sprawling and ever-expanding online game, LoTRO consumed me faster than the One Ring consumed Sméagol. An absolute must-play MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online is an experience that every gamer deserves (just maybe limit your screen time with this one).
And there you have it! Have we missed any off the list, or is this the best Top 10 Lord of the Rings games lists you’ve ever seen? (Hint: it’s the latter).
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