The best Lord of the Rings games

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A collage showing two Lord of the Rings games.

Here are the best Lord of the Rings games! Known for its point-and-click games like Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, Daedelic Entertainment will soon be stepping into the action-adventure genre with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

Set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, players take control of this iconic foe as he tries to reclaim the One Ring while using stealth to invade Sauron's army. How it will fare with critics and gamers is hard to predict, but there have been other great games set in Middle-earth's magical and dangerous world.

An orc being mind-controlled in Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
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Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Despite being launched with dreaded micro-transactions in 2017, Warner Bros. removed this confusing, harmful, and unnecessary feature the following year after receiving backlash from fans of its predecessor, Shadow of Mordor. Since then, Middle-earth: Shadow of War has become a celebrated sequel that is worth jumping back into.

Players must build an army to battle against Sauron and his forces with a new Ring of Power that protagonist Talion has forged. Expanding upon the previous game's unique mechanics, this instalment introduced new and exciting elements, with sieges easily being one of the major standouts for this gorgeous action-adventure game.

Combat in progress in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Film tie-ins don't always have a great reputation, and rarely are they able to strike a chord with audiences. But Stormfront Studios was able to turn the second film in the cinematic Lord of the Rings trilogy into a fun hack-and-slash game for the PS2 and Xbox.

Players could play as either Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli as they battle hordes of Orcs and trolls, and allow anyone to play out the events of the film as well as play in some areas developed exclusively for the game. While other studios were able to make positively-received versions for the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, Stormfront was able to deliver a more polished experience.

Frodo exploring Hobbiton in LEGO The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game.
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Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game

Today, Sony and Nintendo fans won't be able to play across this unique and family-friendly take on the cinematic film series. But for those with a PC or Xbox, they will be treated to one of the best Lego games to date.

Turning the dark and mature fantastical world into a colourful and humorous adventure makes this a standout, when compared to the more action-heavy and violent games that make up a majority of LOTR titles in the video game space. Add to that the ability to play as one of 80 unlockable characters, as well as being able to create your own avatar, and this stands out as a fun time for everyone.

A battlefield in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth 2.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth 2

Once The Return of the King was released and wrapped up the trilogy with a string of Academy Awards, it was only a matter of time before people would attempt to entice fans with new games set in Middle-earth, that would explore multiple genres. Among these was EA's The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, which proved to be a good attempt at making a solid real-time strategy experience.

But its 2006 sequel, The Battle for Middle-earth 2, proved to be more favourably praised by fans between the two, for its more polished graphics and gorgeous presentation for the time. Its online servers may no longer be active, but this was still a great game in the genre in its own right.

Two NPCs talking in The Lord of the Rings Online.
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The Lord of the Rings Online

When it comes to MMORPGs, there are already plenty of fantastical worlds to explore, whether it's World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online, or Final Fantasy 14. But few have not been able to stick around as long as The Lord of the Rings Online has, with this year marking its 16th anniversary, and still having an active online server.

Not only are fans of the books able to revisit several key landscapes explored in the multiple film and television adaptations, but they can explore a number of locations that they could only imagine previously. Furthermore, the game will continue to receive new activities and in-game events this year, adding much more to an already expansive open world.

Gandalf fighting Orcs in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Before they developed hit games like the Dead Space trilogy, the MySims series, and The Simpsons Game, Visceral Games (formerly known as EA Redwood Shores) made one of the best film tie-in games with 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Expanding on the valiant efforts of Stormfront Studios' The Two Towers game, players were able to take control over more characters featured in the film series and could interact with the environment. With more characters, fun levels based on the third film's battles, and a co-op mode, even 20 years later, this is still seen as one of the best The Lord of the Rings games, as well as one of the best film tie-in games of all time.

Talion fighting enemies in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Published by Warner Bros. and developed by Monolith Productions (who previously made Condemned and F.E.A.R), it should come as no surprise to see Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on this list. Telling a new and original story, a man named Talion avenges the death of his family with the help of the wraith of a deceased Elf he has been forced to bond with.

Among the game's many highlights is the Nemesis system, which allows Talios to take control of Sauron's orc army and force them to fight against opposing generals and allow players to gain the upper hand. That's in addition to the stellar combat, multiple traversal options, and a fresh look at a familiar world. This is one adventure that everyone, a fan of Tolkien's books or not, should pick up and play.


That's it for our look at the best The Lord of the Rings games! For even more game recommendations, check out the games like Skyrim for mobile.

For more lists like this one, check out our picks for the best free action games for 2023 that you can play right now. Similar games on this list can be found on the best free MMORPG games for 2023 as well as the best free strategy games for 2023.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Features and Lord of the Rings page.