Some of these games were missed because they were exclusive to one console. Others were missed because of the amount of competition in the gaming market – that, and licensed games don’t exactly have a track record for being well-made.
Fans of the Lego series of games, usually a license of whatever is popular at the time, swear by them. In the case of the Lego The Lord of the Rings game, the fans are right. One great thing about this title is that it covers the entire trilogy. Many Lord of the Rings games that have the player follow the events of the movies focus on only one of the movies (or books). The animation and controls are great, and the player can switch between any of the companions. Most of the companions have unique abilities; Frodo can light-up areas, Legolas can attack from a distance, and more. The game is a bit too easy – so anyone looking for a Dark Souls type challenge will be disappointed.
Lord of the Rings: Conquest is a third-person action game that received somewhat mixed reviews when released. On one hand, the game was praised for the epic feel the game provoked, as well as letting players control some of the evil characters in the story. Its huge amount of content is another area in which the game was given high marks. On the other hand, the gameplay can get repetitive after a few hours of playing. One of the best aspects of this game is that it allows for local two-player games, something that is getting exceedingly rare to find.
When watching the trilogy, did you ever want to know what was happening away from the main characters? If so then you might want to try Lord of the Rings: War in the North. In this game the player can take control of three new heroes – a human, an elf, and a dwarf.
This made three-player online sessions particularly fun, but the game’s servers may not be available anymore. The game, like most of the Lord of the Rings games is a third-person action adventure. War in the North has a very similar look to Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.
Unlike most of the Lord of the Rings games, the Third Age is not a third-person action game. No, this is a turn-based role-playing game along the lines of the Final Fantasy games. The only drawbacks to this game are that it’s a little short, there aren’t many available characters, and there is a lot of narration. At least the narrator is Sir Ian McKellen. This game is a bit old now, having been released for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. Despite that, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age still looks fairly good graphically and is still very fun.
The games for this entry are the three role-playing games for the GameBoy Advance. Each game follows the events of the movie it is named after. These games feature some really detailed 2D isometric landscapes to explore and each game in the series provides dozens of hours of gameplay. The turn-based fights move a little too slowly for most players. This problem can be remedied by playing it on an emulator that allows the speed of games to be adjusted – or at least has a fast-forward option. These are fun games that don’t require a ton of button-mashing; which was a common complaint for most of the Lord of the Rings games. Gamers need to play this game just to see the hilariously hideous portraits that pop-up when speaking to someone.
This game would certainly be more well-known if it had been given a wider release, but it was a PSP exclusive. Tactics is a squad-based tactical combat role-playing game – similar to the Fire Emblem games in terms of gameplay. However, unlike in Fire Emblem the characters all move at the same time rather than taking turns. This game is an excellent tactical simulator that was held back by some rather plain graphics and being a PSP exclusive. The graphics aren’t that bad, but they could also have been much better. Had the graphics been just a little better this game would probably be regarded as one of the best PSP games ever made.
By the time this third-person action game was released for the PS2 the gaming community was starting to suffer from Lord of the Rings fatigue. This is a shame because this might be the best Lord of the Rings game for that console generation.
The graphics look fantastic, and at times will make you think you’re playing a PS3 game. It helped that assets from the movie were incorporated into the game. The action is of the hack-n-slash variety, but the button-mashing doesn’t get too tiresome. The game does have some sour spots – most notably the incredibly long load times and occasional audio glitches.
Battle for Middle-Earth 2 (and its predecessor) is something that was needed among the Lord of the Rings games – a real-time strategy game. This game plays much like the original Warcraft games. Players use workers to collect resources and build new structures. New structures allow for better troops and the ability to upgrade your troops. The player can choose from six factions to control; this helps give the game tremendous replay value. This game is still an absolute blast to play, and despite being sixteen years old the graphics don’t look too dated. This game was available on PC and the Xbox 360.
One of the best Lord of the Rings games wasn’t a video game – it was a card game. This thoroughly enjoyable card game is meant for two players and is played cooperatively. Players begin by constructing their decks from the available cards - there are more than enough cards for players to make the decks how they wish. Along with the hero cards there are several different card types, like allies, event, and items. Players must complete the given quest before their ever rising threat level gets to fifty. There is a digital version of the card game that's available on Steam. Any fan of tabletop games needs to give this game a try.
This game is an MMORPG like World of Warcraft. But set in Middle-Earth. Lord of the Rings Online gives the player a large selection of playable races and classes during character creation. The graphics are on par with other popular MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. This game can be played for free via Steam, and at this point there is an amazing abundant amount of content to play through. Even though this game originally released in 2007 the servers are still up, and the online community is still large enough that it won’t feel like exploring a ghost town. This is a must-play game for any fan of Tolkien’s works or the Lord of the Rings movies.