While Monolith’s Shadow of War might be a technical marvel with its power-pushing graphics and admittedly genius Nemesis system, prior to its release there was a slew of great games based on Tolkien’s Fantasy books. To celebrate the best of them, here are IGCritic’s top five Lord of the Rings games:
5. LEGO Lord of the Rings
By far the “comfort food” of Lord of the Rings games, with a TT Games LEGO title you know what you’re going to get, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Letting you relive the bets sequences from all three of Peter Jackson’s movies, LEGO Lord of the Rings’ did a great job at balancing the dark with humorous. With more unlockable characters than you can shake a stick at and an abundance of hidden area to seek out, why wouldn’t you want to play as a little plastic version of Viggo Mortenson?
4. Lord of the Rings: War in the North
The last, big story-heavy Lord of the Rings game prior to the release of Monolith’s lauded Shadow of Mordor games, War in the North was an action-RPG that followed the paths of a ranger, dwarf, and elf squad. Akin to the Borderlands series, it was just so satisfying to see those numbers pop off of enemies with every whack, and being able to do so online with two other friends made it all the more enjoyable.
3. Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
A thoughtful sidequel story that followed a selection of heroes running alongside the narrative of the movies, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age was a turn-based tactical game in the vein of FFX. Letting you command a team of three, each a different race, The Third Age was fun for its ability to tie up the various loose ends left in the movies, including the fate of some characters. The combat wasn’t relatively new or unique, but The Lord of the Rings sheen helped it stand out amongst its peers.
2. Lord of the Rings: Conquest
Very much to Lord of the Rings what Battlefront was for the Star Wars Franchise, Conquest let you relive Middle-Earth’s most memorable battles by placing you right in the centre of the action. Letting you command members of the fellowship as well as Sauron’s dark forces, the true star here was the game’s online opponent which work wonders in terms of letting you dominate players all over the world.
1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
To this day, one of the few direct movie-to-video game adaptations to translate well and provide a fun experience, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King on the PS2 was an amazing hack and slash game. Doing away with the overly linear structure of the Two Towers predecessor, here you could play as multiple characters from the film and experience their different perspectives on your quest to destroy the one ring. Fully playable in co-op with a friend, the game also had plenty of secret characters and behind the scenes videos to unlock.