Top 10 Lord of the Rings Board Games

When it comes to fantasy adventures, The Lord of the Rings sits atop many people’s best of lists. Despite being written in 1954, the series is still read and reread today. And Peter Jackson’s fantastic trilogy brought in legions of new fans. For gamers wishing to bring a piece of Middle-Earth to their tabletops, there are actually a number of great options to choose from. Whether you are just looking for battles, new experiences, or to follow in the footsteps of the Fellowship, there is something here for you! So strap on your mitheral shirt and pack your Hobbit leaf as we take a look at the Top 10 Lord of the Rings Board Games.

10. The Lord of the Rings Adventure Book Game

Lord of the Rings Adventure Book GamePublisher Ravensburger’s Adventure Book Games have been solid thematic offerings that started with The Princess Bride and have now moved on to Middle-Earth. This puzzle-style game will take players through the main plot points of The Lord of the Rings over 8 chapters as players control various members of the Fellowship. It’s probably the lightest game on this list, and makes for a great solo or family game.

1-4 Players • Ages 10+ • 60 minutes • $34Get Your Copy



9. Middle-Earth Quest

In this 1 Vs Many game, one player will take on the role of Sauron, while up to three other players are heroes who are trying to stop his spread of darkness. Interestingly, Middle-Earth Quest takes place several years before Frodo leaves the shire on his fateful journey (but about 10 years after Bilbo left on his adventure). Instead of recreating the plot points of Lord of the Rings, Middle-Earth Quest lets players embark on new adventures in Middle-Earth. However this game has long since gone out of print, so it might be hard to find.

2-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 180 minutes • OoPGet Your Copy



8. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Revised Core Set

Lord of the Rings Revised Core SetThis cooperative card game take place 17 years before Frodo’s departure from the shire. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (think CCG, but without the randomness), and has already had tons of expansions released to date. Players will control decks of heroes from Middle-Earth, and send them off to battle the forces of darkness and or quest with allies. This revised core set not only includes a new campaign mode, but many quality-of-life improvements as well.

1-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 30-90 minutes • $55Get Your Copy



7. The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the RingsOver two decades ago, if you wanted to play a Lord of the Rings tabletop game, this one was it. Reiner Knizia’s game followed the thematic plot points of the story but in a more abstract fashion. For all intents and purposes, the game is on rails as players move throughout the story on different tracks. The main key here is managing the party’s resources and risk tolerance. From keeping the corruption levels in check to deciding when to use your precious character cards, there is a lot of tension in Knizia’s Lord of the Rings game. Despite being over twenty years old, it still holds up pretty solidly today.

2-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 60-90 minutes • OoPGet Your Copy



6. Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game

Middle Earth Strategy GameAs with most games published by Games Workshop, chances are you know what you are going to get when you dive into this title. Fantastic-looking miniatures that have to be hand assembled and painted, a thick book full of rules and lore, and deep rewarding gameplay. As you might expect, the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game is more of a lifestyle game and not one you’ll just dip your toes into. It’s complex, and involved, but amazing for players who want epic battles set in Middle-Earth.

2 Players • Ages 12+ • 60-120 minutes • $175Get Your Copy



5. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

The Lord of the Rings The ConfrontationFive years after he created his first Lord of the Rings Game, Dr. Reiner Knizia, is back in Middle-Earth with his two-player game of conflict. As you might expect, The Confrontation will have one side controlling the forces of Sauron, while the other player takes command of the Fellowship and the free people. The Confrontation channels a bit of the classic game Stratego as each side will have a number of hidden units that will move around the board, only being revealed when there is a conflict. However, this is much more than a reskin of that old abstract game as there is card play, asymmetric abilities, and thematic units.

2 Players • Ages 10+ • 30 minutes • OoPGet Your Copy



4. War of the Ring: The Card Game

2022 brought us a card game version of the popular War of the Ring board game. It distills down the essence of War of the Ring into a 2-4 player card game. As you might expect, players will take turns playing cards representing the Fellowship, armies, heroes, items, and events from the war. The Fellowship players are trying to advance down their path to Mordor, while also trying to win battles at key strongholds. The dark forces are, clearly, trying to stop them. While the gameplay has abstracted the experience of the board game, it’s still highly thematic and plays much quicker, making it a great option for Lord of the Rings fans.

2-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 90-120 minutes • $37Get Your Copy



3. The Battle of Five Armies

Battle of Five ArmiesThe only game on the list that takes place during the story of the Hobbit, The Battle of Five Armies is based on the climatic battle from that book. Despite its name, this is not a five-player game, in fact, it’s strictly a 2 player affair. Instead of encompassing many events of the story, The Battle of Five Armies is a much more tactical experience focusing on the battle in the shadow of the Lonely mountain. However, the game still uses the dice action system that worked so well in War of the Ring, but this time focusing more on combat. The Battle of Five Armies is both really well done and thematic to the plot point of the book.

2 Players • Ages 12+ • 90-240 minutes • $75Get Your Copy



2. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth

Lord of the RingsUnlike many of the games on this list, Journeys in Middle-Earth is more about creating your own stories rather than stepping into the shoes of the Fellowship. This cooperative, app-assisted board game will have you creating your own hero (based on different classes and races) and setting out on a series of campaigns in Middle Earth. The gameplay is diceless, using a form of card play to handle battles and a character’s equipment. If you love games with a solid story, lots of exploration, and a healthy dose of battles with monsters, Journeys in Middle-Earth is the perfect choice for Lord of the Rings fans.

1-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 60-120 minutes • $87Get Your Copy



1. War of the Ring

War of the RingDespite originally being published in 2004, War of the Ring still sits atop the mountain as the pinnacle of Lord of the Rings tabletop games. While it was updated to a second edition back in 2011, the gameplay has aged like a fine wine and is still an amazing game today. This is a sprawling, epic game that will take players through the major plot of the Lord of the Rings. As you might expect, one player controls the Fellowship and the free people, while the other controls Sauron, Saruman, and their forces of darkness. For the Lord of the Rings fan, this game has it all: combat, tension, politics, the hunt for the ring, and deep, engaging gameplay. War of the Ring has long been one of the best board games ever made and even after all these years, it’s still an amazing experience.

2-4 Players • Ages 14+ • 120-180 minutes • $75Get Your Copy



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