The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age Xbox

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 70
    For most of the game I felt like I was too powerful and things never really felt challenging. Again, I'm thinking that this is partly by design since the game has a mainstream license and will attract many casual gamers.
  2. It's too easy. Yes, there's a Hard mode, and Evil mode if you can be bothered to play through it that many times, but if you've got a solid grounding in role-playing games, you'll walk through it.
  3. 70
    It's hard to find fault with the concept behind Third Age; from a marketing perspective, Final Fantasy and LOTR probably seemed like a perfect match. But you can't crudely shoehorn two disconnected franchises together without bringing something unique and worthwhile to the table.
  4. As promising as a role-playing game based on The Lord of the Rings mythos sounds, The Third Age's reality is one of strict linearity, wacky plot foibles, and generic turn-based action.
  5. games(TM)
    70
    Sadly, the adventure itself is far too linear; there's little in the way of side-quests, and you have no freedom over where you go or what you do. If you can overlook this, though, The Third Age does mix a neat battle system with a great franchise to provide a surprisingly enjoyable adventure. [Dec 2004, p.107]
  6. Official Xbox Magazine
    68
    This Frankenstein-like "FF meets LOTR" formula ends up satisfying no one. [Holiday 2004, p.70]
  7. Play Magazine
    67
    Better suited for those who want to play an impressive companion piece to the movies rather than play a compelling RPG. [Dec 2004, p.62]
  8. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    63
    An RPG that deftly copies "Final Fantasy X" but is burdened with a story that plays more like a "deleted scenes" bonus DVD than anything coherent. [Holiday 2004, p.104]
  9. This is a game that will be either loved or hated by fans of both Lord of the Rings and the RPG genre in general.
  10. The overlapping storyline, basic role-playing elements and dulled out graphics are crippling downfalls, but even so the game is entertaining.
  11. Stays faithful to the movie licence and dishes up hour upon hour of orc-slaying fun. It's not really doing anything new as far as RPGs go but, what it does do, it does well. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  12. netjak
    58
    For such a derivative game, if you have any fondness for Japanese RPGs or Tolkien, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is actually quite a bit of fun. For others, this will probably just be one more license game they will never bother to play and although I enjoyed it, I can definitely understand that side of things.
  13. Xbox Nation Magazine
    60
    As a game, it's safe and absolutely unambitious. [Jan 2005, p.96]
  14. A capable but not spectacular turn-based RPG.

Awards & Rankings

#34 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#13 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. DanTheSpeakerman
    Nov 22, 2004
    9
    A fun ride through Middle Earth. I would almost consider this more of an action game with RPG elements than a straight RPG. EA really did a A fun ride through Middle Earth. I would almost consider this more of an action game with RPG elements than a straight RPG. EA really did a job on this one technically, immersing you in Middle Earth's beauty and treachery with outstanding graphics and perfect sound/music. If you roll into this with the right expectations and love LOTR, you should really enjoy this. Full Review »
  2. BillyC.
    Nov 5, 2004
    10
    One of the best lotr games i have played.
  3. HarkA.
    Nov 1, 2004
    9
    Lord of the Rings meets Final Fantasy. If you don't like turn based RPGs with random encounters then don't buy it.