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. 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]
  2. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  3. 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.
  4. The overlapping storyline, basic role-playing elements and dulled out graphics are crippling downfalls, but even so the game is entertaining.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. games(TM)
    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]
  8. 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.
  9. A capable but not spectacular turn-based RPG.
  10. netjak
    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.
  11. Official Xbox Magazine
    This Frankenstein-like "FF meets LOTR" formula ends up satisfying no one. [Holiday 2004, p.70]
  12. Play Magazine
    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]
  13. 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.
  14. Xbox Nation Magazine
    As a game, it's safe and absolutely unambitious. [Jan 2005, p.96]

Awards & Rankings

#37 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#44 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. DanTheSpeakerman
    Nov 22, 2004
    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
    One of the best lotr games i have played.
  3. HarkA.
    Nov 1, 2004
    Lord of the Rings meets Final Fantasy. If you don't like turn based RPGs with random encounters then don't buy it.