Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
Buy On
  1. Probably the biggest question about LotRO is, "Does LotRO have the potential to surpass World of Warcraft?" The answer is yes.
  2. There’s a fantastic community of players online that are willing to help newbies, as well as plenty of sites with huge databases full of information if you get stuck.
  3. From the lush visuals and sound, to the solid, stable gameplay mechanics, to the way in which Tolkien's world was so faithfully and respectfully brought to the PC, this is a quality experience.
  4. With Turbine's long-standing MMORPG expertise powering proceedings and one of the most welcoming communities in gaming, LOTRO presents a stunning and evocative world of Tolkien magic to explore - if you're any kind of fan, it would seem pretty much an essential purchase.
  5. It's absolutely no exaggeration to say that this is far and away the best game for anyone who hasn't played an MMOG before to cut their teeth on. Even more than the familiar universe, the excellent interface and gameplay design Turbine have crafted turn this into an experience which those who have previously avoided the lure of MMOs will find tough to resist.
  6. An innovative traits and title system, unique social-networking -- like an in-game music system and player-driven Wiki -- and the rich storylines and subplots that stay true to the source material easily make this name-brand role-player a hot contender for PC game of the year.
  7. Lord of the Rings Online is already huge, deep, enormously entertaining, and brimming with secrets to uncover, and with the first free content update already announced for June, should only improve with time.
  8. AceGamez
    It's a game that lovingly recreates its source material with a passion than fans of Tolkien's works will be very pleased with, but most importantly it's a game that's easily accessible and fun to play, which was always the one thing that made WoW triumph over all those that had come before it.
  9. 90
    That The Lord of the Rings Online could whether the storm of player expectations and its development troubles and still be a decent game is an achievement in itself. That it could go through all that and come out the other side as an exceptional entry into the genre is nothing short of miraculous.
  10. There is a sense of joy, being a Tolkien fan, that permeates the game when you realize that Turbine has done a very good job i[n] realizing the world and allowing players to be a part of it
  11. The deed system is so simple yet so great; it’s a real surprise it hasn’t been included much before.
  12. 90
    The fidelity to the source material is such that you can literally navigate the world using those maps printed in your dog-eared paperback copy of "The Fellowship of the Ring."
  13. Like the book it was based on, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is poised to become an enduring classic in its own right.
  14. It’s a solid and even polished game, and while it’s quite possible the small world and limited scope of the quests won’t give it much staying power, the strength of Tolkien’s world should keep a steady stream of players coming in, to at least spend four months or so enjoying this version of Middle Earth.
  15. 90
    If, however, you're new to MMORPGs, found World of Warcraft too generic and boring, or found that it required too much time investment, you could do far worse than giving Lord of the Rings Online a shot.
  16. Pelit (Finland)
    A solid fantasy MMORPG that looks good, plays well and is faithful to Tolkien’s work. It could have broken out of the traditional EverQuest format a bit more, but even now it is one of the best games the genre has seen in recent years. [June 2007]
  17. games(TM)
    This overall approach to MMORPGs is far more social and interesting than anything that has preceded it. [July 2007, p.104]
  18. Special praise also has to be dealt to Turbine for creating an MMO that managed to ship in a fairly completed state, and with stability issues kept to a minimum.
  19. Games Master UK
    It's in-depth, it's authentic. It's great with mates and it's got orcs in it. [July 2007, p.82]
  20. The best MMO launch experience I've had since the days of Ultima Online.
  21. PC Zone UK
    Best Tolkien game, beyond a shadow of a doubt. [July 2007, p.66]
  22. 86
    Powerful story elements, fellowship conjunction attacks, and superb audio-visual elements are merged with numerous small-scale interface enhancements that make it nearly impossible to dislike this one.
  23. MMORPGs are often frowned upon for their stagnant conventions, but the tweaks that LOTRO offer to these modes are streamlined enough to make the process as easy, and fun, as possible.
  24. 85
    Despite playing similarly, LOTRO is not "WoW," and that's perfectly fine. If you are into LOTR, you'll probably find this a more engaging experience than other fantasy MMOs because of the meatiness of Tolkien's Middle Earth.
  25. Huge chunks of LOTRO’s design are culled entirely from the "WoW" playbook, but that’s generally for the best.
  26. The online version of Middle-Earth is certainly worth a visit, especially if you count yourself among the legions of Tolkien fans out there.
  27. At any rate, Lord of the Rings only manages to successfully hold its own when compared with World of Warcraft, and that’s most certainly quite an achievement.
  28. There's a lot of quests in the game. A lot. In the first ten to fifteen levels alone, you're likely to do 50-100 quests, if not much more. While the game seems to have only a small number of areas available at launch, each area is quite large, and there's a fair amount to do in each area as you progress to level 50.
  29. Online games are always a moving target, so take this warm first impression with a grain of salt.
  30. That The Lord of the Rings Online is such an accessible experience is bound to draw comparisons to the genre's leading title, but that it's so enjoyable to play is a testament to its great design. Its inventive aspects are peripheral, but they are there, and combined with slick and engaging questing, the package makes for plenty of appealing exploration.
  31. The character models themselves are largely devoid of character. There’s not a ton of detail to faces and the models themselves often come off rigid and too similar to each other.
  32. With very little in the way of downtime and a seemingly endless stream of things to do and new things to see, the future is looking very bright.
  33. Quest progression is fantastic, the presentation is top notch, and there's plenty of side stuff to distract you from the main game if you so choose.
  34. 80
    As unimportant as it sounds, you don't look for a group - you look for a Fellowship. This isn't so much a change of game mechanics as it is a change in attitude. It's a reminder that LOTRO isn't just a game: it's a world and a story that both players and developers truly care about. Maybe that's a small step toward a more respectful player culture, but it's still a welcome one.
  35. 80
    Its launch was technically sound, its production values are top-notch, and its focus on narrative is refreshing.
  36. PC Gamer
    But, overall, Lord of the Rings Online serves as proof that a major license can inspire an excellent MMO that immerses you in a beloved setting. [Aug 2007, p.58]
  37. PC Gamer UK
    This is a game which takes absolutely no risks, as much Middle-of-the-Road as Middle-Earth...You won't be surprised. You will, almost certainly, be entertained. [June 2007, p.70]
  38. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar isn’t the best MMORPG I’ve ever played, but I’ve played that one to death. With strong classes, tons of content, and some imaginative little features, this game is worth a trip to Mount Doom. Or at least the toy store.
  39. Despite its literary background, “Shadows of Angmar” doesn’t rewrite the rules for massively multiplayer online games and instead sticks to the same safe, proven formula. It does, however, deliver a rich world that stays mostly true to Tolkien’s vision. [Associated Press]
  40. PC Format
    The most perverse thing though is that the most enjoyable moments have little to do with Tokien or his wonderfully overactive imagination; it's much more to do with Turbine's ability to knock out a compelling MMO experience. [June 2007, p.56]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 294
  1. May 2, 2011
    2007-2009 this game was a solid 8-9 rating. Great RPG, great story telling, really good Middle Earth lore, frequent updates and expansion.2007-2009 this game was a solid 8-9 rating. Great RPG, great story telling, really good Middle Earth lore, frequent updates and expansion. Then they converted the game to a free to play model. Sure they may be making more money but...very little content since Siege of Mirkwood. No expansion for 2 years. Every activity in the game now funnels you in to their micro transaction store. This mmo WAS a great gamers game, not it's a cash cow for Turbine and is no longer a gamers game (if that makes any sense to you gamers out there). Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2010
    Lotro has the potential to surpass World of Warcraft in popularity, 'cause it's now free to play. When comes to quality, Lotro just barelyLotro has the potential to surpass World of Warcraft in popularity, 'cause it's now free to play. When comes to quality, Lotro just barely misses WoW. I have to say, I am hooked.However, I would like to criticize travel time. I keep finding myself annoyed by having to go here and there to get this and that, train this or that, or kill this and that. Then again, aren't they all like that? Full Review »
  3. NickJ
    Oct 30, 2009
    I have played several MMOs before: Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online...Hell, even RuneScape. I'd have to say that LotRO is I have played several MMOs before: Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online...Hell, even RuneScape. I'd have to say that LotRO is my absolute favourite of all MMOs. It is streamlined, epic, and boasts an amazing amount of polish and balance. Not only that, but this is the original fantasy world, not some sort of D&D-ish knockoff. I think honestly, Tolkein would be proud at how much they stuck to the books while giving everyone a lot of freedom to do whatever they wanted. But then again, I'm not a fanboy, so I'm sure someone will come along eventually and tell me everything that Turbine messed up. However, as far as I can tell, it's extraordinarily accurate, and a hell of a lot of fun. Try the trial, you won't be disappointed if you like MMOs. Full Review »