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Tolkien’s fantasy saga has captivated the imagination of hundreds of millions of people. It has fascinated movie-goers and bookworms, and it has struck a chord with board game designers and players. Today, we present to you the best Lord of the Rings board games as we know them. These are some of the most worthwhile board games to try if you love the hobby and want to try a LotR-themed title.
List of the Best Lord of the Rings Board Games
The following list represents the eight best board games set in the Lord of the Rings fantasy world of Middle-earth. From Living Card Games to app-assisted gameplay, to the epic-proportion clashes of miniatures games, this is The Lord of the Rings like you have never experienced it before on a tabletop.
- Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition
- The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
- War of the Ring: Second Edition
- War of the Ring: The Card Game
- The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth
- Hunt for the Ring
- Lord of the Rings Monopoly
- Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game
1. Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition
- Designer(s): Stephen Baker, Barry Yearsley
- Players: 2-4
- Time: 180 Min
- Age: 9+
- Complexity: 2.36/5
One of the earliest installments in the Lord of the Rings board games realm, Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition is a great way to get acquainted with the Tolkien universe and fight on opposing sides. The game has been built to be a highly thematic experience, which builds upon the classic Risk gameplay, but features a new map that includes Gondor, Mordor, and Haradwaith territories, fleshing out the world of the trilogy before your eyes. As a war game, Risk: LotR Trilogy Edition is one of the most accessible versions of the game and plays for 2-4 players in 180 minutes. Risk is one of the best Lord of the Rings board games to try your hand at and can be played with players as young as 9 years old.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
- Designer(s): Nate French
- Players: 1-4
- Time: 30-90 Min
- Age: 14+
- Complexity: 3.45/5
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game recently received a revised set in 2022, updating the rules and streamlining some elements of the gameplay. Essentially, this is a 1-4 players campaign that will immerse you in the world of Tolkien and allow you to explore branching and exciting narratives and stories set in the rich fantasy saga. In the game, you will choose a character from the Tolkien universe, construct a deck of cards, and dive into the gameplay, which will send you to fulfil different missions, playing as many of the heroes found across the novels’ storylines. The Campaign Mode in the revised core set allows you to set out on your journey and constantly build upon the journey as any Living Card Game should let you do. The core box will let four players get started right away, and there are numerous expansions to make your journey even more exciting and challenging!
3. War of the Rings: Second Edition
- Designer(s): Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello
- Players: 2-4
- Time: 150-180 Min
- Age: 13+
- Complexity: 4.21/5
It has been more than a decade since Ares Games and designers Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, and Francesco Nepitello released War of the Ring: Second Edition, without doubt, one of the best Lord of the Rings board games there is. In the wargame, players assume the roles of Sauron, the Free People, and the Fellowship, as each tries to fulfil their particular design. Sauron wants to drown Middle-earth in bloodshed and retrieve the One Ring. The Fellowship has undertaken a perilous journey to Mount Doom, and the Free Peoples unite as they rally against the Shadow Armies. The game can come to an end through a military victory with Sauron and the Free Peoples fighting a fierce battle, while the Fellowship is trying to put an end to Sauron’s reign by destroying the evil artefact and source of Sauron’s lingering power. A highly thematic and highly entertaining, this is hands down one of the most satisfying games set in the Tolkien world.
4. War of the Ring: The Card Game
- Designer(s): Ian Brody
- Players: 2-4
- Time: 90-120
- Age: 12+
- Complexity: 2.84/5
War of the Ring: The Card Game is a similarly militaristic and strategy board game set in the Lord of the Ring franchise. A more compact version of the wargame, players will have to fight as the Free Peoples and Sauron and his armies. The game allows you to go into a head-to-head battle in teams of two as you vie to vanquish one another. The Free Peoples will attempt to destroy the One Ring once again as they try to resist Sauron and his armies’ incursions into their lands. The Shadow Players, as the side that has chosen Mordor is called, will try to achieve a decisive victory, while the Free Peoples fight back to ensure that The One Ring is tossed into the chasm of Mount Doom. Players will use various cards that represent characters, armies, and items to clash in each round and secure strategic gain or sound a retreat. The fate of Middle-earth is now in your hands, no matter whose side you have chosen to fight for.
5. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth
- Designer(s): Nathan I. Hajek, Grace Holdinghaus
- Players: 1-5
- Time: 60-120 Min
- Age: 14+
- Complexity: 2.65/5
If you are looking for the best campaign Lord of the Rings board games you should give The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth a shot. Although it’s often a tie with the Living Card Game, this is yet another original app-supported Fantasy Flight Game. In the game, you will have 1-5 players teaming up to combat evil in an epic campaign offering all sorts of adventure and perils. You will be tasked with striking one final blow against evil and forever ridding Middle-earth of Sauron’s evil grasp – that is if you succeed. Each session will bring a variety of quests that you need to complete not just to emerge victorious, but also to make sure that Middle-earth doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The app will help you flesh out the world around you while also guiding your foes and allowing you to once and for all leave your mark on Middle-earth, ridding it of all that is evil.
6. Hunt for the Ring
- Designer(s): Marco Maggi, Gabriele Mari, Francesco Nepitello
- Players: 2-5
- Time: 90-180 Min
- Age: 13+
- Complexity: 3.23/5
Evoking the important pursuit of the Nazgûl of Frodo and his companion, Hunt for the Ring is a hidden-movement deduction board game set in the Lord of the Rings universe. In it, one player will try to help Frodo and his fellow hobbits make it to Bree, while the other four players will control the wraiths and try to snatch the One Ring bearer. Frodo has 16 turns to get to Bree before the ring becomes too heavy to bear for this chapter of his adventure. If Frodo succeeds in reaching Bree, a second chapter of the game begins – it can be played at a later time, too. In it, Frodo will now move to Rivendell next, but he will have fewer ways of controlling the hobbit party’s movements, drawing from a deck card instead of making direct decisions. The Hunt for the Ring is a captivating and well-thought-out board game set in the Lord of the Rings universe.
7. Lord of the Rings Monopoly
- Designer(s): Rob Daviau
- Players: 2-6
- Time: 60 Min
- Age: 8+
- Complexity: 1.58/5
For those of you who love a game of Monopoly and enjoy The Lord of the Rings, Monopoly: The Lord of the Rings Edition is perhaps just what you need for a fun game night. This version of the game features a very realistic replica of The One Ring from Peter Jackson’s movies and also highly-detailed miniatures that represent popular characters from the novels, including Frodo, Gandalf, Sam, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Pippin, Merry, or Boromir. The One Ring is not just a prop – it impacts the gameplay, as the player who holds it will also move a special Ring Tracker which then they move towards Mount Doom. If a player loses the Ring, it restarts, adding some thematic spice to your gameplay. Yes, this is one of the best Lord of the Rings board games if you love Monopoly already.
Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game
- Designer(s): Games Workshop
- Players: 2
- Time: 90-180 Min
- Age: 12+
- Complexity: 3/5
Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game is simply put, the pinnacle of Lord of the Rings board games that involve miniatures. The game is produced by Games Workshop which means plenty of great models to go around along with awesome details, many painting techniques, and the opportunity to enjoy yourself when you play. The game is, in fact, a much-simplified version of Warhammer, and it allows you to assemble your miniatures quickly, slap a coat of paint, and plunge into epic battles set in Middle-earth. You can relive key episodes such as the Battle of Osgiliath and write your own story in an epic, nerve-biting, dice-rolling action, or – you can purchase Men of Gondor and Mordor Orcs and march into battle on your terms. There is much to unpack here, but you can rest assured that the time you put in will be well repaid in gameplay fun.