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Which Lord of the Rings board games are best?

Since the publication of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the 1950s, the fantasy realm of Middle Earth has appeared in blockbuster films, video games and more. If you’re shopping for a Tolkien lover but you’d like to get away from screens, consider a Lord of the Rings board game.

These gifts vary from simple card decks to complex strategy games with campaigns that could last for weeks. The Hasbro Lord of the Rings Monopoly Game reimagines the classic board game Monopoly and lets you play as your favorite Tolkien characters.

What to know before you buy a Lord of the Rings board game

Types of board games

The enduring popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work means there are many types of Lord of the Rings board games available. 


  • Strategy: These games require the player to think independently, using their knowledge to make decisions that will affect the outcome of the game. These games usually have a lot of rules and can last anywhere from several hours to several weeks, if it’s a campaign-based game. Games like Risk and Catan fall into this category. 
  • Trivia: Trivia-based games usually require the player to answer questions about a particular topic before they can progress on the board. There’s usually very little strategy involved, and the player with the most knowledge wins. Trivial Pursuit is perhaps the most famous trivia board game. 
  • Money: With money-based games, each player is given some artificial money with which they can buy, sell and trade properties or items within the game world. These games usually require strategy, negotiation skills and luck. Monopoly and The Game of Life are two popular money-based games.
  • Cards: Although they usually lack a board, card games are fun, immersive and require skills like negotiation and strategic thinking. Some of these games have a focus on trading and collecting, while others involve competition.

Films vs. books

Lord of the Rings board games fall into two categories: games inspired by the books and games inspired by the blockbuster film trilogy. You can usually tell the difference by looking at the game’s packaging. If the box features images of actors that appeared in the films, then you know there will be more film references inside. 

Games inspired by the books typically have illustrated characters that don’t share a resemblance with any actors from the movies. If you’re still not sure, games inspired by the films usually have a title written with a distinct, yellow-gold font.

What to look for in a quality Lord of the Rings board game

Number of players

Some board games need at least three or four players, but others, like chess, can only have two. Think about how many people are going to be playing the game and how the number of players might impact gameplay. The required number of players is usually in the product details.

Suggested age range

It’s important to check the suggested age range when shopping for a board game, particularly if you’re playing with children or teenagers. Most board games are suitable for kids that are 8 years old and up, but many strategy and trivia games might be recommended for older kids. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Lord of the Rings board game

Most Lord of the Rings board games cost $15-$60, but complex, strategy-based games are often more expensive, occasionally exceeding $100.

Lord of the Rings board game FAQ

How is Lord of the Rings related to The Hobbit? 

A. The Hobbit takes place in the years preceding the events of Lord of the Rings and features many of the same characters.

Is there a Lord of the Rings chess game?

A. Yes, there are several. Each version has finely designed, intricate pieces that mimic the tale’s characters. 

What’s the best Lord of the Rings board game to buy?

Top Lord of the Rings board game

Hasbro The Lord of the Rings Monopoly Game 

Hasbro The Lord of the Rings Monopoly Game 

What you need to know: This fantasy twist on the classic money-based game comes with locations and character tokens inspired by the film trilogy.

What you’ll love: This board game lets you play as one of the many popular characters from the franchise, including Frodo, Aragorn and Legolas. A life-sized ring of power token creates a fun challenge that’s unique to this version of the game.

What you should consider: There were several reports of people receiving games with damaged cardboard packaging.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Lord of the Rings board game for the money

Fantasy Flight Games The Lord of the Rings Cooperative Card Game

Fantasy Flight Games The Lord of the Rings Cooperative Card Game

What you need to know: This affordable, book-inspired card game comes with beautiful illustrations and offers 30-90 minutes of playtime.

What you’ll love: Suitable for players ages 14 and up, this immersive card game lets you collect heroes and artifacts from the Lord of the Rings universe. Three quests are included that let you battle enemies and save Middle Earth.

What you should consider: This card game may be too complicated for some casual players. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Journeys in Middle Earth Adventure Board Game

Journeys in Middle Earth Adventure Board Game

What you need to know: This popular strategy game lets you build your own fellowship and participate in long, exciting campaigns with your friends.

What you’ll love: Inspired by the book series, this massive board game lets you choose from six roles and familiar heroes like Aragorn and Gimli. The free companion app generates new scenarios, so no two play sessions are the same, offering endless gameplay opportunities.

What you should consider: You can’t access all of this game’s features without downloading a companion app. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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