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LEGO’s latest fantasy epic – an extravagant, 6000-piece recreation of the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell – is the most beautiful set the Danish company has produced in its 100+ years of brick building. With all nine members of the Fellowship reincarnated in mini-figure form (plus a bunch of other iconic characters like Elrond), it’s a vividly colorful, ornately Elvish design that earns its place as a mature display piece in any home. That applies even if you’re not usually the kind of person who’d go out of their way to showcase nerd memorabilia in your house.

The three main sections of LEGO Rivendell are split across three individual instruction books – lavishly designed tomes packed with easter egg details and nuggets of design ethos as you work through the 500+ pages. The geometric design involved in creating the elaborate shapes of Rivendell’s architecture require the nine Lego designers on this set – masters of their plastic craft – to go above and beyond in finding smart, intricate ways to match the elegantly curved shapes from Tolkien’s universe.

It’s a joyous experience from start to finish, with countless nods to the movies, with beautiful details like Bilbo’s memoir “There and Back Again” mimicked in Lego form. You’ll find other scenes ripped straight from the movies, and the model’s central showcase is the council ring; seen in the Fellowship as the alliance of men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits decide to destroy the one ring. It’s a particularly impressive build moment, flanked by an enormous tree, and it completes the model as a display piece.

Simply put, it’s the ultimate fan service collector’s item – a fitting celebration of the 20-year milestone of the end of the original trilogy. After all, the Lord of the Rings universe hasn’t been as consistent a presence in our culture since Return of the King in 2003. With the release of Rings of Power in 2022, there’s clearly been a reignited interest in Tolkien’s incredible world, but mediums like video games remain criminally underserved by one of the richest and most engrossing universes in fiction. With the release of games like Hogwarts Legacy – and the quality of that licensed game to boot – it’s clear we’re overdue a resurgence of fantasy epics on our consoles. Here are six Lord of the Rings video games we think would rule them all:

LEGO Lord of the Rings: The Sauron Saga

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When LEGO Star Wars was first released in the mid-noughties it sparked a conveyor belt of licensed tie-ins that persist to this day. But it wasn't until 2022’s Skywalker Saga that we got a full re-think of the LEGO formula. With more immersive mechanics, presentation, and a full open world full of side quests, it presented the entire Star Wars trilogy of trilogies in all its glory. Lord of the Rings deserves the same treatment; complete with an open-world Middle-Earth and hundreds of collectible minifigure characters from the lore.

Larian Studios’ LOTR RPG

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Larian Studios has in some part redefined the CRPG genre over the last few years, with its Divinity series offering huge levels of freeform player choice, customization, and replayability. Extrapolating those same RPG ideas into a Lord of the Rings game could offer an incredible original story set in Tolkien’s universe. We love the idea of putting together your own band of characters - a fellowship if you will - and having their stories unique to your playthrough.

Uncharted: Aragorn’s Adventures

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The peerless quality of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted games has already aped Indiana Jones, inspired a reboot of Tomb Raider, and raised the bar on all cinematic storytelling in games; imagine that same attention to detail, the same stupendous set pieces, and the same character writing applied to a Lord of the Rings game. Aragorn seems the perfect fit for a narrative third-person adventure like this, especially with his pre-Fellowship history as Strider. We’ve had many third-person Lord of the Rings games in the past, but tell a singular story focusing on one character and you’d have a must-play.

Shire-dew Valley

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At the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, we get a glimpse of the Shire in its green pristine beauty. It’s not long though before Bilbo, Frodo, and Gandalf set off on their arduous quest. But… imagine if you never left the Shire, and instead got to stay and soak up its simple pleasures. The farming sim genre would make the perfect fit for a game where you til the land and grow crops, maintain your humble hovel on the hill, and generally live out your fantasy life as a hairy-footed Hobbit.

The Elder Scrolls: Middle-Earth

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Tolkien’s universe has had big open-world adventures before with games like Shadow of Mordor, but it was a pretty brown, drab affair compared to what is possible in such a vibrant fantasy world. Taking Bethesda’s blueprint for an open-ended free-form sandbox RPG where players can pick their own classes, races, and paths would make for an incredible Lord of the Rings experience; one where you can adventure from the Shire to Rivendell, to Minas Tirith all in one seamless explorable space.

Total War: The Last Alliance

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The Lord of the Rings trilogy possesses not one but two of the most iconic, big-budget battle sequences ever committed to film. This big army franchise is absolutely begging for a Total War spin-off that gives you full tactical control of battles like Helms Deep, Pelennor Fields, and the last alliance’s stand against Sauron on the fiery slopes of Mount Doom.