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News Files and Mods 20 October 2022, 14:40

author: Adrian Werner

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings

Don't feel like leaving Middle-earth after watching the last episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Check out this list of Tolkien-inspired mods.

The last episode of the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The TV blockbuster has made many people want to play in Middle-earth, especially since it can make the wait for new episodes more bearable. That's why we have prepared a list of the best fan-made modifications inspired by Tolkien's work.

Mods, not games!

This article is devoted to mods for games that have nothing to do with Middle-earth in their vanilla versions. If you're looking for official adaptations of this IP and mods to these games, we recommend reading our older articles:

  1. The best games in the world of The Lord of the Rings – editors' choice

There, you will find not only a list of the best productions based on this IP, but each PC game listed there also has a list of the best mods to them.

Total War mods

No other series has had so many awesome Tolkien-based mods as the Total War series.

Third Age (Medieval II: Total War)

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #1
Photo source: TW_King_Kong

One of the best mods set in the Middle-earth is The Third Age, a mod to Medieval II: Total War – Kingdoms. It takes the action to the so-called Third Age, which includes the events from The Lord of the Rings. Virtually all game elements have been replaced, including factions, maps and visuals. Importantly, we can play with all of this both in single battles and a great campaign.

The mod hasn't been developed for over a decade, but before it was finished, it reached version 3.2, which ensures satisfactory level of gameplay.

Some time ago, another group started developing their own, refreshed version of the same project. The mod is called Third Age: Reforged and offers a lot of technical improvements and new content, but unfortunately, it's intended only for multiplayer games.

  1. Third Age – download mod
  2. Third Age: Reforged – download mod

Divide and Conquer expansion

It is also worth checking out the Divide and Conquer project. This is a submod, i.e. an add-on that greatly expands the content of Third Age mod. It introduces new factions, several hundred units and a completely reworked campaign map, revised to contain over 30 sides of the conflict.

The combination of Third Age with Divide and Conquer is currently the most complete offering among LOTR mods for the Total War series.

  1. Divide and Conquer – download mod

The Lord of the Rings: Total War (Rome: Total War)

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #2
Photo source: Dagovax Games.

On the other hand, owners of Total War: Rome Remastered should definitely try The Lord of the Rings: Total War (REMASTERED). As the title suggests, it's a refreshed version of the popular modification for Rome: Total War.

This is another total conversion that changes practically every element of the game. You can have fun in both standalone battles and campaigns. The REMASTERED version is greatly improved graphically, but if you only own the old Rome: Total War, the original can also be a lot of fun.

  1. The Lord of the Rings: Total War (REMASTERED) – download mod
  2. The Lord of the Rings – Total War – download mod

The Last Alliance for Total War: Shogun 2


Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #3
Photo source: Sarah Temer.

Total War: Shogun 2 has also been modded with LOTR. The Last Alliance: Total War focuses on the war of the Dúnedain and the elves with Sauron during the Second Age in the history of Middle-earth. We can play independent battles and a short campaign (more are on the way, though).

The project is well implemented and, importantly, it's developing very quickly – probably the fastest of the currently active LOTR mods to Total War series.

The Last Alliance: Total War is the work of a Polish modder known as Sara Temer.

  1. The Last Alliance: Total War – download mod

Rise of Mordor (Total War: Attila)

Finally, we should mention the Total War: Rise of Mordor mod to Total War: Attila. However, we recommend this project only if you don't own the games for which the mods above were created. The mod had a lot of potential, but its development was interrupted at an early stage. As a result, it only offers single battles.

  1. Total War: Rise of Mordor – download mod

CK2: Middle Earth Project

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #4
Photo source: Lonhaldar.

If you prefer empire management and behind-the-scenes conspiracies over battles, then the CK2: Middle Earth Project mod will be the perfect proposition for you. The project transfers Crusader Kings II into the realities of Middle-earth. The action takes place in the The Third Age, the period lasting over three thousand years, which began with the first victory over Sauron by humans and elves, and ended with the destruction of the Ring.

The authors replaced virtually all elements of the game and heavily reworked the gameplay mechanics. The whole thing is a lot of fun, and an additional advantage is the fact that Crusader Kings 2 is currently available in a free-to-play model, so you can have fun with CK2: Middle Earth Project without spending a dime.

  1. CK2: Middle Earth Project – download mod

The Last Days of the Third Age (Mount & Blade)

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #5
Photo source: TLD-team.

Another brilliant project is called The Last Days. The mod started as an add-on to Mount & Blade, and over time, a version for Mount & Blade: Warband was also developed. However, the original release has commendably not been abandoned (which happens very often) and, instead, both versions are developed in parallel.

The project is very extensive. The authors recreated practically all factions invented by Tolkien, prepared a new map and heavily reworked the gameplay. All this was used to create an interactive version of the War of the Ring, the outcome of which can be shaped by the players.

  1. The Last Days for Mount & Blade – download mod
  2. The Last Days to Mount & Blade: Warband – download

MIDDLE-EARTH – Lord of the Rings Redone (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #6
Photo source: Maldaran.

It might seem that such a popular fantasy game as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim should receive a lot of mods inspired by Tolkien. That's what happened, but these are mostly small projects that add items or characters.

The only project worth attention when it comes to big mods is MIDDLE-EARTH – Lord of the Rings Redone. It offers a vast new land recreating the most famous locations from Middle Earth. Unfortunately, the author's passion was only limited to constructing the virtual world. There are no new missions in any of the locations. Nevertheless, sightseeing is a lot of fun, because there are a lot of new items and enemies, and we can fight the battle in Helm's Deep.

  1. MIDDLE-EARTH – Lord of the Rings Redone – download mod

Untold Tales of Tolkien (Neverwinter Nights 2)

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #7
Source: MERP UK.

Whereas the Skyrim community was unable to provide a great Tolkien RPG campaign, Neverwinter Nights 2 fans succeeded. The result is a series of mods called Untold Tales of Tolkien. For now, it consists of two parts, The Indanthrine Prince and The Umbral Abyss.

Each of these projects offers several dozen hours of high-quality fun. The authors have invested a lot of effort into developing the world and characters, and the stories are interesting and abound with surprising twists.

There are plans for a third part, but it's unknown when it will be released. However, don't feel discouraged, because the second installment of the series ends in the right place, tying up most of the threads.

  1. Untold Tales Of Tolkien – The Indanthrine Prince – download mod
  2. Untold Tales of Tolkien – The Umbral Abyss – download mod

Lands of Arda to NWN: Enhanced Edition

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #8
Photo source: LoA Team

Lands of Arda might be an interesting proposition. It's a permanent server for online games in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, allowing you to play in a land modeled on Middle-earth. It's actually a small MMO, focused on the story and role-play. The project has a dedicated community and is constantly being developed.

  1. Mod page
  2. Lands of Arda on Steam Workshop

Tales of Middle Earth to Age of Empires 2

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #9
Photo source: ToME Team.

One of the most interesting Tolkien-inspired mods is Tales of Middle Earth. The project brings Age of Empires II to the Middle-earth. The mods has been developed for over a decade and the level of performance is more like an official adaptation than a fan venture.

Importantly, the mechanics, although modified to reflect the fantasy reality, remain true to the foundations of AoE2, placing great emphasis on civilization management. Thus, the mod is an interesting alternative to the official RTS based on this license, i.e. The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring and the Battle for Middle-Earth series, both of which focus on war aspect.

  1. Tales of Middle Earth – download mod

Legends of Middle-Earth to Age of Mythology

Best Mods for Fans of Lord of the Rings - picture #10
Photo source: Venlesh

If you don't really fancy Tales of Middle Earth's 2D graphics, the Legends of Middle-Earth mod to Age of Mythology is an interesting alternative. It's also a total conversion, taking the action to Middle-earth and changing practically all elements of the game.

What seems most commendable, is that the project is available in two versions – to the old Age of Mythology: Titans and its remaster, Age of Mythology: Extended Edition.

  1. Legends of Middle-Earth – download mod (Age of Mythology: Titans version)
  2. Legends of Middle-Earth – download mod (Age of Mythology: Extended Edition version)
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