The Middle-Earth games take place in the same world as the Lord of the Rings stories and feature a much darker aesthetic compared to the media starring our favorite little fellowship. Monolith Studios developed both games in the series and Warner Bros. Interactive published them. Talion, an undead ranger, serves as the star of both games, as players help him get revenge on those who killed him and his family.
As of now, there are only two games in the Middle-Earth series, but we have still organized them in chronological and release order to help you learn more about what you will get into once you start playing.
All Middle-Earth Games in Chronological Order
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
2014’s Shadow of Mordor took players on a wild journey through Mordor’s dark underbelly, something they hadn’t seen much of in other forms of media. Players assume the role of Talion, a ranger who is brutally murdered along with his family, only to be resurrected by a mysterious wraith. Talion embarks on a quest for revenge against the dark forces of Sauron, his wraith companion assisting him throughout.
Shadow of Mordor’s key gameplay element is the “Nemesis System,” where enemies you meet in the overworld remember the player and adapt to their actions. Enemies can be promoted to new ranks in the army, be killed in coups by underlings, and seek revenge on Talion should they survive an encounter. The game also has gameplay elements consistent with other third-party stealth action games but does it better than most other games in the genre.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (2017)
Shadow of War dropped three years later and improved upon the systems presented in the first game while adding even more. Now, Talion can assemble an army of his own, and his orc followers are subject to their own Nemesis System. His orcs can progress through enemy armies, perform coups to make it easier for Talion to raid orc villages, and some will even save Talion from certain doom in fights. However, others may turn on Talion and try to kill him for their own gain.
The game’s story follows the events of the first game, where now Talion and wraith companion Celebrimbor seek to forge a new Ring of Power and combat Sauron. Talion blurs the line between hero and villain throughout the events of the game, culminating in a sequence of events that frees his soul once and for all.
Middle-Earth Games in Release Order
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
- Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (2017)