Lord of the Rings

Pinside rating

This game received 1173 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.709 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 2nd in the game group "Lord of the Rings ". The group itself ranks #9 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.967

Artwork: 8.277

Sounds/Music: 8.447

Other Aspects: 8.824

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 9 of us have rated this game.


Your Rating?

You need to be logged in before you can rate pinball machines. No account yet? Registering only takes a sec!

This title is part of group: "Lord of the Rings "

Found 744 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 744 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 30.

List options

49 days ago
A phenomenal pin from 2003.Everything on this game just gels together for a great playing pin. Get one.
70 days ago
I really like to play this machine. When you know the movie you will recognize a lot of call out's and animations from the movie. The machine has a lot of modes you can play and the machine I played played very fast and was setup at a high angle which made it really fun and challenging. Of course the ball time is long but for me it doesn't matter when I would own it in a private collection.
85 days ago
Lord of the Rings is an absolute classic.

The layout is perfect and unlike any other. I love the shot through the ring, the right ramp and the Path of the Dead. The gameplay is a bit stop-and-go but there is still enough flow for it to be good. And in general every shot can be easily hit, it kind of makes the game a bit too simple for me.

Arguably this game's biggest flaws are the sound quality and the artwork. Considering what Sega and early Stern games sounded and looked like I actually think this is an improvement. Nevertheless the sound is inferior to even WPC-95 and the artwork is alright. The backglass is very good though.

The animations are on a level that Stern only came back to in the 2010s (X-Men, Metallica) as they didn't incorporate a single movie scene which is so awesome. A real shame that they didn't stick with it after this game.

The callouts are awesome on this game. Most memorable for me is Gimli (I think it's supposed to be him) screaming the Jackpots at you during Return of the King multiball.

Overall this game feels very much like a Williams game concerning theming, layout, quality of material and animations. It does not challenge me enough but it is very special, a lot of fun and a cult classic in pinball.
3 months ago
f you pretend not to see the Photoshop on the playfield and " the toy soldiers" scattered randomly in the pinball machine, it is one of the most beautiful pinball machines ever
3 months ago
One of the greatest games of all time. Period!
4 months ago
Fantastic all around game!
4 months ago
Best George Gomez game out there its a blast the only thing is that balrog is a pain in the ass and the flipper coils overheating after long play gets annoying. It flows amazingly and is a very immersive experience overall a machine I am happy to own. "You Shall not pass"
4 months ago
They absolutely nailed the theme on this one. Feels like an epic journey you can get lost in. Game time can be very long!

Superb rules which pioneered modern games. Nice fan layout - the left ramp in particular feels so good. The downside is it plays slow: the ring holding the ball and the path of the dead in particular really interrupt the flow of the game - some people won't mind this!

The sound package is great, the jackpot callouts in particular are some of the best in pinball! DMD animations are also excellent, and really enhanced by a ColorDMD.

Overall a beautiful game to get lost in, but can feel like a chore due to long ball times and somewhat repetitive tasks. If you like the theme this will be an awesome addition to 4-5+ pin collection.
4 months ago
One of the best pinball machines I have played. The rules are great and the modes are challenging, theme is fantastic! Great lastability
4 months ago
My favorite game to play right now. The speed, music and call outs are amazing. Just destroyed the ring yesterday and it’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in pinball… by a mile

The game is perfect upset for the artwork which isn’t terrible but could have been better. I will keep this machine for a long long time if not forever.
5 months ago
Part of what makes this game great is simply the build qualityZ everything about it feels right, the flow is great and the theme is an excellent representation of the movie.
5 months ago
Didnt think i would ever find a new favorite game, but lotr really just does it all for me. I love the challenge I love all the modes the multiballs and valinor it really is amazing the whole way through.
5 months ago
Early in the 2000s when I was still in junior high, my dad and I found a LOTR at a nearby bowling alley, and at the time it was the only pin in about a forty-mile radius. We played the snot out of it. While I'd maybe 10% of the time get the 7-million-point replay, he was racking up 150M/200M/230M-point games. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time watching.

All that watching translated to a lot of learning what stuff did what, and learning about all kinds of concepts like modes, multiballs, stacking, and even really basic things like skill shots, lane bonuses, locks, and planning out your shots---things that were all still very foreign to me (and things I still couldn't typically physically achieve). Being more knowledgeable than you are capable in games like LOTR is an absolute CURSE. You know what you have to do, you only need three more shots to do it and then you'll have the perfect mode set up with the perfect multiball aaaaaaand DRAIN. Playing this in a competition must be a nightmare.

But, LOTR became my de facto standard for all things pinball--comparing most games to LOTR isn't even apples to oranges, it's worse. This really stands in a league of its own in many regards. I have so much to say about this from a nostalgia and sentimental point of view, but I don't think that's all that necessary in this context. So let's condense this:

-Wonderful flow when you're in the zone.
-Shooter's paradise. Shots all feel unique in their respective modes
-Great music, callouts, sound effects, and aesthetic. LOTR shines in every way.
-For me, the perfect balance of points vs. effort (all the extra zeroes you find in AFM and Johnny Mnemonic really put me off)
-A halfway decent game will result in me playing it again. Every time.

-It's on average a very hard game. You're not always going to have a mildly decent game, let alone a great one. Knowing the rules front to back, nearly down to each shot's individual point value, makes having a poor game an absolute rage-fest.
-Slight tweaks from machine to machine make too large of a difference for me to want to play every LOTR I find on location (in contrast with something like a Godzilla or Earthshaker or Addams Family, for which I'll pay the $5 ATM fee just to get cash for quarters)
-Lighting is meh. A lot of LOTRs on location tend to be really dark.
-Layout is a quintessential Gomez layout, though this is hands down his best table in my opinion. I am disappointed how often he used this exact placement of orbits, loops, ramps, and pop bumpers in so many other games. I can't even play Dark Knight for that reason.
-It is WAY too pricy these days. It's great, but $10k can buy you a LOT of fun from a lot of other manufacturers.
-Palantir standup target is a deathtrap outside of multiball
-No drop targets, and just a couple standups. It's pure ramps and loops. Not a bad thing, but more one-dimensional than some players would want.

-It's hard to beat. The rules are deep, the presentation is rich and full of life, the shots are satisfying, and the adaptation into a pin is one of the most faithful and engaging you can get...ESPECIALLY when you consider some of the other stuff that was coming out at that time.
5 months ago
Another one from mastermind George Gomez! I was never a fan of LOTR to be completely honest BUT this game is that freaking good that makes me want to watch all the movies again! So yeah, it's a TERRIFIC pinball! I Love how fast it is, how clever the mechanisms are on the playfield, how you feel you are battling against the balrog, how you go through the ghost field, every time you accomplish a multiball it feels like you actually accomplished something important, you feel like a hero! My girlfriend who is a BIG fan of LOTR but not that much of pinball spends 3 hours just playing it in an arcade room. It's one of those machines that make you feel part of the story that you are playing. It's a Wonderful display of creativity, amazing shots and rewarding feeling each time you make something happen! Definitely an instant classic!
6 months ago
Maybe the most complete code and gameplay. The artwork is really bad but the gameplay is very good. The sounds are good if you like LOTR which I do. The souls left side is a maybe the worst part of the playfield. This game is a little to easy and takes along time but the call outs are awesome and you know exactly what to do.
7 months ago
good game !! highly recommended.
7 months ago
Fantastic machine, simply the best 00's Stern (narrowly beating TSPP) in my opinion. It does help that LOTR is my #1 theme, but the game is excellent even if you aren't a fan of the franchise. Art is a bit washed out as is the audio (in a sense), but the layout and rules make up for it.
8 months ago
Love my LOTR. Best Stern made until the last 5-6 years came along with Godzilla, Deadpool and Foo Fighters. Theming is fantastic, you really feel like you are playing through the movies. Getting to Valinor is a huge challenge that many never accomplish (haven’t gotten there yet). Downsides to this one are the fairly generic cabinet art and the photoshop playfield art. Otherwise this one is a great pin that would be a keeper in any collection.
8 months ago
This is the game i played the most back in the day. IMO, it is still my favorite pin of all time. I love the theme, flow is great, call outs are classic, rules and shots are fantastic. And easily has the best wizard mode of all time. The game takes you on a journey just like the movies. Best rendition of a theme that translated to a pin. They were not stripped down on the rights for this game and you can tell. The ratings speak for themselves. The only real knock on it was the art. Due to screen printing and not hand drawn. But honestly if everything else is fantastic who cares? I sure didnt. Love this pin!
8 months ago
Love the theme integration & the variability of shots in the game as well as both the Balrog bash-toy as well as the magnetic ring. A real gem - love the game.
8 months ago
I really enjoyed my time with the game but it wasn't long. Once you can quickly make it to destroy the ring consistently its kind of over. Too much wood chopping to try for valinor.
8 months ago
One of stern greatest.
8 months ago
The best machine from STERN!
9 months ago
This is probably my favorite pin. Rules are simple enough, but fun and challenging. I prefer to play to destroy the ring. Start the 3 multiballs, then destroy the ring. It's such a great feeling.

The individual modes are all pretty good, but I don't think I'll ever be good enough to see Valinor. The ball times can be very long, but the Lord of the Rings is an epic journey, so it makes sense. The playfield art leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm willing to overlook it.
10 months ago
Owned twice this pinball. I even full moded one to get the best experience (dmd color, pinsound,...)...and finally sold. Why? Redundant
Sad not to have the same feeling as the others.
Good game but not the best for me.
There are 744 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 30.

You too can add your own comment by rating this game! Click here to rate this game!

Over the years

Visualizing this game's rating and rank over the years

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!

This page was printed from https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/lord-of-the-rings/ratings and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.