Lord of the Rings (Stern, 2003)

Lord of the Rings

Pinside rating

This game received 1065 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.700 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 1st in the game group "Lord of the Rings ". The group itself ranks #5 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.922

Artwork: 8.378

Sounds/Music: 8.427

Other Aspects: 8.791

Rating comments

There are 598 rating comments for this game.

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.


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This game is part of a group

Note! There are multiple versions of this game!
This is "Lord of the Rings ".
The other version is: Lord of the Rings Limited Edition

Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 598 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 598 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 24.

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10 days ago
Amazing code. At the time it was the best in pinball. In the last 15 years Keith Johnson has upped his game with JJP and has created even better rulesets. Regardless, almost everyone agrees that the rules for LotR should score perfect.

Where I differ from many pinheads is the layout. It’s solid, but I have a few issues with it. Path of the Dead is terrible... it is repetitive and boring and my least favorite part of the game. Right ramp is a clunker. But in spite of these flaws the layout is still fun.

There is no better theme than LotR... and it is integrated so well in this pin. I am dying for better playfield art... not only is it cheaply photoshopped, but the actual printing is washed out.

Overall I think this is a great pin but a little overrated.
13 days ago
I find this game borring - sorry!
22 days ago
29 days ago
The more I play other games, the more I think about how great this game is. I played Attack of Mars, and while it was enjoyable, it couldn’t hold a candle to the game play experience of LoTR.
64 days ago
One of the best ever.
69 days ago
This game is deep! I imagine this will get more and more fun the longer we have it.
Just scratching the surface!
Love the theme Some shots are easy, some are tough, nice mix
81 days ago
Talk about a pin with a lot going on! If you're a fan of the series you'll adore this game. If not? You'll probably still love it. I think its one of Stern's best early 2000's machines. The center ring/eye shot is rad, the barlog toy is a glowing feature of pure joy when activated, the sword ramp is an incredible touch and almost worth the price of play, the winding ramps are sure to bring a smile, and the toys suit the field perfectly. The gameplay is fun and rewarding, collecting your companions with different shots is a blast, and the modes are incredibly enjoyable...whether its out running the Nazgul, or escaping from Shelob, there's not one event that's a snooze. Great pin, great sound, playfield, great animations....easy to understand why its a top 10. With this one, Stern definitely has my sword for this journey.
3 months ago
This game is so good, that I even give a pass to the Stern clipart playfield, and it's pretty bad. I think the longer I own it, the more I realize that it's almost part of it's charm. The game does everything else so well, that it almost has to show a flaw. For me, the rules are a masterpiece. I've been just a few shots away from Valinor, yet, it seems so far away. It's the only game I've ever played that makes me feel like I'm part of the adventure. People say this sometimes about IJ, but I've owned it and never thought that. This game really pulls you in with perfectly placed sound bites, and a great musical score. I think I ever decide that I only need to keep one game, this could very well be the one.
3 months ago
Only my 5th pin... but on a different level to anything else I've played or owned.
I'm a LOTR fan: books and movies... and the game has the massive advantage of the movie assets. It uses them well... but it's the rule set and game/play field design that really lift LOTR to the highest level of pinball.
Only my spending on mods means it's not perfect lol.
3 months ago
One of my all time favorite pinball machines. I own one now and it is my second one. It has everything so its tough to knock of any points on this game. I find it tougher then what some folks say but I usually have my pins set of difficult with the outlanes opened up. The game has great flow and a great rule set. Music, sound, callouts, artwork package, toys all seem to work with the software. If you're a LOTR fan that is icing on the cake. I highly recommend this game. You won't regret owning LOTR.
4 months ago
Lots of shots, always new things to be doing, great flow in the orbits and ramps, colorful in a good way.
4 months ago
Good game. Not quite as good as some make it out to be, but it's fun to play and has a solid rule set and some tough shots.
5 months ago
A fine game, could/should have been great!
6 months ago
Fun game, I'll play one when I see it on location, but not my thing. If I were a fan of the books and movies, I'm sure this would rate higher for me. Still, Stern has not done any pin quite like this one, and probably never will again unless there is a VE.
7 months ago
Great theme integration with excellent callouts. Tons of variety on the packed fan layout with lots of interesting toys. The ring shot is always satisfying. Can be a long player and sometimes one game is enough.
7 months ago
I've had this game about 3 weeks now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I find it more difficult than most claim but i have set it up hard. Can tend to get going on a longer game but i haven't found that to be an issue yet. I also haven't found the sound quality to be as bad as some have claimed but i wonder if it varies from machine to machine. In general, the game will keep your interest and not disappoint - deserves its place in the top 10. Not sure how kid friendly the theme is. i love it but some kids may find it a little intense. This is one of my favorite pins and even more so now that i have one and can truly dive into the rules.
Pros: theme, music, animations (colordmd well worth it on this machine), flow, toys (ring and balrog), variety of skillshots, ramps, and the RULES/Depth
Cons: playfield art. Can see what others mean about photoshop quality used. the art chosen and used is good but could have been executed better . a lot of comments exist about path of the dead. it is a slower shot but sometimes i try to use it to get a 5 second break.
8 months ago
First, the negatives. This is one of the worst multi player games in existence. Ball times can be a bit long (although everything is adjustable) and switching players breaks up the epic journey feeling of the pin. Also, the playfield artwork is a little muddy and some of the sound clips seem to be sampled at a lower quality rate.

The positives? Everything else. This game is immersive in so many ways. It's an epic journey and the "on a quest" feeling that the game gives you is unrivaled. The music enhances the theme and it fits the action perfectly. This game also has great voice work and some of the best custom call outs in pinball. The code is deep, the modes offer plenty of variety, and playing thru the movie themed multi-ball modes is the perfect balance of challenging and fun. The game is also loaded with great shots and nailing the center ring shot never gets old. Great custom dot animations round out the package and make a ColorDMD a must have on this title. Overall, this is a top tier pinball machine that arguably offers the best immersive experience in pinball.
10 months ago
After years of ignoring this game (I’m not familiar with the movies, but I love the 1977 animated Hobbit), I decided to read up on this game and started to play it in local bars. I was immediately struck by how inspired it feels. The ramps are unique. The playfield is complicated but tasteful. Artwork, music and callouts are very good. The code is excellent and deep. Plenty to do. You don’t have to be a fan of the movies. This game stands on its own. Maybe the best long-ball adventure game I’ve played. I soon wanted to own one. Now I see why this game is so highly regarded. It’s not really that hard, but it depends a lot on your settings. Just a really unique game designed and built by a lot of talented people. Probably Stern’s crown jewel.

*UPDATE - I traded my first LOTR and missed it too much. So I found an even nicer one and bought it again. Beautiful, balanced adventure game with fantastic sound and perfect rules. Great shot variety. This one is staying.
11 months ago
This machine is an epic and immersive adventure with fantastic themed rules and modes coupled with a number of excellent and challenging shots and some very good speed and flow. The multiballs on this game are fantastic and although the main three cannot be stacked, you can combine Gollum Multiball and the active modes with them. Destroy the Ring is fantastic.
Probably not the best for Multiplayer because the game is just so immersive and there can be longer ball times (but there can also be very short games too). One of the best machines for home use enjoyment.
11 months ago
Have owned this for several years and will never part ways! As everyone familiar with the rule set, it is as deep as it gets! Fun for the novice player and the ultimate challenge for everyone else! Love this game!
11 months ago
One of the best pins ever made. First game I ever played I made it to Destroy the Ring and I was hooked since then. Fan layout but some good variations of shots and toys. This was during the period of Stern producing long playing games with deep rules like Spider-Man, POTC, etc which is still the golden era of Stern for me. Definite a top 5 game.
1 year ago
I bought my LOTR in 2006 (it was built at the end of 2005, 2nd series?). It is still my favourite game beside Centaur 1 ;-). It is definately one of the stars of all the Stern machines. The only thing to complain about is the real poor sound quality. This gets lukily a bit better with a sound hardware upgrade. Some other technical problems (e.g. ring magnet) are of minor matter when the machine is exclusively home-used.

The transformation of the Tolkien theme is really, really well done. There are loads of things to do and to achieve and the game has unique toys and gimmicks. The immersion is really extraordinary even though the sound quality is "White-Star-like". Callouts are well placed, e.g. "Jackpot Fiiiiiive" and often give you the last bit of the thrill.

Last to say: The LOTR is a fancy pinball machine!
1 year ago
LOTR is a classic. This is the second one I’ve owned and it’s never leaving again! Great theme and well integrated.
1 year ago
Super fun, nice layout, one of my faves!
1 year ago
Lord of the Rings has some, if not THE best theme integration of any machine. The crazy deep ruleset and large number of shots really suit the goliath films. Music is good, lots of callouts from a variety of characters too. Sound quality isn't as great as subsequent releases but not a deal breaker. Machine looks great, and the layout is good. One of Gomez's last brilliant layouts (sorry, still bitter about the hideous Avengers game). I wouldn't want to own it, I think the ball times would be just a little too long, but I really enjoy playing it on location, at shows, and in tournaments.
There are 598 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 24.

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