Lord of the Rings

Pinside rating

This game received 1127 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.726 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 2nd in the game group "Lord of the Rings ". The group itself ranks #12 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.966

Artwork: 8.345

Sounds/Music: 8.472

Other Aspects: 8.825

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 10 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 659 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 659 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 27.

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19 days ago
Long ball times for this one. A very fun game especially if your a fan of the series. I kept this game for a while before I sold it. A solid game with so much to do and a very satisfying ring shot. If you like a journey then this is one of your best options.
36 days ago
Like TZ, a classic. the only drawback is the long ball times - mostly when i am playing my son and watching him shoot!!
43 days ago
When I think of LOTR pinball, I immediately think deep ruleset. There is so much to do in this game and lots of great modes and multiballs to earn. This game is a lot of fun and will keep you coming back for more just for the gameplay alone. Some really great shots in this game, something about locking a ball on the sword is quite satisfying. Art and Sound is really strong on this game, although if there is one weak point (which really isn't that bad) is the music... It does a good job bringing the feel of LOTR, but the movie soundtracks were filled with amazing and beautiful music that it's too bad that the pin didn't incorporate them more. But that's a really minor gripe, and doesn't take anything away from the game. It's a keeper in my opinion, I think the biggest challenge with it is convincing the wife to own one.
44 days ago
Have a friend who has this pin, so have played it numerous time to get a hang of the shots and rules. This pin is definitely on my wishlist for the third pin in my current collection (have Stern JP and AIQ). I love the long playtimes on this pin (which is why I think it would be loved by my family in the collection as well). Am a fan of the movies, which is why the theme, toys, and callouts make this a delightful pin to play. Even though it's an older pin in the Stern family, there is a reason it has had such greast lastibilty. It has a great ruleset and I hope to be able to make it part of my own collection soon.
45 days ago
An epic journey which is just a joy to play. One of the best movie-themed pinball games ever produced.
56 days ago
One of the original sniper-style pins and a lot of fun to play. Interesting ramps and a bash toy give this pin a little bit of everything. One of the best of the “early modern” pins.
79 days ago
la légende de stern
3 months ago
Awesome pin. Hope they remake and take the best out of this pin and make the new even better with deeper code.
3 months ago
I'm in the minority here, but I do not like this game! It is way too long and a snooze fest in my opinion. In our leagues, I dread playing this game. I also never saw the movies, so the theme does not resonate with me. I have rated this game as largely decent (not good or excellent) and also the quality of that vintage Stern is poor compared to Bally Williams or modern games.

As an arcade owner, this game seems to earn well (perhaps due to its ease of use), so it has that going for it. But as a collector, this would not be in my top 50 (yet alone top 10).

Pros - Toys and shots for its time, earning on route, integration of theme (for those that like it), approachability,

Cons - Long ball times, theme, difficulty to upgrade to LEDs, easily breakable (and difficult to find plastics), cheap cabinet (artwork)
3 months ago
Very addictive game! The more I play it the more I like it. This game is better than the new stern games. I do wish it had an additional flipper but this game rocks and is probably my favorite from stern so far.
3 months ago
This was the perfect theme for me as a pinball and Lord of The Rings fan and it doesn't disappoint.

I'll get the one negative out of the way quickly. The path of the dead slows the game down too much however it's probably a sensible rest during what can be a very long game.

To sum it up Stern just don't make pinball machines like this anymore. It's more or less a game, lightshow and a Lord of The Rings museum under a sheet of glass. The theme integration and the way the modes work with the trilogy are on a level that we don't see too much these days.

I currently have an AIQ in my line-up and the difference in the call-outs is stark. To have Ian Mckellen and Andy Serkis actually providing the voices for Gandalf and Gollum makes a massive difference as do the voice overs from all the actors. Add in that iconic musical score and all of the artwork then you are about as close to middle earth as pinball can take you.

I'm still amazed at the number of shots considering this isn't a widebody and the ring shot is one of the most satisfying in pinball. The end wizard mode of Valinor is the stuff of legends and you're unlikely to get there but there are multiple mini wizard modes to keep you busy.

The mode and multiball stacking is just so good on this machine and playing destroy the ring mode still makes me a nervous wreck.

I've owned one before and I'll definitely own one again. It's in the top 10 or thereabouts and it's there on merit.

I should probably also say that I had to do zero maintenance in the whole time that I owned it. It just seemed as if every nut, bolt, ramp and switch was solid.

The films were long and epic . . . . the pinball machine is no different.
4 months ago
Awesome theme and game that’s fun to play and will stand the test of time.
4 months ago
This is one of the first games that I learned all of the rules and appreciated the difficulty of getting deep. It’s also really fun to stack multi balls and just hear the jackpot one, two, three over and over. A true classic, it’s definitely due for a vault. Would definitely add to my collection if one came up at the right time, for the right price.
6 months ago
Of all my games this is probably my favorite to play. It has a deep rule set that keeps me interested and I find that each game has a little different flavor. However, my wife likes more straight forward shooters and she doesn't like this game. You really need to understand the rules to keep track of what is going on and often multiple modes or events are happening at the same time which can be confusing.

That said, for me personally, this is the best balance of challenge, variety, and fun in any pinball I own.

Here are the pros and cons as I see them.

Deep Rule Set - There is a lot of do and many ways to do it. No matter what, something is happening. I think the rules make a lot of sense but I imagine they could be confusing.

Playfield Layout - I really like the variety of shots and features on the board. There are a lot of pretty unique shots. For instance the Legolas ramp is a really cool and fast reverse ramp. There are pins that come up to stop the ball in certain modes and a diverter which allows access to the back tower. The Gimli hole is in the middle of the playfield below the bumpers and it is a trick to not over shot it. The eye ramp is really fun when it is adjusted right. Also it has a lot of flow and combos.

Sound and Callouts - I really like the music and callouts. A few get a little old ("100 more, 250 more") and there is frequently a countdown from 10 which also gets old but overall it is good. Highly recommend Pinsound upgrade but that is not scored here.

Lights - I installed an LED kit from Comet and the game looks awesome. It has the best lights of any game I have and the attract mode is even awesome.


Long Games - Maybe a pro at times but the games can be very long, I bet I have played for close to an hour on 1 game. If you are in the mood and have nothing else going on then it can be great but I often have fifteen minutes to kill and skip this game because I don't know if I will be done.

Art Work - The art overall is a little underwhelming. There is a lot of photo-shopped type art which seems to be taken directly from the films. The color palette is muddy with a lot of brown and greens. The two ladies on the apron are particularly lame. Also there are a lot of plastic figures sort of randomly placed around the playfield and tied down in a haphazard way. Nothing is terrible just not very exciting.

Wild Balls - The layout of the playfield and the numerous multi-balls can make some really wild balls and it is a trick to keep balls from getting stuck in random places. On strong flippers the Legalas wireform is crazy but works fine with moderate flippers. I don't mind it from a game play standpoint but I do have to pull the glass fairly often to free a ball from somewhere. It must have driven operators crazy. I would say that after about 1 year of ownership and a lot of tweaking I think I have all the ball traps eliminated but they still fly around.

For me the Pros vastly outweigh the Cons. The most important factor for me in owning a game is replayability and fun and this excels. I can forgive the artwork.
7 months ago
Easily my top 5 Stern games made. Has a more modern feel to Medieval with some tighter shots. They fit quite a bit in for an open playfield. Good opportunity to work on your ramp/loop combo shots as they'll be needed with this title. A well adjusted machine will have good ring shots too though I've played a few where the ring can be frustrating. If you own one you can scale the mode difficulties quite a bit as you become comfortable with the machine.
7 months ago
Deep deep deep game. Play this if you have more than a half hour to kill! :)

I had it once and traded up. Got another one back, so that shows how much I missed this game.

The ring is fun and a pain to shoot, but that keeps me coming back. The multiballs add to visiting each movie and remembering what happened. Never gotten to Valinor, but I have done There and Back a couple of times. It should stay in the collection for awhile this time!
7 months ago
My top 3 stern for sure, fun to play, hard to master .
Get to valinor is almost impossible but destroying the ring and other objectives keeps you wanting to come back and trying to master Valinor.

The artwork on the PF is the only downside, for an almost perfect 10
7 months ago
Plan your day around this one because these games can be looooong. It's possible to have games lasting over an hour on this title. Definitely a very immersive game, the music and sounds really bring in. Obviously the code is phenomenal, almost 20 years later and its still some of the best rules in pinball. Shots are great however the path of the dead area is kinda strange, the ball just clunks down and often times just falls onto the play-field. Least favorite part of this game has to be the artwork, almost looks like a copy-paste job done in MS paint. The cabinet on these is often times faded as well so it can be an eyesore in a nice collection.
8 months ago
Great implementation of the theme. This game often sends me packing. The shots are fantastic. It’s an epic adventure.
8 months ago
This game definitely benefits from an LED upgrade. Wish this would be vaulted. Fairly long ball times with a lot to work on. Getting all the movie multiballs is pretty easy, but completing them and all the modes is another story.
8 months ago
When u play this game alot, and maybe manage to beat the game. You probably wont pick this up again. A great game for new players. Easy to understand but hard to master. The only problem is when you master it, the fun slightly fades away.
10 months ago
Super boring and 45+ minute games that dont get you on the board!
10 months ago
My 2nd favorite stern (JP2 #1). I owned a beautiful example and while the game is amazing artwork hurts it a little bit for me. I also played it non stop to get to Valinor and kinda burnt myself out on it. No game screams integration like LOTR. If I had more money and room it's a keeper. Its a long player, but needs to be to fit it all in. It's a game that needs to be able to sit a week or longer after a couple long Valinor attempts. All in all a fantastic addition especially in a 5-10 game lineup.
10 months ago
I think this is a great pinball machine, but what is holding me back from owning it is the horrible, horrible art, specifically the playfield design. It just looks hideous and that is something that is really important for me personally. But let's put that aside (imagine this got a reskin...) and look at the rest of the machine.
This is truly a multiball lover's game. A lot of stuff going on, great amount of modes, an almost unbeatable wizard mode - what's not to love about playing this machine. Minor negative for me is that the amazing soundtrack from the movies is implemented in a subpar way, which is probably something that can be improved with some extra upgrades.
All in all, if you want to go for gameplay and are not concerned with art, this is a top notch machine. Fingers crossed for that reskin!
12 months ago
Interesting layout and good shot variety. This is one I don't get to play too often so i'm still getting a feel for the rules and logic. I do like the creativity in how the ball travels. I'm not big on playfield toys. However, this pin has some really cool shots and it's unique features really bring the theme to life. Has some flow to it but also becomes stop and go at times. I think the lighting could be a little bit better. I feel like it's missing something for me. Didn't hold my attention for long, but it's still a really good pin.
There are 659 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 27.

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