10 Best Playable Characters From The Warner Bros Era, Ranked


With power rings streaming on Amazon Prime, now is the time for fans to go back and play the plethora of Middle-earth games made during the Warner Bros. era. of this franchise. During this era, many games of varying styles tackled Tolkien’s beloved high fantasy world.

Every Middle-earth game has both familiar and quirky characters to play as; some are better than others. From elves like Legolas and the forgotten Glorfindel to newer characters like Talion of the Black Gate, each of these now-iconic gaming characters gives fans what they need in gameplay, story, and personality.


10/10 Glorfindel

The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth II (2006)

A character from the book that was unfortunately missing from The Fellowship of the Ring, Glorfindel is a skilled and cunning warrior. He became the main character of one of the most notable RTS games known as The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth II.

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Even if the player doesn’t really play like him but orders him to fight, it’s still fun to control the elf warrior and strategize to defeat the enemy forces. He had a strong voice acting performance and proved intriguing enough to carry the game’s story.

9/10 Berethor

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (2004)

Like Glorfindel, the characters of The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age are indirectly controlled by the player since the game is a turn-based RPG similar to Final Fantasy games at the time. That said, Berethor still has his own unique skills and abilities that are engaging and satisfying to string together as a generic warrior archetype.

Unfortunately, Berethor and all of the other original characters from The Third Age suffer from a lack of character development. For the most part, they end the same way they begin, and Berethor is no different, coming across as a derivative of Aragorn or Boromir.

8/10 Idrial

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (2004)

If Berethor is the warrior archetype, Idrial is the archer/thug archetype meant to be. The third Age-equivalent to Legolas. That’s far from a bad thing since she has the range and mystical attacks that make her a mix of Legolas and Gandalf.

Idrial has a lot more sparkle and spectacle in her attacks, which makes her much more fun to level up and unlock. Unfortunately, she suffers from the same lack of character depth as Berethor when the story could have developed those characters a lot more.

7/10 Custom character

The Lord of the Rings Online (2007)

If the player is looking for a character that matches their style of play, there is nothing better than a character that literally matches the style of the player. In The Lord of the Rings Onlineplayers can play as Human, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Stout-Axe, High Elf, or Beorning.

RELATED: 15 Best Games In The Middle-earth Franchise

From there, the player can customize their look and gameplay to suit them. To some extent, this makes him the perfect character for Middle-earth fans, i.e. if they enjoy the MMORPG gameplay of games such as World of Warcraft.

6/10 Aragorn

EA’s Lord of the Rings duology (2002–2003)

Typically, direct translations of movies into video games aren’t that good, but EA rose to prominence for these games in the early 2000s with both The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. With The two towers and The king’s returnEA has delivered linear but battled hack-and-slash games.

Aragorn is playable in both games, and he’s exactly what players expect: a warrior wielding a mighty sword. Of all the characters in EA’s duology, Aragorn is the easiest to pick up, which is often the case with warrior classes, but that doesn’t stop him from being fun, especially when voiced by Viggo Mortensen.

5/10 legolas

EA’s Lord of the Rings duology (2002–2003)

The elf prince Legolas is exactly what most people expect him to be; he is fast, agile and excels in ranged attacks thanks to his bow. One of his defining attacks is actually the ability to fire multiple arrows at once multiple attacks.

As with Aragorn, the film’s actor returned to voice the character and as always, Orlando Bloom nails the character. The only problem with Legolas and almost every character in the EA duology is that the hack and slash gameplay can get boring after a while.

4/10 Gandalf the White

EA’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Ian McKellan’s now-iconic wizard isn’t entirely magic-based, as most video game mages and wizards are typically depicted. In EA The king’s returnGandalf fights with his staff and a sword, allowing him to act more like a battlemage in terms of combat.

RELATED: 10 Best Gandalf Quotes, According To Ranker

In a series of attacks, Gandalf can deal massive damage with his sword, then fight incoming enemies from afar using his staff magic. Whenever chapters featuring Gandalf appear or when the player can freely choose a character, Gandalf is always going to have fun.

3/10 Andriel

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011)

Although quickly forgotten, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North showed the potential of RPG games set in Middle-earth. Andriel is a fresh departure from the usual archer with an unlimited arrow archetype that elves are portrayed as in this franchise. She’s actually closer to Gandalf, wielding a staff that she uses for magic and melee.

On top of that, with RPG gear and elements, the player can customize Andriel from head to toe to suit his style. Andriel may not be the best-written character in the franchise, but she and all the War in the North the cast has enough to keep the player interested.

2/10 Plain flour

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011)

Many dwarf characters in video games tend to fall into the category of watered-down clones of the ever-iconic Gimli. This was eventually changed with Farin who can wield multiple weapon types, including a crossbow.

Farin has the most diversity in its gameplay, which can allow players to experiment with the different weapons and abilities. He also acts differently from other dwarves: he is not rude and loud, but rather a more stern and balanced character. It also helps the player choose dialogue choices to advance the story and take different paths.

1/10 Retaliation

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Duology (2014-2017)

At first glance, Talion of the Black Gate looks like an aspiring Aragorn, but that quickly changes. On the contrary, he has more in common with Eric Draven of The crow as he is an undead warrior bound to a specter trying to avenge his dead wife and child.

The talented Troy Baker plays Talion, and he portrays the haunted hero well through Shadow of Mordor and shadow of war. However, when it comes to gameplay, no other character can match since merged with the specter of Celebrimbor transforms him into a divine being with controls that feel like a perfect blend of Assassin’s Creed and the Batman: Arkham Games.

NEXT: 10 Things To Know About Shadow Of War’s Nemesis System

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Carolyn M. Daniel