The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Common Sense Media says

High-intensity play enjoyable for teen LOTR fans.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Graphic fantasy violence involving all characters, even ones who did not engage in as much fighting in the movie. Grotesque characters as seen in movie, probably not disturbing to teens.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Some tie-ins with the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a violent game, an epic fantasy of good versus evil. The game attempts to let the player join the story, but it lacks the softer aspects of the movie and book. This game has an online option; Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for anyone under 12.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

This fantasy adventure game is a sequel to, and improvement on The Two Towers video game. The game provides intense graphics and allows the player to step into the game as any of a multitude of characters. As players advance, they unlock numerous extras about the movie and game, including interviews with the actors and filmmakers, movie photos, and secret missions.

Is it any good?


Developers have kept the best features of The Two Towers and improved on it by including new characters, new missions and abilities, and the opportunity to play online as a team. Unfortunately the game is still quite violent. It would have been nice to see the inclusion of some puzzle or exploration tasks that were less dependent on violence.

The game will be very enjoyable for most teenage players, but could be scary for younger children. The violence is very realistic, but at least limited to use in the missions, rather than generalized. Players cannot attack each other or the environment in general. While this game is visually intriguing and lets players become a part of a favorite movie, parents will need to decide if they are comfortable with the amount of violence presented here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the game compares with the movie and the book. Which do you like best? Why? How does the violence in the game compare with the other versions of the story?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2, Xbox
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:September 24, 2003
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:T for (PlayStation 2, Xbox)

This review of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byxcolossal April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Great Game........

This is a great game. I think it should have a blood warning on the back of the game. I'm not sure, but it looks like blood comes out whenever you hit someone.
Adult Written byHeroneSilverton April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 14 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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