Lord of the Rings Online is five years old today, so we're giving you free stuff

Josh Augustine at

Play that funky music LOTRO

Chris Perry at

Wannabe rockers have been playing with the music system in The Lord of the Rings Online since the launch of the game in 2007. There’s a lot to have fun with: LotRO allows you to play songs on a variety of instruments, and inspired players can create complex musical creations. Community events that include musical performances brighten the darkest day of Middle-earth.

Lord of the Rings Online review

Tom Senior at

Middle-Earth is a much busier place since Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play. Bree is packed with adventurers running between contacts and crowding around traders. Elves ride giant goats through the cobbled streets. A hobbit stands on a wall, playing the Legend of Zelda theme on a lute. To the east, the killing fields are full of adventurers blasting bats and boars back to the Second Age.

There’s a good reason for this renewed popularity. Free-to-play games are never completely free, but in LotRO there’s a huge amount of content to enjoy before you’re forced to lay down any cash.

Celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday in LOTRO [giveaway]

Chris Perry at

On January 3rd, 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. To commemorate this momentous occasion, fans from around the world raise their glasses "To the Professor" and drink a toast in his honor. The PC Gamer staff toasted with LotR-styled shot glasses in the office today, and I'm personally celebrating by going through the Ered Luin starter zone revamp in Lord of the Rings Online. This re-structuring of the zone has made some dramatic changes, and I was wonderfully surprised by the new pacing and major changes to the early dwarf area.

Giveaway Update: Closed! Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to winners Raliant, fest_freak, Jimangi, Malachi and Slie_amos!

Have some free wintry fun over the holidays with LOTRO

Chris Perry at

One of my greatest pleasures while playing LOTRO is taking part in the seasonal festivals that Turbine rolls out four times a year. These festivals are always a great part of the game, and lately, Turbine has been adding new content to each festival as it comes out. During the Fall festival, we had the addition of the Haunted Cellar under Bilbo's house, and now, for the Yule Festival (which started on December 14th and runs to January 11th) they have added an entire zone, Winter-Home. And now that LOTRO's free to play, you can enjoy it over the holidays as well!