Tony Polanco at The Koalition writes:
I’m just going to come out and say it: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is easily the surprise game of the year. I mean, come on. This is a Lord of the Rings game that is actually GOOD. Better than good, it’s great! Who would have thought that’d be possible? Yet here we are with THE standout entry in the series which is not only a solid and fun title, but one that actually does something that is truly “next-gen.” Shadow of Mordor has a lot of elements that could have worked against it but it manages to take all of these disparate parts to create something that is exceptional. Again, I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Middle-Earth game.