The first installment in the Battle for Middle-earth game series, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth (here abbreviated BFME 1 or BFME) was a real-time strategy game released in late 2004 by Electronic Arts.
Based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien and the films by Peter Jackson, The Battle for Middle-earth took players into the world of The Lord of the Rings in the format of a real-time strategy game. Featured in the game are places, characters, monsters, and other features of Middle-earth as depicted by the film trilogy. A campaign mode takes players through the story of The Lord of the Rings, and Skirmish mode allows the player to battle at any Middle-earth location as a selected army against any faction.
This game was preceded after two years by The Battle for Middle-earth II.
BFME has two Campaigns: the Good Campaign and Evil Campaign. In the Good Campaign, the player leads the Fellowship of the Ring to Mordor, and also defends Rohan from the forces of Isengard. In the Evil Campaign, the player follows and plays the development of Sauron and Saruman's gradual dominations over the free peoples of Middle-earth.
In both Campaigns, the battles as well as some character dialogue imitate scenes from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, such as the onslaughts at Helm's Deep and at Minas Tirith, and the Fellowship's tarrying through Moria.
The factions available in The Battle for Middle-earth are: