Finally! This is my favorite free-to-play MMO and I can't recommend it enough. It doesn't have the same level of polish as a lot of new games like Rift or Star Wars: The Old Republic, but it does a great job of immersing you into the lore of Middle Earth. The gameplay is similar to Everquest II, but it does borrow a lot of modern mechanics from World of Warcraft like daily quests and titles.
If you fancy running around as a hobbit, killing Nazgul, or hanging out with Strider, you should give The Lord of the Rings Onlinea try. It's free, so what do you have to lose? If you like it, you can also grab a starter pack on sale right now for $14.99 that will let you ride mounts, gain XP 25% faster, and explore three quest packs. Even if you don't want to drop a dime on it, it's still a fantastic game.
Also, you can play instruments in the game and it's very easy to use text files as sheet music. This leads to many hours of standing around in town doing nothing but playing the lute.
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destructoid's previous coverage: The Lord of the Rings Online