On the Wii and PlayStation 3, Aragorn's Quest is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game is divided up into two different gameplay sections. The main game sees the player control Aragorn, as Samwise Gamgee tells his children stories of Aragorn's adventures during the War of the Ring fifteen years previously through eight levels that can either be linear or non-linear, consisting of diverse mandatory and optional quests. The other gameplay section is located in the Shire in the game's present, with the player controlling Sam's son, Frodo in a free-roam overworld, as he helps his fellow Hobbits prepare a party for the arrival of Aragorn (now King Elessar of Gondor). Gameplay in both areas is the same, and the game is structured in such a way that as Frodo learns skills in the Shire, these skills then become available to Aragorn in the main game. If a second player is present, they control Frodo's sister Elanor in the Shire, and Gandalf in the main game. However, the players cannot switch characters - player one must always be Aragorn and Frodo, and player two must also be Gandalf and Elanor.
During combat, the player has five basic sword attack moves; an upward swipe, a downward swipe, a left swipe, a right swipe, and a thrust. Later in the game, Aragorn can use charged up versions of each of the five main attacks. The player can also use a secondary weapon to thrust attack; this weapon can be a shield, a torch or a spear. The player can also access chain attacks (attacks which increase in power with each successful attack) and special abilities such as "Battle Cry" (which makes allies fight harder) and "Rally" (which makes allies temporarily invulnerable). The player can also gain access to a bow, which can be upgraded in various ways. For example, "black arrow tips" can target multiple enemies at once, while "eagle feathers" can slow down time when the player enters first-person mode whilst aiming the bow. Another combat method is fighting on horseback, during which the player can use his sword as normal, and can also dash with his spear at the ready. The Wii version of the game is controlled via the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, becoming one of the few Wii games, including Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the then-forthcoming The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, to implement sword-and-shield combat. The PlayStation 3 version can be controlled via either the DualShock 3 or the PlayStation Move.
At most times during the game, the player is accompanied by AI controlled allies. The player can acquire upgrades for these AI companions, such as increasing their attack and defense, finding weapon and armour upgrades or unlocking new combat abilities. In the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions, a second player can drop in and play as Gandalf at any time during the game. Gandalf controls similarly to Aragorn. His main weapon is his staff, which also functions as his long range weapon. He also has the ability to heal Aragorn or grant certain boosts to him by casting spells that mimic the effects of power-up herbs found in Middle-Earth that Aragorn can pick.
The PlayStation 2 and handheld versions of the game is different from the Wii and PS3 version in several ways. For example, they lack a co-op mode or the free-roam Shire overworld. However, it includes an arena mode not featured in the Wii and PS3 versions, and levels set in Caradhras, at the Gates of Moria (including a battle with the Watcher in the Water), and in Dunharrow, areas not found in the Wii/PS3 versions. This version is played from an isometric three-quarter top-down view, and is more of an action role-playing game, featuring stat-management and experience points to spend on special abilities. The Wii/PS3 version does not feature any kind of stat-management or experience points, save for the abovementioned ability to collect items to improve the attack and defense of characters.