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Top 10 Harry Potter Video Games

Filipe is a big Harry Potter fan. He has read all the books and seen all the movies numerous times and he can't get enough of it!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban (PS2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban (PS2)

Introduction

With how much I love the Harry Potter series, it was certain that I would come into contact with the video games based on the story at some point in my childhood. I played many, many of these games growing up and I had a blast with most of them (certainly not all of them).

However looking back, and attempting to remove the rose-colored glasses of childhood, I'm able to look more objectively at them and recognize those that stand out above the rest for their quality, and the others with more than their fair share of faults.

So here's my top 10 video games from the Harry Potter series, this list of course, is entirely subjective and I will refrain from including any game that I have not played or experienced quite closely. Therefore, if I miss your favourite games please understand that I simply have not played them and let me know in the comments so I might expand my Harry Potter video game library.

I will be pointing out in which platform I played each game, I know versions on some consoles are quite similar and others vary wildly, so I will make it clear which version I'm referring to.

Top 10 Harry Potter Games

10. Half Blood Prince (PS3)

9. Prisoner of Askaban (GameBoy Advance)

8. Order of the Phoenix (PS2)

7. Chamber of Secrets (PS1)

6. Lego Harry Potter: The Whole Series (Windows PC)

5. Quidditch World Cup (Windows PC)

4. Prisoner of Askaban (PS2)

3. Philosopher's Stone (GameBoy Advance)

2. Chamber of Secrets (Windows PC)

1. Chamber of Secrets (Playstation 2)

10. Half Blood Prince (PS3)

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Coming in at number 10 is the sixth installment of the series in video game form. The Half Blood Prince game stuck to the structure established by Order of the Phoenix pretty closely. Hogwarts is massive, and entirely open for you to explore. The presentation is serviceable and the environments are varied, but where this game truly falls flat is in the gameplay.

I never liked the motion mechanics for spell casting that Order of the Phoenix established much, but this game somehow manages to make them even duller. Likewise the actual stuff you have to do to progress in the game is remarkably less interesting and nauseating. Making potions and playing Quidditch get old very very quickly (truly the worst Quidditch gameplay ever in a Harry Potter game), and the rest of the game comes down to fighting and not much else. It's not a horrible game, it's just somewhat forgettable.

9. Prisoner of Askaban (GameBoy Advance)

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Don't worry, Prisoner of Askaban will feature again higher on the list, as will the GameBoy Advance, but for now spot number 9 goes to the GBA version of the third story of the series. Built like a Final Fantasy type turn-based RPG, which I never believed would work for Harry Potter, this game surprised me in many ways.

Firstly, it's surprisingly loyal to the book, over the movie, which is often not the case for these games. Because of that, it provides a longer gameplay experience than you might expect, but it's okay, because the gameplay is pretty solid. Secondly, the combat mechanics are friendly and cool to use, with a variety of spells and special abilities available to you, depending on whether you're using Harry, Ron or Hermione. And third, the puzzles are also cool to solve outside of combat, and the difficulty is quite challenging, but in an engaging way.

The only big fault of this game is that the combat, while well implemented, does get a bit tedious after a while. You do it a lot in the game, and maybe it's because I'm not used to this genre of combat, but by the end of the game, I was mostly avoiding it.

8. Order of the Phoenix (PS2)

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Despite its lower spot on this list, OotP did a lot of things right, and it definitely tried something new, which I really respect. The game provided probably the most authentic and book accurate representation of Hogwarts ever done, completely open for exploration (just like in HBP), and with plenty to do.

Additionally, the game benefitted from a very good score, voice performances from a lot of members of the movie cast and in general from a more active story. Taking down Umbridge and her minions provided great opportunities for creative gameplay experiences that forced you to use different spells in inventive ways.

Combat is also a lot better here than in Half Blood Prince, even if it's not a system that I'm a big fan of, but I do understand that it's more akin to actual wand waving, I just find it weird and not that satisfying. Finally, the game even provides cool collectibles and sweet minigames like Wizard Chess and Exploding Snap, that are fun to play, but not obligatory if you don't want to.

7. Chamber of Secrets (PS1)

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The Harry Potter series didn't release a lot of titles for the first Playstation console, but of the ones it did, Chamber of Secrets is my favourite, though I know there are those who prefer Philosopher's Stone which is also a good game.

There aren't a lot of really good things to say about this game, the presentation is not incredible, the facial animations are hilariously bad, but undeniably iconic, but the environments are colourful and engaging and the score is just amazing, as are all Harry Potter tracks composed by Jeremy Soule.

As far as gameplay, it's pretty basic but fun to play, it's more about platforming in this game, which works well, mixed in with a bit of combat, spell use and even stealth, plus Quidditch, which is actually pretty fun. All in all, this game is all about the nostalgia for me, it isn't particularly good, but I would play through the whole thing now if I could.

6. Lego Harry Potter: The Whole Series (Windows PC)

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I know this game is a two-parter, but it didn't make sense to me to have two Lego games on this list with almost the same mechanics, so I just chose to bundle them together in this spot.

Lego Harry Potter, much like all Lego game titles, is a blast to play. It integrates magic well by using it to have the characters construct the Lego tools they will need to progress in the story, all the while being hilarious in its cutscenes, depicting some iconic scenes in very amusing ways.

It's also a game that requires thought and exploration, as the way forward is not always clear to you, but that exploration not only urges to keep playing, but also to keep finding the game's collectibles which are a ton. This makes it so that you could keep playing this game for a long time and still not have found everything.

Whether it's casting spells, riding brooms, duelling opponents, exploring Hogwarts or defeating Voldemort, Lego Harry Potter makes it work, seamlessly.

5. Quidditch World Cup (Windows PC)

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Coming in at number 5 we have the only spin-off game of this list, Quidditch World Cup. Released for a lot of platforms, I played this game on my PC and it was very enjoyable, at least, for me as a kid.

Quidditch gameplay in the other games was always a bit limited, but Quidditch World Cup allows you to delve deep into the wizarding sports, controlling the chasers, launching bludgers at opponents, performing stylish combos and special moves, and of course, catching the Golden Snitch. They're all enjoyable to do and flow mostly seamlessly in each match.

The game can get a bit stale after a while, as it can become easy for experienced players, although the highest difficulties do present challenges. But that is made up by the desire of beating the game to completion. You can play both at Hogwarts and internationally, and your victories and achievements are rewarded with Quidditch Cards. This is the main collectible of the game and the reason to keep playing. I've never gotten all of them to unlock Bulgaria, but to do it must be pretty sweet.

In the end, this game is a blast, especially for younger players, and if you can play with friends. The presentation is bright, colourful and exciting and the gameplay is fast-paced and engaging. Plus those team special moves are very cool.

4. Prisoner of Askaban (PS2)

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Prisoner of Askaban was the last of the Harry Potter games to maintain the gameplay structure established in the earlier installments, such as assigning spells to buttons, going into dungeons to obtain spells in each class, and exploring Hogwarts to find all the Wizard Cards.

Despite being fairly similar to what had come before, this game was still pretty enjoyable, and it added quite a few welcome features. Firstly, the series got a graphical upgrade so the characters look a lot better here, Hogwarts was also redesigned to match the improvement. Additionally, you could now play as Ron and Hermione as well, and the Golden Trio was together throughout the game, sharing spells, working together and joining in playful conversation thoughout the adventure.

Although Quidditch is gone, as are broomsticks in general, riding around on Buckbeak makes up for it completely, and the score is equally compelling. There are also some fun duelling moments, fighting Dementors is pretty damn exciting and there are some challenging parts. So overall, despite being a bit more of the same, Prisoner of Askaban is still a damn fun ride.

3. Philosopher's Stone (GameBoy Advance)

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This one is certainly the most personal of all the ten games on this list, and possibly the one most you know the least, but I had to include because I find it just so damn enjoyable. Philosopher's Stone for the GameBoy Advance did not adhere to the usual Final Fantasy template of Harry Potter games on the GameBoy and instead chose a top down puzzle-platformer, that forced you to use your spells in order to overcome the obstacles in Harry's way during classes, gathering ingredients for potions, and ultimately defeat Lord Voldemort.

The game is difficult, at least for me, and to this day I still find it challenging. The checkpoints are very punishing, evading prefects at night is nerve wracking and the puzzles can take a while to figure out. But that's what makes it rewarding when you finally finish collecting that ingredient from Hagrid's garden, or when you get back to the Common Room from the duel with Malfoy and you had to sneak past what feels like 50 prefects to do so. The colours are vibrant, the score is nostalgic, the gameplay is extremely captivating and fun. It's hard, it's long, but it's fun all the way through.

2. Chamber of Secrets (Windows PC)

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Chamber of Secrets was an installment of this series of games that exceled on every platform, and the PC was no exception. Playing this on the computer was super fun and there was so much to do. Much like the other Harry Potter games at this time, CoS on the PC was an action-adventure platformer of sorts, but it distinguishes itself most, i think, because it is a complete Hogwarts experience.

You can go to classes, learn spells, find secrets all around Hogwarts (there are so many secret doors and passages in this game), make potions, collect endless beans to buy all kinds of items, play Quidditch, participate in duels, all the while playing through the game's story.

More than any other game on this list I think, and that includes the number one spot, this is the game I most wanted to play to absolute completion, find all the secrets, do all that there is to do. The gameplay is not revolutionary, the presentation is basic, no better than other Harry Potter games lower on the list, but this game's features offer everything a Harry Potter fan could ask for.

1. Chamber of Secrets (Playstation 2)

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As one would probably expect, CoS dominates the top spots on this list and number one is no exception. I was torn between this game on the PS2 or Philosopher's Stone, but since PS came out after this game on the PS2, and borrowed virtually everything from it, I decided to go with the earlier installment.

This game looks great and it plays great. Like I said, it may not have as many features as the PC version, but the presentation is just wonderful, the gameplay is far more polished and engaging and the setpieces, both class challenges and night missions, are incredibly captivating and memorable.

No one can forget going into the Restricted Section in this game, or fighting Aragog, or tossing gnomes at the Burrow. They are among the best gaming experiences I ever had, and this game exceled at them.

For the completionists, there are tons of Wizard Cards to collect here, they are tricky to find and can increase your enjoyment of this game by a long time. But for me, all I really need is to pick up the controller, press the Start button and go along for the ride with my trusted Flipendo spell. It is my favourite Harry Potter game, without a doubt.

Conclusion

So those are my picks for the ten best Harry Potter games, those I didn't include were missing due to me not playing, or of course, not deeming them as good as those on the list. Feel free to share your thoughts on the comments below and thank you for reading.

Comments

Filipe Baião (author) from Lisbon on January 15, 2020:

I have never played on the DS but I imagine HP games on that platform must have looked pretty interesting given the dual screen. Maybe one day you'll the others a try, some of them are really worth it. Thank you for the comment.

Nik Farr Havock from United States of America on December 03, 2019:

There was a DS Harry Potter Game that I played at one point, though I don't remember the name. Half of these games I didn't realize were a thing.

Filipe Baião (author) from Lisbon on November 20, 2019:

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the article

Bentley Geneve on November 19, 2019:

wow nice