by Conner Tighe Perhaps one of the most well-known novel, movie, and gaming series of the past decade, Harry Potter has become something of a milestone in my life. It was one of the first games I played, and over a decade later, it’s still one of the series I enjoy playing. Whether it’s dueling Death Eaters, flying on a broom, or sneaking past guards, the Harry Potter series has had its ups, but it certainly has had its downs in the gaming franchise. Here, I rank the series from best to worst.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsI'm biased when I say this title is the best, as it’s the first one I played in the series. But, after having played all eight titles, I still think it provides the best experience. Potter’s second year provides the most fun and true-to-heart Hogwarts experience. Players will collect Famous Witches and Wizards Cards, unlock new spells, and more. Furthermore, players can zoom around the castle on a broom. By finding lost items for students around the castle, players will earn more house points than other houses. Racing with your broom, throwing gnomes through hoops, and buying up all of Fred and George Weasley’s goodies in their shop make the experience that much better than releases afterward.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StonePotter’s first adventure on the PlayStation mirrors Chamber of Secrets almost exactly, with only a few slight differences. Again, players will complete daily tasks, find lost inventory for students, obtain new spells, and more; but this game is glitchier, has different areas to explore, and offers different spells although sharing similar spells with its successor. While sneaking past prefects, body-binding spells go through walls, making your job that much more difficult. The screen will go black at times, forcing you to restart from wherever you last saved. In that sense, the game is ruthless in making you redo tough challenges if it decides to glitch on you. But the overall experience is still there for Potter fans.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2Potter’s final journey ends in mediocre gameplay and a fast-paced storyline. Players can switch combat spells to match enemy attacks and defense positions. Players can experience characters like Professor McGonagall, Seamus Finnigan, Ginny Weasley, and more. The game's mission to include diversity this way is a hopeless trope. No two characters are different as everyone uses the same spells. The only "side missions" include collecting small glowing orbs to unlock character trophies. However, the experience has its sense of replayability. Sometimes the most exciting part of the journey is the end.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1Creators took the combat system to a whole new level when this installment came out. Potter begins his journey with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, searching for Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Players will protect wizards and witches from both Snatchers and Death Eaters. Voldemort’s followers won’t be the only enemies Potter will face. Spiders, dementors, and more await the three. The missions seem repetitive after a while, making the game feel useless. Potter enters the Ministry of Magic after escaping with Voldemort’s locket. This makes no sense in the realm of logic, and I can’t ignore the fact the game took this route with the plot. The experience is worthwhile for one play-through, but beyond that, little takeaways come from the experience.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrincePotter’s sixth year is a mere copy of his fifth as an errand boy. You can brew potions and duel students and Death Eaters. Nearly Headless Nick guides players around the castle. It was an upgrade from the Marauder's Map idea with its predecessor. The lack of real combat makes the upgrading system futile. The game follows the book and film well and is a mediocre year at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanPrisoner of Azkaban was the first sign that the trio was growing up. The plot balances classwork and side plots. You’ll battle creatures using different tactics and spells. This was the last game in the series to incorporate the Wizard and Witches card hunt, which was disappointing. The classic dueling system was not as good as the previous release, and the game took away the broom flying option. The game was a drab forgotten release, much like Goblet of Fire.
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixOrder of the Phoenix expanded upon the dueling system, allowing players to use more combat spells like stupefy, protego, and petrificus totalus. Unfortunately, much of the game is taken up by having Potter run errands for students involved in Dumbledore’s Army. By using the Marauder’s Map, players will explore Hogwarts’ dungeons, corridors, and exterior to upgrade spells and achieve tasks. It gets boring quickly but is better than its forerunner.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireOh boy, this game was bad. The combat system, the bug issues, the lack of scenery and levels. The famous trio returns to Hogwarts, maneuvering challenges related to the Triwizard Tournament. Players can cast a variety of spells at the click of a button. The AI casts the spell related to the individual situation players are put in. By pressing one button, the correct spell will be cast, depending on the enemy's weakness. Players will explore the Herbology greenhouses, the infamous Little Hangleton Graveyard, and more. Potter will battle fiery salamanders, poisonous bugs, and all other sorts of craziness. You can collect Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and challenge shields to upgrade skills. Although the game attempted to make the most of the experience, it failed. The AI gets stuck in corners, and you replay levels repeatedly to make sure you can get to other levels.
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