Let’s hop on our Nimbus 2000, avoid the Whomping Willow and check out the Best Harry Potter Games!
Since the first book in the series was published in 1997 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone if you’re in the US) – the franchise has become an undoubted, multi-generational phenomenon.
The tale of a lonely, mistreated young boy who discovers that he’s a wizard, the first Harry Potter book sets up a universe of magic, mystery and plenty of danger for our young protagonist.
Attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he and close friends Ron and Hermione get themselves into numerous scrapes and adventures over the course of the seven book series, which get truly epic by the climax of the final book.
Of course, the big budget movie adaptations played a massive part in expanding the popularity of the Harry Potter series – but video game versions of the stories also brought the franchise onto consoles and computers over the years.
Which ones were best though?
Let’s take a look at the 10 Best Harry Potter Games of All Time!
10. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
I’ve specifically left the Wii version out of the ranking for this one, as it was hampered with awkward and unnecessary motion controls (an issue which was the bane of many a Wii port!), but even the other versions of this adaptation of the sixth Harry Potter book and film were a bit of a disappointment.
Though it featured an open world Hogwarts, barely anything had been improved over its predecessor, Order of the Phoenix. Everything that felt fresh and new in Order of the Phoenix just felt a bit lazy here – and it didn’t help that the mission design was also less interesting than before.
It’s not all bad though – and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is definitely better than some Harry Potter games (hello, games based on Deathly Hallows 1 & 2!).
The non-linear, third person adventuring made it the last good game based on the books and films – before the series shifted genres to be awkward and unsatisfying third person cover shooters – but it couldn’t help feeling like a disappointment after the excellent Order of the Phoenix.
9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Based on the fourth book and film in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire did feature some gameplay refinements over its predecessors – such as more involved spellcasting mechanics – and excellent multiplayer features.
However, the more linear levels and lack of exploratory elements in the main story puts this firmly towards the lower end of the Best Harry Potter Games list.
This is one of the few Harry Potter games that feels a bit rushed – and it’s far too short too, unlike the epic tale it’s based on!
8. Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup (2003)
Far better than any completely made-up sport title has any right to be, EA’s Harry Potter spin-off does a great job at making Quidditch into a genuinely compelling game.
Of course, with their sports experience it’s no wonder EA did a great job with Quidditch World Cup – it was fast-paced, colourful and true to both the Harry Potter world and the game of Quidditch itself.
Though the game’s rules aren’t fully fleshed out in the books, this gave EA a bit of creative leeway to fill in the gaps and make it a more rounded experience than readers – or indeed fans of the films – were used to.
Along with the full competition of the titular World Cup, players could play one-off Exhibition matches too – though this will see Hogwarts house teams facing off against each other, rather than the national teams featured in World Cup mode.
The team line-ups are based on those featured in book 3, Prisoner of Azkaban – so you’ll see Harry Potter himself featured for Gryffindor, his nemesis Draco Malfoy for Slytherin, Cedric Diggory in Hufflepuff and Cho Chang in Ravenclaw – but there’s also cameos from other familiar characters who feature as commentators, spectators or even elsewhere in the game.’s well realised world.
7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Notable for being the first of the console games to allow players to assume control of characters other than Harry Potter, this title – based on the third book – was another excellent third person action adventure game.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were both playable characters in addition to the titular boy wizard, but Hippogriff Buckbeak and Owl Hedwig were also playable in certain sections of the game.
The PS2 even had mini-games added in that were designed for use with the largely forgotten, pre-Kinect, interactive camera peripheral the EyeToy.
6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone (2003)
The very first version of the Philosopher’s/Sorceror’s Stone story came in 2001, released on aging hardware such as the PS1 (and featuring some endearingly awkward polygonal models of characters – with Hagrid standing out as one of the most unintentionally funny). It even went on to become one of the best-selling PS1 games of all time (check it out on our Best Selling PS1 Games list!).
However, publisher EA – never one to shy away from milking a licence – had the idea of going back to the first story and remaking it for the then-current consoles, even though they’d already progressed to publishing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by then.
It’s just as well they did – this version has aged far more gracefully than the original and despite being criticised at the time for reusing the world map and even spells from the Chamber of Secrets game, this does give the games a nice sense of consistency in their setting and mechanics.
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA, 2004)
Though most of the games on this list take the form of 3D action adventure titles, this 2004 GBA entry based on the third book – and film – was an interesting departure from the expected formula, which took advantage of the host hardware’s differences, rather than being restricted by them.
The GBA version is actually a 2D, overhead view RPG with turn-based battles, in a similar vein to the classic 16-bit Final Fantasy games.
Though a bit divisive, the visuals are nicely cartoony and stylised – and unlike the old Final Fantasy games, there are (thankfully!) no random encounters.
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Based on the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was perhaps the first video game to truly capture the magic of the boy wizard’s adventures.
Not only are the events of the book closely adhered to, but players could also attend classes at Hogwarts, fly a broomstick (completely free-roaming on the PlayStation 2 version, with slightly more restricted flight on the GameCube and Xbox) around the impressively expansive school grounds and learn spells.
There was lots more to do in the massive school than in previous games too, with wizard duels, quests to complete and bosses to fight – it was a hugely satisfying adventure that disappoints slightly only due to its ease and brief length.
3. Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (2011)
When Traveller’s Tales (later TT Games) developed the brilliant Lego Star Wars back in 2005, few could have realised just how huge and wide-ranging its formula would become.
The third-person, co-operative gameplay saw players working their way through the events of the prequel movies. It had humorously anarchic, often slapstick cinematics based on familiar scenes from the films.
Addictive mechanics saw players breaking Lego-based structures and collecting hundreds and thousands – eventually millions – of shiny Lego studs over the course of the game.
The formula was a well-refined one by the time TT Games turned their attention to Harry Potter – they’d become more open, bigger in scope, with huge selections of characters to collect and additional layers of mechanics that didn’t take away from the addictive simplicity of the titles.
They were straightforward and simple without ever feeling dumbed down.
This second Lego Harry Potter title covered the rest of the books (with the first game, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, having taken care of the opening quartet) – and it’s just as fun, funny and compelling as any other Lego title.
Full of brilliant references to the stories it’s based on, stuffed with collectables and unlockables, it’s very deserving of a place in the top three of the best Harry Potter games.
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
The first console Harry Potter game to really fulfil the potential of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a third person. open world adventure with a sandbox style structure.
Players can not only explore an impressively recreated Hogwarts at leisure, but other locations can be visited too – with fan favourite locations such as the Ministry of Magic and Little Whinging also included.
Plenty of activities, mini-games and missions were also on offer throughout the game; popular magical pastimes from the stories were included too, such as Exploding Snap, Wizard Chess and Gobstones.
Of the ‘standard’ Harry Potter games, Order of the Phoenix is undoubtedly the peak – though upcoming title Hogwarts Legacy looks very likely to usurp it this year!
However, you’ll notice that this isn’t actually number one on the list – so what is the number one entry on the best Harry Potter games list?
1. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (2010)
So here we find ourselves at the top of the Best Harry Potter games list – and with another Lego game!
Though the second Lego Harry Potter title was superb and even featured a few refinements over Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, this first game features so many iconic moments from the opening chapters of the boy wizard’s saga that it’s impossible to find it so much more satisfying.
Saying that, Years 5-7 are much more action-oriented in story terms of course – so you may find yourself more enamoured with the kids kicking more magical butt in the second game than the more laidback (but still action-packed!) action here.
It is such a huge, lovingly created recreation of the Wizarding World too; hubs such as Hogwarts and magical pub The Leaky Cauldron led to a huge number of familiar locations from the books and films.
Unique mechanics such as spellcasting and potion-making made this title feel truly authentic, without losing sight of the slightly cheeky nature of the Lego games.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is a real love letter to the series and to the fans themselves – and easily takes pride of place as the best Harry Potter game of all time.
Both of the Lego Harry Potter titles rank highly on our Best Lego Games of All Time list and they’re also both available as a single pack in the Lego Harry Potter Collection, for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch – an absolutely unmissable package for Potterheads!
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.