The evolution of Harry Potter games – from humble beginnings to Hogwarts Legacy

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Feb 9, 2023
Updated • Feb 10, 2023
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The Harry Potter franchise has been a cultural phenomenon for over 20 years, with books, movies, and merchandise, captivating audiences of all ages. One area where the series has seen significant growth and evolution is in the realm of video games. From simple adaptations of the films to fully-realized open-world experiences, Harry Potter games have come a long way in a short time.

In the beginning…

The first Harry Potter game, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was released in 2001 for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PC. Based on the first film in the series, the game followed Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they navigated Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, solving puzzles and battling enemies. While the game received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success, selling over 3 million copies worldwide.

The next game – Chamber of Secrets, built upon the success of its predecessor and received even bigger praise. It’s considered the best Harry Potter game in the main line series. Sadly, the upcoming games were unable to recapture the magic of this iconic series.

At least they’ve tried

In the following years, several more Harry Potter games, all based on the films and following a similar formula, were released. These games were well-received by fans, but they were criticized for their lack of originality and repetition. Goblet of Fire ditched the exploration and followed a linear story. While The Order of The Phoenix recreated the Hogwarts castle to the smallest detail for the time and allowed players to fully explore the grounds, it lacked the most crucial component – magic.

The Downfall

In 2010, a new Harry Potter game was released that would change the series forever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 continued the downfall of the series. With Call of Duty being all the hype of the industry, and Halo not far behind, Deathly Hollows: Part 1 took a lot of inspiration from the aforementioned FPS giants and resembled a shooting gallery instead of a game set in a Harry Potter universe. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 tried to fix some things, yet turned out to be a soulless parody of third-person cover shooters. This marked the end of Harry Potter games. Until…

The redemption ark?

When all hope for the AAA Harry Potter game seemed lost, like lightning out of the clear sky, Avalanche Studios announced a massive open-world RPG set in the Harry Potter universe. And while you won't meet or play as Harry himself, Hogwarts Legacy will take you to the wizarding world in the 1800s, where the main character of the story is you. You'll be able to create your own character, choose your house, attend classes, learn spells, brew potions, tame, ride and fight fantastic beasts, explore every corner, and open every chamber of secrets in the iconic castle.

While PS4 and Xbox One owners still have to wait a couple of months to play the game, Hogwarts Legacy PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S versions are almost here. The Hogwarts Express leaves on February 10, and you can book cheaper tickets at digital marketplaces like Eneba.

HP games have come a long way, and after many failures to capture the magic, Hogwarts Legacy will finally let you explore the wizarding world in new and exciting ways. If the game delivers upon its promises, it's going to be a long-awaited redemption of Harry Potter games and, possibly, one of the best games of 2023. Without a doubt, Hogwarts Legacy is a dream come true for every Harry Potter fan!


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