Harry Potter is one of the best-selling publications next to the Bible. So before playing the Hogwarts Legacy game, it’s worth returning to this magical experience by reading books or watching all Harry Potter movies.

It’s been over twenty years since the Harty Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie came out, but this and the other installments haven’t aged much in that time. A mature story about an ordinary boy discovering the world of magic is still one of the most desired themes for a movie night among younger and older fans.

Although the beginnings of the film adaptation were quite rocky, it quickly became iconic alongside other fantasy recommendations like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. And there’s no better moment for a little marathon than now! If you don’t have time for all, you can always pick the best Harry Potter movies from this list in order with a place in the ranking. So get the warmest blanket, stock up on your favorite snacks, and enjoy a magical visit to Hogwarts!

8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Released date:2002-11-03
Directed by:Chris Columbus

The second part of Harry Potter adventures is the longest and the weakest on this list. It’ll be perfect if you want to spend a long time at Hogwarts but may seem boring to those who crave action.

But that doesn’t mean Chamber of Secrets is a bad movie – it just had the least reception luck. It is the legendary part where we can enjoy Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart taking narcissism to a new level of nonsense. There’s also an ancient Hogwarts mystery, some light horror features, a flying Ford Anglia, and the house elf Dobby.

When it comes to annoying characters, there’s no better choice than the Chamber of Secrets! Also, the three protagonists are finally starting to put their sneaky skills to good use, and the disturbing events reported in the Daily Prophet begin to affect them more and more.

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Released date:2007-06-28
Directed by:David Yates

The Order of the Phoenix is one of the longest books in the series, but somehow, the film adaptation is also one of the shortest. It is the main reason for such a low ranking, as the audience hoped for the presence of more iconic scenes in this picture.

But overall, Order of the Phoenix is another part that creates a fantastic whole. Harry and his companions have entered adolescence, although the main character experiences it most intensely. Plagued with grim visions sent by Voldemort, the protagonist struggles with misunderstanding, loneliness, and desperation. David Yates (director of this part) perfectly delivered other captivating subjects like the complex political situation, the Muggles’ discrimination theme, and the Order of the Phoenix introduction.

And this is the part with the most hated character in the Harry Potter universe – the hideous Dolores Umbridge, played by the fabulous Imelda Staunton (also known from The Crown), oppressing the students and teachers of Hogwarts. It all culminates with Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter’s legendary performance and one of the most epic duels in the history of the Harry Potter movies.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Released date:2001-11-04
Directed by:Chris Columbus

This first film in the series determined the nature of all the following parts, setting the viewers’ expectations bar high. Directed by the brilliant Chris Columbus, the movie perfectly captured the book’s atmosphere, becoming its most faithful adaptation ever.

The Philosopher’s Stone is the most innocent and charming film in the series, unraveling the origins of Harry Potter’s adventures. The protagonist discovers the wizarding world, forges new friendships, and makes powerful enemies.

It’s an excellent recommendation for those looking for that cozy climate of Rowling’s books in their purest form, uninterrupted by more mature matters. Today, this production may feel a little older with that unimpressive CGI, but this retro feeling makes it even more iconic. And the plot focuses almost entirely on Ron, Hermione, and Harry’s developing friendship, so it’s an ideal base for witnessing the next golden trio’s adventures.

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Released date:2009-07-07
Directed by:David Yates

It is the part that some love and others hate. Why the second? Because a massive portion of the plot from the book was brutally cut out, providing quite confusing reasons for some events or characters’ actions. Or no reasons at all. But at the same time, it’s the funniest recommendation on this list.

It’s time for the wizarding world to come to terms with Voldemort’s rising forces. Harry, Ron, and Hermione head to Hogwarts to study, enjoy their time, and discover secrets. As usual, the hero has more to do than he initially thought and has to embark on dangerous quests with Dumbledore to learn Voldemort’s past.

The climate of this adaptation is exceptionally dark, and the school feels more abandoned. But at the same time, the movie focuses on the relationships between the characters, a lot of teen drama, and the adventures of suddenly cheeky Harry.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Released date:2005-11-06
Directed by:Mike Newell

Also known as the part where everyone’s hair went crazy. This time, developed under Mike Newell’s supervision – director of Four Weddings and a Funeral. For some, the book version is the best. But the movie adaptation falls somewhere in between by awkwardly balancing mature themes with teen drama.

This movie is your best choice if you want to see Ron Weasley dancing with Professor McGonagall. This time, Harry is full of hope that the new school year will be normal. Unfortunately, the boy who lived finds himself entangled in another dangerous challenge to experience his first encounter with the outstanding Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort. But before all that happen, he must survive three complex tasks, learn fame is often inseparable from loneliness, and find a date for the ball. Meanwhile, Ron discovers Hermione is a girl.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Released date:2010-11-11
Directed by:David Yates

Here comes the darkest recommendation in this guide. All the characters are practically adults, Voldemort terrorizes the world, death is everywhere, and there is no hope for a better future.

In this part, Harry, Hermione, and Ron embark on a dangerous quest to find and destroy all the Horcruxes. However, they have no specific clues about where to go and why, so they aimlessly travel across the country.

It is an incredibly claustrophobic story, set in many breathtaking locations showing a devastated and desolate land. Unfortunately, the characters barely talk to each other, so some decisions may seem unclear. Many lengthy scenes can seem tiring to watch, but that’s the classic vibe of this transitional adaptation leading to the final events.

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Released date:2004-05-23
Directed by:Alfonso Cuarón

The change of director to Alfonso Cuarón yielded the second-best Harry Potter film. Some might want to argue this is the best movie ever, but the ratings on IMDB speak for themselves. It also strongly depends on the person watching because Prisoner of Azkaban is a transition from family series to more mature themes.

Although the action still focuses on the adventures of three heroes, for the first time, it also touches the other characters’ past. The Prisoner of Azkaban uncovers more details about Snape (the wonderful Alan Rickman), Harry’s dead parents, and the forgotten secrets of Hogwarts.

This movie perfectly balances all these intrigues and Harry’s school life as he takes his first serious exams. There’s also Gary Oldman as Sirius, trips to Hogsmeade, lots of Hagrid, and a breathtakingly gloomy atmosphere expressed by misty weather and the unique setting of an ancient castle.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Released date:2011-07-07
Directed by:David Yates

The last part is a feast of spectacular scenes, risky decisions, fast-paced action, a dragon, and memorable battles. This grand finale will make you cry, laugh, fear, and more!

The three heroes complete their journey to finally reach Hogwarts and participate in the legendary battle against Voldemort’s forces. Harry is still the leading character (with a vital role to complete). But the title also shows the further fate of other heroes like Neville, Hogwarts teachers, or members of the Order of the Phoenix.

This installment also reveals Snape’s secret life, making him one of the series’ most loved characters. What can we say – it’s epic, full of memorable moments, and set in a spooky combination of hope and despair that we all adore.

Despite the constantly changing directors, artistic visions, and some of the actors, the Harry Potter series has managed to maintain a flexible and logical continuity. And although some movies seem closer or further to the story of the books, they provide the magical image that fans formed in their minds while reading. There is no bad adaptation. Some are slightly better than others, but together they create a memorable whole that this world truly enjoys.