All 10 movies in the ‘Harry Potter’ universe, ranked

The Harry Potter movie franchise ended nearly eight years ago, but the fandom stays as passionate and engaged as ever. While the stories detailed in J.K. Rowling‘s seven bestselling books ended with 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the wizarding world continued with 2016 and 2018’s Fantastic Beasts releases, which fans gobbled up like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

There is still plenty of great Harry Potter content in the works, between the next Fantastic Beasts installment and the recently released Wizards Unite, the Harry Potter version of Pokémon GO. In the meantime, we’ve compiled reviews from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic to rank the 10 Harry Potter movies from best to worst. You can consult this list next time you want to fashion a Very Potter Weekend of your own.

Harry Potter movies ranked from best to worst

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter movies - Deathly Hallows 2 Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

It seems almost ironic that the final film of the Harry Potter saga should top this list. Nevertheless, reviews for 2011’s Deathly Hallows Part 2 were noticeably superior to the rest of the franchise’s entries. In the final installment in Harry’s story, the heroes and villains of the wizarding world duke it out in the halls of Hogwarts, much of which has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Beloved characters are lost forever, and the fight between good and evil finally reaches its climax.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

2) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter movies - Prisoner of Azkaban Warner Bros./YouTube

The third film in the Harry Potter franchise has long been a fan favorite, as has the book, which came out five years before the 2004 film. Introducing viewers to Sirius Black and delving into much darker themes, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban sees the characters beginning to mature. This movie has everything from prison breaks to time travel—and Malfoy finally gets what’s coming to him.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

3) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter movies - Goblet of Fire Warner Bros./YouTube

One of the things that draws so many people to the Harry Potter world is the variety between each film. In the fourth film, released in 2005, everything changes for Harry and his companions. Romance blossoms, viewers get to experience the wider wizarding world, and the darker themes planted in Azkaban begin to take shape. A major turning point in the Harry Potter saga, Goblet of Fire takes the series from its fun and lighthearted origins into the more adult themes of the later movies.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

4) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter movies - Half-Blood Prince Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

The sixth Harry Potter movie plays with viewers’ expectations. Blending the enticing school drama fans had come to expect with the impending war between good and evil, 2009’s Half-Blood Prince perfectly captures the feeling of a child taking the plunge into adulthood. Harry struggles throughout the film to figure out if he has changed, or Hogwarts itself has. The pressures of school clash with the heavy expectations that burden Harry as he embraces his role as The Boy Who Lived. He still indulges the last of his childlike urges, even as the war for wizard-kind begins in earnest.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter movies - Order of the Phoenix Warner Bros./YouTube

Many fans would disagree with me, but Order of the Phoenix has long been my favorite Harry Potter book. While the 2007 film may not be the most popular among viewers, it remains a solid installment in the award-winning franchise. Harry and his friends finally get a chance to join the adults in their campaign against Lord Voldemort, only to discover the horrors that often come with adulthood.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

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6) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter movies ranked - Sorcerer's Stone Movieclips Classic Trailers/YouTube

While the first Harry Potter film is still quite popular among fans, it can’t compete with the more engaging and adult tones of the later films. Despite its age, 2001’s Sorcerer’s Stone is the perfect introduction to the characters and themes of this mega-popular series. Already, the franchise’s masterful, epic world-building was on full display, helping Sorcerer’s Stone break the record for highest opening weekend at the box office at the time.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

7) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter movies- Chamber of Secrets Movieclips Classic Trailers/YouTube

Chamber of Secrets actually tied with Deathly Hallows Part 1 for the seventh spot on this list, but because it comes first chronologically, it cinches the higher spot. Maintaining a light, funny mood while building ominous drama, 2002’s Chamber of Secrets serves as a stepping stone between the charming and carefree Sorcerer’s Stone and the darker tones of the later Harry Potter movies.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

8) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Harry Potter movies - Deathly Hallows Part 1 Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

The Harry Potter franchise abandons any semblance of immaturity in the opening moments of 2010’s Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Harry and his companions are caught in a fight for their lives, which seems immaterial next to the wider fight for wizard—and human—kind. All school-based drama gets left behind as Harry, Ron, and Hermione put their educations on hold to defeat Voldemort once and for all.

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $1.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

9) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter movies - Fantastic Beasts Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

If you can’t get enough of the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts will help scratch that itch for you. If you’re a fan of the series, I assume you already know that it’s about Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) and the adventures and creatures he would go on to write about, and that Harry Potter would eventually read. It’s hardly essential as a film, but for anyone with an insatiable thirst for all things Potter, it is a fun trip back to the magical world of J.K. Rowling. —Eddie Strait

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $2.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

10) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Harry Potter movies - Crimes of Grindlewald Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is ambitious but ultimately feels disjointed, as it juggles too many stories in a twisted narrative that converges in Paris. It picks up threads from the first film and introduces new plots and perils, but while it thrives with more established characters, others aren’t compelling enough to hold their own. —Michelle Jaworski

  • Rent it: Amazon Prime – $3.99; YouTube – $2.99
  • Buy it: Amazon Prime – $14.99

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Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.