The LEGO Harry Potter Collection is finally available on Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch and, as a whole, the remaster is a fun, if slightly unambitious experience for new and old players alike. While LEGO Harry Potter Collection is a new addition to the aforementioned systems, the game collection – which groups together 2010’s LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and 2011’s LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-8 into one – was previously released on PlayStation 4 back in 2016. This naturally means that developer Traveller’s Tales has had plenty of time to work out any kinks, and work them out they have.
Mechanically speaking, LEGO Harry Potter Collection has not changed at all from the older versions of the game. Having said that, running on a more powerful and advanced system certainly makes it feel like everything runs smoother. Characters move with grace, loading times are practically non-existent, and the charm of the game’s unique telling of the complete Harry Potter saga still holds up even after a near decade after its original release. It will easily appeal to kids who’ve never experienced Harry Potter before. Indeed, it may even be the best place for parents to start especially younger kids with the story, even over the books or movies.
Like the original games, LEGO Harry Potter Collection has players in the role of the eponymous character and his assortment of friends and teachers, solving somewhat easy puzzles and learning a surprising amount of diverse spells that will help players move forward in the game or reach other areas of the Hogwarts map (which has aged surprisingly well). Fans who’ve played other LEGO games new or old but never got around to playing LEGO Harry Potter the first time around should have no problem jumping right in and figuring out its mechanics and various spell systems.
For those who like to play with friends, there’s local co-op that supports up to two players (like most LEGO games). It’s disappointing that LEGO Harry Potter Collection didn’t up the player count or include online play, but this is an issue that Traveller’s Tales hasn’t even figured out with its newer games (including the just released LEGO DC Super-Villains), so it’s not altogether surprising. Still, the game’s lack of new features makes it feel somewhat like a wasted opportunity to add something new to the expansive wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in LEGO Harry Potter Collection’s lack of a voice cast – a feature that Traveller’s Tales has embraced again after releasing so many titles without that feature – or any sort of dialogue whatsoever. Out of all the titles lacking voiced characters before and after it, a remastered LEGO Harry Potter felt like the perfect opportunity to capitalize on this and include at least some repurposed dialogue from the movies. It’s honestly the biggest disappointment of the re-release and it further proves just how unambitious the title can feel at times.
Graphics-wise, LEGO Harry Potter Collection looks absolutely fantastic on the Xbox One X. In a lot of ways, it looks almost like a new title in the LEGO series with popping colors and refined textures. Perhaps it’s just the impressive hardware of the console or perhaps it’s Traveller’s Tales doing more than just slapping a new coat of paint over an old title, but in a lot of ways, this is where the LEGO Harry Potter Collection shines brightest as a remaster.
Like most LEGO titles, it’s also a completionist’s dream, featuring over 360 characters to unlock between the two combined titles, a plethora of side puzzles and in-game items to collect. For those who care about achievements, LEGO Harry Potter Collectioni has plenty to offer (for those who beat the original games, the achievements can be re-earned on a new system) and a player will never feel like they’re wasting their time.
Overall, this remaster is a blast, especially for players who’ve never experienced the original LEGO Harry Potter titles or those who want to introduce their children to the magical world of Harry Potter. Sure, it’s not perfect, and a times it feels downright unambitious in its execution and failure to deliver a new experience for players who’ve already delved deep into the original iterations. However, when it comes down to brass tacks, LEGO Harry Potter Collection is still a remaster worth exploring.
LEGO Harry Potter Collection is available now on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It was previously released on PlayStation 4 in 2016. Screen Rant was provided with an Xbox One code for the purposes of this review.