10 Wizarding Games You Can Play Instead of ‘Hogwarts Legacy’

10 Wizarding Games You Can Play Instead of ‘Hogwarts Legacy’

There’s a new Harry Potter game out there, and the internet is aflame over it — and not in “no one can stop playing Elden Ring” way. If you’re not entirely comfortable giving your money to support a game that will financially benefit noted anti-trans spokesmuggle and Twitter bully J.K. Rowling (who wasn’t actually involved in the making of Hogwarts Legacy but who will definitely profit from it), but you still like video games with magic, role-playing, and elves/orcs, I’ve put together a list of ten Hogwarts Legacy alternatives. Each of these games will scratch your Harry Potter gaming itch. (This is also a good list if you just think Harry Potter is kind of weak.)

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2003)

I had to start off with a classic. All of the Elder Scrolls games are excellent if you like role-playing games you can get lost in for days, but for mages, Morrowind is the best of the bunch. The magic system is deep, with players able to mix and match alchemy, mysticism, illusion, and other supernatural skills to create bespoke spells of their own creation. If you want to hang out with other magically-inclined individuals in a Hogwarts-style institution, the men and women of Morrowind’s Mage’s Guild will show you the ropes, sell you components, and teach you a trick or three. (Locations in most major cities.) Plus, it’s set in a massive open world, just like The Game That Shall Not Be Named.

Platforms: Xbox, Microsoft Cloud Gaming, Microsoft Windows

Lichdom: Battlemage (2014)

If you crave the kind of wizardry that’s shot through with adrenaline, check out Lichdom: Battlemage, a FPA (first-person abracadabra-er) that has as much in common with Call of Duty as Dungeons and Dragons. This is an all-out action game with spells, a fantasy hack-and-slasher that’s all sorcery, no swords. You won’t be tied down to a mana pool or expected to solve puzzles. Instead, you’ll be combining dangerous spells and running around blasting fools with magic.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Spellcaster University (2014)

Spellcaster University asks, “what if you were in charge of Hogwarts?” You aren’t a mere student here. You’re the director of a magical university, and you can build it into the magical institute of higher learning of your dreams. Will you focus on dark arts like necromancy and demonology, or invite a bunch of tree-hugging druids in to teach the students how to be good shaman? It’s up to you in this magical education simulator.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017)

There’s more than one epic, fantasy, open-world action game set in a pre-existing fictional universe, and Tolkien’s universe is way more badass than J.K. Rowlings’. Shadow of War lets tramp all over Middle-earth, battle Nazgul, take on the Balrog, and witness the founding of Minas Morgul, all of which are cooler than sniffing daisies with Dumbledore or whatever they do at Hogwarts. Plus, there are more orcs in Shadow of War than you would think possible. Are there orcs in Harry Potter? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Cloud Gaming, iOS, Microsoft Windows

Wands (2016)

If you’re super into the wands Harry Potter and his pals wave around, Wands lets you waggle your magic-stick at other players in online duels to the virtual death. Like most virtual reality games, Wands isn’t particularly deep — there’s no exploration or story to speak of — but if you want to test your magical mettle against friends and randos alike in virtual reality, here’s your chance.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go

Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

The Dragon Age series has always been inclusive of varied sexualities, lifestyles, and identities, giving players all sorts of non-traditional options for friends, party-members, and lovers. Inquisition includes transman Krem (aka Cremisius Aclassi), wisecracking lesbian elf Sera, and fan-favourite gay man Dorian Pavus, among others. But none of these characters are tokens: Krem is a hard-nosed mercenary; Dorian is a clutch mage and great conversationalist; Sera is legendary archer; and all have their own histories and identities that shaped them into the badasses they are. The point is: Let’s all kill a bunch of dragons and save the world.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft Windows

Elden Ring (2022)

I can’t do a list of “games you should play instead of…” without including Elden Ring, because it’s the game you should be playing instead of every other game — it’s the best fantasy game that’s ever been released, and we can fight about it. It’s particularly great for wizards: The deep magic system lets you conjure elemental powers from the universe in ways that give you that elusive feeling of magic. Plus, spells are overpowered enough to take some of the edge off Elden Ring’s notoriously challenging boss fights.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Blade and Sorcery (2018)

Fantasy games often make medieval-style steel-on-steel combat seem like something out of a fairy tale, but Blade and Sorcery’s virtual reality combat is visceral to the point of being disturbing. Check out this video to see what I mean. While it’s known for its sword fighting, the sorcery part of Blade and Sorcery is cool too. It’s VR, so instead of hitting buttons, you use gestures to hurl fireballs, reverse gravity, and zap your enemies with electricity. Coolest of all, you can use telekinesis to grab your enemies and force them to stand before you while you hack their limbs off. OK, maybe that’s a bit much for Harry Potter babies, but us muggles have to get our aggression out somehow.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Meta Quest

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

If you’re into the more colourful, playful aspect of the Harry Potter universe, Breath of the Wild is the game for you. It features a huge open world map to explore, more quests and side quests than you’ll ever have time to complete, and some of the most memorable characters in video game history, but it lacks that oppressive, super-serious vibe that bogs down many “epic” video games.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (2013)

Dragon’s Dogma has everything you expect in an open-world fantasy RPG: swords, sorcery, monsters, and dragons, all occupying a huge, fantastic world ripped off from Tolkien. Yes, it’s been done a million times before, but that’s because it’s what the people want, godsdammit, and here at least, it’s done particularly well. Plus, Dragon’s Dogma’s story and world aren’t bound by the mythology created for a kids’ book 25 years ago.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

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