If only we could go back to a time when we weren’t all a bit embarrassed by the franchise, eh? Well, with video games, you can! Picture it: it’s 2004. Things haven’t all gone terribly wrong yet. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is in the cinema, the best Harry Potter film yet (and to this day, if you ask me). And it has a video game tie-in!
The first couple of HP games (HP not for the sauce, although please tell me immediately if there is a HP Sauce branded series of video games) weren’t half bad, although hindsight is a hell of a drug. But the Prisoner of Azkaban game was the first one that made the castle feel like an actual place. You could run around and fire spells all over the place -- and there were loads of secret passages and rooms to find, just like real Hogwarts. Although in virtual Hogwarts they mostly just have a Chocolate Frog collectible card in them.
Best of all was that I could go down into the grounds and go flying on buckbeak the Hippogriff. The architecture of the castle was just advanced enough that I could make him do loop under the bridges, which was all I wanted really.