Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(GameCube, PS2, Xbox; Electronic Arts; Everyone) It’s year two at Hogwarts for our plucky boy wizard, but unlike last year’s round of Potter games — at best pedestrian treatments unworthy of even a Muggle — Secrets draws its strength from the magical powers of the Big Three consoles. Though the game missteps in the early going (why, in the name of Dumbledore, is the book’s flying-car sequence relegated to a noninteractive cut scene?), the action picks up as you guide Harry through the Whomping Willow, the Dueling Club, and the showdown with You-Know-Who. For Quidditch fans, there’s a thrilling version of the aerial sport. Extra house points to the PS2 version for letting you zoom around campus willy-nilly on your Nimbus 2000.