Moral ambiguity and complex themes are the norms for The Witcher video game franchise, with each installment exploring its fair share of morally grey areas in a world that’s in constant chaos. The series’ protagonist, monster-hunter Geralt, is the perfect representation of what the series is all about – an equal parts outcast and superhero who’s called upon to take care of messes that ordinary men simply cannot, or rather, should not mess with.
In terms of storytelling, gameplay, and sheer richness of detail, The Witcher series arguably has no equal. Perhaps that’s why many consider it as the best RPG franchise in years if not in history. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end – if only temporarily.
With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as well as its two expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, having already been out for years now, it’s safe to say that most of The Witcher fans have played through the entire trilogy at least once. Plus, with the game’s developers, CD Projekt Red, fully focused on the development of what’s looking like another blockbuster of a video game franchise in Cyberpunk 2077, we probably won’t be seeing a fourth Witcher game anytime soon.
Fortunately, if you’re missing out on some “The Witcher” action, replays and re-runs aren’t your only choice. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best games that can help scratch that The Witcher itch of yours quite well.
1. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Was this ever really any surprise?
The Elder Scrolls, in particular, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, has always been compared to The Witcher franchise, especially when both of each franchise’s latest single-player titles first released. Plus, it also doesn’t help that CD Project Red themselves confirmed how Skyrim inspired the way they designed the in-game world.
If you take a look at the world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, it comes as of no surprise. The world is open, free, and full of detail, similar to Skyrim.
Now, as for The Elder Scrolls games, each game takes years to develop, and it’s easy to see why. Bethesda tried their best to outdo themselves with every release, as each new installment gave players a seemingly endless number of sites to explore, dungeons to raid, and powers to wield and unlock.
The Elder Scrolls games are one of the few games where you could spend hundreds of hours playing and it wouldn’t be enough. These games are just that immersive. But, in the off-chance that you do happen to clear the entire game, there’s a boatload of endgame content available in the form of community-made mods, all of which help add more depth and lore to the game, while others simply help make the gameplay and look a lot better.
If you’re looking for the ultimate vanilla experience with little, to no modding required, the latest entry, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is the perfect game for you. But, if you’re willing to jump through a couple of hoops and update the look of the older titles, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrow and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, are well worth sinking hundreds of years to just the same.
2. Dragon Age
The hype surrounding the entire Dragon Age franchise seems to be close to nonexistent these days. Most people don’t even really remember them. But, at one point over the past decade, they were right up there along with The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher, as the RPG franchises to beat in the video game industry.
Perhaps it’s the release of the lackluster Dragon Age II that’s to blame for scarring the franchise’s reputation within the gaming community. Thankfully, Dragon Age: Inquisition corrects all of that and delivers a rightful sequel, complete, with a more robust combat system, that gives players plenty of tricks to use in combat and take down their foes. Also, Dragon Age: Inquisition is open-world too, with an RPG-inspired leveling and class system and a party that lets you swap between which members you want to play as.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having “four Geralts” at your disposal, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and to some extent, the original Dragon Age, will let you do just that.
3. Red Dead Redemption
Shooting lawmen and robbing trains make for quite the surprising substitute for slaying banshees and griffins, as you’ll soon discover while playing any one of the Red Dead Redemption games.
A game cut from the same open-world cloth as that of The Witcher series, each franchise’s latest entries, Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, respectively, are must-plays for gamers who enjoy a true open-world experience (who doesn’t?).
With an expansive world and plenty of quests for you to do, Red Dead Redemption 2 alone should be enough to tide you over for the next couple of months.
4. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
For a franchise that once prided itself on historical accuracy, Assassin’s Creed has come a long way towards the opposite end.
Whether or not it is for the good of the franchise is up for debate. But, years after the release of the well-received first five titles of the franchise, Ubisoft finally decided to go all-in on the open-world formula with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
No longer as tethered to the conflict between the Templars and Assassins – both factions still exist, but they’re no longer as central to the game’s story as before – Assassin’s Creed: Origins signaled the start of a renaissance of sorts for the struggling franchise. But, while Assassin’s Creed: Origins helped renew fan interest in the series, it was Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey that drove the point home and proved that the franchise can thrive by embracing the complete opposite of what it used to stand for.
Open-world and non-linear gameplay is the name of the game in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey as the franchise’s latest title becomes a full-fledged RPG.
Combining the best aspects of the well-liked Assassin’s Creed: Origins with what made the fan-favorite but divisive Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag so infamous, the latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise will have you diving in head-first into a similarly dark and complex but incredibly immersive world as with The Witcher franchise.
5. The Fallout Series
What happens if the world’s foremost superpowers said “to hell with it” and decided to nuke each other? That’s how you get The Fallout franchise!
A series that came back to life with the release of Fallout 3, the premise of the entire Fallout franchise is to have players in the shoes of a “vault dweller”, someone who’s been living underground for years and finds himself or herself outside for the first time, and often, on his or her own. From then on, things are pretty straightforward.
You traverse through the bleak and barren wasteland while exploring what’s left of humanity, all these while trying to defend yourself from mutated creatures that have been exposed to radiation.
The Fallout franchise certainly has seen better days. The latest entry, Fallout 76, has made many fans of the franchise lose hope. But, if you’re new to the series, Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout: New Vegas, are all totally worth playing, especially if you’re a huge fan of The Witcher series.
You may ask, what The Witcher and The Fallout franchise have in common? Both games take place in entirely different areas, after all.
Well, for starters, both series put an emphasis on open-world and open-ended gameplay. In both games, players get to choose what they want to do and deal with the consequences later on. Players literally decide their fate and of the people around them in both games. Not to mention, both have a lot of depth and content and are each capable of sucking you into their immersive universes quite easily.
If you’re looking for another time sink that shares similarities with The Witcher franchise, Bethesda’s Fallout games should be right up your alley.
6. Monster Hunter World
Open and expansive world? Check.✔
Complex mechanics and combat system? Definitely.✔
Plenty of monsters to hunt down and slay? Say no more!✔
If the monster hunting aspect of The Witcher games, specifically, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was what drew you into the franchise, then you’ll feel right at home in Monster Hunter World.
Just keep in mind, unlike in The Witcher games, playing solo in Monster Hunter World is ill-advised because the monsters that you’ll be slaying are no slouch. You’ll need help from both friends and strangers alike to traverse the world. However, considering how perfectly the co-operative gameplay is executed and with an addictive progression system to boot, you’ll have plenty of players to play with, regardless of wherever you are in the world.
Plus, thanks to a crossover event, you can literally play as Geralt of Rivia in Monster Hunter World.
7. Fable Anniversary
Some games are just built to stand the test of time.
The first Fable game, otherwise known as Fable Anniversary after a re-make was re-released in 2014, ten years after the first went into the market in 2004, was way ahead of its time in terms of mechanics, gameplay, and storytelling.
Featuring an ambitious and ambiguous morality system that would not be seen in video games until many years later, Fable literally put the fate of the world (and even their appearance) in their hands. How monstrous the player becomes the more he or she breaks the law, and this was pretty groundbreaking for its time, and it’s still a nifty mechanic to this day.
In a way, you could argue that Fable was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt of its time.
Featuring wildly engrossing narratives, a well thought of antagonist, as well as a complex combat system, playing the first Fable game is a blast to the past that any fan of The Witcher franchise would welcome with open arms.
8. Horizon Zero Dawn
If challenging open-world games with a strong bad-ass, but still, a complicated lead is what you’re after, Horizon Zero Dawn definitely deserves your time to check out.
Horizon Zero Dawn’s solid combination of an expansive world, RPG elements, robust combat system, as well as mind-blowing visuals, and some of the most unforgettable characters in gaming all feel Witcher-ish, which is reason enough for you to give it a try.
But more than sharing some similarities to The Witcher franchise, specifically, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, this PlayStation exclusive is its own game as well.
Following the adventures of Aloy and her quest to free the world from its electronically-driven overlords, as well as the evil minds behind it, Horizon Zero Dawn will take you an all-too-familiar but also wildly unique trip.
9. Divinity Original Sin 2
If you’re willing to trade The Witcher’s more personal gameplay experience for top-down gameplay without losing out on an incredibly deep and long narrative that doesn’t feel boring any bit, feel free to jump right into Divinity Original Sin 2.
A game built for hardcore tabletop and old-school RPG fans, Divinity Original Sin 2 lets up to four players experience the vibrant and interesting world of Rivellon.
There’s not much to say about Divinity Original Sin 2 as there is to recommend that you experience it firsthand.
Be warned. A couple of dozen hours just won’t do it for Divinity Original Sin 2. You might need to invest a lot more time on this one.
Last, but certainly not the least, Middle-Earth is composed of two brilliantly executed – if divisive games – that blend in quite well in the gaming library of any player who thoroughly enjoyed The Witcher’s darker elements.
Set in J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War are both open-world experiences that are perfect for both fans and non-fans of the expansive fictional series.
In both games, you’ll play as Talion, a former Ranger who’s out for revenge after his family and friends were massacred by the Orcs and Uruks under the command of Sauron. Although both game’s storyline pales in comparison to that of The Witcher, the satisfying combat system and varied gameplay, as well as open-world, should satisfy any fan of The Witcher franchise.
If nothing else, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War should let you live what it would be like if Geralt of Rivia could move a lot more freely in combat.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt blew away gamers from all over the world when it was first released way back in 2015. If it was the last game of The Witcher franchise, then CD Project Red definitely ended things with a huge bang.
While we do believe that Cyberpunk 2077 will be great in its own right, it won’t be The Witcher. But, then again, could any game ever be? Even a sequel to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would be saddled with unrealistic but understandable expectations.
With that said, these 10 Witcher-like games that we rounded up should be similar enough to help you to fill the gap that one of the best RPG franchises of all time left in our hearts.