The Witcher 3 changed the way we talk about games.
Developer CD Project Red hit a jackpot with their open-world action role-playing, and several years after the release it is still being talked about. But there are no new The Witcher games in the nearest future, at least until the, already teased, The Witcher “4” eventually comes out in year 202X.
Faced with such a dire absence, one has to find other titles to get a fix of monster hunting, open world exploration, and dramatic stories. Be it Elden Ring, Monster Hunter, or perhaps something less obvious, many games can deliver to you The Witcher 3 vibes, depending on what you’re specifically looking for. But first, let’s see what made The Witcher 3 work.
What makes a “The Witcher 3 experience”?
There are many factors which contributed to the success of the TW3. One of them is certainly the setting: the Northern Kingdoms. Velen is torn by a war against Nilfgaard, and there are plenty of signs that neither side is big on mercy. The map itself is divided into several huge open regions, giving the players a lot of freedom in deciding the course of Geralt’s travels.
People were also drawn to the story and vivid characters, including the protagonist, Geralt of Rivia. Many have been following Geralt’s journey since 2007’s The Witcher one, and became invested in the old witcher’s trials and tribulations. TW3 brings the story to a close, with an ending the player worked over three games to achieve. The storyline, when it goes into full swing is dramatic and emotional, and resonated with many.
Finally, there’s the third-person perspective combat focused mostly on swords, but making allowances for fans of magic, alchemy and hand grenade.
|Elden Ring||2022-02-25||FromSoftware Inc.||21%|
|God Of War||2022-01-14||Santa Monica Studio||50%|
|Nioh Complete Edition||2017-11-07||KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.||79%|
|Nioh 2 The Complete Edition||2021-02-05||Team NINJA||57%|
|Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order||2019-11-15||Respawn Entertainment||74%|
|Elex II||2022-03-01||Piranha Bytes||73%|
|Fable Anniversary||2014-09-12||Lionhead Studios||52%|
|Ghost Of Tsushima Directors Cut||2021-08-20||Sucker Punch Productions|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||2020-08-07||Guerrilla||75%|
|Horizon Forbidden West||2022-02-18||Guerrilla Games||44%|
|Kingdoms Of Amalur Re Reckoning||2020-09-08||Kaiko||89%|
|The Legend Of Zelda Breath Of The Wild||2017-03-03||Nintendo||2%|
|Monster Hunter World||2018-08-09||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||80%|
|Outward||2019-03-26||Nine Dots Studio||79%|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||2019-11-05||Rockstar Games||73%|
|Sekiro Shadows Die Twice||2019-03-22||FromSoftware|
|The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition||2016-10-27||Bethesda Game Studios||77%|
|Fallout 3||2009-10-13||Bethesda Game Studios||67%|
|Fallout 4||2017-09-26||Bethesda Game Studios||84%|
|Fallout New Vegas||2010-10-21||Obsidian Entertainment||60%|
|Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen||2016-01-15||CAPCOM||86%|
|Dragon Age Inquisition||2014-11-18||BioWare||65%|
|Assassins Creed Origins||2017-10-27||Ubisoft Montreal|
|Assassins Creed Odyssey||2018-10-05||Ubisoft Quebec||83%|
|Assassins Creed Valhalla||2020-11-10||Ubisoft||75%|
|Kingdom Come Deliverance||2018-02-13||Warhorse Studios||88%|
|Middle Earth Shadow Of Mordor||2014-09-30||Feral Interactive (Linux)||79%|
|Middle Earth Shadow Of War||2017-10-10||Monolith Productions||88%|
|Mass Effect Legendary Edition||2021-05-14||BioWare||73%|
|Gothic Universe Edition||2006-10-13||Piranha – Bytes||83%|
|Risen Collection||Piranha Bytes||34%|
Studio FromSoftware’s latest grand hit, Elden Ring shakes up the Souls-like formula by spicing things up with a rich, detailed, intricately designed open world.
That’s right – you can go off road at your earliest convenience and go around doing quests for the weird people of the Lands between. Some of them are even interconnected, often in mysterious ways.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a FromSoft game if it didn’t have engaging combat system which tends to put to test everything you’ve learned up to that point. Although the general aesthetic and combat specifics make ER quite different from The Witcher 3, the open world, a faithful horse, and tons of content still make Elden Ring a worthwhile option if you’re starved for open worlds and swords.
Greedfall is an action RPG developed by Spiders. It takes places on the island of Teer Fradee, which is in the process of being colonized by several nations.
You begin as an agent of the Merchant Congregation, sent to the island to find a cure for malichor, a deadly plague troubling the continent. How you do it and who you ally yourself with, including the native population, is up to you.
Greedfall isn’t going for grand scale and endless hours of scouring the land for loot. However, if what kept you enjoying The Witcher 3 was the story and the dialogues, you might well with Spiders’ game to be quite satisfying. The game features a dynamic and diverse combat system with plenty of room for weapons, magic, and a tactical pause if you don’t want to rely on reflexes alone.
God of War
|Developer:||Santa Monica Studio|
2018’s God of War has quite a few things in common with The Witcher 3. It features a gruff protagonist who looks good with a beard, a great melee-oriented TPP combat.
It also matters a lot that while Geralt aims to save and guide Ciri, Kratos aims to protect and guide his son, Atreus, clumsy though that aim might be. Thankfully, Atreus is a much better shot, seeing how he uses a bow.
GoW soft-rebooted the series in a clver way. Instead of retconning anything, it simply moved Kratos to a place where there can be mostly free of the baggage of what happened in previous installments. Now Kratos hangs around in mythic Scandinavia, and the plot puts him, and his son, on collision course with numerous monsters and irritable Norse gods.
|Developer:||KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.|
White-haired protagonist? Check. Plenty of swords to pick for your build? Check. Monsters to slash? Check-check.
Sure, Nioh is based on Japanese folklore and history instead of being a fully fictional creation inspired by Slavic legends, but it doesn’t change the fact, that it’s a fantastic, and rather challenging, game your should give a chance to if you want to slash some monsters.
Nioh even includes more political plotting that you’d expect. While you won’t decide the fate of kingdoms, you will rub elbows with historical figures of the Sengoku period, and your hero, William Adams, has his own grudge to settle. Nioh’s big draw is the three stance system changing how William moves in combat, and the arsenal of weapon types with their own progression.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
A story from a Galaxy far away for people who installed the lightsaber mod to let Geralt become a Jedi.
Jedi: Fallen Order is a great action-adventure game set a few years after old man Palpatine orchestrated the downfall of Jedi and takeover of the galactic government. You’re playing as Cal Kestis, a Padawan survivor of Order 66 who has been hiding for 5 years, working as a scrapper.
Fallen Order lets you visit several distinct planets, including the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk and the home of Nightsisters, Dathomir. A lot of time is spent on exploration of large, mildly metroidvania-esque levels opening up as you gain new abilities. Sometimes it’s more plot, sometimes it’s useful or cool secrets. Who knows. Combat is more Souls-like in nature, but not quite as hard.
Elex (and Elex 2)
|Release:||2017-10-17 / 2022-03-01|
Some time ago a meteor crashed into planet Magalan, shattering a thriving civilisation.
On the upside, it brought the titular Elex with it, a substance which helped new societies to emerge and survive in the post-apocalyptic world. The game is a mix of genres, held together by the eponymous substance and Piranha Bytes’ practiced approach to making immersive open world games.
Elex is a solid open world game set in a curious, seemingly disjointed world with PB’s classic faction system and more than a few ending-defining choices to make as you, a former member of the villain faction, need to make. It doesn’t have the polish of The Witcher 3, but it’s worth checking out, especially if you enjoy exploration and verticality in your open world maps. There’s also a really good sequel!
Fable was a game with grand ambitions. And even though they weren’t all realised, the end result was still a very fun, memorable game.
After the short but momentous prologue you become a freshly minted Hero, hired by people of the land to solve their problems with animals, bandits, and threats to the idyllic Albion. And your hero will visibly change as his power and legend grows.
Increase your strength, and you’ll grow more muscular. Use magic a lot, and you’ll get glowing runes on your body. Even a moral stance you represent finds an appropriate visual expression. The world isn’t as open as The Witcher 3’s, and the choices are fewer, but where TW3 is a trip through a Slavic-inspired fantasy, Fable is a (much more cheerful) jaunt through mythic England.
Ghost of Tsushima
|Developer:||Sucker Punch Productions|
Unlike most other games on this list, Ghost of Tsushima is not set in a fictional setting. Instead it’s set on the island of Tsushima during the 13th century Mongol invasion of Japan.
You’re playing as Jin Sakai, a samurai who survived a disastrous battle against the invaders, and now tries to sabotage the Mongol forces and eliminate their leaders by any means necessary.
Once you’re out of the initial tutorial sequences, the world opens up and you can go out and explore the absurdly beautiful island in its fullness, discovering secrets, honouring shrines, and completing challenges in addition to pursuing the storyline. Although Jin’s fighting styles don’t look quite as graceful as Geralt’s, wading into an enemy camp and defeating everyone soundly is still very satisfying.
Horizon Zero Dawn (and Forbidden West)
With its recent arrival on PC there are even fewer reasons to avoid playing Horizon Zero Dawn. If hunting unnatural creatures in a beautiful open world is what you’re looking for, HZD has that in spades.
Although set in a post-apocalyptic science fiction world rather than a deliberately anachronistic fantasy one, there are enough features that can be of interest for a The Witcher 3 enthusiast.
Instead of a grizzled monster hunter Geralt, you’re playing as Aloy, a young woman trained in hunting robotic animals and turning them into useful parts. The story involves investigating what’s causing many robots to become actively aggressive and attack human settlements. During her journey Aloy will find crucial information about the past of the world she lives in, and this sense of discovery carries over to the sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.
Kingdoms of Amalur: (Re-)Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for a long time has been something of an underrated cult classic. It’s set in a place called Faelands, which shows clear inspiration with Celtic and Norse mythology.
Large parts of the setting were written by R. A. Salvatore, best known for his books about Drizzt Do’Urden. You’re playing as the Fateless One, a mortal resurrected through mysterious means in a conflicted land.
There are several distinct regions you get to visit and explore at leisure, although movement is slightly limited in some cases. There are also three skill groups for you to pursue: might, finesse, and magic, which map neatly to the Fighter, Rogue, and Mage archetypes, although in all cases you’re encouraged to use “class” specific weapons for regular, combo-building attacks.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2017’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is possibly one of the best open-world games in general, not just on its native Switch.
The land of Hyrule is massive, and Link, freshly out of a century-long sleep, has so much freedom in exploring it that nothing’s stopping him even from going straight to Calamity Ganon’s stronghold and trying to defeat his most famous antagonist.
The world feels incredibly reactive thanks to detailed physics engine encouraging experimentation and unorthodox solutions to problems. LoZ: BotW doesn’t have The Witcher’s dark grey atmosphere and harsh storylines, but it easily rivals TW3’s sense of immersion and the grand scale of the world. It also makes up for lack of alchemy with Link’s preternatural cooking skills providing useful bonuses.
Monster Hunter: World
|Developer:||CAPCOM CO., LTD.|
Whereas The Witcher 3 splits its attention between monsters and humans alike, Monster Hunter World doesn’t mess around and focuses its gameplay almost entirely on defeating huge beasts.
With its theme and combat system it would likely appeal not only to the fans of The Witcher 3 but also to Dark Souls enthusiasts, because large monsters require being patient and figuring out their movesets.
There are fourteen weapon types, each with a completely unique playstyle and niche, and a ton of different armour sets conferring useful skills. MHW also has something that other games on the list don’t: a special assignment featuring Geralt himself hunting a monster none of the local hunters are equipped to deal with. The mission even has dialogue options, unlike normal MHW gameplay. The game received an excellent Iceborne expansion, and in 2021 another game in the series came out on Switch (and then PC): an easier, smaller-scale Monster Hunter Rise.
|Developer:||Nine Dots Studio|
Outward’s world is one where nothing comes easy, least of all personal power.
In this way Outward’s setting isn’t too dissimilar from TW3’s Continent, which, despite having wizards and superhuman monster hunters, isn’t a high-fantasy place at all. You start out in debt you have only five days to pay back, and what happens afterwards is going to change the story ahead of you in some big ways.
Outward also does it’s best to be more realistic than many other RPGs, and applies this even to spellcasting, which isn’t as simple as pressing LMB to chuck bolts of fire at enemies. There are also three major factions your character can ally themselves with, in a move somewhat reminiscent of games like Risen or Gothic, or The Witcher 2. What it doesn’t have in graphics, it more than makes up for in complexity.
Red Dead Redemption 2
A total genre shift, true, but Red Dead Redemption 2 has a huge world you can completely lose yourself in, putting the main story off almost indefinitely if you so choose.
There may be no Gwent, but there’s plenty more things to do, including hunting rare wildlife, chasing bounties, and more. The world is incredibly detailed, with stunning graphics and detailed animations for almost every activity.
The gruff protagonist this time is Arthur Morgan, a member of a notorious gang led by Dutch van der Linde, whom many people familiar with the first RDR already know. Here we’re seeing the story of the group’s twilight years, and the prequel to the events of RDR. There’s also an online component, letting you play as your own outlaw, trying your luck in a world shared with dozens of other players.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die doesn’t have many similarities to The Witcher 3 in its gameplay, but there are some things that may resonate with people yearning for more Geralt in their lives.
The main character is nicknamed “Wolf”, which is nice, and the main story involves dealing with rescuing a younger protégé (in this case: a young noble Wolf is supposed to protect) and dealing with their mystic importance.
The game itself is a demanding action game, putting your skills against fast and deadly enemies, human and monster alike.
Sekiro’s combat system strongly relies on parrying and dodging to throw your enemies off balance and be able to move in for the killing blow. You also get a few cool gadgets which will substantially help you with your enemies, most of which are susceptible to certain tactics.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
|Developer:||Bethesda Game Studios|
Before The Witcher 3 arrived, Skyrim had been the biggest fish in the open-world RPG pond.
One of Bethesda’s most popular games, Skyrim lives on years later thanks to extensive modding community and Bethesda’s dedication to bringing it over to newer consoles with technical upgrades.
At your disposal is a large world filled with locations and activities, letting you roleplay anyone from an alchemist to a monster hunter, to a blacksmith. It’s lighter on story than TW3, but offers much more by way of immersion and roleplaying possibilities.
Fallout 3, New Vegas, 4
The Fallout series has some obvious, crucial differences from The Witcher 3.
The world is very different and follows a very different literary genre, but there are still elements both games have in common. For one, much like Skyrim, they feature a large world filled with NPCs and activities.
They differ a lot from game to game, but the common thread is that the maps are hardly empty of things to do. Both franchises also focus on an action-based combat system, even if Fallouts have a heavier emphasis on ranged combat than The Witcher 3. Fallout 4 even has a similar “find your missing child” storyline, which can get easily derailed by the side-activities typical for an open-world game.
If what has drawn you to The Witcher 3 are the monster fights, then Dragon’s Dogma should be right up your alley.
It’s more relevant to the topic than Monster Hunter: World thanks to its open-world structure and strong action role-playing underpinnings, including an occasionally weird storyline, sidequests, and character progression.
The Witcher 3 is undeniably a prettier game, but Dragon’s Dogma rivals it as far as designs are considered, and has it squarely defeated in terms of how good it feels to use weapons and magic. The Witcher’s oddly graceful death ballet has little on Dragon’s Dogma’s crunchy hits and ground-shaking impacts. Few are games better than The Witcher 3, but Dragon’s Dogma comes close just through the POWER of its combat.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is much more outwardly cheesy than The Witcher, but underneath the high fantasy facade there is a story dealing with some issues that The Witcher tackles too.
Discrimination of non-humans, war between religious fundamentalism and magic users, and a foreign power trying to get a foothold on the continent.
Of course the gameplay is very different: team-based and relatively tactical, with active pause, but Dragon Age: Inquisition has dramatic storytelling, quite a few beautiful locations, and a grand scope of events. There’s also a great cast of characters, both in and outside your field team, and you can romance many of them, in case you found romance in The Witcher 3 lacking in variety.
Assassin's Creed Origins, Odyssey & Valhalla
After a long time of making action-adventure recreations of medieval-to-modern cities, Ubisoft decided to take a couple of steps back in time, and a massive and risky leap forward in mechanics.
In Origins the developer decided to lean into RPG systems, and, seeing the success of this solution, turned the next game, Odyssey, into a full blown action RPG, and one taking obvious inspiration from The Witcher 3.
Now Assassin’s Creed games have a solid loot system always giving the players new toys to play with, extensive skill trees catering to different playstyles, and Odyssey puts a lot of story agency in players hands. If you want to play an RPG taking place in ancient Egypt or ancient Greece, that’s the way to do it, and if you want a more North-European option, AC Valhalla, the latest in the series, is even MORE similar to TW3.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Where The Witcher 3 felt realistic and believable due to its serious tone and story, Kingdom Come: Deliverance took pains to also be as realistic and historically accurate as possible.
You’ll engage in tense melee fights, learn how to read, and brew herbal potions. And all of it takes place in a quite faithfully recreated medieval Bohemia.
KCD doesn’t provide the sense of power that being Geralt does, but the general atmosphere of the world in both games is quite similar. Bohemia of KCD also feels very much alive, so much so that certain events can happen even without player’s input. Notably, KCD is a first-person perspective game, rather than TPP like The Witcher 3, but it shouldn’t take more than just a little time of getting used to.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor & Shadow of War
|Release:||2014-09-30 / 2017-09=27|
|Developer:||Feral Interactive (Linux)|
The Shadow of… series shares a fair bit with The Witcher 3. Both have a gruff, but roughly likeable protagonist, both feature improbable sword skills, and both have an open world littered with things to pick up and miniquests to deal with. Monolith’s games also have magically enhanced social engineering and, in Shadow of War, a subdued but hard to ignore strategic layer.
The Nemesis system allows Talion not only to always have a new foe to hunt him, but, mixed with the hierarchy of orc horde, lets Talion plant spies in Sauron’s army and exploit them when he sees fit. This is one of the pillars of Shadow of…’s loop, alongside combat, parkour, and gathering collectibles for upgrades.
Mass Effect Trilogy (Legendary Edition)
The Witcher games owe a fair bit of their story presentation to the standard BioWare established in their Mass Effect series.
ME was the first popular game to blend cutscenes with fully voiced, interactive dialogues to such a degree, and the conversation wheel became a standard for other action RPG games, The Witcher 3 included, even if there is no literal wheel being displayed..
The story of Commander Shepard leading a multi-species charge against a primordial threat coming from beyond the Milky Way galaxy definitely captures people’s attention, and the conversation scenes made for a very memorable presentation, emphasizing the personalities of companions and NPCs, and making conversations more dynamic.
The developers of The Witcher games cited the Gothic series as an inspiration for their games.
Which puts Risen, developed by the creator of Gothic, as an obvious candidate for this list. Risen gives the player a large island to explore, several factions to navigate, and an ancient mystery to uncover.
If what you loved most about The Witcher 3 was the world itself, then you’ll likely take a shine to Risen. No markers, no minimap, plenty of ways of engaging with the environment, functional climbing, diverse biomes, and tailor-made loot waiting for the most dedicated explorers make traversing the island of Faranga pleasant, worthwhile, and entertaining.
|Developer:||CD PROJEKT RED|
In the absence of The Witcher 4 (although a new The Witcher game WAS announced in 2022), there is only one recourse for the fans of CD Projekt Red’s productions is their next game.
Although Cyberpunk 2077 had a rough launch, technical issues didn’t affect the engaging transhumanist story, interesting characters, and the scope and depth of the city we get to spend our time in.
Cyberpunk 2077 is based on a tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020, and takes place almost entirely in Night City, a metropolis controlled by gangs and corporations. Unlike The Witcher 3, CP2077 is be a first-person perspective game, although fans of slicing people up with sword can find a proper Cyberpunk katana.
A round of Gwent?
Thus concludes our list of games similar to The Witcher 3 which may fill a part of the void left in your heart after completing CD Projekt Red’s hit game. Are there other RPGs like The Witcher 3? Certainly, but this list takes from the top. We hope we sufficiently helped you find the next title to play, one sharing your favourite features of The Witcher 3.