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 on the horizon, so one has to find other titles to get a fix of monster hunting, open world exploration, and dramatic stories.

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.

Elex

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2017
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperPiranha Bytes

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 game

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.

Key features
  • Three playable factions and one antagonistic faction
  • Hand-crafted open world
  • More vertically oriented than other PB games
  • Predefined protagonist

Fable

PC
Xbox
Xbox 360
Release year:2004, 2014 (Anniversary)
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperBig Blue Box Studios, Lionhead Studios

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.

Fable III (PC) - characters

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.

Key features
  • Your character morphs smoothly as he develops
  • Customisable equipment
  • Roleplaying both through choices and spontaneous interactions like emotes and titles
  • The Anniversary edition updated the game to be suitable for newer systems

Ghost of Tsushima

PlayStation 4
Release year:2020
Genre:Action-adventure, stealth
DeveloperSucker Punch Productions

Unlike most other games in 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.

ghost of tsushima screenshot

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 gearlt’s, wading into an enemy camp and defeating everyone soundly is still very satisfying.

Key features
  • Tsushima island’s beauty cannot be overstated
  • You can discover secret location through diagetic clues
  • You can approach challenges in open combat or through stealth and sabotage if you want
  • The primary antagonist is Genghis Khan’s grandson

Horizon Zero Dawn

PC
PlayStation 4
Release year:2017
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperGuerrilla Games

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.

Horizon Zero Dawn cyber giraffe

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 discover crucial information about the past of the world she lives in.

Key features
  • A stunning open-world adventure with unique fauna
  • Satisfying hunting systems
  • Interesting storyline
  • Solid expansion

Kingdoms of Amalur: (Re-)Reckoning

PC
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4 (only Re-Reckoning)
Xbox 360
Xbox One (only Re-Reckoning)
Release year:2012, 2020 (only Re-Reckoning)
Genre:Action role-playing, hack and slash
Developer38 Studios, Big Huge Games, Kaiko (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. Lage 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.

Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning screenshot

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.

Key features
  • Vivid, detailed setting
  • Got remastered for modern system and released under the Re-Reckoning title
  • Interesting storyline
  • Non-linear progression

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch
Release year:2017
Genre:Action-adventure
DeveloperNintendo EPD

2017’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is possibly one of the best open-world games of its time 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.

legdend of zelda link

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.

Key features
  • Sprawling open world
  • Physics engine allows you to do some really impressive and complex manoeuvres
  • Much more free-form and open than previous games in the series
  • Many collectibles and ways to gain improve Link’s abilities

Monster Hunter: World

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2018
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperCapcom

Whereas The Witcher 3 splits its attention on 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.

Monster Hunter: World - water fighting

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.

Key features
  • Each weapon changes substantially how you fight
  • Excellent monster design
  • The locations look great and feature many useful shortcuts
  • Armour and weapon designs look great

Outward

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2019
Genre:Role-playing
DeveloperNine Dots

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 it back, and what happens afterward is going to change the story ahead of you in some big ways.

Outward

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 makes up for in complexity.

Key features
  • Interesting spellcasting system
  • Multiple outcomes to many quests
  • Death isn’t the only thing that can happen when you lose health
  • No save scumming only auto-saves

Red Dead Redemption 2

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2018
Genre:Action-adventure
DeveloperRockstar Studios

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 thing 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.

rdr2 screenshot

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.

Key features
  • An excellent western in its own right
  • Stunningly detailed
  • Prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption
  • A stunning number of activities and ways to interact with the world

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

PC
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release year:2019
Genre:Action-adventure
DeveloperFromSoftware

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.

sekiro stealth

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 a specific tactics.

Key features
  • A gruff man called Wolf searches for a young person holding unique power. Sounds familiar?
  • Combat system demands good timing
  • Introduces myths and legends to the historical Sengoku period setting
  • Interesting storyline with several possible endings

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release year:2011
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperBethesda 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.

Skyrim

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.

Key features
  • Large world in which to make your own story
  • Plenty of things to do: alchemy, mining, crafting, and much more
  • Two parallel key storylines: reborn dragons and civil war
  • Action-packed, first- or third-person perspective combat

Fallout 3, New Vegas, 4

Release year:2008 (FO3), 2010 (FNV), 2011 (FO4)
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios, Obsidian Entertainment (only FNV)

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.

Fallout video game

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.

Key features
  • Open-world environment filled with activities
  • Action-filled melee and ranged combat
  • Choices affect the world and the endings
  • Incredibly moddable

Dragon’s Dogma

Release year:2012
Genre:Action role-playing, hack-and-slash
DeveloperCapcom

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 a curious storyline, sidequests, and character progression.

Dragon's Dogma game

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 it feels to use weapons. The Witcher’s oddly graceful death ballet has little on Dragon’s Dogma’s crunchy hits and ground-shaking impacts.

Key features
  • Unexpectedly deep and disturbing mythos
  • An open world to explore and cleanse of monsters
  • 9 diverse classes with unique abilities
  • Very satisfying character creation process

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Release year:2014
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperBioWare

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 does too. Discrimination of non-humans, war between religious fundamentalism and magic users, and a foreign power trying to get a foothold in the continent.

Dragon Age Inquisition

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.

Key features
  • Several large open-world areas with their own stories
  • One of the most worthwhile crafting system in aRPGs
  • Epic scale of the story and cinematic cutscenes
  • You get to be a commander of a powerful organisation

Assassin’s Creed Origins & Odyssey

Release year:2017 (Origins), 2018 (Odyssey)
Genre:Action role-playing, stealth
DeveloperUbisoft Montreal (Origins), Ubisoft Quebec (Odyssey)

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.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Now Assassin’s Creed games have a solid loot system giving the players always a new toy 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.

Key features
  • Huge world to explore, and plenty of monuments to climb
  • Combat system more engaging than in previous AC games
  • Stories about the times before the Assassin order
  • Interesting protagonists with strong personalities

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Release year:2018
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperWarhorse Studios

Where The Witcher 3 felt realistic and believable due to its serious tone and story, Kingdom Come: Deliverance took pains to 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.

Kingdom Come Deliverance

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.

Key features
  • Realistic and brutal: a faithful recreation of medieval Bohemia
  • Innovative melee combat system
  • From zero to “someone who might be a bit useful”
  • The events don’t wait for you to appear on the scene

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor & Shadow of War

Release year:2014 (Mordor), 2017 (War)
Genre:Action-adventure, hack-and-slash, action-roleplaying
DeveloperMonolith Productions

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 strategic layer.

Middle-Earth Shadow of War

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.

Key features
  • Responsive and spectacular combat system
  • Nemesis system
  • Shadow of War features tons of loot
  • Inspired by Tolkien’s work and set in the world he created

Mass Effect trilogy

Release year:2007 (ME1), 2010 (ME2), 2012 (ME3)
Genre:Action role-playing, third-person shooter
DeveloperBioWare

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.

Mass Effect 2

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.

Key features
  • Dramatic storytelling
  • One of the iconic protagonists of modern gaming
  • Cover-based third-person action-RPG shooter
  • Choices and consequences transfer between games

Risen

Release year:2009, 2012, 2014
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperPiranha Bytes

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.

Risen

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.

Key features
  • You can go nearly anywhere, if you can survive the experience
  • Three distinctive factions to pick from
  • Engaging crafting systems
  • No RNG

Cyberpunk 2077

Release year:2020
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperCD Project Red

In the absence of The Witcher 4, there is only one recourse for the fans of CD Projekt Red’s productions is their next game. Although any information about it remains limited and the full scope won’t unveil until it’s release in 2020, it’s reasonable to expect that the depth of the world and the attention to detail will be comparable to those of The Witcher 3.

CP 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is based on a tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020, and will take place almost entirely in Night City, a metropolis controlled by gangs and corporations. Unlike The Witcher 3, CP2077 will be a first-person perspective game, although fans of slicing people up with sword will get a proper Cyberpunk katana.

Key features
  • First-person perspective action RPG
  • Set in the future of a classic tabletop RPG setting
  • Takes place in a massive city of the future
  • Reactive and complex storyline


A round of Gwent?

Thus concludes our list of games 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.