The Witcher games – a world-famous computer role-playing franchise based on the fantasy books of Andrzej Sapkowski, which has already been released in three parts. The title was released by the Polish studio CD Projekt Red and it was their official debut on the gaming market. It is also a studio currently known for developing Cyberpunk 2077.

Geralt is a professional monster killer armed with two swords, who, traversing dark passages, engages in various private stories of the characters he meets, as well as in political matters of great importance. The title became famous for the unique Slavic style of the game and complicated decisions, the making of which has a significant impact on the further plot. Geralt, although not very talkative, is nevertheless an exceptionally distinctive character and it was certainly one of the features that captured the hearts of the players.

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However, is it necessary to know the story of the books to be able to start enjoying the gameplay in the world of the fearless Witcher? Do games follow the books? And which part can be considered as the best Witcher game out of all series by far? This quick guide will answer these and other questions.

The Witcher

PC
Xbox One
Release year:2007
Genre:action role-playing
DeveloperCD Projekt Red
Game modesSingle-player

The Witcher – the first part of the game series released in 2007. The plot of the game takes place after the events known from the books and basically presents a completely new timeline of Geralt’s adventures because he was also affected by amnesia. All events that took place in his past, as well as the characters he met and their presence in the game, are constantly explained.

In short, the plot of this part is the return of Geralt to the Kaer Morhen fortress, which was raided by a mysterious organization. The witcher sets off on a journey to retrieve stolen items and learn more about his own past. The game is very enjoyable from the very beginning because Geralt is endowed with great strength and experience from the start, which he develops even more during the game. The plot, in addition to the extensive main story, offers many interesting side quests that make the entire game extremely engaging. It is also full of numerous small treats, such as collecting cards of completed love conquests.

Key features
  • Discover Geralt’s story from the very beginning
  • Get drawn into the dark world of Slavic creatures, magic, and politics
  • Make complicated choices and decide the fate of this world

The Witcher 2

PC
Xbox One
Release year:2011
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperCD Projekt Red
Game modesSingle-player

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – the second part of a computer RPG by CD Projekt Red, this time based on their original engine – the RED Engine. We return to the land of the witcher called Temeria where Geralt becomes involved in a complicated political plot in which a mysterious man known as the Kingslayer takes part.

the witcher ii burning city

This time, even more depends on the decisions made by the player, because there are already a dozen possible versions of the game endings, and in his hands lays the fate of the citizens of several kingdoms. The combat system has been greatly improved, so now you can enjoy using new moves and dodges, as well as explosives or magic.

Character development is based on gaining experience from quests but also using magic, fighting, or preparing new potions. In fact, even conversations and interactions with other characters constantly contribute to the development of the hero, and this can be real fun because in this part of the game the creators revived not only the graphics but also random NPCs encountered on the streets.

Key features
  • Learn more about the fate of Geralt and the world around him
  • Experience the improvements introduced by the creators – dynamic combat, new locations, and upgraded graphics
  • Use magic and explosives in combat
  • Meet the new heroes of the series

The Witcher 3

PC
Xbox One
Release year:2015
Genre:Action role-playing
DeveloperCD Projekt Red
Game modesSingle-player

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – the third and most famous part of Geralt’s story, released in 2015. The adventures of the courageous witcher break down into several threads in this title: political conflicts, Nilfgaard’s invasion on the kingdoms of the North, search for the Wild Hunt, and following Ciri’s trail.

Witcher 3

In this part, you can explore the open world, even ignore the main plots for a moment, and devote yourself to doing side quests, or get hooked on a card game called Gwent. New locations appear, the world is extensive and detailed. A combat system has been developed, Geralt can use both melee or ranged weapons, hits can be blocked, dodged, and the fight can be stopped at all.

The character development system is completely arbitrary, but in this part, you can also improve your magic, alchemy, crafting skills, and many more. The adventures and all the events that take place on your path have a real impact on the further plot of the game. You have an influence on the environment, the lives of other characters, villages, and kingdoms. Any decisions you make may have serious consequences. The Witcher 3 has also been supplemented with two DLC’s: Blood and Wine and Heart of Stone, which offer a significant expansion of the plot granted by the basic version of the game.

Key features
  • Play a game that got a Game of the Year title and many other awards
  • Explore the most open world in the history of The Witcher so far
  • Decide what you are doing at the moment – take quests, kill monsters, have conversations, travel, or play Gwent – have fun
  • See how your decisions have a real impact on the surrounding reality

Do I need to read books to understand what games are all about?

No, the knowledge of Andrzej Sapkowski’s story placed in books is not required at this point, because Geralt in the first part of the games suffers from amnesia and does not remember what happened at the stage of his life corresponding to the plot of the books. Nevertheless, reading can always help you feel into this unique, nuanced world.

Should I play The Witcher games in order?

There is no such necessity. Yes, the second part has many references to the events of the first part, but these are small flavours, the ignorance of which will not have any impact on the gameplay and understanding of the events.

Similarly, if you are completely oblivious of the story of the books and the first two parts of The Witcher game and you just want to play The Witcher 3 right away. Each of the parts is basically a completely independent story and each can be treated as a separate game.

However, if you suspect that you may like this world, it is worth starting with the first part and then continuing chronologically until the third. This method will allow you to notice more details and see for yourself how the studio has developed the game over the years.

Which part of The Witcher is the best?

To be honest, at the moment The Witcher 3 is the best. It is the most polished and allows the greatest freedom of choice in terms of both decisions and character development. And although several years have passed since the release, the performance of this game is still at the highest level. All this is evidenced by numerous awards, including the Game of the Year Edition title, in this matter, The Witcher 3 has surpassed all other greatest titles in history.

However, it is worth remembering that The Witcher 1 was also a breakthrough event in the gaming environment. Unlike its successors, it was distinguished by an extremely dark atmosphere, in all parts the closest to the mood known from the books. The Witcher 2, on the other hand, is a fictional treat that may appeal to fans of the entire series due to the previously mentioned references to The Witcher 1.

So as you can see, it all depends on the approach to the topic and how much time you are willing to spend exploring the series. Just like Geralt in the game – you have the perfect freedom of choice.