It’s now been a staggering five years since The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt released, but even today you’re sure to find players still discussing it in-depth. Whether that’s due to the variety of its open fantasy setting, the uniqueness of its characters or the sheer amount of stuff there is to do, it’s easy to see why most people consider it to be one of the greatest games ever released.
Developer CDProjektRed has, of course, now turned its sights on all things futuristic and is hard at work trying to get Cyberpunk 2077 out of the door. But if you’re still in the mood to satisfy a similar itch you had when experiencing Geralt’s third and final outing, below you’ll find our list of the 10 best games like The Witcher 3 – primed and ready to let the fantasy magic live on.
10. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Monolith’s first attempt at a Lord of the Rings prequel framed as an open-world action game was a rollicking success, proving that you didn’t need the likes of Frodo, Aragorn or Legolas to tell an intriguing original story set in Tolkein’s iconic universe. Talion might not be the most charismatic fantasy hero, but then neither is Geralt. No, in a similar way to The Witcher 3 it’s the world and how you approach it that makes Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor a gritty action-adventure worth sharpening your blade for.
Taking place between the 60-year gap between the events of The Hobbit and the main trilogy, you’ll explore Mordor’s two diverse regions as Talion while seeking revenge against Sauron and his evil forces for striking down your wife and son. What follows is a varied journey of the grittiest kind, stacked with satisfying stealth and third-person combat – a la the Arkham series – that is infinitely elevated by the pioneering Nemesis system. It’s this that lets you form bitter grudges against any orc you come across, adding extra weight to Talion’s revenge quest in a similar way to The Witcher 3.
9. Dragon Age: Inquisition
The much-beloved Dragon Age series came out in the biggest way at the start of the PS4/Xbox One generation of consoles, casting players as a newly detailed version of Thedas as a character known only as “The Inquisitor” who must unite and work with all the region’s races to fight back a new evil threat. Dragon Age: Inquisition’s world is almost as vibrant and deep as the one featured in The Witcher 3, only here you’re able to experience it alongside constant companions. They’ll boast abilities different to your own, letting you approach battle scenarios uniquely.
The mission design in Dragon Age: Inquisition is equally varied, seeing you and your crew do everything from taking part in large-scale battles to quite literally travelling through time. Similar to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, every inch of Bioware’s third Dragon Age game is packed with meaningful side missions, engrossing character quests and a flurry of different creatures to take on. Expect to spend upwards of 50 hours playing as the Inquisitor attempting to close the mysterious breach – even more if you want to see everything.
8. Dragon’s Dogma
This cult classic fantasy game developed and published by Capcom in 2012 largely went under the radar when it initially released. However, the newer, expanded version of Dragon’s Dogma named Dark Arisen has been gradually making its way to current platforms, helping the next generation of players experience its RPG delights. Differentiating itself from other fantasy action games of its ilk is the pawn system, which allows you to recruit avatars created by other real-world players to find alongside you.
Anyone that loves The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is sure to find battling through the grim dark world of Gransys similarly enthralling, not least once you master the game’s hack and slash combat and grab mechanic that can even see you ride on the backs of enemies. Geralt of Rivia’s popular journey kicks off with a battle with a Griffin early on, and Dragon’s Dogma equally pits you against them and many more creatures as you eventually strengthen up your character to defeat the dragon Grigori.
7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
While it’s hard to imagine there still being anyone yet to have delved into Skyrim’s many mysteries, it is in many ways the perfect companion piece to CDProjectRed’s magnum opus thanks to its slew of varied quest lines, engrossing story and infinitely beautiful landscapes. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues to stand the test of time (and be ported to pretty much every platform) because there is so much to do and see, and being able to choose how to do it is never dictated by the game but by yourself. Will you venture underground to take up vampiric duties or master the ways of the wizard? The choice is yours.
You might end up taking a few arrows to the knee while on your quest but it’ll no doubt be worth it, as you become accustomed to various fantasy institutions present throughout Skyrim and fulfil your destiny of the Dragonborn. Much like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim isn’t a game you want to rush through, rewarding those who explore dungeons and towns at their own steady pace. It still plays great despite being almost a decade old, especially in its remastered version.
6. Monster Hunter: World
Some of the most thrilling instances you’ll play in The Witcher 3 is when you go up against giant mythical creatures like Griffins and Leshers. Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has made it it’s mission to have these ginormous epic battles it’s main centrepiece, requiring squads of players to continually upgrade and improve their gear as they prepare to take on the next beastie. Monster Hunter: World for PS4 and Xbox One represents the very peak of the concept, seeing this once niche franchise very much enter the mainstream thanks to some increased accessibility and an all-new graphical engine.
The range of beasts you’ll come across in Monster Hunter: World is one of the largest featured in any previous title, forcing you and a team of three others to adapt accordingly in order to take down monsters as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s easily one of the best-looking entries on this list, too, right up there with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to help you stay engrossed in this large-scale action. Plus, if you’re still left wanting for a challenge, Monster Hunter: World’s Iceborne DLC adds a new tundra-like area with plenty more to see.
5. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur is yet another cult classic fantasy RPG about to get a second wind thanks to an upcoming re-release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s worth checking out, too, as it serves as an incredibly rich RPG that centres heavily on choosing your class, letting you tailor your gameplay using robust class and skill tree systems. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sees you upgrade and improve Geralt extremely similarly, ensuring that no one player’s experience ever need play out the same.
The game gets its subtitle from its self-proclaimed ‘Reckoning Mode’, which will see the action temporarily slow down so you can dispatch enemies much faster. This you’ll trigger after accumulating enough fate points and will render you a much fiercer hero once you start levelling up. If you’re done with The Witcher 3 and want to maintain the Fantasy magic via an underrated gem, look no further than Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
If there was ever a game that could comfortably rival The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the title of “greatest open-world game ever made” it would be The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a very different experience to Geralt’s final outing, sure, but its world is equally vast with cool objectives and intriguing characters to seek out. Breath of the Wild very much flipped the script for the Zelda formula, presenting the first true open adventure for the now iconic Link to embark on.
The version of Hyrule featured here is noticeably melancholic in a similar way to The Witcher 3’s, only here you’re not given much direction at all and are instead encouraged to climb anything and everything to truly forge your path as a hero. Breath of the Wild could easily net you upwards of 100 hours of gameplay, whether that’s spent hunting down korok seeds, completing the divine beasts or finding the best armour sets to prepare yourself for every situation. You’ve forged your way through The Witcher 3’s continent, now get ready to restore the kingdom of Hyrule.
3. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was such a tentpole release back in 2015, it’s highly likely that those who enjoyed it had never played the two games released beforehand. And while the first Witcher title is a little creaky by today’s standards, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is very much the spark that would go on to light the series ablaze and put CDProjektRed on the map. Played on an Xbox One X via backwards compatibility, this second game still delivers a deep and enthralling story set in the world of The Continent that looks great.
Combat in Assassins of Kings works similarly to The Witcher 3 in that it centres heavily on magic and swordplay, making it easy for players craving some more Geralt action to slip back into the flow of things without any friction. The story follows the eponymous hero’s journey to track down a mysterious assassin known only as the Kingslayer, eventually twisting and turning until Geralt is forced to question everything he thought he knew. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a worthy predecessor to the 2015 modern classic and is well worth a look.
2. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
2017 marked a significant year for the longstanding Assassin’s Creed franchise, seeing the series perform quite a substantial heel turn that saw it wholly transform from stealth simulator to a full-blown open-world RPG – and you don’t ever have to look too far to see The Witcher 3’s influence. Origins casted you as Bayek to explore a sprawling Egypt, but really it was in 2018 where this genre shift was fully realised in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Letting you play as a male or female protagonist of Spartan descent, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey places you in a wildly imaginative version of Ancient Greece on a journey to track down your parents. Doing so involves taking down enemy outposts, exploring islands by crossing the high seas and just generally being an all-round warrior badass. Most of the systems and mechanics first introduced in Origins reach their potential here, resulting in one of the most in-depth and beautiful open world games available to get lost in.
1. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Having slaved away on the militaristic Killzone series of first-person shooters for multiple years, Guerilla Games was finally let off the leash in 2017 to go off and create a wholly original and unique blockbuster IP. The result was Horizon: Zero Dawn, which throws you hundreds of years into the future as Aloy into a world where mechanical dinosaurs roam the environment. Finding out why and how they’re there serves as the main crux of this journey. It just so happens that taking them on directly is always rewarding and fun.
Tussles with these mechanised beasts is always a thrilling battle of wits, forcing you to plan out your arsenal accordingly and possibly use them against each other. Simply roaming this post- post-apocalyptic landscape is a sight for sore eyes, rivalling even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in terms of spectacle. If you’ve finished Geralt’s journey and want to dive deep into another sprawling open world, Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best options by far.