At a time when dark fantasy games are a dime a dozen, it takes a beautifully-crafted, immersive, and well-written game like The Witcher to stand out. Based on the novels and short stories of Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a mutated beast hunter known as a “witcher,” who uses his enhanced physical and supernatural abilities to hunt monsters for coin.

I was a latecomer to the series myself, falling in love with Sapkowski’s fantastical and nuanced presented by CD Projekt Red in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I went out and bought the books almost immediately, eager to devour more of the story. The Netflix series only served to further my excitement, and brought with it a horde of new fans of the franchise who are now looking to the games for a more immersive experience.

If you’re one of these people and are looking for a good place to start, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ve compiled a list of all The Witcher games in order, including the handful of spin-off titles. It’s worth noting that these games may not be for everyone, so let’s start with a quick overview of what this series entails.

Who is The Witcher for?

Witcher Games

The Witcher is a game series for people who enjoy “gritty” fantasy, action RPGs, and complex combat mechanics. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt introduces an open world, dynamic environments, and improved AI for players that prefer a more immersive gaming experience.

The combat changes across the various installments, but the core concepts remain the same. Geralt faces a wide variety of enemies, and players must make clever use of their two different swords (steel for humans, silver for monsters), magic, items, and environment to emerge victorious. If you like fluid and intuitive combat that rewards smart timing and combos, this franchise may be worth checking out.

Furthermore, the series is celebrated for its lack of black-and-white morality— Geralt and the other characters are neither fully good nor bad. As an RPG, the game actively involves players with Geralt’s decisions, offering branching dialogue options and moral choices with time-delayed consequences that allow players to shape the course of the story. With the incredible voice talent and writing in The Witcher 3 (which is considered one of the best games of all time), all decisions made feel like a genuine in-character choice. No matter what you do, Geralt will still sound tired and curmudgeonly about the whole affair.

The Witcher Games in Order

Alright! Let’s jump right into the list, starting with the first Witcher game from way back in ’07.

The Witcher [2007]

The Witcher 2007
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Platform(s): PC

The first game introduces Geralt of Rivia, one of several traveling beast hunters known as “witchers.” Players are given the choice of three paths through the main storyline: alliance with the non-human guerilla group called the Scoia’tael, alliance with the knights of the Order of the Flaming Rose, or “witcher neutrality”. Players must choose wisely here, as each path affects the overarching story and ending.

Regardless of choice, the game loosely follows the events of Sapkowski’s novel series, which had gained a cult following in its home country of Poland by the time the video game arrived. Despite initial concerns about the story’s international appeal, CD Projekt purchased the rights to the game series from Sapkowski and set forward with development.

The game is built using a modified version of BioWare’s Aurora Engine, further customized to support motion-captured animation, improved physics modeling, and new combat mechanics (in addition to cosmetic improvements).

The Witcher was well-received by both critics and the public, celebrated particularly for its portrayal of gray morality and time-delayed consequences for decisions players made throughout the game. Positive critical reception paved the way for future installments, which proved to be good news for us!

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [2011]

The Witcher 2
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360

The Witcher 2 joins Geralt after he’s been imprisoned and interrogated about his suspected role in the assassination of the king of Temeria. Players must forge alliances and make difficult choices in their search for the real kingslayer, leading to one of the game’s sixteen different ending options.

For the second installment, CD Projekt Red elected to develop their own engine (the REDengine) to power the game. The Witcher 2 features branching dialogue options and full voice acting to complement the choices the player makes throughout the game. These changes, paired with the game’s multiple “end states,” more complex combat, and customizable leveling system, mean The Witcher 2 provides a highly individualized experience with each playthrough.

The game received mostly positive reviews, with critics and players alike impressed with the console version’s performance alongside its PC release. The Witcher 2 is praised in particular for its graphics and immersive storytelling, though it’s received no small amount of criticism over the difficulty of its combat. The mechanics and customizability are designed to provide a challenge that rewards clever gameplay, though many see this being a higher bar to entry than necessary.

The Witcher Battle Arena [2015]

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red, Fuero Games
  • Release Date: January 22, 2015
  • Platform(s): Mobile

The Witcher Battle Arena was a short-lived MOBA set within the universe of The Witcher series. The mobile spin-off featured touchscreen controls and eight playable characters (all of whom had previously appeared in the main series).

The game was developed using the Unity engine and followed a free-to-play model with additional content unlocked via microtransactions. It was released for Android, iOS, and Windows in late January to mixed reviews.

Despite a relatively warm reception and active playerbase, the servers shut down on December 31 of the same year for unknown reasons.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [2015]

The Witcher 3
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: May 19, 2015
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is by and large the most popular installment of the series. Players once again take on the role of Geralt of Rivia, this time in search of his adoptive daughter Ciri, who’s being tracked down by the eponymous Wild Hunt. At various points throughout the game, the player will also briefly take control of Ciri, whose powerful teleportation abilities make her a highly desired (and highly dangerous) target.

The game is powered by REDengine 3, which allows for more complex storytelling within a vast open world. The engine also allows for more advanced AI and environmental cycles, creating a more realistic world in which the monsters are stronger in their preferred environment. 

As with the previous installments, players must make many morally-ambiguous choices that affect the game’s central story, ultimately leading to one of several main endings that are given further nuance by the game’s 36 different “end states.” Building on the second game’s branching dialogue, The Witcher 3 features a dialogue wheel and voice acting that makes every decision feel justified and character-motivated. Players are also given the option to romance some of the female characters in the game.

Witcher 3 2

The combat receives a new overhaul in this game, giving Geralt a bit more agility while fighting to allow for more dynamic encounters. It’s also made more accessible following the criticisms of The Witcher 2— the user interface is improved, and the more complex elements (alchemy, magic, upgrades, etc.) are simplified to allow for a more streamlined experience. Players retain the ability to customize their playstyle through leveling, and get to choose between four distinct skill trees that can unlock new techniques or improve Geralt’s stats as desired.

The Witcher 3 was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, receiving critical acclaim for its narrative, its large-scale and highly-detailed open world, and its realistic characterization of Geralt and other prominent NPCs. The addition of Gwent as a minigame was cited as addictive, generating so much interest that it was developed into its own spin-off title (more on that shortly). Although it did receive a fair amount of criticism for the rampant bugs, responses were positive enough that the game received two equally-celebrated expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game [2018]

Gwent
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: October 23, 2018
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mobile

Following the success of the Gwent minigame in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red developed a free-to-play digital collectible card game that expanded on the game and allowed players to challenge one another in both casual and competitive settings. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game features cross-platform play between PC and console (though not between different consoles), as well as seasonal events and an Arena mode where players can challenge themselves by working off of a draft and a limited number of lives. A single-player campaign mode was also released alongside the card-collection game.

Although the rules of Gwent were similar to the minigame upon the game’s release, it’s since been updated with changes that offer players new card types, a greater range of abilities, and more limitations that force more creative and purposeful moves.

Reviews were largely positive, with Gwent being nominated as one of the most promising new eSports games of 2019 and attracting millions of players who enjoyed the minigame in the main series.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales [2018]

Thronebreaker
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: October 23, 2018
  • Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is the single-player companion to Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Originally intended to be an included campaign mode, it was ultimately repurposed as a standalone game as it expanded and grew in complexity.

Players control a character called Queen Meve, who ruled Lyria and Rivia prior to the events of the first Witcher game. With armies represented by a customizable deck of cards, Queen Meve must forge alliances (read as: collect more cards) as she battles to regain control of the northern kingdoms. Throughout the story, players will make choices and face consequences that affect the story and gameplay and explore new regions that haven’t yet been featured in the main series.

Although it didn’t meet CD Projekt Red’s sales expectations, Thronebreaker received generally positive reviews.

The Future of The Witcher

With all of this in mind, what can we expect for The Witcher series moving forward? CD Projekt Red has been very open about their interest in a fourth installment to the main series, though the majority of their time and resources are currently directed toward Cyberpunk 2077. With this in mind, it’ll probably be a while before we see anything new for this series, but we can remain hopeful for future installments!

Something worth keeping in mind is the fact that, even with the promise of The Witcher 4 on the horizon, we’re not likely to see Geralt return as the main protagonist. CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński has expressed repeatedly that the series as it stands was always intended to be a trilogy, but that they’re still interested in the world and further developing other characters. Geralt may make an appearance as an NPC in future games, but until then, we can only speculate about who the next monster-slaying protagonist may be.

Thank you for checking out our list! I personally recommend any of these titles for those interested in delving deeper into The Witcher. And as always, happy gaming!

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