Where to Start With The Witcher Games if You Loved the Netflix Show
Season two of The Witcher is now out and almost everybody agrees it’s even better than the first. If you’ve already finished all eight episodes of the new season and want more Witcher content in your life, good news! There’s lots more where the Netflix show came from, including the original books the series is based on and multiple games.
While the books are great reads for dark fantasy lovers, we’re specifically interested in the games. CD Projekt Red has made a trilogy of Witcher RPGs, as well as a stand-alone RPG set before the events of the trilogy and an online card game. That’s a lot, so we’ve broken down all of the Witcher games, as well as the platforms they’re available on, to help you decide where to jump in.
How to Play The Witcher on PC
The first Witcher game is available exclusively for PC. It follows on from the events of the last book and tells an original story about Geralt, Triss and Dandelion. Geralt, suffering from amnesia after the events of the book, wakes up at Kaer Morhen just before the Witcher’s keep is attacked by a strange mage. On his mission to hunt down the mage, Geralt is swept up in a plot of political intrigue and tensions between the Northern Realms and the Elves. It borrows a few storylines from the books that we’ve also seen in the show, like Geralt’s fight with the striga from season 1, episode 3, “Betrayer Moon”.
The story in the first Witcher game is great, but the gameplay and graphics feel extremely outdated now. Unless you’re a huge fan, we’d recommend skipping straight to the second game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. That said, it’s still a strong RPG experience and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is pretty cheap these days.
How to Play The Witcher on Xbox
Xbox players won’t have a choice in this, because The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is the first game available on Xbox One and Series X/S (it’s also available on PC). Set directly after the events of the first game, Geralt, Triss and Dandelion are on the trail of a rogue witcher who’s killing the kings of the Northern Realms to drive instability before another Nilfgaardian invasion.
The second game has greatly improved combat, graphics, and voice acting, and really set the tone for the rest of the Witcher game series. It also features a storytelling technique that’s pretty rare for games: the second chapter is set in one of two locations, each with their own story and cast of characters. Which story you experience is determined by your choices in chapter one. The storylines come together in chapter three, but it’s a refreshing way for a game to handle player choice and consequences.
How to Play The Witcher on PlayStation
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the first game available on PS4 and PS5 (it’s also available on PC and Xbox One and Series X/S). It’s widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made, even six years after its initial release. Wild Hunt is the first game to feature Yennefer and Ciri, so fans of the Netflix show might want to skip straight to this game. And while the first two are well worth your time, starting with Wild Hunt wouldn’t be a terrible idea. It’s by far the best game in terms of combat, graphics, voice acting and story — and it’s the only game to feature Roach!
There’s even a mod to make Geralt in Wild Hunt look like Henry Cavill.
How to Play Gwent
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt can play a card game called Gwent. To put it lightly, people became obsessed with Gwent — so much so that CD Projekt Red made a stand-alone online Gwent card game. Players build a deck and battle other people in this expanded and more complex version of the game from Wild Hunt. Even better: Gwent is free to play on PC, Android and iOS.
It’s great for people who enjoy strategy games like Hearthstone and deck-builder games.
How to Play Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Gwent was so popular that CD Projekt Red made an entire RPG based on it. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales combines elements of point-and-click adventure games and roleplaying games — and all of the battles are carried out in games of Gwent.
Players control Queen Meve as she marches an army across the Continent to reclaim the throne of Lyria. You’ll meet allies along the way and gain their Gwent card to use in battles. Thronebreaker is a surprisingly deep RPG that fans of The Witcher, Gwent, and roleplaying games will love. It’s available on PC, Xbox One and Series X/S and PS4 and PS5.
How to Play The Witcher on Switch
Characters in the Netflix show have to make tough choices, and the games take this a step further and put the decisions — and the consequences — in your hands. Because of this, the Witcher games are widely considered some of the best RPGs ever made. If you like games that let you shape the story, you’ll love the Witcher games.