There could really be no other video game in the last decade that could be my number one spot. For me, The Witcher 3 almost came out of nowhere. I never played the original game, I wasn’t really a fan of the second game apart from the characters, and at the time of release, I hadn’t read any of the books the games are based off. I only became mildly interested a couple of weeks before launch, after seeing a few promising trailers. It was at this time I bought an Xbox One and it became the first next-gen game I played. Nothing could have prepared me for the phenomenal and unforgettable game I was about to experience.
You play as Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer for hire called a witcher (a human mutated to have superhuman abilities). Geralt must track down his “adopted” daughter, Ciri, who is on the run from the Wild Hunt due to her gifts as the Child of the Elder Blood. Your journey will take you across various different lands and even dimensions, meeting numerous allies and enemies, eventually defeating the Wild Hunt and preventing a prophesied disaster. The narrative is grand and engaging, where each new section or twist had me hooked from start to finish. Alongside the great story, the countless individuals you meet along the way are all fleshed out and fully realised with intricate care and detail. From the abrasive and fiery Yennefer, the compassionate and strong Triss, alongside many other like Dandelion, King Radovid, the Bloody Baron and so much more. Nearly every character is given depth and come across as real people. It’s because of these memorable and captivating characters, as well as the engrossing main storyline, that sets the game far beyond many others.
However, what truly makes The Witcher 3 stand far above other games and what is often praised, is the well written and incredibly interesting side quests. This game is huge, and while other games, like Assassin’s Creed for example, are often stuffed with bland busy work and fetch quests, The Witcher 3 is filled with mostly highly detailed quests, that often can be mistakes for main missions. Where most developers often have to choose between quantity and quality in regards to open world design, CD Projekt Red managed to maintain both. While there remain the few throwaway and repetitive quests, the majority are unique and contain exquisite storytelling and writing. No other open world game had me seek and complete every quest not for the reward, or completions sake, but because I was so excited and intrigued to discover what brilliant story I could experience next. In addition, the games combat for the most part was pretty addictive and fluid, allowing for various different approaches for each encounter and enemy type. Especially on higher difficulties, you need to make the most of alchemical weapons such as bombs, oils and potions to get the edge on your opponent, usually monsters.
The Witcher 3 is a game like few others. While it isn’t without its faults, such as awkward movement at times, Roach’s (your horse) controls and Geralt dying if he falls a small distance, the positives far outweighs the few small negatives. Even the expansions are some of the greatest ever made, where Blood and Wine rivals many other AAA games in length and quality, for a fraction of the price. The game is a truly unforgettable experience that needs to played at least once if you can. It raised the bar for gaming that has yet to be beaten in my opinion, where it stands as the best game of the decade and likely generation if Cyberpunk 2077 can’t dethrone it. It also rightly stands as one of the greatest games of all time, where for me, it grabs that accolade with ease.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this countdown of my greatest games of the decade. Let me know what you think in the comments below. For all things gaming, stay tuned to Honest Gamer.
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