The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched in 2011 to great success. It has remained in the zeitgeist ever since, which is miraculous for any game to last eight years, or even a week or month sometimes. Remember when Anthem launched in February? Yeah, that ship sunk fast. The point is, Skyrim touched a lot of people from hardcore gamers to the more casual crowd.
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt launched in 2015 and has, perhaps, had an even greater impact on the fantasy RPG genre. It is getting a Netflix show after all. So we decided to put these two games to the test to praise which one does what better than the other. At the end of the day they are both excellent and we are all winners for playing them.
10 The Witcher: Graphics
This is probably a pretty obvious statement, but Wild Hunt has better graphics than Skyrim. Sure, the various remasters have made Skyrim look better since its 2011 debut, but the brush up team can only do so much. Pure graphics aside, Wild Hunt looks like a richer world with lots of variety in the environments and colors. Plus that water is drop dead gorgeous. Skyrim is pretty much just a snow tundra filled with grays and browns.
9 Skyrim: VR
Graphics be darned because Skyrim has the capability to go into VR. Yes, it stinks that this is a separate game for PSVR and not something that came free with an update. Prices aside, running around Tamriel in virtual reality is actually pretty cool. It doesn’t make those brown and grays any brighter, but it certainly is unique for those really wanting to fully immerse themselves in Skyrim.
8 The Witcher: Combat
The swordplay in Wild Hunt is like night and day when compared to Skyrim. It’s not just the melee combat either. Every fight can feel like it could end in victory, or failure. That is to say there is strategy involved with Geralt having to research monster weaknesses and to take the right amount of elixirs before starting the hunt.
Players can basically flail their arms like Kermit the Frog in his most excited state and still come across as winners in Skyrim. That can be fun, but Wild Hunt feels more visceral.
7 Skyrim: Powers
While the gameplay is more engaging in Wild Hunt, Skyrim, as bombastic as it is and has a lot more variety. This applies to weapons, combat styles, magic, skills, and so much more. Want to terrify the land like some kind of evil Gandalf? That is possible. Want to stalk foes and eliminate then from the shadows? That is possible too. The world of Tamriel is one’s oyster, which is kind of why it has remained so popular eight years later. A new game file could be completely different from the last.
6 The Witcher: Monsters
Wild Hunt’s graphics and world aren’t the only things that come to mind when thinking about the game’s design. That is to say the creatures stalking the land look like they could have been imported from a horror game. Most fearful of all is that dreaded tree spirit that looks like it came from the Blair Witch film. Oh and those witches are also nightmarish. There are too many freaky foes to go into now, which is another reason why combat was so fun. We wanted to rid the world of evil!
5 Skyrim: Dragons
Skyrim may not have any nightmarish creatures in its caverns, or on its plains but it does have one cool thing: dragons. Encountering a dragon randomly while traveling was always a heart pounding moment even at one’s strongest.
The scale is what really played into the exhilaration of the kill. On top of that, we forgot to mention in the ability section that dragons give players power. And boy were the Dragon Shouts turned into memes. Fus Ro Dah!
4 The Witcher: Quests
There may be a seemingly never-ending amount of tasks to complete in Skyrim, but a lot of them were very basic fetch quests. Along with Wild Hunt’s combat, its mission system was also dynamic. Every quest turned into something bigger even if it may have started out like a boring errand to retrieve a pot, or something. RPGs have tried to do this for decades, but Wild Hunt was the first one to achieve what so many before tried to plan out.
3 Skyrim: Music
Both games have fitting fantasy soundtracks that we genuinely love. However, one song in particular made this decision easy. Skyrim’s main theme is a musical masterpiece. Every time we turned the game on to continue our journey we couldn’t help, but idle on the title screen just to hear that booming choir. It is the ultimate way to pump one up for hours upon hours of adventuring. And we aren’t alone. This theme has been covered an insurmountable amount of times on just YouTube alone.
2 The Witcher: Story
To coincide with what we said about the missions, overall the narrative is a lot more harrowing in Wild Hunt. Every quest and every character helped shape this world into a memorable adventure through exciting battles and tales of intrigue and love. Plus playing through Ciri’s eyes occasionally was a nice touch. Being a chosen god of dragon descent is cool, but that is where our interest piqued in Skyrim’s narrative. There were never any “wow” moments, or pieces of the story that touched our hearts. That surprise was reserved more for discoveries while playing the game.
1 Skyrim: Mods
On that same note, the best part about Skyrim is just playing it. There is always something new around every corner. And if one has searched literally every nook and cranny in the game then there are always mods on the PC side to explore. One of our favorites has to be the one that changes the heads of dragons into Macho Man Randy Savage. When they breathe fire an “Oh yeah” sound clip accompanies it. Kills us every time. That is just one in hundreds if not thousands of fun hacks.