We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

From The Witcher to Diablo, all the best RPGs feature cannibals

Let’s face it, we all love quests that go monch monch cronch cronch, so here’s our list of the best cannibals in our very favorite RPGs

Cannibal games: Artwork of the original version of Diablo.

If you’re looking for the best cannibals in games, we’re here to sate your curiosity. They say you are what you eat, and whether it’s the irradiated Wasteland or the murky depths of Fallen London, if you’re playing an RPG it’s only a matter of time until you encounter a cannibal or two. These outcasts eschew regular society in favor of indulging in their favorite vice.

Unfortunately, this easy life of solitude and long pork is inevitably cut short by some wayward hero looking for their next adventure, and so the weary cannibal must put down the severed arm and take up, er, arms. Our list of the best cannibals throws out the moralistic guff that an RPG tasks you with untangling, and gets right down to the marrow of the matter: who are the best cannibals in RPGs that are just dying to invite us for dinner?

Best cannibal games: The Butcher of Tristram in Diablo, the first boss of the series that appears in the Cathedral, engaged in combat with the player in his slaughterhouse, surrounded by his victims.


We’re kicking off this list with one of the most iconic cannibals to appear in an RPG: The Butcher of Tristram. The townsfolk of ill-fated Tristram speak in terror of The Butcher, telling tales of a sadistic being that slices and dices victims with an enormous cleaver.

However, what makes The Butcher linger in the minds of everyone who played Diablo back in the day is the shock of encountering him early on in the Cathedral. His slaughterhouse is filled with the desecrated bodies of his victims, the stone floor stained red with blood. Opening the door triggers him to charge at you, along with a voice line that’s haunted unsuspecting nineties kids ever since: “Ahhhh, fresh meat.”

The Butcher’s as strong as he is terrifying, and perfectly sets the tone of Diablo’s bloody, unforgiving world. He’s since reappeared multiple times over the course of the Diablo series, most recently in Diablo 4, and his reputation certainly precedes him before every boss fight. However, no matter how often he returns to repeat his signature catchphrase, the fear it instills will never quite reach the heights of that first encounter back in ‘96.

Best cannibal games: Eola standing over the body of Verulus in the Taste of Death quest in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, who is required to die for the Ring of Namira, one of the best Daedric artifacts in the game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim assures us from the get-go that we’re the chosen one: a Dragonborn; a mortal blessed with the heart and soul of a creature from legend. Not only that, we’re tasked with defeating a manifestation of pure malevolence to prevent the end of the world. And we’re also… a cannibal? On the face of it, cannibalism in Skyrim isn’t too egregious. The world is rife with opportunities to take the moral low ground. That being said, the quest that puts you on the path to becoming a cannibal might make even the most disreputable Dragonborn give pause.

‘The Taste of Death’ begins after speaking with Brother Verulus, a devout priest in Markarth, who has found disturbing evidence of interred bodies being consumed in the Hall of the Dead. If you decide to investigate, you’ll encounter Eola, actual cannibal and loyal servant to the Deadric Prince Namira. Let her live, and she’ll arrange a feast to welcome you into the coven. Of course, this is no ordinary feast, and she tasks you with arranging the main course by luring poor, unsuspecting Verulus to the Coven of Namira. As he lies prone upon the altar, Eola invites you to carve him open and take a bite.

Once you’ve feasted upon Verulus, Namira will proclaim you her champion and bestow upon you the Ring of Namira, one of the best Daedric artifacts in the open-world game. If this weren’t disturbing enough, you might spot a familiar face or two among the other guests in attendance. Many of them are ordinary Markarthians you’ve encountered on your journey, who appeared to lead regular lives – and regular diets.

The Witcher

The grim, morally bankrupt world of The Witcher contains its fair share of cannibals that crop up throughout the series, but the most notable appears in Geralt’s first outing. Upon arriving in the swamps of Temeria, you’ll meet Gramps, a frail, elderly fellow who insists on referring to Geralt as his son. He’ll request you to escort him to Melitele’s Shrine since he’s old and incapable of driving off monsters on his own. Once you’ve assisted him, he’ll invite you to visit his home for tea and goulash.

Of course, not all is as it seems. Gramps is a cannibal – if he wasn’t, he’d be in the worst kind of company on this list – and the moment you enter his dilapidated shack it becomes apparent that a traditional beef goulash is not on the menu. His dining table is strewn with human bones and brains. When Geralt asks Gramps if the meat is of human origin, he responds with a frank affirmative, going on to espouse the health benefits a pound of flesh can provide.

Gramps is nowhere near the fiercest cannibal we’ve encountered in the best PC games, but that’s part of his charm. His reputation as a harmless (if eccentric) old man can also have dire repercussions for your own notoriety; there’s a chance that killing him will anger the local lumberjacks and further reinforce their prejudice against you. If you’re curious about Gramps’ dietary preferences, he claims that he doesn’t eat children, instead preferring elf meat due to its alleged aromatic flavors. He’s also got an adventurous palate, having once sampled dwarf meat, though he proclaims it to be too veiny and stringy for his tastes. To each their own, I suppose.

Best cannibal games: The story event 'Starvation Walks the Ship!' in Sunless Sea, represented as a mustachioed person holding up a bloodied finger to his lips in a shushing motion as the two choices are presented to the player.

Sunless Sea

Cannibalism is an optional choice in pretty much every quest in Sunless Sea. Each journey you take across the dark expanse of Fallen London requires careful resource management, and failure to keep your stores well-stocked may lead you and your crew to an untimely end long before you’ve even reached your destination.

However, not all is lost. Anything goes at Zee, especially when supplies are dwindling and your hunger is rising. Once your Hunger stat hits 100, the ‘Starvation Walks the Ship!’ story event triggers, forcing you to choose between consigning your fallen crew to the briny depths or feasting on their remains. If you choose the latter, you’ll gain the ‘Unaccountably Peckish’ trait, indicating your true cannibalistic nature.

Like most traits in Sunless Sea, ‘Unaccountably Peckish’ allows you to perform certain actions that would otherwise be locked if you were a morally upstanding captain. Chief among these is attending a funeral feast at Adam’s Way, where you may sit at the table as a guest of honor amongst cannibalistic locals and consume the dearly departed together. It’s a lovely gathering but be warned: word of your nasty habit is bound to reach the crew sooner or later.

Fallout 3

Cannibals regularly appear throughout the Fallout series, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Food in the Wasteland is scarce and often irradiated, whereas humans are a reliable, free-range source of untainted meat. Both raiders and swampfolk indulge in the harrowing practice of consuming any lone wanderers that cross their path – but the notion that cannibalism runs rife in the greatest town in Virginia is surely unthinkable, right?

Andale is a suburban settlement that presents itself as the last bastion of the American Dream in Fallout 3. Its residents are unnervingly friendly, and quick to preach jingoistic pre-war values to any passing traveler. If you’re starting to wonder whether they have ulterior motives, you’ve got good instincts. Andale’s dark secret lurks in the basements, and can only be discovered by picking the locks or stealing the keys. It’s a grisly sight: decomposing skeletons hang from meat hooks, while human entrails and decapitated bodies litter bloody countertops. What’s more damning, though, are the refrigerators chock full of strange meat.

Once you make this discovery, you’re immediately confronted by the population of Andale, who seem pretty fed up with you… or would like to be. However, rather than attacking you outright, they ask for your verdict on the grisly tableau. Reassure the townsfolk that you were just grabbing a snack and they’ll accept you as one of their own. Linda will even bake you a strange meat pie every day, as long as you keep the town’s secret to yourself. Yummy.

There you have it, our top picks for the best cannibals in RPGs. If you’re partial to a quick bite, check out our list of the best survival games, where you can harvest all the ‘strange meat’ your heart desires. We’ve also got some top-tier horror games to sink your teeth into while you’re at it.