Since its release in 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 has expanded its world with a wide range of comics and the newly released anime Cyberpunk Edgerunners. That makes it very possible for someone to be a fan of the franchise and not even play the game. There’s the option of playing the board game that everything is based on, reading the comics, or enjoying the anime.
Throughout the years, CD Projekt Red Studio has partnered with Dark Horse Comics to bring a wide variety of stories told within the same world as the video game, with the first comic being released a month before the game dropped. Since then, there have been six different stories published, with one of them being independently published by CD Projekt Red Studio.
Although in some of these stories, characters from the video game may be referenced, the events of the game have nothing to do with the tale unfolding. Instead, each story told is an original one with a new cast of characters trying to survive in Night City.
With a growing list of different stories set in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe–including the upcoming Phantom Liberty DLC pack coming in 2023–here are our picks for the best Cyberpunk 2077 stories yet, outside of the video game.
1. Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team
Trauma Team is a four-issue comic written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Miguel Valderrama. The story does an excellent job at giving you a different point of view of Night City through the lens of Trauma Team–a group that attempts to rescue those who can afford it from life or death situations–by seeing what goes into rescuing someone as well as the dangers of doing so. Trauma Team follows the story of a young woman named Nadia and her experiences as an assistant EMT.
Due to the dangers of her job, she finds herself as the sole survivor of one of her rescue missions. Throughout the series, she’s constantly fighting to overcome her past traumas.
2. Cyberpunk 2077: Where’s Johnny?
Where’s Johnny? Is a three-issue comic series written by Bartosz Sztybor and illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis. This comic arguably has the most connection to the game because it’s heavily centered around Johnny Silverhand, one of the main protagonists in the video game. Although this story leans heavily on him, you never see him. Instead, Johnny Silverhand has almost become a legend, and his presence is still active throughout the story.
Even though he’s the main focus of the story, Where’s Johnny is about a journalist named Lyle Thompson, who’s made a name for himself by going after big corporations (Corpos) and exposing their misdeeds. This story does a fabulous job of showing how alive Night City can be and how change can happen in many different ways in the world of Cyberpunk.
3. Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout
Blackout is a four-issue comic written by Bartosz Sztybor and illustrated by Roberto Ricci and is about a down-on-his-luck young man named Arturo. This particular story does a great job of showcasing how differently people can view the same situation based on their wealth and how working a job that isn’t satisfying can affect your mental health.
Things quickly take a horrible turn for Arturo in the series, leaving him forced to find a way to earn a lot of cash within a short amount of time. That leads him to plot what seems to be a foolproof heist to pay his debts back. Blackout has a great cast of characters, and once everything is set in motion, you’ll be at the edge of your seat to see how everything unravels.
Cyberpunk is a tabletop RPG game written by Mike Pondsmith and released in 1988. The entire franchise is based around the game, which is filled with lore that’s constantly referenced in just about every story. The board game does a great job at explaining why corporations have virtually taken over, the reasoning behind everyone having cybernetic attachments, and why the world has become the way it is now.
5. Cyberpunk Edgerunners
Edgerunners is an anime story told within the Cyberpunk universe that’s animated by Studio Trigger and available on Netflix. The story follows a young man named David Martinez and tells his story as he slowly joins the underworld syndicate of Night City and becomes an Edgerunner.
The anime does a great job at showcasing the established class system and how people with wealth look down on those who may not have as much as them. At the show’s beginning, viewers are shown how lively and fun Night City can be and how fast everything can take a dark turn. As Mat Elfring wrote in GameSpot’s Cyberpunk Edgerunners review, “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a fantastic companion piece for those who love the world of Cyberpunk: 2077. It builds on the world of Night City and the characters from the underworld that live within it.”