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The Complete List of The Last of Us Games in Chronological & Release Order

The Complete List of The Last of Us Games in Chronological & Release Order

Sony first-party developer Naughty Dog are known for crafting incredible action games with compelling narratives. After 3 successful entries in the Uncharted series on the PS3, the studio set its sights on providing fans with a much different experience from their previous games, but one that still retained the core focus of providing a narrative worthy of the silver screen within the confines of a video game. Enter The Last of Us, the studio’s final title for the PS3 and the first entry in what would become a massive multimedia franchise.

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic vision of Earth in which a massive outbreak has decimated civilization, The Last of Us is, at its core, a stealth-action game with survival horror elements. However, outside of the core gameplay loop, the tale woven across all entries in the series is one that asks a profound question. Namely, The Last of Us games analyze the lengths that people go to in order to protect those they love. Each of the games have been massive sales successes for Sony, and the series has a live-action adaptation on HBO.

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The Last of Us (2013)

  • Released on PlayStation 3
The Last of Us box art

©The Last of Us box art.

Arriving at the tail end of the PS3’s lifecycle, The Last of Us is a fitting swansong to Naughty Dog’s impressive library of work on the console. Despite being a much different type of game than the developer’s Uncharted titles, much of the core DNA is still present. Gameplay takes place from a third-person perspective, with players navigating through linear levels and scripted events. That said, the biggest departure from Naughty Dog’s previous work is in its tone. Where the Uncharted games were light-hearted action romps, The Last of Us paints a bleak and disturbing picture of humanity.

The core of the game is the relationship between Joel and Ellie, who he is escorting across the United States. Ellie, as it turns out, is immune to the infection that is responsible for wiping out most of modern civilization. Despite begrudgingly accepting this responsibility at first, Joel eventually comes to form a bond with Ellie. How this bond impacts the two of them, as well as the conclusion to their tale, represents some of the best storytelling in the medium.

The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014)

  • Released on PlayStation 3
The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC icon

©Art from The Last of Us: Left Behind.

Arriving nearly a year after the release of The Last of Us, Left Behind is the title’s sole DLC expansion. Gameplay in Left Behind is mostly identical to the original game, with players needing to focus on stealth and homemade weapons to get past foes. One new mechanic introduced in Left Behind is the ability to pit human and non-human enemies against one another. Ellie can throw items to create a distraction and draw the attention of targets, who now will turn on each other. During the fray, Ellie can choose to sneak past unnoticed or pick off the remaining stragglers.

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  • 3D audio with enhanced clarity and bass
  • Touch Plus controllers deliver a more intuitive experience
  • Library of over 500 titles
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The storyline of Left Behind is critical material to the overarching narrative of The Last of Us. Taking place both in the past via flashback sequences and jumping forward to the present where Ellie is scavenging for medicine for Joel, the storyline reveals crucial details about Ellie’s past. First, it provides players with the backstory for how she found out she was immune to the cordyceps fungus. Second, it gives players insight into what Ellie’s life was like as an orphan and her relationship with her best friend Riley. With more of the same gameplay from the main game and another heartfelt narrative, Left Behind is essential DLC.

The Last of Us Remastered (2014)

  • Released on PlayStation 4
The Last of Us Remastered cover

©Cover art for The Last of Us: Remastered.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Last of Us received its first remaster very shortly after the release of the original. Since the first version of the title released during the PS3’s sunset, it was only a matter of time before the title came to Sony’s next console. Taking advantage of the advanced hardware and improved performance capabilities of the PS4, The Last of Us Remastered quickly became a must-have title in the early days of the PS4’s lifespan.

Remastered is wholly identical to the original in gameplay and narrative but improves the visual fidelity and loading times. Additionally, the remastered version comes with the Left Behind DLC. Considering that the Left Behind DLC contains vital character development for Ellie, the inclusion of the DLC in Remastered is an excellent bonus.

The Last of Us Part II (2020)

  • Released on PlayStation 4
The Last of Us Part II cover

©The Last of Us Part II cover.

After spending years in development and being a closely guarded secret within Naughty Dog, the highly-anticipated sequel to The Last of Us arrived in 2020. Thanks to a series of leaks that disclosed confidential story details, the game was subject to one of the most rampant review-bombing campaigns in history due to key story beats involving main characters. Despite this, critical reception of the title was near-unanimous in its praise and acclaim, calling the title one of the games of its generation.

Gameplay in The Last of Us Part II is very similar to the first game, with players still mixing ranged and melee combat along with stealth and subterfuge. Ellie takes center stage in the sequel and proves to be just as capable at surviving as Joel, including having an expanded suite of abilities. Not only can Ellie go prone and hide more easily, she has aerial attacks and a quick dodge button, immediately making her more nimble than Joel. With improved crafting, diversified options for combat, and one of the most compelling narratives in gaming history, The Last of Us Part II is a video game sequel done right.

The Last of Us Part I (2022)

  • Released on PlayStation 5 and PC
The Last of Us Part I cover

©Cover art for The Last of Us on PS5.

In a move that likely very few expected, Naught Dog and Sony announced a next-gen remake of The Last of Us in June 2022. While many fans felt that a next-gen remaster of Part II was on the way, Naughty Dog instead decided to rework the original game from the ground-up for modern consoles and PC. The biggest sticking point among players was the price tag, with many feeling that Sony’s asking price of $69.99 USD (in other words, a full retail release) was unfair for an almost 10 year old game. Still, the title’s release in September 2022 resulted in a massive sales spike and a flood of positive reviews. As it turns out, completely overhauling the visuals and audio of the title to next-gen standard but keeping the core gameplay intact was a smart move.

The title would make its way to PC as part of a Sony-backed initiative to bring several of its exclusives to Steam. Unfortunately, the port was plagued by a host of issues at launch and continues to be one of the most poorly-received PlayStation exclusives on PC. Developers continue to patch the title and update it to improve its stability, but the PC port fails to capture the fidelity and stability of the console version.

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  • 2x the graphic processing power of Quest 2 with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
  • Mixed reality blends virtual elements and physical space
  • 4K+ Infinite display
  • 3D audio with enhanced clarity and bass
  • Touch Plus controllers deliver a more intuitive experience
  • Library of over 500 titles
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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