The Last of Us TV Show Receives High Praise From Critics

HBO’s The Last of Us TV show adaptation has garnered a widely positive reception from critics, as the first wave of reviews go live just days ahead of the show’s debut.

The new series — starring Pedro Pascal an Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, respectively — is set to premiere on January 15. Reviews have praised the atmosphere, lead cast, CGI and differences from Naughty Dog’s 2013 video game.

“HBO’s zombie thriller will change the way these stories are told on screen in the same way that 2013’s game of the same name did in the gaming world,” says Digital Spy. “It really is that good.”

Empire describes the show as “a masterpiece,” awarding it a 5-star review and and lasting stature as “comfortably the best adaptation of a video game every game.” 

Variety’s review marks the show as “promising, moving zombie saga”, stating that there’s potential that that The Last of Us “winds up among television’s best” if future seasons explore more of the wider world.

A “remarkable achievement” is how The BBC refers to The Last of US TV show, expanding that “it doesn’t feel even remotely controversial to call this the best video game adaptation ever made” and “an encapsulation of the game’s heart and soul”.

Most intriguing for those who’ve played through The Last of Us video game, is how many changes the show brings to Ellie and Joel’s journey. The TV adaptation is noted as being extremely faithful, but several reviews highlight the aspects which expand upon or separate from the source material.

“Thrillingly, the show is perhaps at its strongest when it deviates from its original blueprint,” says Empire’s review. “None of the major plot-points are drastically changed, but several episodes go gloriously off-piste from before.”

The Last of Us TV series was produced by Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin alongside Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann. The influence of the show looks likely to feed back into the gaming landscape, too. Druckmann recently stated that the studio’s next game will be “structured more like a TV show” than any of their previous titles.

For more Insider Gaming news, learn why Naughty Dog won’t be announcing games too early anymore.