Since its release in 2013, The Last of Us has been regarded as one of the best video games of all time. From the graphics to its gameplay, reviews for it all seem to hover in the 9/10 to perfect 10/10 range. Aesthetics aside, players fell in love with the game’s story because following the journey of protagonists Joel and Ellie rivals even the best Hollywood productions.
What makes The Last of Us so special, and a game that resonates with fans so much, is that it’s much more than your normal third-person shooter, zombie apocalypse–type game like the Resident Evil series. It’s an emotional experience as much as it is a visceral one. The Last of Us explores the post-apocalyptic United States as you try to make it to the end of your expedition, with the possible salvation of mankind at stake.
High stakes aside, The Last of Us is an incredibly personal story about the bond that forms between Ellie, a teenager who is immune to the disease plaguing mankind, and the man who becomes her father figure, a smuggler named Joel. Battling not just the infected and bandits, the two protagonists are fighting their own inner demons, each dealing with painful memories that they’d prefer to keep buried.
It is a story that hooks fans from the very start—the first ten minutes are some of the most intense and heartbreaking in the entire game—and sticks with you long after the credits.