HBO’s The Last of Us TV series premieres this weekend, and ahead of that, reviews for the show have begun to appear online. What do critics think of the video game adaptation? In short, the show is generating a good amount of praise, including here at GameSpot.
GameSpot’s The Last of Us review scored the series a 9/10. Reviewer Mark Delaney called the first season “faithful, additive, and excellent.”
“It stands proudly as one of the best video game adaptations ever, and a clear signal that PlayStation is right to pursue a future where its already reputable video games are reborn on TV,” Delaney said.
The Last of Us stars Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel, with a supporting cast that includes Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Merle Dandridge, Gabriel Luna, Jeffrey Pierce, Anna Torv, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, and Nico Parker. The show was created by Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin alongside game director Neil Druckmann.
Before the TV series, attempts were made to make a Last of Us movie. Maisie Williams and Kaitlyn Dever were considered for the role of Ellie in the Last of Us movie, but that never came to be.
The Last of Us premieres Sunday, January 15 on HBO, with new episodes airing on a weekly basis each Sunday night. There is also a companion podcast hosted by Troy Baker–who played Joel in the games–featuring Mazin and Druckmann breaking down each episode.
You can see more review scores and excerpts below. For more on the critical reaction to THe Last of Us, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.
The Last of Us
- Created By: Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann
- Starring: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Merle Dandridge, Gabriel Luna, Jeffrey Pierce, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Nico Parker.
- Release Date: January 15 on HBO
GameSpot — 9/10
“It stands proudly as one of the best video game adaptations ever, and a clear signal that PlayStation is right to pursue a future where its already reputable video games are reborn on TV. The show is brought to life by a cast and crew that seems hellbent on living up to its name and their own already-glowing reputations.” — Mark Delaney [Full review]
IGN — 9/10
“HBO’s The Last of Us is a breathtaking adaptation of one of the most impactful stories told in video games and brilliantly brings Joel and Ellie’s journey to a whole new audience. Taking the essence of what made the original tale so enduring, it builds out the world of the game while also switching up some aspects to almost entirely stunning effect.” — Simon Cardy [Full review]
BBC — 4/5
“It doesn’t feel even remotely controversial to call this the best video game adaptation ever made. For fans of the game, it is an adaptation of the utmost skill and reverence, yet one still capable of surprise; for people who have never picked up a controller, it is an encapsulation of the game’s heart and soul– its full-blooded characters, its neat plotting, its mature themes of love and loss. It is, to finish Ellie’s joke, ‘outstanding in its field.'” — Stephen Kelly [Full review]
IndieWire — Grade A
“Much like the games challenged players to embrace difficult perspectives or unwanted tasks, The Last of Us challenges how we watch horror, if not action/adventure stories in general–and it does so with particular brutality.” — Ben Travers [Full review]
Empire — 5/5
“Comfortably the best adaptation of a video-game ever made: one that deepens the game’s dystopian lore, while staying true to its emotional core. Like the game, it’s a masterpiece, too.” — John Nugent [Full review]