Ever since HBO Max released the TV adaptation of The Last of Us, it has managed to do everything right. For starters, it tapped Chernobyl filmmakers Craig Mazin and Johan Renck to direct the series (Mazin serves as a co-showrunner too, along with game creator Neil Druckmann). At the same time, it cast the perfect Joel with Pedro Pascal. Meanwhile, despite some reservations in the beginning, fans have come to realize that there’s no better Ellie than Bella Ramsey.
So far, the series has only released a handful of episodes. Nonetheless, the reception has been incredible with both critics and viewers raving about it.
The Last Of Us Is Now One Of The Highest-Rated Video Game Shows Of All Time
While it didn’t get the 100 percent rating given to Arcane: League of Legends and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, The Last of Us currently enjoys a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 155 critics reviews.
The consensus is that the series managed to maintain all the elements that everyone loves about the game while also “digging deeper into the story.”
Some would even say that viewers don’t need to be fans of the game to appreciate the series.
“Don’t worry if you’re not a gamer, this series—the best screen adaptation of a vidgame ever—will hit you hard. Costars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey turn familiar elements into a triumph of ferocity and feeling,” ABC news wrote.
The San Francisco Chronicle also wrote, “This isn’t just a breakthrough video game adaptation. It’s a great show, period.” Bloody Disgusting also noted, “The Last of Us isn’t afraid to ask challenging questions with no easy answers; or no answers at all. That it’s so exceptionally and meticulously crafted means that it has effectively shattered the ceiling for video game adaptions.”
But Viewers Have Mixed Feelings About The Show
As for audiences, some commended the show for respecting the source material.
“Seriously this show is a[n] educational course on how to adapt a game for tv,” one user wrote on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Phenomenal work, hitting the Easter eggs and game references and keeping the story and plot intact while altering it enough to feel fresh and new. Well done.”
Another said, “Only a few episodes in and this is already shaping up to be a great adaptation. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a video game adaptation that hits the right marks: appeal to the broad audience whilst respecting the source material. Hope the rest of the series can stick the landing.”
On the aggregate site Metacritic, several viewers also gave the show a perfect 10 rating.
“Good adaptation of the original story. It’s different, but mostly not in a negative way. Nice to see some fully authentic scenes and dialogues too. The closer the show follows the primary source the better it gets because it was top notch,” one user wrote.
Similarly, another said, “Literally impossible to do better than that, I didn’t expect this high level, big up to HBO…”
That said, some have issues with the series, particularly those who are familiar with The Last of Us.
“I ended up turning it off about 75% in to the first episode. Feels like typical streaming drama garbage that people gobble up these days. Just boring nothing really exciting,” one Redditor said.
Another wrote, “Had to watch it twice to adjust but I’m happy to have more The Last of Us. Not exactly what I wanted/ expected but I’m happy to relive one of my favorite stories.”
On Rotten Tomatoes, a user also wrote,” Started off really good until after the girl gets shot, then it turned into a snooze fest…”
The Show Has Also Caused A Spike In The Last Of Us Video Game Sales
At the same time, it seems the show has also resulted in increased sales for The Last of Us games.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, The Last of Us Part 1 reentered the charts in the top 20 spot after experiencing a 238% spike in its U.K. sales.
Similarly, The Last of Us: Remastered, which is the PS4 version of the game, also climbed back to the charts following the release of the show. That game saw a 322% increase in sales as it lands in the no. 32 spot.
Some have also admitted that the show has made them want to play again and that Sony timed the release of the remastered version just right.
“It’s almost as if Sony knew what they were doing when they made this remake,” one Redditor wrote.
Another commented, “Yep. They weren’t making it primarily for those of us who played it before. Added benefit after watching the show, I want to play it again too and the remake makes that a better experience.”
Another user recommended that new fans “absolutely play the games first. I think this is a case where the source material is so great that it will never truly be transcended. Also, the show adds more details and expands on the plot. So it makes sense to go from a shorter story to then seeing the larger story. By the time you finish the games, enough of the show will be out that you can binge it. Waiting a week for each episode is torture.”
So far, HBO Max hasn’t confirmed yet if The Last of Us will be renewed for a second season. But all signs indicate that it’s only a matter of time before an official announcement is made.
Mazin himself has also hinted that he’s ready for season 2 should the show move forward. While the first season covered the first game, a possible second season would start to cover the second game, which was only released in 2020.
“The second game is much bigger than the first one,” Mazin explained. “So we were just starting now to talk about how to kind of break it into a season — seasons.”