HBO’s The Last of Us is already making records. Following its January 15th premiere, the results are in. Fans and critics agree: this is a very, very good television show. In fact, despite it being early in the new year, this may be the frontrunner for best show of 2023.
After an eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed premiere episode, episode one of the series has a 9.4 rating on IMDB, according to Best Sports Betting Canada.
The Last of Us Is One of the Greatest Video Games of All Time
The Last of Us originally debuted in 2013 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Developer Naughty Dog, best known for their work on Uncharted at the time, created a new in-house team to begin work on the game alongside 2011’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
Fans viewed The Last of Us as an ambitious gambit. However, the game’s setting of a post-apocalyptic future thanks to a fungal outbreak wasn’t new or groundbreaking. Instead, Naughty Dog’s focus on how the human survivors cope with this grim future won over critics and fans alike. This was apparent from the start when Sony debuted game footage.
The Last of Us isn’t your typical zombie game. Instead, it’s brutal, relentless, and unforgiving. Additionally, relationships between characters still stand out today as some of the best in a video game.
Stacking The Last of Us Against the Competition
This ties The Last of Us with another HBO show, Chernobyl, as the highest-rated pilot ever. This tops other pilots such as Fargo (9.3), Lost (9.2), and Mr. Robot (9.2).
Additionally, The Last of Us currently owns the best IMDB rating of any video game adaptation. Its closest competitors are the debuts for Arcane: League of Legends and Pokémon.
Given the track record for video game expectations, The Last of Us is the exception, not the norm. Films like Resident Evil and its 5.0 IMDB rating tend to be indicative of any video game-based movie or television series. You would think that the tide seems to be turning with the Last of Us, The Witcher, and Arcane.
Yet, for every glimmer of hope, there’s frustration. For example, the Halo series on Paramount Plus is universally panned and seen as a massive disappointment.
Our Thoughts on The Last of Us
In our review, we said that the premiere episode of The Last of Us “delivered everything that long-time fans were hoping for and more. The setup of the outbreak is perfect, and even the heartbreaking moments will have fans smiling as they hold back tears.”
As a whole, the entire first season is a monumental triumph. “The Last Of Us season 1 will have fans over the moon with how it turned out,” we said.
“While there are some slight changes, nothing affects the overall story being told to the point where fans will not recognize it. It is easy to fall in love with these characters and find some that you will love to hate.”
What Will Future Seasons of The Last of Us Have In Store?
With the success of The Last of Us, fans are wondering what the future holds for the television series.
Neil Druckmann, the creator of The Last of Us for Naughty Dog, sees the franchise continuing in the future. “I think there’s more story to tell,” he said recently while not committing to the possibility of The Last of Us Part III.
Both Druckmann and Craig Mazin, the HBO showrunner, intend to stay faithful to the source material.
“We have no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the games,” Mazin said. “We won’t run into the same issue as Game of Thrones since Part II doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.”
HBO’s The Last of Us is the adaptation of the popular PlayStation franchise. It stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, respectively. New episodes air Sunday at 9 PM Eastern on HBO and HBO Max.