You survived the first season of HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’: Here’s what to know about the video games

Can you play ‘The Last of Us Part II’ if you didn’t play the first one?

Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey in HBO's The Last of Us. (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Well. We did it. We survived the first season of HBO’s “The Last of Us.”

How are you feeling? Are you OK? I knew it was coming and I still took some emotional damage. Luckily we have season two to look forward to. And maybe a third season -- if the creators get their way.

HBO renewed the series for a second season shortly after the second episode aired. An estimated 8.2 million people tuned in Sunday night to watch the season finale. The first six episodes are averaging 30.4 million viewers.

If you’re just as obsessed with “The Last of Us” as I am, you should check out HBO’s official companion podcast. If you’re new here, you can watch the first episode for free on HBO Max.

It’s common knowledge at this point that “The Last of Us” is based on a video game of the same name. The first season of the show completely covered the first game. They did a great job too. It hit all the important points and made changes that improved the story overall. It was an experience.

There is a second game too. A sequel. A “Part II”. And, “The Last of Us Part II” is a massive game. It’s estimated that it can take more than 24 hours of playing just to finish the main story. Because of how big it is, the creators of the HBO show hope to have at least two seasons to tell these stories.

Can I play ‘The Last of Us Part II’ if I didn’t play the first game?

If you watched the show and want to jump right into “The Last of Us Part II” you absolutely can do that.

The stories are similar enough that just knowledge from the show will help you understand the main points. But, I will say this, the first game is a wonderful experience and is worth playing even if you do know how it ends. It’s all about the journey -- and all that. But, if you don’t have the time or money -- then, yes, you can jump right to the second game.

“The Last of Us Part II” basically picks up right where the first one left off. No spoilers here. I won’t say more. But if you really loved the show and want to fully immerse yourself in this world and -- find out what happens next -- then it’s worth playing. There are varying levels of difficulty so even someone who is new to gaming can enjoy these games.

A fair warning, there are some truly terrifying areas in both of these games. They have a lot of edge-of-your-seat elements and a handful of jump scares. The world feels really hostile. There are a lot more run-ins with infected in the games than there were in the show.

Where to play ‘The Last of Us’ video games

There are two “The Last of Us” games and both are PlayStation exclusives. You’ll want to pay attention to which version of “The Last of Us” you’re purchasing. There are several different ones and the differences -- well -- make a difference.

The first game goes as far as season one of the HBO show. It is available on PS4, PS5 and will be available for PC players on March 28, 2023. “Left Behind” is a DLC included with the first “The Last of Us” game. This is the story that is told in episode seven of the HBO show.

“The Last of Us Remastered” is free for PlayStation Plus Premium members. This is the version of the game that was rebuilt for the PlayStation 4 system. It is not the newest version.

The newest version of the first game is called “The last of Us Part I”. This version is basically a complete overhaul of the original game. The story is the same but the graphics and gameplay have been improved. The “Part I” version was released on Sept. 2, 2022.

The second game came out on June 19, 2020. It picks up where the first game left off.

The games have a lot of accessibility features including presets for vision, hearing and motor accessibility. Click here to learn more about accessibility in Part I. Click here to learn more about accessibility in Part II.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.