What to Watch Next if You Like The Last of Us

The Last of Us premiered January 15, 2023 on HBO. Based on a video game series of the same name, The Last of Us follows jaded survivor Joel Miller in a world full of Infected. He begrudgingly agrees to bring humanity’s only hope, an immune girl named Ellie, to a lab where a cure could be created. Both hilarity and heartbreak ensue.

This show has continued to amaze both new and old fans of the beloved story. Unfortunately, it only releases one episode a week. So no binge watching! That means we need some entertainment to fill the other six dreary days of the week.

Therefore, if you find yourself needing something new to watch, we’re breaking down our recommendations right here. Each section includes careful attention to the similarities and differences between these pieces of media and The Last of Us. Read our list below, and see if you happen upon your next favorite show or film.

The Witcher

Similarities: Grumpy dad adopts an adventurous daughter, based on a video game

Differences: Fantasy, more mature situations and themes

A menagerie of menacing beasts and beings roam free on the Continent. To combat this problem, witchers are created. The white-haired witcher Geralt of Rivia is revered and feared by many. Despite his frosty demeanor and unsavory reputation, however, he finds companionship when he accidentally adopts a young princess named Ciri.

Yes, accidentally. We won’t spoil the surprise by explaining the circumstances. Just know that The Witcher is a fantastical treat full of awesome action sequences. Two seasons are now available to marathon on Netflix, with a third on the way.

In The Flesh

Similarities: Unique take on zombies, LGBTQ+ characters

Differences: British, no apocalypse

Zombies appear, but the world doesn’t end. In fact, it begins anew for those with Partially Deceased Syndrome. After “The Rising,” a worldwide phenomenon when the undead are suddenly reanimated, the apocalypse was only prevented by armed resistance and medical advancement. Now, Kieren Walker can return to his home village as a socially acceptable PDS sufferer — but the prejudices that drove him to his death still await him.

In The Flesh is an extraordinary series that explores concepts of hatred both internalized and externalized. It asks us to examine our own biases as well as our relationships with other people and those who have passed. You can watch its two-season run on Hulu.

The Walking Dead

Similarities: Zombies, found family, gritty

Differences: All adult protagonists, different zombie type, completed series

Rick Grimes is a small-town Southern sheriff with a loving wife and a sweet son. While on patrol one day, however, Rick is shot. The wound is so bad it sends him into a coma. When he awakens, the zombie apocalypse has happened without him. And now he has to catch up.

In all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead, we meet a whole host of allies and enemies played by phenomenal actors. In the most moving episodes, we learn that the real monsters may not be the flesh-eating corpses, a quintessential morality discussion in any survival narrative. You can watch the entirety of The Walking Dead on AMC — and eagerly await the spinoff series and films with the rest of us after that.

A Quiet Place

Similarities: Horror, apocalypse and survival

Differences: Movie, monster type

Interestingly, The Last of Us has a type of Infected called a Clicker which sees through sound. Well, if you love that kind of tension and you also want to hold your breath for a few hours, try A Quiet Place. This 2018 thriller focuses on a couple trying to keep their small children alive in a world full of lightning-fast antagonists.

Imagine trying to eat, sleep, and simply exist in this world without making a sound. Now add tons of obstacles like creaky floorboards and electronic toys. There’s also a heart-pounding scene where a pregnant woman must give birth silently or risk the creatures’ wrath. A Quiet Place will leave you on the edge of your seat and quiet as a mouse.

Star Wars: The Mandalorian

Similarities: Gruff dad figure via Pedro Pascal

Differences: Sci-fi, Disney/family show

Perhaps your favorite part of The Last of Us is seeing Pedro Pascal as an emotionally repressed father figure. We don’t blame you. In fact, we’ll recommend another show where he takes on a very similar role. In Star Wars: The Mandalorian™, Pedro plays the titular character. Also known as Din Djarin, he scours the galaxy as a skilled bounty hunter.

The Mandalorian doesn’t much care about morality. He just wants a paycheck. That is, until he meets the foundling Grogu. This little green cutie captures his heart, and Mando embarks on a series of adventures to keep the little one safe. The Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2 — plus the tie-in show The Book of Boba Fett — are available now on Disney+. Season 3 is set to release on March 1, 2023.

Which of these will you be adding to your to-watch list? Get even more recommendations from other TV and film fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!