The show, which premieres in the US on Sunday 15 January and on Monday 16 January on Sky Atlantic in the UK, is adapted from the acclaimed 2013 video game of the same name.
Ahead of its debut, The Last of Us has been lavished with praise by many reviewers – including The Independent’s chief TV critic Nick Hilton.
On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series currently boasts a glowing “fresh” score of 97 per cent positive reviews.
The score is especially noteworthy given the tepid reception video game adaptations usually receive. Several – such as 1993’s Super Mario Bros or 2003’s Alone in the Dark – have been cited as ranking among the worst films ever made.
In fact, while it’s possible the series’ ranking may drop a percentage point or two in the next week, The Last of Us has achieved the highest ever score for a live-action video game adaptation.
The second season of Netflix’s hit fantasy adaptation The Witcher registered a score of 95 per cent, but the series overall clocks just 81 per cent “fresh” – and that’s still the second-highest score of any live-action show.
The 2021 film Werewolves Within is reportedly the highest-ranked live-action film based on a video game, having garnered a score of 81 per cent.
Animated video game adaptations have, however, enjoyed greater critical success in the past, with some even besting The Last of Us’s impressive rating.
The animated series Arcane: League of Legends and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, released by Netflix, both currently have perfect scores of 100 per cent positive reviews.
Castlevania, another animated series released by Netflix in 2017, also scores highly, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94 per cent.
The Last of Us premieres at 9pm on HBO on Sunday 15 January in the US. In the UK, it airs at 2am on 16 January on Sky Atlantic and NOW.
In a recent interview, The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal revealed the one major instruction from HBO that he ignored while filming the series.