Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

9 shows like The Last of Us to check out while we wait for season 2

The best titles to check out if you've enjoyed the hit HBO drama.

Published onApril 14, 2023

Joel and Ellie on horseback in The Last of Us

HBO has had a massive hit with The Last of Us, the dystopian sci-fi drama starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, based on the hugely successful 2013 Playstation game from Naughty Dog. Scoring the second-highest ratings for an HBO premiere since 2010, the premium cable network was quick to greenlight a second season. It’s one of the best shows on HBO Max, rivaling increasingly big titles on Prime Video and Apple TV Plus. With the first season wrapped up and no release date for season 2, you may be looking for more shows like The Last of Us while you wait.

The Last of Us takes place in a not-too-distant future, after a fungal infection has wiped out much of humanity and survivors fight for their lives against hoardes of infected undead. Amid the tragedy, a grieving father agrees to transport a girl to safety, but she harbors a secret that could hold the key to humanity’s survival. The two journey, evading foes both fungal and human.

So, what should you watch after The Last of Us? Read on for our top picks of shows like The Last of Us, whether in their treatment of a dystopian future, contagion, and comraderie. And if you haven’t seen The Last of Us yet — or other HBO heavy-hitters like House of the Dragon and Succession — you can check them out on HBO Max by hitting the link below.

Max, formerly HBO Max, is your home for HBO titles, Warner Bros-made movies and TV shows, the DC Comics superheroes, and more. It's also the home for new and original movies and shows available nowhere else.

Shows like The Last of Us

Station Eleven (2021-2022)

Mackenzie Davis rides a horse amid her travelling theater group as Kirsten in Station Eleven - best original streaming shows

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 44-59 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Patrick Somerville
  • Main cast: Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Matilda Lawler, David Wilmot, Nabhaan Rizwan, Daniel Zovatto, Philippine Velge, Lori Petty
  • Genre: Drama/dystopia
  • Ratings: 7.6 – IMDB / 98% – Rotten Tomatoes

Also streaming on HBO Max, Station Eleven is one of the best streaming originals in years. After a pandemic kills most of humanity, survivors try to salvage the best parts of the world before as they create a new society together.

The Last of Us has gained much attention as a prestige dystopian drama, and in that way, it does bear some similarities to Station Eleven, which also features a man taking on a surrogate parental role to a young girl orphaned by a deadly virus.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on HBO Max.

The Walking Dead (2020-2022)

Danai Gurira as Michonne and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon escort a prisoner in The Walking Dead

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 45 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Frank Darabont
  • Main cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira
  • Genre: Horror/action/drama
  • Ratings: 8.1 – IMDB / 79% – Rotten Tomatoes

When the world is overrun by zombies, a group of human survivors band together to make it through alive. As seasons progress, the group shifts and changes, facing new threats, just as often coming from fellow survivors as from the titular walking dead.

Maybe the most commonly cited example of shows like The Last of Us, The Walking Dead pretty much launched the zombie genre on the small screen, borrowing undead film tropes for extended serialized stories of survival after the apocalypse.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

The Mandalorian (2019-ongoing)

Mando and Grogu in The Mandalorian - what to watch on Disney Plus
Disney Plus

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 30-50 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Jon Favreau
  • Main cast: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Katee Sackhoff, Giancarlo Esposito 
  • Genre: Sci-fi/action/western
  • Ratings: 8.7 – IMDB / 90% – Rotten Tomatoes

In this live-action Star Wars series, the first of its kind on Disney Plus, a bounty hunter wanders the galaxy taking on jobs to earn a living. On his travels, he encounters a young, Force-sensitive orphan and takes it upon himself to protect the boy from those who would wish him harm.

If you like Pedro Pascal acting as a surrogate father and protector to a young orphan, you’ll be happy to learn he plays just that as the titular Mandalorian, making the series a fun compliment to The Last of Us.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Disney Plus.

Chernobyl (2019)

Chernobyl Best english tv series on hotstar

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 65-78 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Craig Mazin
  • Main cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Paul Ritter, Jessie Buckley, Adam Nagaitis
  • Genre: Historical drama
  • Ratings: 9.4 – IMDB / 95% – Rotten Tomatoes

Based on the real accounts of survivors who experienced the disaster firsthand, this miniseries chronicles the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in Soviet Ukraine, offering a glimpse at the lives of those who experienced it and those tasked with responding to it.

From The Last of Us creator Craig Mazin, the award-winning HBO drama offers a sobering look at real-world failures in the face of world-threatening events. While The Last of Us is build on a dystopian fiction, it attempts to draw on harsh realities, which are also reflected in Chernobyl.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on HBO Max.

The Rain (2018-2020)

Survivors in an urban dystopia in The Rain - shows like the last of us

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 35-48 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Jannik Tai Mosholt, Christian Potalivo, Esben Toft Jacobsen
  • Main cast: Alba August, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
  • Genre: Survival/sci-fi/thriller
  • Ratings: 6.3 – IMDB / 82% – Rotten Tomatoes

This Danish Netflix original series six years after a rain-borne virus has wiped out most of Scandiavia’s population. Amid the death and destruction, two siblings band together with other survivors seeking safety and a possible cure.

Similar in tone and theme to The Last of Us, this post-apocalyptic thriller is a perfect pick for fans who enjoy Joel and Ellie’s quest.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Z Nation (2014-2018)

Humans hunt zombies in Z Nation - shows like The Walking Dead

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 41-85 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Karl Schaefer, Craig Engler
  • Main cast: Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Michael Welch, Keith Allan
  • Genre: Horror/survival
  • Ratings: 6.7 – IMDB / 45% – Rotten Tomatoes

After the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors work together to get the one person known to have survived the infection to the people who might be able to use his DNA to create a vaccine for the rest of humanity.

The show followed in the footsteps of The Walking Dead and failed to really take off with critics, but it did amass a decent following for a time. It shares some strong thematic connections with The Last of Us. You can also stream the Z Nation spinoff Black Summer on Netflix.

Ready to watch? You can find the show to rent or own on VOD.

Sweet Tooth (2021-ongoing)

Sweet Tooth

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 37-53 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Jim Mickle
  • Main cast: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, Dania Ramirez, Stefania LaVie Owen, Will Forte
  • Genre: Sci-fi/drama
  • Ratings: 7.8 – IMDB / 97% – Rotten Tomatoes

In the near future, a new race of human/animal hybrid children are born when a pandemic kills much of humanity in this Netflix original series based on the comic book series by Jeff Lemire. Gus has lived in isolation with his father since his birth, but when his father dies, the half-deer-half-boy tags along with a gruff stranger on a quest across the post-apocalyptic United States.

Like several titles on this list, Sweet Tooth features a surrogate parental figure helping to transport a child to safety. Much like The Last of Us, the child could hold the key to humanity’s salvation. It’s one of the best Netflix original shows as well as appealing to fans of the HBO show.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Y: The Last Man (2021)

Y the Last Man tv shows cancelled after one season

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 47-54 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Eliza Clark
  • Main cast: Ben Schnetzer, Ashley Romans, Olivia Thirlby, Diane Lane, Marin Ireland, Amber Tamblyn
  • Genre: Sci-fi/drama
  • Ratings: 6 – IMDB / 77% – Rotten Tomatoes

Y: The Last Man follows a group of survivors after everyone on Earth with a Y chromosome suddenly and mysteriously dies, leaving the world full of mostly women. The one man with a Y chromosome is Yorick Brown (whose male pet monkey also lived). Yorick may hold the key to what happened, if he can survive long enough as the world’s survivors scramble to keep society afloat. 

Based on the Hugo Award-winning comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man had a troubled production and was sadly cancelled after its first season. Despite that, it’s one of the best shows on this list, and you can thankfully still watch it on Hulu.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Hulu.

The Passage (2019)

A man and a girl in The Passage - shows like the last of us

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 44 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Liz Heldens
  • Main cast: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui
  • Genre: Thriller/sci-fi
  • Ratings: 7.2 – IMDB / 62% – Rotten Tomatoes

Project Noah, a secret government medical facility, has the potential to cure all diseases, but it could also end the world. A federal agent is tasked with transporting a girl to the facility as a test subject. In doing so, he takes on a fatherly role and vows to protect her at all costs.

Based on the novel trilogy of the same name by Justin Cronin, The Passage reverses the usual trope, with a parental figure leading a child somewhere that could lead to the apocalypse rather than ending it. It leads to a familiar crisis of conscience, with a twist. Despite being cancelled at Fox, you can still check out its one season on VOD.

Ready to watch? You can find the show to rent or own on VOD.

You might like