15 Best TV Shows Like The Last of Us You Need to Watch

One of the shows that fans are excited about is HBO’s upcoming The Last of Us series, which is obviously an adaptation of the hit video game franchise of the same title. Those who are familiar with the video game franchise are already quite aware of what The Last of Us is about. Basically speaking, The Last of Us follows a post-apocalyptic world that’s become plagued by an infection that has taken over the bodies of humans all over the world.

In that regard, it follows a storyline that’s quite familiar to a lot of people because it is a post-apocalyptic series that showcases how people survive in a world that is basically uninhabitable. While the infected are their enemies, they also have to face other people as well because survival is the focus of the goals of the characters in The Last of Us. So, if you’re interested in The Last of Us, here are some of the series that you need to watch while waiting for its release:

15. Daybreak (2019)

While it lasted for only a season, Daybreak was a fun break from the usual post-apocalyptic shows that are full of dread and can be quite sad. That’s because Daybreak takes on a more lighthearted approach in delivering its storyline, as it is a series that targets teenagers as its main audience. The storyline follows a teenager and his friends as they navigate their way through a world where the adults have become mindless zombies due to a nuclear event.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: The reason why Daybreak is like The Last of Us is the fact that we follow a world that has become infested by mindless creatures. Of course, they both follow the storylines of survivors that try to navigate their way through a world that has become tougher to live in. And one of the biggest similarities between them is the fact that humans have begun to fight among themselves.

14. The Last Ship (2014 – 2018)

TNT’s The Last Ship is a series that allows us to see how the world had become a shell of its former self when 80% of the entire population was wiped out by a deadly virus. The series focuses on the crew of an entire ship that has been out at sea for a long time and was unaffected by the deadly virus. As such, it is up to the crew of the ship to find a cure so that they can save what’s left of the world.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Aside from their titles (which start with “The Last”), they are very similar due to the fact that a deadly virus is at the center of the entire plotline. While the virus in The Last of Us takes over the bodies of people to turn them into mindless creatures, the virus in The Last Ship kills them. There are also similar themes, such as infighting among people.

13. The Mist (2017)

The Mist is a series that was inspired by the Stephen King book of the same title. It focuses on a small town in Maine as it is engulfed by a strange mist that released predatory creatures into the streets. In that regard, different people were forced to work with one another in different parts of the town. Of course, while their main enemy was the mist itself, they end up antagonizing one another in relation to what they have to do to survive the entire ordeal.

RELATED: 15 Worst Stephen King Books (From Bad to Horrible)

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: The Mist isn’t necessarily a post-apocalyptic series, but the thing about it is that it is very similar to The Last of Us due to the fact that they both follow storylines where people are reluctantly forced to work with one another, and the results were disastrous. It’s the same as the storyline in The Last of Us, where the enemies weren’t always infected.

12. The Rain (2018 – 2020)

The first foreign series on this list is The Rain, which is a Danish series that follows a storyline wherein almost all of the people in the Scandinavian region were killed by an unknown virus that was carried by the rain, hence the title. In that regard, the characters in the series have to find a way to keep themselves out of the rain, as a pair of siblings emerged from a bunker six years after the devastating event. Their mission is to find their father, who was a scientist that needed to leave the bunker to solve the mystery behind the rain.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Like The Last of Us, The Rain follows a group of survivors during a period when the world has become unlivable due to a virus. As such, they follow similar storylines in the sense that the characters are forced to work with other survivors while trying to merely survive the entire ordeal.

11. The Last Man on Earth (2015 – 2018)

If you’re into a more comedic type of post-apocalyptic series, then The Last Man on Earth should be right up your alley, as this is a rare gem among comedy shows. The series follows the story of a man who believes that he is the last man in the world after a deadly virus killed almost all the people. As he was about to commit suicide, he realized that there was another survivor in the form of a woman. That was when they ended up having to try to repopulate the world while meeting other survivors that were either friendly or crazy.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Even though The Last Man on Earth is more comedic than serious, it still has a lot in common with The Last of Us, especially when you look at the fact that they both deal with stories that focus on what people have to do in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. Of course, like in The Last of Us, the people in The Last Man on Earth aren’t always friendly with one another.

10. 12 Monkeys (2015 – 2018)

12 Monkeys is a great series for those who want to watch something that’s more on the sci-fi side of things. The focus of the series is on two timelines, as the future has been decimated by a deadly virus that wiped out 93% of the world’s population, while the present timeline involves the protagonist going back in time to try to stop the organization that was responsible for leaking that virus. 

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Of course, the reason why 12 Monkeys is similar to The Last of Us is the fact that they both dwell on the effects of a virus on the planet, as the future timeline in 12 Monkeys shows us what happened to the world after the virus wiped out nearly all of humanity. That means that it also has post-apocalyptic themes involved in its storyline.

9. Resident Evil (2022)

Based on the hit video game series, the Resident Evil series on Netflix isn’t necessarily a good one because of the fact that it tried to make itself original and different from the video games. It can be somewhat interesting and entertaining but wasn’t really well-received by fans of the video game series. Nevertheless, this series dwells on two timelines wherein the future shows us the effects of what a deadly virus has done to the planet and to the relationship between the sisters involved in the storyline, whereas the past timeline focuses on the teenage years of the sisters and the events that led to their estrangement in the doomed future.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Like The Last of Us, Resident Evil shows what a virus that infects and takes over the body of a person can do to the planet, as the virus involved in this series turns them into mindless zombies. As such, in the future, the virus has spread all over the world, such that regular people have become the minority, similar to how the people in The Last of Us have become the minority as well.

8. Falling Skies (2011 – 2015)

Let’s depart from the usual zombie infestation and virus outbreak storylines to deliver another post-apocalyptic series that focuses more on an alien invasion. In Falling Skies, humanity has lost to an alien invasion as only 10% of the people of the planet seek to resist the alien invaders that have taken over the world. As such, the storyline focuses more on the survivors and how they try to evade and defeat the different aliens that have taken over the planet.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Falling Skies may not seem similar to The Last of Us, but they both share the same post-apocalyptic themes where humanity has become the minority and is now seeking to survive in a world that has become too difficult to live in. On top of that, they both showcase how not all of the survivors are on the same page while they are trying to survive the apocalypse.

7. Fear the Walking Dead (2015 – Present)

Fear the Walking Dead is the sister series of The Walking Dead (more on that later) and focuses on an entirely different group of people that were able to live through the early part of the zombie apocalypse that mysteriously took over the world and turned humanity into flesh-eating undead walkers. In that regard, it is an interesting spin-off that may not be as popular as the main series but is still quite intriguing to those who want to see different storylines that are set in the same universe.

RELATED: Is Tales of the Walking Dead Canon? (& How It Connects)

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Of course, the reason why The Last of Us is similar to Fear the Walking Dead is the fact that they both focus on storylines that are all about survival in a world that has become inhabited by violent and mindless creatures that won’t take a second to attack them.

6. Z Nation (2014 – 2018)

Z Nation is more of a lighthearted zombie series because of how it takes on a more entertaining and a bit more humorous way of telling the story of a zombie apocalypse. The focus of the series is a survivor of a zombie virus vaccine trial as he becomes the only hope of humanity in a world that has become plagued by zombies. In that regard, the goal is to make sure that he and the other people survive while they are trying to find a way to make use of his blood for a vaccine.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Z Nation is less dramatic than The Last of Us, but it still has similar themes in the sense that the world has become overrun by mindless creatures. Of course, they both focus on surviving the apocalypse while trying to find a way to navigate their way through an entirely different world.

5. The 100 (2014 – 2020)

Let’s take a short break from the zombie outbreak series to show another post-apocalyptic sci-fi series in the form of The 100, which follows the storyline of human survivors that live on The Ark nearly a century after a nuclear apocalypse turned the planet into an uninhabitable waste. That was when 100 teenagers on The Ark were jettisoned to the planet because the ship had become overpopulated. And when these teenagers got to the planet, they realized that it had become inhabitable as there were actually survivors that had been living on the planet for nearly a century already.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: The 100 may not have the monstrous infected humans that can be found in The Last of Us, but it does have a storyline that focuses on a post-apocalyptic world that has become uninhabitable. As such, we get to see how they are similar in terms of how different humans interact with one another in an entirely different version of the world.

4. The Leftovers (2014 – 2017)

Unlike the other shows on this list, The Leftovers doesn’t deal with an event that nearly wiped out the entire population. Instead, it focuses on the events that followed after 2% of the world’s population had mysteriously vanished as we get to see how the people deal with the effects of this phenomenon. In that regard, it is more dramatic than it is action-packed, as the people are now looking to try to move on from the event that caused them to lose some of the people they loved.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: There is no virus that turned people into monsters in The Leftovers but other than the fact that it is also an HBO original series, it is similar to The Last of Us in the sense that it dwells on what people have to do to deal with the effects of a huge event that caused such devastation to the planet.

3. Into the Badlands (2015 – 2019)

Into the Badlands is an action series that allows us to see how the world has become much more different from the one we know. This series focuses on how humanity has become different in terms of the way society has become long after the world was nearly destroyed by man-made and natural events. In that regard, society fell, and the human survivors attempted to rebuild by making use of an outdated system of nobility where there was no equality among the people. And it’s a series that focuses a lot on martial arts as well.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: Into the Badlands is similar to The Last of Us because they both dwell on what happened to the world after an event that forced society to collapse. Of course, we both see how they showcase how society tried to reform itself with different groups looking to take charge. But the difference in Into the Badlands is that society has already re-established itself, even though inequality is prevalent.

2. All of Us Are Dead (2022)

All of Us Are Dead is a Korean series that focuses on a group of teenage high school students that were trapped in their city during an outbreak of a zombie virus that turned almost everyone into flesh-eating zombies. While the virus was contained within that city, the series still allows us to see what the students were willing to go through just to come out of that ordeal as survivors. And the best part about it is that we get to see them growing as the series progresses.

RELATED: Who Survived At The End Of All Of Us Are Dead Season 1?

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: While All of Us Are Dead doesn’t dwell on a world that has become overrun by zombies or mindless monsters as the infection was contained within a single city, it still is similar to The Last of Us in the sense that it was able to allow us to see what the characters were willing to do to survive. Of course, they also showcase how humans can be so ugly just so they can survive.

1. The Walking Dead (2010 – 2022)

Arguably the most successful zombie series of all time is The Walking Dead, which spanned more than a decade. The series tells the story of a group of survivors that seek to find a way to survive and re-establish themselves in a world that has become plagued and infested by flesh-eating zombies. And the most intriguing part about it is that The Walking Dead shows us that the true enemies aren’t the zombies but are actually the humans.

Why It’s Like The Last of Us: There are a lot of parallels between The Walking Dead and The Last of Us as they both focus on survival in the middle of a post-apocalyptic situation. Of course, the most glaring similarity between them is that the main characters are forced to not only face the monsters in the world but also face the true monsters, which are their fellow humans.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.