When The Last of Us first debuted on PlayStation 3, it quickly became one of the most critically acclaimed video games of 2013. Now that Naughty Dog wrapped up work on The Last of Us Remastered for PlayStation 4, the time has come to once again put the studio's efforts under the microscope. Whether you're experiencing Joel and Ellie's journey for the first time, or thinking about taking it all over again, the question of whether this game is worth your time and money remains.
The Last of Us Remastered revolves around a middle-aged man with a troubled past, along with his teenage sidekick who holds a few secrets of her own. Together, they make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States overrun with an infection and reclaimed by nature. Facing increasingly dangerous odds, this ragtag duo must endure and survive, while simultaneously forming a bond that neither of them could have predicted.
The gameplay in The Last of Us Remastered is nearly identical to what players experienced on the PS3. The combat is brutal, unforgiving and deeply satisfying, although a few of your artificially intelligent pals tend to get tangled in your feet at the most inopportune times. Still, the 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second are a definite upgrade from the last-generation edition, while the inclusion of the Left Behind DLC and all-new Photo Mode should provide some fresh bang for the returning player's buck.
On the multiplayer side of things, The Last of Us Remastered is as cool as it ever was, also benefiting from enhanced visuals. If you're looking for extra value on top of what you paid for last year, the Abandoned Territories and Reclaimed Territories map packs are free with your base purchase. Although optional to buy, the one major complaint we have comes in the form of some 80 plus add-ons sold at an additional cost.
Overall, if you never played The Last of Us Remastered, buying it is mandatory, and you should expect people to look at you strangely if you tell them you've never played it, much like if you tell someone you haven't seen the Lord of the Rings films. The game is just too good. For returning players, it boils down to how much you enjoyed it the first time. Personally, we consider it a crowning achievement, and a must play even for those who finished it last year.
Final Score: 10/10