The Last of Us: If you loved the HBO apocalypse drama, here are 8 more classic series to get stuck into

The Last of Us has kept viewers glued to their screens for nine emotionally charged weeks, but with season 2 a long way off, what are you going to watch next? We've got some suggestions...

By Alex Fletcher Published: 14 March 2023 - 2.42pm
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us
Stream every episode of The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW

HBO’s apocalyptic computer game adaptation The Last of Us ended its first season this week with a thrilling and violent finale to bring nine incredible weeks of television to a close.

The story of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and their dangerous journey across America captured the imagination of millions of viewers with its blend of zombies, heartbreaking subplots and an emotional bond between its two brilliant leads.

The Last of Us season 2 hasn’t even started filming yet, so we’ve got a long wait for more episodes. And rather than twiddling our thumbs, we’ve pulled together a list of similar shows to The Last of Us, which you can devour like a Cordyceps-infected zombie…

1. Chernobyl

Chernobyl key art

Both Chernobyl and The Last of Us come from the dream team of HBO and showrunner Craig Mazin. And even though the series are very different on paper – a real-life disaster versus a fictional fungus apocalypse – Mazin brings a recognisably similar DNA to both shows.

The two series are fascinating explorations of human failings, heroic behaviour in the darkest moments and a demonstration of the ways the arrogance of mankind can lead to devastating disasters.

Watch Chernobyl now on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

2. The Walking Dead / Fear the Walking Dead / The Walking Dead: World Beyond

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Gimes in The Walking Dead AMC

It’s hard to remember 13 years (and numerous spinoffs) later, but when The Walking Dead burst onto TV in 2010 with Andrew Lincoln playing sheriff deputy Rick Grimes, it felt unlike anything else on TV.

Zombies and post-apocalyptic dramas have become common place in the decade since, and the sheer scale of The Walking Dead universe means that it has become hard to keep up with all the various twists, turns and shock deaths.

However, the first three series of The Walking Dead and early years of Fear the Walking Dead still stand up as thrilling and compelling dramas, exploring the darker sider of humanity in the most desperate times.

Watch The Walking Dead and its spinoffs on Prime Video and Disney +.

3. The 100

A young adult apocalyptic adventure which had a dedicated cult fanbase for seven seasons between 2014 and 2020.

With a cast including Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Bob Morley, Marie Aygeropoulos and Devon Bostick, The 100 is set in a post-apocalyptic future where a group of 100 young survivors are sent back to Earth to determine whether it is habitable.

It may be a more soapy version of the apocalypse than The Last of Us, but The 100 remained an addictive treat to the very end.

Watch The 100 seasons 1-5 on ITVX

4. The Rain

The Rain on Netflix Netflix

The Danish post-apocalyptic drama series ran for three seasons on Netflix between 2018 and 2020 and thankfully got the proper planned ending in deserved.

Alba August and Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen star as Simone and Rasmus, siblings who hide in a bunker when a virus spread through the rain wipes out nearly the whole of humanity.

The series has a similar overarching story as The Last of Us, as the pair head out of the bunker on a journey to find their missing scientist father who they hope may be able to give them answers and deliver a cure.

Watch The Rain season 1-3 on Netflix.

5. Z Nation

Released after The Walking Dead became a global phenomenon, Z Nation isn’t sophisticated or gritty, but if you love a zombie thriller there is plenty of action.

The central story is about the sole survivor of a zombie virus who is the last hope of creating a vaccine. The problem is the survivor Murphy is in New York and the lab that needs his blood is in California.

That means a collection of strangers are going to have to take Murphy across America in the darkest and most dangerous circumstances.

Watch Z Nation season 1-5 on Netflix.

6. Station Eleven

A drama about a flu pandemic was a hard sell in the middle of the Covid pandemic in 2021, but Station Eleven earned critical acclaim, a lead actor Emmy nomination for Himesh Patel and a lot of love from those fans who were able to stomach a dystopian series so soon after global lockdowns.

Based on the Emily St. John Mandel book, It features an impressive cast (Mackenzie Davis, Matilda Lawler, David Wilmot and Nabhaan Rizwan) and tells a group of interconnected stories, before during and after the collapse of civilisation.

The series explores some big topics usually ignored by post-apocalyptic dramas, touching on art, humour and the good in people, as the world begins again.

Watch Station Eleven on Prime Video with a Lionsgate+ subscription.

7. The Leftovers

The Leftovers key art

When The Leftovers season 1 premiered on HBO in 2014, it earned moderate acclaim for its serious and dark adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel about a global ‘rapture’ event that resulted in 2% of the world’s population disappearing.

However, when the series continued for season 2 and 3 and departed from Perrotta’s novel, it began to pick up a passionate fanbase who praised the show’s imagination and creativity.

Rolling Stone described the series as one of the greatest of the 21st century and The Guardian declared it the most ambitious show of the decade.

Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon are among the cast.

Watch The Leftovers season 1-3 on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

8. Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets key art

This thriller about a New Jersey high school girls soccer team who have to survive in the wilderness after a plane crash, was a big hit with viewers and critics in 2021.

The series follows the characters during their time in the wilderness and also catches up with them 20 years into the future. An intriguing mash-up of genres, Rolling Stone described the series as “Lord of the Flies meets Lost meets Alive meets It meets the collected works of Megan Abbott”.

The ensemble cast, including Juliette Lewis, Cristina Ricci and Melanie Lynskey, picked up Emmy nominations and second and third seasons were quickly given the greenlight.

Watch Yellowjackets season 1 on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

How to watch The Last of Us

The Last of Us key art

Stream every episode of The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

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