If you're looking for games like The Last of Us, you're in the right place. If you've played The Last of Us, it's an experience that's impossible to forget. From that heart-wrenching opening sequence, where the fungus-infected zombies first siege Joel's house, to the various tense shootouts and gut wrenching moral decisions littered throughout, it's a game like no other. With its 2020 sequel adding to the formula and this year's The Last of Us Part I revising the original for PlayStation 5, few games quite match up to it.
That said, there are a couple of modern titles on the market if you're looking to scratch that itch left by The Last of Us. Not all of them are horror games per sé, but capture the same veneer of emotional storytelling that made Naughty Dog's game such a hit. You'll get plenty of scares, but also deep, resonant characters to become attached to.
Elsewhere, check out our list of the best free horror games for a few extra shocks that won't break the bank. To cleanse your palette afterwards, we've also got a list of the best free action games, and the best free shooting games to try out.
Games like The Last of Us
Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Resident Evil is one of the most enduring franchises in all of horror, and this remake of the 1998 original proves exactly why. Gone are the fixed camera angle and tank controls, replaced by an over-the-shoulder perspective that puts you squarely in the middle of the action. Carefully tiptoeing through zombie-infested police stations and street corners has never been as intense as this.
Fans of The Last of Us will naturally gravitate towards Resident Evil 2 for their similar takes on undead slaying. This game makes less of an effort to humanise the creatures you inevitably have to blast to smithereens, but shares the themes of corporate meddling that also runs through The Last of Us. It's equally just as scary as Naughty Dog's game, with horrific creature designs and some of the most realistic gore you'll see in any video game.
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If you enjoyed The Last of Us but want an alternative that doesn't take itself quite as seriously, then Resident Evil 2 is absolutely for you. With a remake of the cult classic Resident Evil 4 due out next year to follow up on this title, there's no better time than now to try it out.
On paper, Days Gone sounds very much like a rip-off of The Last of Us. Another PlayStation-exclusive zombie title where you play as a lone wanderer ravaged by the undead apocalypse, the two are actually much more different than you may expect.
In this game you play as Deacon St. John, a rugged biker who looks just as badass as his name suggests. Trawling through a dystopian Oregon, he traverses this hazardous landscape in search of his wife, presumed dead but supposedly still alive. The themes of family and loss resonate between Days Gone and The Last of Us, and you could easily see this taking place in the same universe if not for a few narrative tweaks.
It's much more expansive in its gameplay though, with a vast open world left at your disposal. It's not a breeze though, with survival mechanics meaning you'll constantly need to refuel your bike to get around and keep track of ammo to ensure you don't run out at a crucial moment. The zombies are perhaps Days Gone's key selling point, with each creature type having different behavioural patterns which determines when they hibernate and when they come out to stalk you. It reaches its climax with the astounding Freakers, who move in packs that can number up to 500. It's a sight to behold, making Days Gone an absolute zombie must-play.
Red Dead Redemption 2
On the surface, Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us have almost nothing in common. One is an action-packed cowboy game where you live out your dreams of dominating the Old West, while the other is a character-driven lamentation on the impact of the apocalypse. Yet both of them have the same sombre tone and lonesome main character that make them very thematically similar.
Both Arthur Morgan and Joel Miller are relics of a byone era, in their own ways. The former is a cowboy in an era of rampant industrialisation, while the latter clings to his past despite the horrific future unfolding before him. Neither man quite fits in the world he occupies, and you as the player have to help navigate that transition.
If you loved The Last of Us for its focus on narrative and textured characters, then Red Dead Redemption 2 will blow you away. Even for Rockstar Games it's an astoundingly deep simulation of the late 1800s, with a world brimming with zany people to meet and areas to explore. It may not be a horror game in the slightest, but the way both games focus on narrative makes it a logical next step for fans of The Last of Us.
The Walking Dead
Based on Robert Kirkman's comic series of the same name, The Walking Dead is the release that put Telltale Games on the map. It harkens back to the time of point-and-click adventure games, ditching more involved action gameplay with dialogue options and simple walking segments to give the plot the focus it needs.
While Telltale went on to adapt all sorts of franchises from Batman to Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is still its marquee release for a reason. The detailed characterisation of Clementine, Lee et al. meant character deaths hit harder than we've ever seen in a game before, and the level of player involvement makes you feel directly responsible when something goes wrong.
It may not be as gameplay-intensive as The Last of Us, but a lot of the themes and situations in The Walking Dead will feel very similar. With two full seasons to play alongside a fair few spin-offs, there's more than enough in Telltale's undead saga to scratch that zombie itch.
While not strictly a horror game by classification, the premise of Alan Wake is very similar to The Last of Us. In this game you play as the eponymous author as he and his wife travel to the sleepy town of Bright Falls in Washington. She soon goes missing, leading Alan to head out to find her in an environment increasingly plagued by hallucinations and spooky premonitions from his novels coming to life.
Alan Wake is most similar to The Last of Us when it comes to the tone they establish. Both are fairly lonesome games, as you trek through environments devoid of life or hope in search of a better future. There isn't as much of a focus on combat, instead using your flashlight to fend off the bloodthirsty Taken ghouls who linger in the shadows. Zombies these are not, but they'll keep you on your toes all the same.
If The Last of Us was just a tad too scary and you want something more psychological than gory, then Alan Wake is a great alternative. Even better, a next-gen remaster landed on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2021, with a full-fledged sequel due next year. Alan Wake's adventures are just getting started, so hop on board while you can.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Last on our list for now is a very recent game that leans into the action-packed side of zombie slaying action. While The Last of Us focuses on the human cost of an apocalypse, Dying Light 2 prioritises the fun. That's done through a fluid and satisfying parkour system that lets you zip around the decrepit city of Villedor, alongside a plethora of melee weapons to smash the undead into smithereens.
If playing The Last of Us left you emotionally exhausted and ready for a more light-hearted adventure, then Dying Light 2 is the perfect remedy. It's of course still a horror game at its core, but won't pack quite as much of a gut punch as Naughty Dog's classic.
That's it for our list of amazing games like The Last of Us! For something similar, feel free to read out Dead By Daylight killer tier list to see which monster will serve you well. There's no Clickers in there just yet though!