HBO’s The Last of Us is drawing quickly upon us so if you’d like to fill in your agonizing wait with a few similar shows to bide the time, here are five that’ll help get you mentally prepared for what’s to come.

As the festive period of 2022 slowly fades into a memory, the New Year brings with it fresh and exciting new TV shows that will get many of us through the dreaded January blues. One of the hottest and most anticipated series is HBO’s The Last of Us. Starring Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel, the show is based on the 2013 video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog.

Fans of the game will already know what a tough and intense ride viewers will be in for throughout the series so in a bid to equip ourselves for what’s in store, check out 5 of the best TV shows to watch before HBO’s The Last of Us arrives on January 15, 2023.

5. Y: The Last Man

Ampersand the monkey in Y The Last Man
Screenshot from Y: The Last Man official trailer Y: The Last Man | Manhunt – Season 1 Teaser | FX

If you haven’t read the comic series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, then you’re totally missing out on one of the best graphic novels to grace shelves. But thankfully, there’s a TV series if you prefer to get your content more visually. Set in the American post-apocalypse, a mysterious event begins to kill everyone with a Y chromosome, that is except the main character, Yorick Brown, and his monkey Ampersand.

Even though FX sadly canceled the series after one season due to financial reasons on October 17, 2021, the show received mostly positive reviews from viewers and is one to watch if you love the apocalyptic vibes and the fight for survival in The Last of Us.

4. Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth
Screenshot from Sweet Tooth Official Trailer – Netflix

Another series based on a comic book but this time by Canadian writer and artist Jeff Lemire. Sweet Tooth may look like a wholesome fantasy show but in reality, its society has completely broken down due to a viral pandemic (we are all too familiar with this one). A widespread disease known as the Sick (or the H5G9 virus), tore down humanity and developed in its place a slew of hybrid babies – part animal and part human.

Much like Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us, Gus, a half-deer hybrid boy is being protected by his father from a world that wants to kill creatures like Gus. When Gus is then forced to leave the safety of his secret cabin home in search of his mother, another protector comes into the picture as the pair take on the cruel and unforgiving terrene. Fans of The Last of Us will certainly see a lot of similarities in Sweet Tooth.

3. Yellowjackets

Screenshot from Yellowjackets (2021) Official Trailer C/O Showtime

Although this thriller drama series may look nothing like The Last of Us nor does it include a dangerous viral threat, Yellowjackets will most definitely prepare The Last of Us fans mentally in terms of survival, which TLOU is essentially all about. While traveling across the country for a national soccer tournament, a group of young women succumbs to a tragic plane crash leaving them in the middle of nowhere and having to fight for their lives to stay alive.

Not only do we see Melanie Lynskey who plays Shauna in the series. Lynskey will also be taking up the role of playing Kathleen, a ruthless leader of a revolutionary movement in Kansas City in HBO’s The Last of Us.

2. The Leftovers

The Leftovers
Screenshot from THE LEFTOVERS Seasons 1-3 Official Teasers and Trailers C/O JoBlo Streaming & TV Trailers

If you haven’t watched this amazing series yet, where have you been? Tapping into the supernatural, The Leftovers sees people across America randomly disappear without a trace in an event they call the “Sudden Departure”. Just like in The Last of Us and also in Part 2, this mysterious event then sees the rise of dangerous cults, one notably called the ‘Guilty Remnant’.

With incredible storytelling and incredible actors, The Leftovers is a top pick as you wait for HBO’s The Last of Us.

1. The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes walking through hospital in The Walking Dead
Screenshot from Judith Grimes Tells Her Journey | The Walking Dead C/o The Walking Dead

We obviously couldn’t have this list without mentioning one of the best post-apocalyptic series’ to exist, not to mention maybe one of the best opening scenes to a TV show ever. If for some reason unknown to man you don’t know what The Walking Dead is about, it takes place after the onset of a worldwide zombie apocalypse where humans live in constant fear of either being bit by “walkers” and turned into the living dead, or killed by dangerous groups and communities set up in the wake of the outbreak.

In the most similar out of all the TV shows listed, The Walking Dead is a must for Last of Us fans as they take their journey towards HBO’s jam-packed adventure of clickers, violence and survival on January 15, 2023.

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