The Last of Us: Left Behind

Common Sense Media says

Violent action in phenomenal, emotional tale of two girls.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Much of the game's narrative focuses on the friendship between two girls under difficult circumstances. The story -- while at times terribly and even gratuitously violent -- asks important questions about loyalty, sacrifice, friendship, love, and bravery and delivers authentic and emotional answers.  

Positive role models

Ellie is both brave and clever. She's a capable and brutal fighter but prefers to avoid combat when she can and only engages enemies as a last resort -- for example, when it's necessary to save those she loves. She's reflective before making hard decisions, thinking hard about what's best for herself and her friend and whether these two things might be one and the same.

Ease of play

Just as hard as the original game. Players can expect to experience plenty of failure before achieving success during challenging combat sequences. 


Players use a pistol and a bow against a handful of human and infected enemies. Blood gushes from wounds, and enemies cry out in pain when struck. One of the main characters is gravely wounded by a piece of rebar, forcing another character to treat the bloody wound. The scariest and most intense moments come when the player fails in combat and an infected enemy viciously bites her amid terrible screams.


Two characters kiss on the lips.


Frequent profanity, including the words "badass," "bitch," "dick," "s--t," and "f--k."


This game is an offshoot of The Last of Us and requires the $60 base game to play.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A teen girl takes a swig of some whisky, decides she hates it, and spits it out. Another girl takes a single swallow from the same bottle. It doesn't appear to affect her.

Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns abound. This expansion adds no new multiplayer content, though it does allow players to post pictures taken within the game on their Facebook accounts. However, the base game -- which is required to play -- includes online modes with support for voice communication. That means players may encounter inappropriate language and topics of conversation and risk sharing personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know The Last of Us: Left Behind is a third-person action game with bloody and sensational violence. Combat involves humans driven mad by fungal spores attacking and biting the main character. It also includes a good deal of strong language, as well as a brief scene in which a couple of teen girls taste a bit of whisky. It's definitely not meant for younger players. That said, more mature teens and adults likely will appreciate and be moved by the authentic and emotional friendship between the game's two young heroines, who are desperately searching for some sense of youthful normalcy as the world collapses around them. 

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Ellie, the teen girl who traveled across a plague-ravaged United States with her companion Joel in 2013's outstanding The Last of Us, returns as the sole playable character in THE LAST OF US: LEFT BEHIND, a three-hour expansion available only via download. The story explores a skipped sequence from the original game in which Ellie gathers medical supplies and uses them to save Joel after he falls and gravely injures himself. Its real aim, however, is to use a series of extensive, playable flashbacks that revolve around Ellie's friendship with another girl to provide specifics concerning the events that led to Ellie joining up with Joel. The challenging combat returns, with several nail-biting sequences that see Ellie alternately hiding from and hunting both infected and uninfected humans. However, much of the game is free of fighting, focused instead on getting to the heart of the complex relationship between the two girls.

Is it any good?


Much like the game upon which it expands, The Last of Us: Left Behind doesn't content itself with simply delivering nerve-racking life-and-death scenarios that will leave players forever wary of clicking sounds in the dark. It also challenges players with a moving narrative that will make players care about its characters on a very human level. As Ellie and her friend explore a long-abandoned mall, doing the sorts of things kids their age not living through a nightmarish apocalypse normally would -- ducking into a photo booth, heading into an arcade -- the tragedy of their situation becomes woefully clear and is all the more so once the depth of their relationship is revealed and put to the ultimate test. Few game characters, male or female, young or old, have ever been so beautifully or sadly realized.

At only three hours, Left Behind is preciously brief. Most players will be left wishing for another three hours, especially given the stirring conclusion. Take it as proof of developer Naughty Dog's understanding of and commitment to the old adage: Always leave the audience wanting more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about female characters in games. What about Ellie keeps her from becoming a stereotype? How does her appearance and personality differ from those of most game heroines?

  • Families also can discuss the impact of violence in media. How do you feel after playing a game with a lot of violence versus, say, a puzzle game? What purpose does violence serve in interactive entertainment?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 14, 2014
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language (PlayStation 3)

This review of The Last of Us: Left Behind was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byWill12Bell May 30, 2014

My favorite game

To girls kiss they shoot zombies and other people so what the last of us is my favorite game and this is a great DLC it is fine for kids if you are not homophobic
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Teen, 13 years old Written byiamthegameking101 March 17, 2014

to much bad language

you should not let kids play this game
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byConor Coyle March 17, 2014

Best DLC This Year!

I love "The Last of Us" and when I heard about a DLC (downloadable content) for it and knew I had to buy it. To start off I love the relationship between Ellie and Riley, it shows that even though they live in a world with infection they have each other to look out for. The infected are really creative, they have their own name, different movements and sounds when the player is spotted. But the annoying infected is the Clickers, their blind but are attracted to movement and so when I try to kill one while it runs towards me I get killed (so only kill it from behind.) My favourite part about this is when humans and infected are in the same area together and I throw something and it starts a fight against the humans and infected which is really cool and also quite handy so it saves me so ammo. Overall, Left Behind is an amazing experience with fun mini-games, exciting gameplay and well-written dialogue it is certainly a must- have for people who've played "The Last of Us."
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide