The Last of Us: Left Behind



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.

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. 

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?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

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

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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
Teen, 16 years old Written byNo Name, for real. March 15, 2014


The new DLC " Left behind is one of the most heartbreaking stories for people that enjoy a moving story, to be able to let go of the characters they care about, on a very human level. As Ellie and Riley explore an abandoned mall. Having fun, and trying to make it last. The sadness of their situation soon clear. 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. When it comes to violence, it gives you visceral feel of excitement, but also a sentimental impact so that you realize its not whats best, you got to do what you have to survive. Its an interesting topic, that's probably going to have a lot of controversy, and the game itself raises questions about violence in video games in general. However when the action comes around its frantic, and not subtle. The game play shifts to having the human and zombie enemies kill each other while you sneak by, its a lot more frantic than "The Last of Us". Multiple stabbings, and shootings throughout as well. Knifing, blood, and the same disturbing things that made the last of us tick, is all present. But overall, you'll walk away heart broken, but also rewarded.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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