11 Shows Like ‘The Last of Us’ to Binge-Watch After Season 1

If you were hooked on the first season of HBO’s The Last of Us, then you’ll probably need an equally compelling series—complete with complex characters and gripping storylines—after watching the season finale. Since it can be challenging to find similar shows that’ll really pique your interest, we rounded up a list of the 11 best shows like The Last of Us to keep you occupied until the premiere of season two.

Aside from post-apocalypse shows, you’ll find a few binge-worthy options that tap into similar themes, from Southcliffe to I May Destroy You. Keep scrolling to find your newest obsession. 

1. Yellowjackets

  • Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis
  • Seasons: 1

This gripping series follows an all-female high school soccer team who are heading to Seattle for a tournament. When their plane crashes in the middle of nowhere, they must adapt to living in the wilderness while they wait to be rescued. The story is told through flashback and present-day scenes featuring the survivors, who are still coping with the trauma as adults.

2. Black Summer

  • Cast: Jaime King, Justin Chu Cary, Christine Lee
  • Seasons: 2

The Last of Us gets pretty dark and brutal, but Black Summer takes things up a notch with a terrifying twist. Set in the same universe as Netflix’s Z Nation, the series revolves around a mother who’s forced to band together with strangers and navigate a zombie apocalypse while searching for her lost daughter. These undead creatures are smarter, faster and ten times more terrifying than your average zombie. The scariest part? Anyone who dies instantly turns into one.

3. The Leftovers

  • Cast: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler
  • Seasons: 3

Based on Tom Perrotta's novel, The Leftovers follows the aftermath of the Departure, a mysterious event where two percent of the world’s population suddenly vanishes. The series focuses on a group of survivors as they struggle to adjust and cope with loss. And while it has a melancholy tone, there's just enough dark humor and clever references to lighten the mood.

4. Station Eleven 

  • Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Matilda Lawler, David Wilmot
  • Seasons: 1

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, where 99 percent of civilization has been wiped out by a deadly virus, the series revolves around a group of survivors who must work together to survive and cope with the devastating loss. Unfortunately, the group runs into trouble when they cross paths with a dangerous cult.

5. The Walking Dead

  • Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden
  • Seasons: 11

You’ve probably seen plenty of comparisons between The Last of Us fans and The Walking Dead, given that both post-apocalyptic dramas have similar elements and a complex lead protagonist. The show initially follows Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes, who wakes up from a coma and learns that there was a zombie apocalypse. Throughout the series, he leads a group of survivors as they fight for their lives, but things get more complicated when they meet other drifters with questionable intentions.  

6. Z Nation

  • Cast: Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Michael Welch
  • Seasons: 5

While The Last of Us follows a smuggler who’s tasked with transporting a teenager across a post-apocalyptic United States, Z Nation centers on a group of everyday heroes who embark on a mission to escort the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse from New York to California. The gritty drama successfully balances dark themes with humor, which sets it apart from most zombie apocalypse shows. 

7. Southcliffe 

  • Cast: Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris, Shirley Henderson
  • Seasons: 1

Journalist David Whitehead is working on a special assignment that hits very close to home. Years after a devastating tragedy occurs in his hometown, David returns to investigate what really happened. Like The Last of Us, the series deals with grief, trauma and tragedy. 

8. Broadchurch

  • Cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
  • Seasons: 3

If you're looking for a nail-biting show that boasts strong characters and wild plot twists, allow us to introduce your new favorite series. It follows two detectives as they investigate the murder of an 11-year-old boy in a small town. And according to Philip Mutz, PureWow's Vice President of News & Entertainment, it's a "highly bingeable crime drama" that will "keep you guessing until the very last second.”

9. The Mist

  • Cast: Morgan Spector, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney
  • Seasons: 1

As a mysterious and deadly fog spreads in the town of Bridgeville, Maine, the surviving residents are forced to take refuge in a shopping mall, a church and a hospital. The mist preys on people’s biggest fears and guilt, which makes for a terrifying edge-of-your-seat premise. But perhaps one of the show’s biggest strengths is how it addresses themes like hypocrisy, morality and how people respond to fear.

10. I May Destroy You

  • Cast: Michaela Coel, Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu
  • Seasons: 1

Character-driven storylines and deeply emotional scenes are just two elements that make The Last of Us so compelling—and HBO Max’s I May Destroy You certainly delivers on both fronts. It follows Arabella, a young writer and social media celebrity who’s trying to heal after a traumatic night out with friends. The show does an incredible job of exploring the ripple effects of assault and consent.

11. Chernobyl

  • Cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson
  • Seasons: 1

This miniseries dramatizes the real-life 1986 disaster, which took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. The show was created and written by Craig Mazin, the mastermind behind The Last of Us, so it comes as no surprise that Chernobyl boasts a few of the same themes and an equally dark tone. From the first episode, viewers are immersed in a world of doom and gloom, with plenty of tension and chilling moments. 

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...