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Change YoY: =   My Rating: 9.5 / 10

Naughty Dog's greatest masterpiece remains just as effective an experience today as it was when it was first released over a decade ago now. From one of the most harrowing and heartbreaking opening scenes in video game history, all the way to its final bittersweet moments, this was the developer at its best, especially in terms of storytelling and writing. The world Naughty Dog created here was darker than anything it had done before, eschewing its past adventurous or even comedic titles for a full-on tragedy, with just enough small moments of levity and joy sprinkled throughout to keep the game from becoming too depressing.

The game also features a truly intense and often genuinely terrifying gameplay experience, an excellent soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla, and absolutely gorgeus visuals regardless of which version of the game you play. In addition, the game also received one of my all-time favourite DLC expansions in Left Behind, which gave us a wonderful glimpse into Ellie's backstory before the events of the main game. It's great to see her simply being a happy kid for a while, even if that obviously can't last for very long. Not only is The Last of Us Naughty Dog's best work to date, but it is also one of the very best games of its generation, and easily among the most emotionally impactful games I've ever played. Being willing to end a game on something other than an unambiguously happy note is still all too rare in video games, and it was done expertly here.