Award – Best Game Gated Behind Another Game (AKA, DLC)
Left Behind takes the very best bits of The Last of us, improves on them in every way, and then distills it into a three hour experience. Yet it’s more than that. This game made me cry even though I knew what was going to happen.
Explore a derelict mall for the first time as a teenage girl. Repair a friendship along the way. Discover a photo booth, a Halloween store, Super Soakers, and an arcade. There’s deep themes about sacrificial love, repairing relationships, and the importance of forgiveness. Sure, you can also luring survivor bandits into an infected horde so they kill one another. But the way it all weaves together is just ballet.
There’s a lot of barriers to getting Left Behind. You need to own The Last of Us, have played through at least three-fourths of the game for full context, and go through the obnoxious PSN store. Of course, you could solve all of this by getting the Last of Us Remastered for PS4, as it comes on-disk.
Left Behind is the very best thing that Naughty Dog has ever created. I don’t say that lightly. The Last of Us was easily the most thought-provoking AAA experience of yesteryear. And this expansion only amplifies what made that game so great. Seriously, if you’ve got a PlayStation that can play it, you owe it to yourself to go get this. You’ll thank me later.