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How to watch The Last of Us: Stream this highly-anticipated video game adaptation in the UK and abroad

Beloved video game characters Joel and Ellie get their live-action debut in this post-apocalyptic series from HBO

One of the most popular and acclaimed video games released on the Playstation 3, The Last of Us has won truckloads of awards, sold over 20 million copies and been updated and re-released on subsequent versions of Sony’s home console. While it garnered plenty of praise for its third-person shooting and stealth gameplay, other core elements that drew players in were the game’s immersive post-apocalyptic world and strong narrative, which featured well-drawn characters and intriguing moral dilemmas. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before a big-budget adaptation brought this story to a wider audience, with US TV channel HBO securing a deal to produce a nine episode series.

From 16 January, UK fans can watch The Last of Us in weekly instalments on Sky TV and NOW’s Entertainment Membership, with each episode premiering at the same time as in the US and available on demand following its TV debut. Viewers in the US will be able to catch the first episode at 9pm ET on HBO. If you don’t have HBO as part of your cable package, you can also stream The Last of Us on HBO Max, with episodes debuting on the service simultaneously with their TV airing. Being one of their most highly-touted releases in recent years, the show is expected to feature productions values on the scale of other HBO hits like Game of Thrones and Westworld, making it worth a watch for the spectacle alone.

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What is The Last of Us about?

The Last of Us is largely set in a post-apocalyptic world, twenty years after a fungal outbreak has transformed large swathes of the human population into aggressive monsters. Through this world, we follow Joel, a smuggler, as he is tasked with transporting a mysterious teenage girl outside the quarantine zone and through various hostile territories. While the show so far has faithfully adapted key scenes and storylines from the video games, new characters and plot points have cropped up, meaning that there may well still be some surprises in stories for fans of the original story.

The show is co-created by Craig Mazin, best known for creating the highly-acclaimed limited series Chernobyl, and Neil Druckmann, the original creator and writer of the video game itself. As well as a perfect pairing at the helm, the show also boasts an all-star cast, with Pedro Pascal (Narcos, The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones, Catherine Called Birdy) playing leads Joel and Ellie, and Gabriel Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Anna Torv (Mindhunter), Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec), Melaine Lynskey (Yellowjackets) and more appearing in supporting roles.

How to watch The Last of Us in the UK: Sky and NOW

As mentioned above, The Last of Us will air exclusively on Sky Atlantic in the UK, starting at 2am on Monday 16 January and continuing weekly thereafter. Sky’s most basic package currently starts at £24, and includes Sky Q, Sky TV, which gives you access to channels like Sky Max, Comedy Central, National Geographic and more, as well as a free subscription to Netflix.

If you don’t want to commit to a full TV package, you can also find The Last of Us on Sky’s sister streaming service NOW, with the show available under the platform’s Entertainment Membership. Costing just £9.99/mth, NOW’s Entertainment Membership allows you to stream a top-class range of shows, including The White Lotus, Gangs of London, House of the Dragon, Euphoria, Succession, The Flight Attendant and much, much more.

Sign up to NOW’s Entertainment Membership Sign up to Sky TV

How to watch The Last of Us in the US: HBO Max

Stateside viewers can catch the first episode of The Last of Us at 9pm ET on 15 January on either HBO, via a cable subscription, or on streaming via HBO Max. Prospective subscribers can sign up to HBO Max on either of two tiers: Max’s ad-supported plan costs $9.99/mth, with the ad-free tier set at $14.99/mth. With either of these plans, you can also sign up for a year in advance, at $99.99/yr and $149.99/yr respectively, saving yourself roughly 20% over the course of a year when compared to paying monthly.

Alongside HBO series like Euphoria, The Sopranos, The Wire, Mare of Easttown and Irma Vep, Max also hosts a fleet of excellent originals, including Tokyo Vice, Hacks, Station Eleven and Our Flag Means Death. Outside of its homegrown content, acclaimed shows and movies like Spirited Away, Abbott Elementary and 2001: A Space Odyssey can also be found on the service.

Sign up to HBO Max

How to watch The Last of Us from anywhere in the world: Use a quality VPN service

If you’re likely to be outside the UK or US during the upcoming months, you may find your access to your usual streaming services and subscriptions may be limited or blocked due to regional restrictions known as geoblocking. If you want to be sure you’ll be able to keep up with each new episode of The Last of Us, your best bet may be to employ the services of a quality VPN.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a piece of privacy software that allows users to surf the web anonymously and securely. A VPN does this by encrypting your browsing and rerouting your traffic through different servers in countries around the world. It’s this rerouting, known as location spoofing, which can help you change the apparent address of your traffic, giving you access to websites and services you’ve signed up for which may not be available in your current physical location.

For a full explanation of what a VPN does, check our What is a VPN? Guide, and for an exhaustive list of quality options, you can peruse our Best VPN round-up. However, to save you some time, we’ve reviewed two of our favourite VPNs in short below.

ExpressVPN has been a favourite at Expert Reviews since it earned five stars and a Best Buy award in our original ExpressVPN review. Top notch on security, operating an audited no-logs policy, streaming speeds, handling multiple 4K videos from US servers simultaneously, and spoofing, giving reliable access to servers and services around the world, ExpressVPN is an excellent all-rounder. As well as all that, it offers robust yet simple to use Android and PC clients, 24/7 user support, a 30-day money back guarantee and, best of all, three free months for users who sign up using the link below.

Buy ExpressVPN now

While ExpressVPN is our favourite service for those looking to stream from abroad, our overall favourite may have to go to NordVPN. Also garnering five stars and our coveted Best Buy award in our full-length NordVPN review, the VPN drew praise for its airtight privacy and security credentials, top tier speeds and wide range of servers – giving you access to over 5,500 servers in 60 countries around the world. NordVPN also offers around the clock customer support, a month-long money back trial and excellent rates for customers who sign up to its long-term plans.

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