How to watch The Last of Us online right now — HBO Max release date and time

Pedro Pascal as Joel, with Bella Ramsey as Ellie, in the foreground in The Last of Us.
(Image credit: HBO via YouTube)

You can now watch The Last of Us online — episode 1 is live. Except, well, for those we've heard are experiencing HBO Max glitches. 

The Last of Us HBO Max release date, time

U.S. date and time: The Last of Us debuts today (Sunday, Jan. 15) at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on HBO and HBO Max (opens in new tab).
The Last of Us U.K. release date: Monday (Jan. 16) at 2 a.m. GMT on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

And trust us: you want to see this show ASAP. We've seen the first four episode of the latest show to arrive on HBO Max, and we're over the moon about it. Earlier this week, I saw The Last of Us episode 1 again, in a movie theater, and the crowd's animated reaction suggests to me that this will be the next big HBO show. And if audiences aren't convinced yet, they will be after The Last of Us episode 3. Trust me

This show also improves on the game in a few ways, at least for the sake of making a TV series. Having just watched the first episode, and re-played The Last of Us Remastered, I'm sure that the show's opening is better at establishing Joel (The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal).

The new series, an adaptation of one of the most critically-acclaimed video games in recent history, takes place in a version of 2023 where a fungal cordyceps pandemic ravaged the whole world. It's taken so much away from those who survived, and we follow some of those people on a major mission. Oh, and The Last of Us season 2 is now confirmed!

While the show doesn't start in the pandemic-ravaged America, it does mostly take place there. Joel, a weary survivor haunted by guilt is tasked with bringing the young Ellie (Game of Thrones' Bella Ramsey) to the West. This trip, they're told in hushed tones, is of the utmost importance.

In our spoiler-free The Last of Us review, I highlighted how immersive the show feels, how Pascal completely nails the character of Joel and how the series correctly changes parts of the game's narrative for a better story. I should also note that the third episode forced me to finally make a "best TV shows of the year" list, something I've always wanted to do — but never committed to. My colleague Rory Mellon also raves, declaring The Last of Us to be the best video game adaptation ever.

We're getting closer to The Last of Us' release date, so I thought I'd make a recommendation for a show to watch before The Last of Us. Co-executive producer Craig Mazin's previous series Chernobyl is excellent, and prepares you for life in dire times.

Want to know more about the show itself? Check out our guide to the 7 things to know about The Last of Us. As for watching it, check out the trailer below, along with everything you need to watch The Last of Us online.

How to watch The Last of Us online in the US

A slice of the US flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

HBO and HBO Max (opens in new tab) are the two ways to watch The Last of Us online in the U.S..

This is HBO's new Sunday night show, and airs weekly at 9 p.m. ET. The first episode, which debuts on January 15th, runs 85 minutes, ending at 10:25 p.m. ET.

The full schedule is below.

HBO Max (opens in new tab)

HBO Max (opens in new tab) offers an exceptional library, including all of HBO's prestige series, like Game of Thrones, Succession, The Sopranos and The Wire. Plus, the service has its own originals like Hacks and The Flight Attendant. HBO Max costs $16 per month (or $10 for the ad-supported tier).

How to watch The Last of Us online in the UK

A slice of the British flag

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Last of Us will air on Sky Atlantic (opens in new tab) (the normal home for HBO and HBO Max Originals in the UK) and NOW in the U.K., where it debuts at 2 a.m. GMT on Monday, January 16th.

Visiting the UK and can't find it either? Try one of the best VPNs to log in back home to use the apps you prefer.

How to watch The Last of Us online in Canada

Crave (opens in new tab) will be the home of The Last of Us in Canada. It arrives on Sunday (Jan. 15) at 9 p.m. ET.

Of course, those on vacation in Canada who stream live with their friends in the U.S. or U.K. will need one of the best VPNs to log in back home to use Sling, fubo or BBC iPlayer.

How to watch The Last of Us online in Australia

Binge is the place you want to go to watch The Last of Us online in Australia. It debuts on January 16th.

Binge (opens in new tab) is free for the first 14 days, and starts at $10 per month for 1 screen and SD viewing.

The Last of Us episodes schedule

  • The Last of Us episode 1 — Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 2 — Sunday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 3 — Sunday, Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 4 — Sunday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 5 — Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 6 — Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 7 — Sunday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 8 — Sunday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET
  • The Last of Us episode 9 — Sunday, March 12 at 9 p.m. ET

The Last of Us cast

The Last of Us is led by Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is a survivor in the pandemic-ravaged America. Fans of the video game should note that Merle Dandridge voiced the character Marlene in the video games, and that Jeffrey Pierce provided the voice of Tommy in The Last of Us games.

  • Pedro Pascal as Joel
  • Bella Ramsey as Ellie
  • Gabriel Luna as Tommy
  • Anna Torv as Tess
  • Nico Parker as Sarah
  • Nick Offerman as Bill
  • Murray Bartlett as Frank
  • Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen
  • Storm Reid as Riley
  • Merle Dandridge as Marlene
  • Jeffrey Pierce as Perry
  • Lamar Johnson as Henry 
  • Keivonn Woodard as Sam
  • Graham Greene as Marlon 
  • Elaine Miles as Florence

Next: 'The Last of Us' is the best video game adaptation ever, here's why.

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.