No. 4

4. "The Last of Us" (2013, Naughty Dog, for PlayStation 3 and 4)

Naughty Dog's survival horror odyssey makes high art out of hell on earth. Across American cities bombed into modern art formations, fungal plague has boiled survivors down to quarantine zones and bandit territories. But the story of Joel and Ellie's journey through them is driven as much by life-or-death drama as the raw human emotion their relationship awakens. As they escape and inflict death with increasing regularity, Joel's buried heartache and Ellie's world-weariness steer them in compelling directions. Charting them is a script whose economy of words reflects the urgency of their environment, as well as animation that speaks volumes with every tilted eyebrow and desperate stare. The game's action perfectly sustains the savage tone of Joel and Ellie's world, and its multiplayer leverages that action for lasting thrills. But "The Last of Us" endures because of some of the best cinematic storytelling in the medium ever.

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