The Last of Us 2 Remastered: A Remastered Remaster or a Remastered Masterpiece? | GAME3A
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The Last of Us 2 Remastered: A Remastered Remaster or a Remastered Masterpiece?

With the release of The Last of Us 2 Remastered, Naughty Dog's community finds itself once again embroiled in controversy. Similar to the mixed reacti...

Anne Ostler Jan 31, 2024
The Last of Us 2 Remastered: A Remastered Remaster or a Remastered Masterpiece?


With the release of The Last of Us 2 Remastered, Naughty Dog's community finds itself once again embroiled in controversy. Similar to the mixed reactions surrounding the original's 2022 remake, fans are divided on whether this latest upgrade is worth the purchase. However, The Last of Us 2 Remastered sets itself apart by revisiting the game in less than four years since its initial launch, a move that few other titles have dared to attempt.

A Misleading Impression:
The game's title and marketing have given players the impression of a significant technical enhancement, but it seems that The Last of Us 2 Remastered primarily compensates with new features. While the frame rate remains stuck at 30FPS, the remaster's visual improvements hardly change the game's overall feel, making it more of a solid PS5 port. However, the inclusion of TLOU 2's No Return roguelike-type mode justifies the remaster's existence for fans, even if it means outnumbering the franchise's original games with re-releases.

Controversy, Naughty Dog's Old Friend:
Controversy surrounding Naughty Dog's handling of The Last of Us is nothing new. When the original game was remastered in 2014, it was a reasonable port to the next-gen PS4. However, the 2022 remake of The Last of Us as a full-priced title raised concerns about whether buying the same game again was a worthy investment.

A Different Kind of Remaster:
The Last of Us 2 Remastered sparks skepticism, but it stands apart from the franchise's previous re-releases. While it may not bring major improvements to the game's presentation, its price, significantly lower than a full-priced title for owners of the original, makes it more akin to a DLC-esque package. The caveats surrounding the reduced price upgrade establish this remaster as a unique release rather than a mere expansion.

A History of Re-Releases:
Re-releasing improved versions of existing games is not a new concept; it gained popularity during the eighth console generation. Historically, these remasters served the purpose of bringing games to new consoles, serving as enhanced ports. Franchises like Final Fantasy have seen numerous remasters and remakes, acting as bridges across different consoles over time. However, changes in the industry have led modern games to take a more controversial approach.

The GTA 5 Dilemma:
Criticism of The Last of Us 2 Remastered's existence mirrors the sentiment around GTA 5's multiple remasters across three generations. These updates, marketed as full-fledged releases, raise questions about their true value. No Return mode in TLOU2 Remastered showcases what the seemingly canceled multiplayer spin-off could have brought, but it fails to justify a separate release for some players. Fans have even suggested labeling it similarly to Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut. Nevertheless, the game's official status has set an unexpected record.

The Last of Us' Unique Position:
With only two games in the series, The Last of Us finds itself in a unique position among franchises that have undergone remasters and remakes. Both titles were released towards the end of their respective consoles' lifespans, necessitating adaptations to the upcoming next generation. The repeated iterations on the same core have led to The Last of Us being perceived as Naughty Dog's least exciting IP.

A Missed Opportunity:
The cancellation of the spin-off, which would have explored online multiplayer in The Last of Us universe, disappointed fans. This could have addressed the disparity between re-releases and original titles within the franchise. A full Factions game might have balanced the scales, but Naughty Dog opted to avoid the resource expenditure required for a genre that demands ongoing support. The possibility of The Last of Us Part 3 remains uncertain, but if it does come to PS5, a remaster might not be surprising years down the line.


The Last of Us 2 Remastered, with its mixed reception and controversial existence, raises questions about the value of re-releasing games. While some see it as a worthwhile purchase due to new features like No Return mode, others question its status as a separate release. The Last of Us franchise, with its limited number of games, finds itself in a unique position, and Naughty Dog's handling of the series continues to be a subject of debate. Whether The Last of Us Part 3 will receive a remaster, only time will tell.