The Last of Us is a beautiful game, but it can also be a challenging one. As its setting suggests, scouring for resources can be hard for the non-diligent among us, and deciding what resources to use and what items to craft can make for a stressful gameplay experience.
But it's also much harder than that; runners can seemingly spot you from a mile away, clickers one-shot you, and the human enemies are smart, efficient, and incredibly dangerous with the right weapon. Add in a large, expansive environment, and you've got yourself some tough moments.
10 Sneaking Up On David
The Last of Us eschews the traditional boss fight by having you sneak around David rather than engaging him directly. This section may prove challenging for some newcomers, especially those who didn't tend to utilize stealth.
Not only does the game force you to use stealth, but it places random bits of broken plate on the ground to reveal your location. The fight gets even harder once David starts hiding as well, and you're forced to both flank him and use your hearing to pinpoint his location. It's easy once you know what to do, but it may take some trial and error to figure it all out.
9 Hanging Joel
Blasted Bill and all his stupid contraptions! Well, stupid for us. Not for him. One of the most challenging parts of the early game is when Joel is trapped in one of Bill's Home Alone-esque contraptions and forced to defend Ellie from invading zombies. Not only are you upside down the entire time, but you're forced to contend with many fast zombies who come from multiple directions, all while carefully managing your ammo and making each individual shot count.
This is particularly challenging on Grounded when ammo is at its absolute scarcity. It's tough, but certainly passable.
8 Dark Clicker Room
We don't know what else to call this, aside from Dark Clicker Room, so that's what we're going with! This part comes even earlier in the game, when Ellie, Marlene, and Joel are traversing the dark lobby of the toppled skyscraper. This is the first time you are forced to deal with numerous clickers in one area, and you can either evade them entirely or take them out one at a time.
To make it even more difficult, you are forced to do so in the pitch black, and either of the clickers can instantly one-shot you should you make a mistake. The game wants you to learn how to deal with clickers, and it's not about holding your hand.
7 The First Bloater Fight
The entire Bill section is when true The Last of Us players are born. If all the running, random attacks, and sneaking through the school wasn't hard enough, the game forces you to confront a Bloater in one of the game's most action-centric sections.
The Bloater is tough as nails, and, if your aim isn't good or if you're painfully low on ammo and/or supplies, this fight can be incredibly challenging. Add in some random runners and clickers that constantly interrupt the proceedings and get in your way, and you have yourself a pretty challenging fight.
6 The Pittsburgh Financial District
Immediately upon leaving the snazzy Pittsburgh hotel, you are met with one of the game's hardest sections: that darned financial district. While the area is quite large and filled with many hiding locations, the place is absolutely littered with enemies, many of whom are extremely deadly and efficient with their weapons.
Yeah, Ellie sort of helps from her vantage point, but also not reeeeally. You are forced to defeat a dozen-plus enemies, many of whom are located in prime positions to see you taking out their buddies. Whether you sneak or go guns blazing, the financial district is a toughy.
5 Winter Fight With David
Don't you hate it when video game allies are absolutely useless? Such is the case with the winter fight with David when you are forced into a small area and quite literally surrounded by attacking enemies.
In this section, you must fend off invading runners, battle numerous one-shot clickers (many of whom will drop in behind you for an unsuspecting kill), and even a Bloater, which is especially tough if you used all your ammo and resources on the preceding battle. To make matters worse, David is absolutely useless, so you're getting no help there. What a way to introduce the winter section!
4 Sewers With Sam
As if the entire Pittsburgh section wasn't hard enough, you are quickly treated to one of the game's hardest areas once you reach the sewers. Once you are separated from Henry and Ellie and forced to defend Sam, the game takes a complete 180 in pacing and turns absolutely bonkers.
You must defeat dozens of enemies AND defend the useless Sam, and, when that's all done, you and Henry are forced to fend off an attacking horde as Ellie and Sam get the doors open. One wrong move here, and you're toast. It's a brutal section, and the game acknowledges as much once you finally escape the oppressive sewers.
3 Suburb Sniper Nest
Luckily, the game gives you a breather immediately following the intense sewer fight, as you are free to explore the vast suburbs at your own pace and resupply all your expended resources. However, like a sadistic roller coaster, the game punches you in the gut immediately after with the sniper nest.
This sniper nest is the bane of many a players' existences, as the sniper has pinpoint accuracy and can deplete a large majority of your health with a single shot. If you don't know the correct route, or if you stumble for even a second, you are done for. For that matter, sniper nest sections always suck, no matter the game.
2 The Hotel Basement
The hotel basement is perhaps the perfect representation of what The Last of Us can offer in terms of gameplay and scares. The basement is pitch black and filled with spores, and you are forced to quietly navigate the maze-like basement for a keycard.
Once you find the keycard, you have to turn on a generator, which of course draws the attention of the enemies that are littered throughout the area. If you're not good at stealth, or if you are low on ammo and/or resources, you may as well just delete that save file and start the whole game over; you're done for at that point.
1 Firefly Hospital
It makes sense to leave the toughest area for last. That's just video games 101 right there. But, even if we were expecting it, we weren't prepared for just how difficult the final battle in the Firefly hospital can be. Here, your skills are put to the test as you are forced to evade soldiers decked out in armor and carrying extremely deadly machine guns that can pump you full of holes in one quick burst.
You can try evading them, but they seem to have the vision of a hawk and can seemingly pinpoint the lice crawling on your filthy clothes. We love this section for its thematic relevance, but jeez is it frustrating.