Why a Part 3 for The Last of Us Can’t Fully Abandon Ellie or Abby Yet


  • The Last of Us Part 3 could introduce new characters, like Abby, to take a break from Ellie.
  • Ellie’s story in Part 2 left room for redemption and closure, potentially entangling with Abby once again.
  • A spin-off or different titled game could focus on new characters and different parts of the world infected by Cordyceps.

Because The Last of Us has only ever revolved around the story of Joel and Ellie’s connection there isn’t really anything to extrapolate from and predict for what a new game may behold. It seems like high time that Naughty Dog takes this as an opportunity to introduce new characters, and fortunately it could do so now by continuing Abby’s story in a Part 3 if it wants to take a well-earned break from Ellie. That said, The Last of Us hasn’t abandoned Ellie before, and a Last of Us game without her might feel incredibly different, perhaps to its detriment.

Naughty Dog is great at ending games in a place where a continuation is ambiguously proposed. Ellie could live out the rest of her days as a lonesome traveler having to suffer the consequences of her actions in Part 2, never to be seen or playable again in the franchise. However, The Last of Us Part 2 left its conclusion open-ended enough that Ellie could still find some sort of redemption or closure in a third installment, and maybe even entangle with Abby again in a much different light. Either way, it seems inevitable that a Last of Us Part 3 would feature Ellie, Abby, or both inseparably.


The Last of Us is the Least Exciting Part of Naughty Dog’s New Plans

The Last of Us’ franchise is sure to continue, although Naughty Dog’s multiple games in development make the IP the least exciting of the bunch.

The Last of Us’ Chapter-Like ‘Parts’ Insinuate a Clear Direction

If the Next Last of Us is Part 3, Ellie or Abby are Sure to Be Reprised

On paper, the idea of The Last of Us’ games now being given Part subtitles suggests that they are connected. The Last of Us’ original game was retroactively titled Part 1 for the remake to make that cohesive with Part 2, and if the next Last of Us game is titled Part 3 then it’s almost assured it will feature Ellie or Abby.

It wouldn’t make sense to call it Part 3 and not have it connect to Part 1 and Part 2 at all, and until Ellie or Abby are given something definitive in their lives to have them settle down peacefully or die as gruesomely as Joel did, it will always be possible that they could return. Ellie could pursue Dina and try to reconnect with her, for example, and Abby and Lev could have an entirely new story to tell wherever they happen to end up.

It seems as if Naughty Dog ended Part 2 with this in mind, keeping both protagonists’ stories open for interpretation and continuation if it ever wanted to pick them back up for a new game.

Spin-Offs Have All the Creative Leniency They Need in The Last of Us’ Franchise

Now, if a new Last of Us game has any other sort of title, whether it’s a spin-off, half-sequel, or other concoction, there’s a greater chance that it will eschew from Ellie, Abby, and probably any known characters to instead divert attention to a new batch of people. If so, there’s as much likelihood that Naughty Dog will pursue spin-offs as it will pursue a Part 3.

Plus, doing so would allow Naughty Dog to stretch its legs with the IP and introduce a whole new cast for players to meet, hopefully in a completely separate part of the world where The Last of Us’ Cordyceps infection could take on a new monstrous form previously unseen or unheard of. There’s a chance that both endeavors are being cooked up at the same time, but it’ll be fairly clear nonetheless what direction The Last of Us will be taken when its next entries have their titles revealed.

last of us 2 box art

The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us Part II is the follow-up to the original game in the series. This time around, players control both Ellie and Abby. The game won many awards, including smashing the record for the most Game of the Year awards.

The Last of Us

June 19, 2020


M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs