[Top 10] The Last of Us 2 Best Encounters

[Top 10] The Last of Us 2 Best Encounters
Only one way out

Naughty Dog’s latest offering is an impactful and thought provoking experience. Sporting a masterfully tuned pace, it’s a story rooted in a basic “revenge” format that confidently sprouts into more convoluted themes and inspirations. And all that while providing sufficient mileage for the advancement of its combat system.

When it comes to the fighting itself, the first thing that comes to mind are the accurately represented human faces, distorting in pain as our characters deal the definitive blow. Yet, violence is not the goal here: it’s the triumph we feel after chiseling our way out of a desperate scenario.

To honor such achievements, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best and most memorable encounters in The Last of Us 2.

10. Ellie and Dina vs. Infected – Mall Brawl

First real challenge for the duo

The first large scale fight in the game features Ellie and her romantic interest, Dina. Up to that point, we’ve learned that Dina is as capable a fighter as the protagonist of the first game and even though we never directly control her, we feel her complementary actions in this fight.

This encounter serves as both an instrument for the growing bond between us and the new character, as well as an introduction of the evolved combat for returning players. It succeeds on all those accounts, thanks to the appropriate spike in difficulty and the conveyed notion of panic.

PRO TIP: this fight is easily won by one of the best known combos in this series – from a corner, throw a breakable object in the middle of the area, and once enemies cluster around the noise, proceed to throwing one Molotov at them.

9. Ellie vs. Stalkers


Horror is an essential part of The Last of Us 1 & 2, and what better enemy to account for our sweaty palms than the eponymous stalkers. Although these crawling weirdos are a returning enemy from the first game, every bout against them feels just as fresh in the sequel as well. After all, no other enemy can make the player feel observed and studied like these bastards do.

Not helping one bit is the fact that stalkers are exclusively found in completely dark areas, inhabited only by suspiciously moving shadows. Stalkers are also careful to remain silent while hunting the player, so every time we face them, we do so in an unnervingly persistent silence.

PRO TIP: once we pierce the veil of stillness with a noise, the trap mine and the shotgun will be our best choices against stalkers with murderous intent. 

8. Abby and co. in an abandoned supermarket

Enter Abby

When the game switches to Abby, we get our first inside look at the WLF paramilitary organization and their daily routines. We learn that the protagonist and her friends (Mel included) are all having trouble living with what they did in the beginning of the game; but alas, they have no choice but follow orders and continue to perform.

After they receive assignments and board a vehicle, things quickly go south. Their path is riddled with enemy patrol routes and buildings that act vacant, but are not. This opening portion culminates with a prolonged encounter against a horde of infected in an abandoned supermarket.

Enemies spawn in vast quantities here. Thankfully, we have two comrades and a dog on our side, creating a team reminiscent of a Left 4 Dead game(with Mel being the medic). Still, the numerous half-crumbled shopping stalls provide robust opportunities for a clicker to stay in shadow and prepare a surprise for our party.

PRO TIP: Manny comments that we can create pipe bombs from the things found in the area, and we should take his words into account.

7. Ellie and Dina in a dark subway

Silence is golden

This duo has been learning more and more about the WLF soldiers from the very moment they step foot in Seattle. By uncovering small pieces of correspondence between members of the group, the player slowly realizes what they are up against and how deep Abby’s background actually goes.

Things get appropriately hectic once Ellie gets their full attention – then, running away is the best and only solution. After sprinting till out of breath, she and Dina make the choice to cross into the subway, in hopes of losing the army of chasers there. However, these soldiers have done their homework: they set up flares, creating a hellish landscape of red mist, as Ellie and Dina hopelessly search for a place to hide.

Lucky for them, it soon turns out that the metro is populated by something else as well, namely a couple dozen infected who don’t mind munching on whichever opposing party (yeah, “lucky” might not be the best word here…). What follows is a symphony of screams, gunshots, blood-splatters and what not. 

It’s the right type of chaos.

PRO TIP: carefully set a few trap mines and hide. Once the WLF trigger them, observe them being overrun by clickers and stalkers.

6. Ellie vs. WLF – suburbs warfare

Ellie vs All

With Dina’s condition worsening, Ellie is forced to press on by herself. However, standing her ground as a one-woman army against an actual army, is no easy task. She must resort to every possible combat tactic to traverse those miles and find Abby in time.

Naughty Dog did the right choice by staging these battles in typically American suburbs settings. The point of no return, when the atrocities of war have fully penetrated once peaceful, everyday areas filled with children’s play parks, is aptly and impactfully presented in this game. 

Hillcrest is a tactically rich gameplay area as well. Consisting of sufficient amounts of tall grass and more than a handful of effective sniper points, it’s the perfect battlefield that allows for many of the combat’s aspects to shine.

PRO TIP: take your time and do not enter all of the houses in rapid succession. You won’t predict what’s hiding inside before it’s too late.

5. Abby and Manny vs. Tommy

The End

During Ellie’s section, the game establishes via flashback that Tommy is a master sharpshooter, capable of scoring long-distance kills like no other character in The Last of Us universe. Seeing him introduce Ellie to the art of sniping serves as a cautionary notion for the player, more than anything else.

Unfortunately, as fate would have it, a riled up Tommy wielding a properly cleaned sniper appears on Abby’s “to kill” list. The fight catches her (and us) off guard, as it comes precisely when we assume things will settle down for a second. However, it’s an enjoyable and cinematic surprise of a boss battle.

Joining Abby for this fight is Manny, in his last in-game appearance. Also joining them are the merry band of hungry infected, who can’t help themselves but follow the sound where Tommy’s bullets hit the ground. So yes, he is clever enough to direct them towards the player. 

It is only by her grit and combat experience that Abby makes it through this one, but not before paying a hefty price… 

PRO TIP: don’t even think of rushing things, unless RATM’s “Bullet in the Head” is your all-time favorite song. Observe when Tommy depletes the magazine by keeping an eye on the scope’s reflection of sunlight, and act accordingly.

4. Ellie first encounter against the Scars

A warm welcome

After enduring a water ride through Seattle’s sewer network that literally no one would want to take, Ellie herself can’t believe that she lived through all that in once piece. Realizing how much ground she’s covered (the hard way), she encourages herself to finish the task, and never speak of the bath she just took.

As she crosses an overgrown park, she starts hearing a strange whistling sound. Very soon it becomes clear that no bird or animal produces those chirps, since each sound is followed by an “answer” from another source, confirming that it is indeed part of a communication between intelligent, bipedal beings.

The Scars don’t care one bit that Ellie’s body is battered and she is extremely deprived of sleep when they start hunting her. Instead, they immediately surround and put her in the middle of a pincer formation, slowly closing the circle around its center.

To win, Ellie must quickly adapt and beat them at their own game (which is even more fun than it sounds). 

PRO TIP: at first, remain prone and carefully set trap mines near their points of interest. After you trim the herd, switch to moving while ducking and take each Scar out from behind. If you must, watch Rambo First Blood Part 2 to find the right mind set.

3. Abby and Lev’s escape from Scar’s Island


Abby’s character growth is one of the focal points of The Last of Us 2 and even though her reasoning might not be flawlessly explained, we do care about her fate more and more as the story progresses. When it comes to her and Lev’s final attempt to save his mother, it’s a monumentally difficult task that only one as capable as Abby can pull off, and is a joy to guide her along the way.

As they slowly gain ground surrounded by gunshots originating from nearby skirmishes, the atmosphere morphs into total war: fire starts raging, devouring all wooden barracks and encapsulating each warring side in a ring of fire. Playing stealthy is an option, but only at first. Once hell breaks loose, Abby’s grasp over the ensuing chaos starts to slip away.

It’s a situation that funnels all objectives into the most basic one: get out alive!

PRO TIP: you don’t have to kill every enemy to advance, and the places where you must, let the battle between the WLF and the Scars be resolved before uncovering your presence.

2. Ellie vs. Abby: Final Fight

Let's finally settle this

The two of them have endured an unimaginable amount of torture, loss and grief when we reach the game’s final point. As they stare at each other, it becomes clear that not much is left in either of them: they’ve become husks filled with darkness, their souls trapped in the pulsating cycle of memories they want erased.

Ellie plays the villain in these moments, with her maniacal insistence to settle the score with Abby, as if one more fist fight can bring her a semblance of resolution. Abby has no choice but to swing back, and this dance starts in earnest. In knee deep water, they engage in a desperate flurry of strikes and scrapes.

Being physically more imposing (but also extremely starved), Abby manages to put Ellie in a stranglehold, and subsequently bite two of her fingers off. Yet, as if assisted by some demonic entity, Ellie somehow reverses their positions completely, pining Abby’s head in the water and pressing firmly…

It’s an encounter that somewhat relies on body-horror, all while probing the membrane of what is the essence of human nature. 

PRO TIP: when closing the distance, strike only once then immediately block. When close to Abby, wait for her to deplete her stamina by reading her body language.

1. Sniper Ellie vs. Scars near a downed air-plane

Outmaneuver and outgun them

An encounter that is equal parts a puzzle and a shooting gallery, this section when Ellie must procure the right weapon on sight is a unique type of exercise. It even takes place on a special set-piece: a downed air-plane split in two, overlooking a building with patrolling Scars, while everything else lies completely underwater.

Admittedly, it’s a scripted sequence that demands that the player discovers the one possible solution, but it feels supremely rewarding (and fun!), nevertheless. Personally, I spent like 15 minutes trying to approach the enemy base by staying underwater, but was always quickly gunned down by their sharpshooters. Even after discovering that I can board the airplane, it was entertaining to figure out how exactly to arrive at the wanted vantage point.

Of course, completing those steps correctly doesn’t mean that Seraphites will start running scared – only good aim and a steady hand will do. As redundant as it may seem, finding a cozy camping spot in a game such as this, enriched the experience with a welcomed dose of alternative flavor. 

PRO TIP: after killing 2-3 enemies with the sniper rifle, don’t assume that it is safe to enter the building. Spend some more time spotting enemies, as they will use camouflage to lure you closer.


Do you agree with our list? Which part of The Last of Us 2 do you think is deserving of a spot?

You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:

Being born and raised in the Balkans, Konstantin has always felt comfortable doing activities like frenzying around Tristram, meleeing on Pandora, or virtuously slaying Silver Knights in Lordran.
Gamer Since: 1996
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Ghost of Tsushima, Minute of Islands, Diablo 3: RoS
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, Borderlands 2, Fallout: New Vegas

More Top Stories