Above all, yep, it is, because it's a great game!
This should speak for itself:
It is one of the best games I have ever played. Before Witcher 3 TLOU was the holder of the most number of GOTY awards. It also consistently ranks up the top or near-top of critics and gamers list of best games of all times.
No game is perfect obviously and few people would not like it but the bulk of 18 million people that bought it must have really enjoyed it.
It is one of the best games because it is one of the most consistent and balanced games I have played. There is literally no weakness, in terms of story, gameplay, graphics, sound, music, writing, voice acting, pacing, etc. Everything is top-notch. While the game does not do anything new. It does so many things better than most other games before and after it.
When I played it the first time I forgot that I was playing a game most of the time. The story, voice acting, and writing were that good. I am sure most other gamers that played it would say the same thing. The characters were fully fleshed out characters. They feel so real. Not the typical one-dimensional/exaggerated game characters you would have in many games. It is to me was Naughty Dog at their pinnacle in storytelling. You might have heard the phrase before “Cinematic storytelling” yes TLOU to me is still the best there.
The setting changes with the season so there are never any boring environments. There are many different characters that you come across with their own backstory you learn over time. Multi-layered characters that add to the story.
Gameplay-wise, it does not pigeonhole you into specific types of games. Before TLOU games are either FPS shooter or RGP or action-adventure etc. TLOU does away with that and lets you play the game as the situation fits. For example, if you are dealing with clickers then stealth is your best option. If dealing with humans then you can brawl your way through but man killing people in TLOU is so brutal that the games make you feel it.
As other people have mentioned. It is a very bleak game. Think the Road novel but instead of a book it is a game.
Honestly, I wish I can mind-wiped myself so that I can play it fresh. It is that good.
So apart from critics and gamers raving about it, HBO recently picked it up to be made into a TV series. That is another indicator of just how good the source material is that HBO has picked it for TV.
What's your take on this game series?