Mortal Kombat is one of the most recognizable (and often controversial) franchises in gaming. On top of decades worth of games, it’s also spawned a series of brutal action movies — the most recent of which is streaming now on HBO Max.
The jump from 2D to 3D was hard for a lot of developers, and the first 3D Mortal Kombat game certainly suffered for that. With muddy character models and hilariously bad voice acting, this is the worst of the series.
Pitting Mortal Kombat fighters against DC characters sounds cool in concept, but the DC roster wasn’t as fun to play in practice, and Mortal Kombat’s signature Fatalities were toned way down.
Like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon crammed every fighter in the series’ history into one game. Unfortunately, most didn’t actually feel distinct enough and their designs don’t hold up.
The first Mortal Kombat game is remembered fondly for kicking off the classic series, but its sequels have improved on the formula in every way and left the original feeling like a relic of its time.
Development was handed off to NetherRealm Studios for this reboot, which returns the series to 2D stages and begins a surprisingly engaging new storyline.
Mortal Kombat X proved that NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat wasn’t a fluke. With distinctive new fighters and some truly gnarly Fatalities, it feels like what every game in the series so far wanted to be.
Mortal Kombat 11 combines the most strategic combat in the series with new modes and a great foster of fighters. The result is a game that feels like both an evolution and celebration of the franchise.