Mortal Kombat, a fighting genre video game series initially created by the Midway Manufacturing Company of the United States, turned out to be one of the most popular video games in the 1990s. Through the years, the Mortal Kombat game series has attracted a significant following from gamers worldwide.
Starting from its first release in 1992, the developers have ensured that each new edition is more compelling and enjoyable than the ones before it. Its long-running game history has seen plenty of sequels and expansions across a wide array of console gaming systems.
In Mortal Kombat, players choose one of many unique characters to fight in a gauntlet-style tournament against other fighters to determine who faces the final “boss.” If you’re missing some of the action and desire to relive every edition, here is a rundown of every Mortal Kombat game ever.
Mortal Kombat (1993)
The debut PC-supported edition featured seven warriors armed with a specific set of strokes to unleash the opposition.
To set the character on the warpath with a series of attacks, a player can use a combination of directional keys. Despite its dullness because of its average graphics, the game still kept gamers at it for hours.
Mortal Kombat 2 (1994)
This second edition is supported in PC and PlayStation 3 platforms and didn’t change much.
New additions included new attack combinations, warriors, and arenas. However, with all the positive feedback from the first, it seemed like the changes came early.
Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)
It stayed faithful to the rules and cycles of the first two games. It stuck to the central theme of the franchise, which is skill battles, but it can only be played on PC.
It featured an increased number of warriors, new arenas to choose from, and an increase in number and viciousness of the special attacks. The warriors could instantly end a fight by combining blows.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996)
In this PC-supported edition, gamers experienced a series of virtual fights between 2D models in a computer-generated background for the last time.
The gamers feared that it’ll drop the action and blood-filled fights in upcoming releases. Although the modifications were highly anticipated, it still caused worry to players.
Mortal Kombat 4 (1998)
But the blood-soaked action remained untouched in this 3D version. This more interactive edition is supported in PC and PlayStation 1.
The title and the elements and characteristics of the cycle were retained. Also, the brutal finishes on defeated enemies are intact.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002)
The graphics improved, and the basic fighting mechanics got a boost. The fighters felt unique, aside from having special moves and aren’t afraid to get down and dirty.
Shan Tsung and Wuan Chi are the most standout characters in the game. This 3D version can be played in GBA, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GCN.
Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition (2003)
This quick release for GBA follows the storyline of Deadly Alliance. It surrounds the duel of the two dark forces.
It features a unique but virtual opportunity to win the tournament to save the world. Players take this very seriously.
Mortal Kombat: Deception (2004)
The developers focused on rebalancing the enjoyable fighting, as seen in Deadly Alliance. Branded as one of the best and most exhilarating entries, it featured arenas with more diversified themes and subtle attractions like mini-games, crypts to visit, and a fictionalized campaign mode.
It’s supported in PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The user experience was enhanced by the introduction of sixth-generation gaming consoles.
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (2005)
Supported in PlayStation 2 and Xbox, this game introduced a complete 3D adventure presented in the third-person perspective, instead of a racial fight.
The fluid combat system was designed to deal with multiple enemies. The game’s quality and performance were excellent for the time (during the 6th generation of gaming consoles).
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006)
It can be played in Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Wii. The gameplay here is similar to that of Deadly Alliance and Deception.
The players could create new fighters and put together a unique finishing combination. Konquest mode and silly kart racing offered variety and magnetized players.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (2006)
This remake of Mortal Kombat 3 was only available on Xbox 360. It was the next installment in the best-selling series of virtual fights.
Mortal Kombat Unchained (2006)
This remake of Deception was put together for PSP. From the game’s onset, all characters and stages are available to all players.
It allowed players to fight with a flurry of opponents. The players could also engage in multiplayer games with PSP’s wireless ad-hoc functionalities.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat (2007)
Released for Nintendo DS, it was a port from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Instead of new game creation, the developer quickly ported games with hot-streaks that in the past were for handheld devices.
This version has a near-perfect port of the arcade edition. The Nintendo Wi-Fi and the DS Download play made it possible for players to play against each other as long as they are nearby. Most of the features, characters, and storyline remained untouched.
There wasn’t much added to the game.
Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe (2008)
This spin-off, created in courtesy of cooperation of DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Midway Games, gives players a chance to partake in spectacular battles between Mortal Kombat franchise stars and DC Comics superheroes.
With Unreal Engine 3, the visualization of the games promised better performance and graphics. Unfortunately, this attempt alienated die-hard fans that come to love the fights they had been accustomed to, failing to attract a new audience.
It is supported in Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is known as the last game produced by Midway before it went out of business.
Mortal Kombat (2011)
The Mortal Kombat entry in 2011 by NetherRealm gave the franchise a big boost. It rebooted the license in a significant way.
After a decade of inconsistency, an over the top Story Mode, a brilliant fighting engine that seamlessly wavered between 2D and 3D graphics without affecting the brutal fights were all the franchise needed to save itself.
To make it more fun and interactive, other game modes, such as Tag Team and an X-ray system, were also introduced into the game. Play it on your PC, PlayStation 3, PSV, and Xbox 360.
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (2011)
This collection featured refreshed versions of Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. It is supported in PC, X360, and PS3.
Moreover, this also includes multiplayer duel modes. It is successful in its objective in ensuring the arcade staples are available to gamers in better and more accessible formats.
Mortal Kombat X (2015)
In this version, everything else came together like magic except for the Story Mode that would have been slightly longer and more engaging. However, this is a near-perfect installment of the Mortal Kombat.
The brutal and blood-soaked fights and match ending moves made a comeback. They also added a stamina meter, which requires players to be strategic before unleashing specific moves.
There is a wide array of fighters with a few new ones along with new and various tactics and combat styles. The duels are now held in cold 2.5D arenas with several interactive elements that are usable to squash your opponent.
It is supported in Xbox 360, AND, PlayStation 3, XONE, PlayStation4, iOS, and PC. The developers also ensured that local and online multiplayer modes are available.
Mortal Kombat XL (2016)
It is just an expansion of Mortal Kombat X that follows the same plot of events that took place 25 years after the original game. However, it tells a fresh story with new characters like Johnny Cage, who played a significant role.
The mechanics did not change much, and the graphics remained 2.5D. The highlights of the game continued to be the special attacks and finishes with many available skins for the warriors to look flashy as they spill blood.
Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
It is the recent and 11th installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise with a new graphics engine. NetherRealm Studios give it new blood spilling techniques and finishes.
It now rewards players for their tactical and timing prowess. However, players have to deal with a progression system as well. It is supported in the following platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, XONE, and Switch.
The Mortal Kombat franchise had a rough and unsure start in the mid-’90s, which led to its struggles through the mid-2000s. It even saw its original developer close the business.
Like any successful entity, it’s forever-etched in the history of gaming because its new developer, NetherRealm, never stopped improving and trying different additions to their releases.
The road to success is never easy in the gaming world, but the Mortal Kombat game series is here to prove that if you are dedicated to your audience, you can do it.