Mortal Kombat Games In Order Throughout The Years


Mortal Kombat revolutionized fighting games since it’s inception in 1992.

The newest Mortal Kombat is Mortal Kombat 11. MK11 is was released on April 23, 2019 and features the character Scorpion on the cover.  

Mortal Kombat has put out games dating back to the arcade days. The classic 2D fighter was one of the first to put blood, guts, and violent style of fighting to the big screen. Of course, this was met with backlash, but MK stuck to their roots and have since created a fighting dynasty.  

In this list, we’re going to go through all of the main series games and how each one had console/arcade and media impact.  

Mortal Kombat

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Release Date: 1992

Cover Character: Mortal Kombat Dragon

Original Platform: Arcade  

Published by Midway in 1992, Mortal Kombat focuses on the Shaolin monk named Liu Kang to save the Earthrealm from the evil Shang Tsung. Both fighters enter a fighting tournament called “Mortal Kombat” to settle their differences.  

Originally made for the arcade, Mortal Kombat featured a Joy Stick and buttons which players kick high/low kick and punch. The game’s blocking system also established itself different from other games, with the ability to counter for devastating damage.  

Also found in this version is the “juggling” system which has separated Mortal Kombat from other games. Juggling is the ability to keep a player in the air for multi-hit combos. Fatalities, where players are able to dismantle their opponents once their finished are also introduced.  

Mortal Kombat II

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Release Date: 1993

Cover Character: Lui Kang & Kung Lao

Original Platform: Arcade  

The second game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat II improved on the game-play mechanics and added more fatalities per character. Introduced in this series, were characters who are now the main staple in every game:

  • Kitana
  • Mileena
  • Kung Lao
  • Shao Kahn
  • Noob Saibot

Mid-air mechanics, roundhouse kicks that would send players across the screen, and the speed of the gameplay faster than the original.  

Another notable feature in MK2 is the fatality options. Instead of being brutal and full of gore in the fatalities, Midway added Babalities (turning the player into a baby), Friendships (the two players would dance or give a gift to each other), and stage-specific fatalities.  

Mortal Kombat 3

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Release Date: 1995

Cover Character: Mortal Kombat Dragon

Original Platform: Arcade  

The third installment, Mortal Kombat 3 strays away from the tournament-style storyline, and instead the characters fight against Shao Kahn.  

One new feature of the game was the ability to run. Accompanied by a run meter, this gave players the ability to run toward players to complete combos.

Along with the run button, “chain combos” were introduced to the game, which was prefixed inputs which allowed players to unleash big time combos.  

Kombat code, the ability to enter inputs and unlock characters and alter the game was featured in Mortal Kombat 3. Another interesting feature is the ability to uppercut an opponent through the “ceiling” and ultimately into another level!  

Mortal Kombat 4

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Release Date: 1997

Cover Character: Goro

Original Platform: Arcade  

Mortal Kombat 4 is the first game in the series to use 3D graphics. This was something new to the 2D fighter that would go away later in the franchises.

New to the series were objects and weapons players were able to pick up mid-fight. Players were able to pick up, drop, and use the weapons on opponents.  

MK4 also added a “Maximum Damage” cap to combo moves, which was also new to the franchise. Players who were rattling off ridiculous combos would have them broken if the combo cap got too high. Babalities and Friendship fatalities were removed from this game.  

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

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Release Date: 2002

Cover Character: Mortal Kombat Dragon

Original Platform: PS2, Game Cube & Xbox  

The first Mortal Kombat game was made primarily for the console. No arcade releases. The fifth game in the franchise, deadly alliance fighting styles are something the MK series hasn’t seen.  

Players are equipped with 2 fighting styles and a weapon style. Fighters can switch to each style with a push of a button, which allowed them to combine different fighting styles throughout the match.  

The “Krypt” is also introduced into this game. The Krypt allows players to buy extras in the game by earning coins through gameplay. The more time spent playing, the more coins the player could earn.  

Mortal Kombat: Deception

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Release Date: 2004

Cover Character: Mortal Kombat Dragon

Original Platform: PS2, Game Cube, Xbox  

Midway’s 6th installment is Deception. Featuring 26 playable characters, Mortal Kombat takes an extra step by introducing online mode.  

Featuring a story mode (called Konquest mode), was poorly received because of the poor voice acting. Nonetheless, it was fun to play and follow along with the MK story.  

For the gameplay, new features such as “instant-death traps” are introduced, which when stepped on, will instantly kill the player. The combo-breaker, which appears in later franchises is introduced, as a way to stop players from stringing together devastating combos.    

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

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Release Date: 2006

Cover Character: Mortal Kombat Dragon

Original Platform: PS2, Xbox  

Armageddon is the 7th installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise. Originally released on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Armageddon is the final chapter in Mortal Kombat storyline.  

The 7th installment featured every character from previous installments. Instead of basic fatalities or level fatalities, players had their own set of fatalities which would require multiple deadly hits.  

Another mode which we haven’t seen is the kreate-a-fighter mode, which allowed players to customize their combatant. The game was well-received by the general public  

Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe

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Release Date: 2008

Cover Character: Scorpion, Batman

Original Platform: PS3, Xbox 360  

The final game published by Midway games by Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was a mash-up between the original Mortal Kombat characters and a plethora of superheroes!  

The story mode featured the two forces battling against each other, led by both Raiden and Superman. made by the Unreal Engine 3, it was the first Mortal Kombat made strictly for the seventh generation console.  

In order to keep the kid-friendly rating for DC, many fatalities were stripped. The blood and gore that was a Mortal Kombat staple, was removed to be able to appease the kid-friendly rating.  

Mortal Kombat (MK9)

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Release Date: 2011

Cover Character: Scorpion, Sub-zero

Original Platform: PS3, Xbox 360  

Developed by NetherRealm Studios, and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Mortal Kombat (MK9) is the first game MK game not released by Midway games.  

Distancing itself from the 3D combat, MK9 gets back to its 2D fighting style. Each button on the controller represents each arm and leg. A new super meter is introduced which is an intricate piece of the game. It’s divided into 3 levels:

  • First level can use special attacks
  • Second level can be used to break combos
  • Third level can be used as “X-Ray” attacks to deal big damage

Online mode has a new feature “king of the hill”, where players fight to remain at the top. Each win adds to the win streak. Opponents wait in line, spectating the fight until it’s their turn to try to overthrow the champion.  

Mortal Kombat X

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Release Date: 2015

Cover Character: Scorpion

Original Platform: PS4, Xbox One  

The second game developed by NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat X is the most recent (to date) Mortal Kombat released.  

This game was PACKED full of modes, extras, and achievements. The traditional story mode took place 25 years after the previous Mortal Kombat installment. An upgraded segment of the game was soon released after called Mortal Kombat XL, which featured all downloadable characters and content.  

New features in this game were additions to the fatality. If a player quit during an online game, his head would explode and “QUITALITY” would appear on the screen. Faction fatalities were also part of this game. Factions are “clans” or “teams” that your player would join. There are 4 factions and each faction had its own fatality support.  

Mortal Kombat 11

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Release Date: 2019

Cover Character: Scorpion

Original Platform: PS4, Xbox One  

Related Q & A

What Is Mortal Kombat?

Mortal Kombat is an arcade-style, 2D fighting video game. Known for its blood and gore, players fight to eliminate each other’s health bar. In order to win, the player must win 2 out of 3 rounds.  

Who Is Scorpion In Mortal Kombat?

Scorpion is one of the original characters in Mortal Kombat. From the underworld, Scorpion possesses demon-like qualities and summons opponents with his trademark spears.  

Are Freddy Krueger & Jason Voorhees In Mortal Kombat?

Yes. They are featured as downloadable characters in Mortal Kombat X, or come standard in Mortal Kombat XL.  

Who Were The Original Characters In Mortal Kombat?

The original characters in Mortal Kombat were Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Raiden, Kano, and Johnny Cage  

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