Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

STORY:  There have been many powerful warriors throughout the millennia. But ages of Mortal Kombat have begun to tear at the fabric of the realms. The critical point has finally been reached. It was foreseen that the kombatants would one day grow too powerful and too numerous. If left unchecked, their intensifying kombat would weaken and shatter the realms and bring about the apocalypse. The Elder Gods demanded a safeguard put in place to avoid total destruction, one that would make use of the kombatants bloodlust. Like moths to flame, they would be drawn to battle. At the apex of destruction, alliances will be broken - and old hatreds will be revived. At last, it has come to this final battle.

REVIEWSeveral months before its release, Mortal Kombat Armageddon (also dubbed Mortal Kombat 7) was said to be "the last Mortal Kombat game" by series producer Ed Boon himself. As I figured when I first heard that statement... he was indeed bullshitting. In hindsight, Boon probably called this "the last MK game" simply to hype it up and sell more copies.... Interesting marketing strategy! 

main draw is that it contains every character from every Mortal Kombat game to date (62 characters in all). At first glance, this is surely an impressive lineup. However, many returning characters have been changed both in terms of looks & fighting style... in most cases, not in a positive way, sadly. Many returning characters hardly look like their earlier more recognizable versions, and also present significantly different and rather uninspired movesets... an unfortunate truth to what looks to be an impressive character selection at first glance.


Ooogly selection screen... so why do all characters have the same stance? YUCK.


Midway added some "enhancements" (if you dare call them that) to their mediocre-at-best 3D gameplay engine, cut & pasted from the likes of MK: Deadly Alliance and more-so, MK: Deception. New gameplay elements include a reversal system (which is rather clunky) and a new style of air combos (which are retardedly easy to perform and look equally as dumb). Besides the new mechanics, the MK veterans have most of their iconic special moves and a few basic "type-you-an-ass-kicking" combos. That said, the gameplay is as stiff as you'd come to expect from the "3D era" of the MK franchise...

In all honesty, MK has never felt so unresponsive and clunky. I wasn't expecting much out of Armageddon, considering the two previous titles were severely lacking in gameplay depth; but seriously, there is an unforgivable amount of lag in-between and after inputs. It's so bad in some instances; it's almost as if you're forced to button mash. I don't know of any other way to explain it. I wouldn't even want to imagine what playing this game online is like, because any extra lag would deem this game completely unplayable. Wow, that bad huh? Yes. That bad. 

That's when I popped in my dusty copy of MK: Deadly Alliance to compare the controls, and to my astonishment... Deadly Alliance actually felt smoother, more responsive and the moves I tested (with more than one specific character) came out faster! It actually plays... and looks... better!? You can also tell more polish was put into textures & character/background models in MK: DA. Even the hit animations in Deadly Alliance look smoother and more painful. It's a shame that a prequel outshines the sequel so dramatically. Ohh well, at least there's some good ole' "MK secrets" right?! Like in Deadly Alliance and Deception, there are indeed tons of extras to unlock and many laughs to be had... (when you're done laughing at how bad this game plays, that is).


Rain VS Sheeva... and PS1 flame graphics!


features an all new Konquest story mode, which adds some much needed entertainment to the package, since it's very possible that you won't be playing the actual game very much. The Konquest mode is a mediocre-at-best beat-em-up/platformer and stars a brand new character named Taven, whom is quite honestly one of the most boring designs to ever come out of the series. Other extras include a detailed Create-a-Character Mode (which isn't half bad), Create-a-Fatality (because team Midway ran out of ideas) and Motor Combat ("Mariokart style" go kart racing).

Yeah, there are a lot of extras... which is kind of a given for a console fighting game these days. However, we can't forget this is a fighting game and... of course, the fighting is the most important part. In Armageddon, each fighter has an open hand fighting style and a weapon fighting style. Following suit with the last 2 installments, these styles fail to be authentic and were obviously just slapped on as a novelty. The fighting styles in this game could more appropriately be called "pretend martial arts". I probably wouldn't even bring this up if they didn't claim to be authentic martial arts... and if they didn't appear so horridly sloppy. In better news, the new character endings were done pretty well. Each fighter performs their own kata, which is actually animated quite well (ironically much better than most of the animations in the actual game).

If you think I'm nitpicking too much, try to understand where I'm coming from. After becoming so well-acquainted the amazingly smooth manner in which Soul Calibur & Tekken characters move and fight, it's quite disheartening to see how stiff the MK cast has become. And speaking of stiff, as far as personalities go, there really are far and few between. Still, after all these years, no character in the Mortal Kombat universe seems to know how to speak English or Japanese... only gibberish. "Brreehudogrrrahahaa!!" and "Grrraaaadeedeedeedaaaa!" are a few common phrases that all characters seem to share.  It's a little embarrassing to play for that reason.

Ummm.... WTF is this crap? Seriously Midway.


Once again, Armageddon was said to be the "last Mortal Kombat," and after playing the last 5 or so MK games; I was almost glad to hear it (but not stupid enough to believe it). Approximately a month after saying that, Ed Boon later stated: "In Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, we wanted to end a number of things, actually. We wanted to end this chapter of the story. This is the last MK on this generation of consoles, and we also wanted to end this kind of fighting mechanic for Mortal Kombat. On the next game, we're going to start new, with a bunch of brand new characters, a whole new fighting system, a new presentation with the new graphics for the new consoles, as well as a new control scheme to take advantage of some of the new technology available. We thought it was a good time to close this chapter and open a new one with every single aspect of Mortal Kombat - It's going to be brand new." (And that's how Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe was born).

Hmmm, I suppose when you screw up a series so much, it would be a good idea to "close a chapter and open a new one with every single aspect."  In closing, MK: Armageddon also includes a near perfect port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3... and yes, UMK3 is a much better game than Armageddon. If you still don't realize how bad the controls in Armageddon truly are, then go ahead and treat yourself to a few rounds of Ultimate MK3. Is the game faster? Yes. More responsive? Definitely. More fun? Yup... that too.

On one final but necessary note, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon's rip-off of MarioKart entitled "Motor Combat" (the "headlining" mini game in the package), is more entertaining to watch than it is to play. Midway can't even do a kart racing game right in terms of gameplay... NO DRIFTING?!?!? That's terrible. I've got one word for that one Midway.... Lame-ality.

Page Updated: March 8th, 2020
Developer(s): Midway
Publisher(s): Midway
Designer(s): Ed Boon
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Wii
Release Date(s): Oct. 11th, 2006     PS2
Oct. 17th, 2006 
May 29th, 2007     Wii
Characters Ashrah, Baraka, Bo Rai Cho, Chameleon, Cyrax, Daegon, Dairou, Darrius, Drahmin, Ermac, Frost, Fujin, Goro, Havik, Hotaru, Hsu Hao, Jade, Jarek, Jax, Johnny Cage, Kabal, Kai, Kano, Kenshi, Kintaro, Kira, Kitana, Kobra, Kung Lao, Li Mei, Liu Kang, Mavado, Meat, Mileena, Mokap, Moloch, Motaro, Nightwolf, Nitara, Noob, Onaga, Quan Chi, Raiden, Rain, Reiko, Reptile, Sareena, Scorpion, Sektor, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Sheeva, Shinnok, Shujinko, Sindel, Smoke, Sonya, Stryker, Sub-zero, Tanya, Taven, Blaze, Khameleon (Wii)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat Gold, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Soul Calibur 3, Dead or Alive 4, KOF 2006, Virtua Fighter 5

Gameplay Engine  3.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.0 / 10
Animation  5.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.0 / 10
Innovation  4.0 / 10
Art Direction  2.5 / 10
Customization  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  3.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.0 / 10
Characters  6.0 / 10

 5.2 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words:

Sadly, quite a few mainstream reviewers out there just looked at the name "Mortal Kombat", watched the entertaining intro movie, and slapped on a "decent" score by default. They somehow failed to realize how stiff this game plays in comparison to so many other 3D (and 2D) fighting games of this generation. Or perhaps some of them are just that shallow and really don't know a solid fighting game from their ass.

So is Armageddon even the least bit fun? Well, if you're a connoisseur of fighting games and like playing games that are worth taking the time to become skilled at, then the answer is clearly no. MK: Armageddon will be frustrating to seasoned fighting game players because it's slow, stiff, and clunky. It's honestly the most shallow fighting game I've played in a long time, and doesn't have much heart for the casual fan either.

Even if the game wasn't such a lag-fest (offline), the bare bones gameplay mechanics can't hold a candle to modern fighting games that are actually designed around competitive gameplay - games designed to be fun and rewarding to play. However, if you're more of a "casual" gamer and the type of person that is easily amused by senseless/humorous blood & gore... and if you like button-masher-friendly fighting games, then I'm sure you'll manage to find something to like about Armageddon because it was made for shallow people like you. I'm sorry, but it's true.

I'm not gonna hold back how I feel about the game... I spent $60 on this shit! Don't be fooled by the vast selection of characters in Armageddon, because the majority of them have become such "hollow" and "forced" designs. It almost seems like a lot of them don't want to be in the game at all... like they're tired or something. As far as the returning classic characters go, they were more fun to play in the earlier MK games... nuff said.

will entertain casual fans that eat up anything violent and/or Mortal Kombat, but for the rest of us who actually play and study fighting games, MK Armageddon is a joke. An insult. Fighting games aren't so simple anymore, but Ed Boon & Midway still seem to think so. Seriously, if you thought Armageddon was a "good" fighting game in 2006, you clearly were living under a rock and hadn't played (or actually learned how to play) any modern fighting games in recent times... Have you heard of the internets? MK Armageddon is still on dial-up and it's not ashamed of it. 
~TFG Webmaster

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