Mortal Kombat 1

Announced as part of the 30th anniversary of the series, Mortal Kombat 1 is confusingly the 12th mainline entry and 23rd installment of the long-running Mortal Kombat series. Similar to Mortal Kombat (9) released back in 2011, Mortal Kombat 1 is considered a "soft reboot" taking inspiration from the original game's characters, environments, and storyline.

Mortal Kombat 1 character selection screen.

Kameo Fighters: The new "Kameo" Assist mechanic features a separate roster of recognizable faces from the early days of Mortal Kombat and beyond. Kameo characters are chosen before the fight begins, and can be called into action to perform several different attacks during gameplay. Some of the Kameo characters are inspired by their classic appearances from the late 90s, including but not limited to: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Kano, Goro, Jax, Cyrax, Sektor, and Stryker.


Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo selection screen.

Mortal Kombat 1 will introduce Tag Fatalities. While the main characters on the roster still have the ability to perform their own Fatalities, Kameo characters can now perform combination Fatalities with their Kameo Fighters as well as their own Fatalities individually. As usual for Mortal Kombat, there's a lot of gratuitous violence, gore, and murder.

Reimagined klassic fighters... in a new timeline.

Similar to past modern installments like Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, and Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1 will contain a lengthy cinematic story mode (although details on this mode have not yet been revealed). Ed Boon confirmed that The Krypt will not return in Mortal Kombat 1 and will instead be replaced by a new unlocking system.

The six dlc characters of MK1's Kombat Pack... will move units.

A Mortal Kombat 1 Kollector's Edition was announced in May 2023 featuring a Liu Kang statue by Coarse and other in-game content. The Kollector's Edition costs $249.99.

Mortal Kombat 1 features a new cinematic story mode.






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Page Updated: July 2nd, 2024
Developer(s): NetherRealm Studios
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date(s): September 19th, 2023
Characters Scorpion, Sub Zero, Raiden, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Johnny Cage, Kitana, Mileena, Kenshi, Shang Tsung, Smoke, Rain, Baraka, Li Mei, Tanya, Quan Chi, Ermac, Geras, Takeda Takahashi (DLC), Reptile, Ashrah, Havik, Sindel, Nitara, Reiko, General Shao, Homelander (DLC), Omni-Man (DLC), Peacemaker (DLC)
Kameo Characters Sonya Blade, Kano, Goro, Jax Briggs, Stryker, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kung Lao, Cyrax, Sektor, Frost, Darrius, Sareena, Motaro, Shujinko, Tremor, Khameleon, Mavado, Janet Cage, Ferra
News Links June 2024: MK1 Takeda Teaser, Abysmally Low EVO '24 Turnout

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Related Games: Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, MK: Deadly Alliance, MK: Deception, MK: Armageddon, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, Under Night In-Birth 2, TEKKEN 8, Street Fighter 6, Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves, Marvel Vs. Capcom Fighting Collection

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Instead of releasing what would've been the impressively highest numeric fighting game installment to date ("MK12"), Ed Boon and co. decided to scrap the "2" for some random reason and... go with yet another reboot. Congrats Mortal Kombat, you're officially and undisputedly the fighting game series that has been "rebooted" the most times. And I'm not surprised (bitch).

As a fighting game enjoyer with far too many other great fighting games to play... I can honestly say... that I still have zero interest in playing another Mortal Kombat game. Self-serving "force-fed" gore, janky and dumbed-down gameplay systems, stiff movement, in-game "Quitalities" normalizing rage quitting for the community, and lame micro-transactions really aren't my thing. What's even appealing about MK1? Like recent prequels (MK11 and MKX), the non-stop and repetitive gory cinematics are cringey (along with the terrible voiceovers, most of the time). All of this comes together to create a product that is overwhelmingly off-putting.

Anyone who agrees to play this game is forced to watch the human form be grotesquely dissected (in every single match, even long before Fatalities). THIS. GETS. OLD. I'm usually done with MK1 after just watching the trailers. I've said this in my earlier MK reviews. It's old news here. All the redundant X-Ray moves, Time-Wasting Fatalities, and Double Team Fatalities... and no major characters in the series ever really die anyway. (Quick! Insert a woke and cliché time travel / painfully over-used "multi-verse" story element so the narrative all just barely makes passable sense.) Yes, we see you Mortal Kombat... Mortal Kombat is still in the lunchroom. We all know you're here, loud one.

In fairness, MK1's Kameo system is innovative for the series and potentially fun, taking heavy inspiration from assist / tag-based arcade fighting games such as the Marvel Vs. Capcom series. On that note, MK1 sort of has a more "arcadey" vibe about it, offering more personality than usual along with some cool throwbacks thanks to Kameos. Even if the animation sucks, the core gameplay sucks, and MK1 ends up being a competitively dead game in under a year (following the bloody footsteps of the last three NRS games), at least MK1 has ridiculously high production value and a Story Mode worth playing through... once.

Kameo attacks spice up the typical 2D formula we've seen and experienced from NRS before... but the broken / unbalanced gameplay at launch, unpolished online, painfully-overused cinematics, and pandering to the "mass appeal" audience are quite apparent. While many MK1 animations are certainly impressive and entertaining, the overall stiff character controls and awkwardly-timed animations with bad key-frames that we've come to expect out of Mortal Kombat in recent years is still very much alive (and far more alive than the Steam community of MK1 players, who preferred playing MK11 over this game just months after its launch. Ouch.) Just pointing out facts here, guys.

Even though I am not personally a fan of playing or (watching) modern Mortal Kombat games, I've enjoyed seeing the return of randomly selected "klassic" characters thrown into the jumbled-up mess that is the MK1 roster (now basically M.U.G.E.N.), especially laughable old-timers like Kurt Stryker... for nostalgia value alone. Guest characters? I have to admit, NetherRealm made some expectedly good "popular" choices with Homelander, Omni-man, and especially Peacemaker (A.K.A. John Cena). Indeed, WWE's John Cena is now in a proper fighting game... NRS sure does make some crazy things happen in fighting games. It also might be worth pointing out... that I personally do not care about any of the fictional characters I just mentioned in this paragraph. I can only be honest here, guys.

While a visually impressive game at face value, not much about MK1 catches my eye or holds my interest. Certainly, NRS will update MK1 with overpriced DLC in the years to come. Like past brainless microtransactions in NRS games that left a bad taste in the community's mouth many years ago, MK1 still comes off as a self-serving, big fat XXL money grab. They're infamous for this sort of thing. $70 for the base game? $40 to unlock Kameo characters? Another $40 for the Kombat Pack 1? Sounds more like "Mortal Money Grab" than "Mortal Monday".

No, I didn't buy or even want to play MK1. Maybe I'll pick it up on Steam a year from now when it's marked down to $8.99, because I'm not paying more than "90s fast food prices" for this one. I can only be honest. I'm way too busy playing TEKKEN 8 and SF6 (just to name two out of twenty other games I'm enjoying at the moment). It appears many in the fighting game community agree with me, as MK1's EVO '24 player turnout (the game's first-ever EVO appearance) was abysmal and embarrassing. All those followers Ed Boon has on Twitter... and they couldn't break 650 players for EVO '24? Looks like Twitter doesn't reflect real life... after all. And if you didn't learn that by now, you should. Also, props to Street Fighter 6 for knocking out Mortal Kombat 1 to win "Best Fighting Game" at The Game Awards 2023. Whether you know, or you don't know... the good guys are actually winning.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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