Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing

Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing

More than 30 years after its debut in arcades, Mortal Kombat remains the highest-selling fighting game franchise of all time. The combination of intense combat, otherworldly characters, and brutal fatalities has captivated gamers for decades. With each new installment, the franchise has evolved and expanded its reach through comics, TV series, films, and a memorable techno theme song. Now, with the release of Mortal Kombat 1, the 12th mainline entry in the series, developer NetherRealm Studios manages to pay homage to its roots while innovating and pushing the franchise in exciting new directions.

Set after the events of Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1 follows series lead Liu Kang, who has ascended to godhood and seeks to create a perfect universe. However, his plans are jeopardized when a reimagined Shang Tsung and Quan Chi form a “Deadly Alliance” with a mysterious figure. This sets the stage for a single-player kampaign that features clever twists in character motivations and a wild, mind-bending storyline that culminates in one of the most exhilarating climaxes in recent video game history.

At the kore of Mortal Kombat 1 are its fighting mechanics, and NetherRealm Studios has focused on refining and enhancing the experience. Compared to its predecessor, Mortal Kombat 11, the game streamlines certainmechanics, such as environmental attacks, separate offensive and defensive meters, rolling after falls, wake-up attacks, and crushing blows. This simplification does not mean that the combat lacks depth. In fact, Mortal Kombat 1 introduces two new additions to the fighting system: Kameo fighters and expanded aerial combat. The Kameo fighters, numbering around 20, serve various functions such as combo extension, teleportation, projectiles, and extra defense. They can even initiate a combo breaker if the player has a full Kameo and a bar of meter. This new mechanic adds strategic depth by allowing players to compensate for their main fighter’s weaknesses. Additionally, aerial combat has been expanded, with each character having their own options for attacks and combos in the air, as well as the ability to launch opponents for flashy midair sequences.

Key Highlights

  • Mortal Kombat 1 stripes away overwhelming mechanics from its predecessor. The game is significantly faster-paced and features streamlined gameplay for both casual and competitive players.


  • The single-player experience in Mortal Kombat 1 offers outstanding content through a five to six-hour story kampaign mode and the new Invasions mode. Players can expect an engaging narrative with a mix of melodrama, campiness, and humor while improving their fighting skills.
Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing
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An incredibly accessible kombat system that offers depth and strategic gameplay.
  • A deep kombat system that’s incredibly approachable, with streamlined mechanics and faster gameplay compared to Mortal Kombat 11.
  • The addition of Kameo fighters adds depth and strategic options, allowing for combo extension, teleportation, projectiles, extra defense, and more. They also serve as a backup if the main fighter has weaknesses.
Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing
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Engaging and immersive single-player experience that caters to solo players.

Mortal Kombat 1 offers an engaging and immersive single-player experience, making it a must-play for solo players. The game includes a compelling story campaign mode that spans five to six hours, featuring various characters like Reptile, Baraka, Johnny Cage, and Li Mei. Alongside the captivating plot filled with melodrama and humor, players can also enjoy the new Invasions mode to enhance their fighting skills. With its outstanding single-player content, Mortal Kombat 1 caters perfectly to those who prefer gaming alone.

  • Engaging plot balancing melodrama and humor
  • The story kampaign mode offers a five to six-hour experience with various playable characters and a balance of melodrama, campiness, and humor.
  • The new Invasions mode provides additional single-player challenges to improve fighting skills.

Ares for Improvement :

One intriguing fact: The absence of new playable fighters in Mortal Kombat 1 limits the variety and excitement in matches, leaving players facing familiar opponents too often.

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Lack of new playable fighters in Mortal Kombat 1

While Mortal Kombat 1 introduces the innovative Kameo system, which adds depth to combat with its various functions, the core roster of fighters remains largely unchanged. This lack of new playable characters may leave some players feeling like they are facing familiar opponents too often, reducing the overall variety and excitement in matches.

Limited roster diversity is a major issue in Mortal Kombat 1. While the game offers 22 core fighters, many of them are returning characters from previous installments. This lack of new playable fighters leads to a repetitive and stale experience for long-time fans looking for fresh faces and unique playstyles.

Additionally, missed opportunities for new characters further contribute to the lack of roster diversity. With such a rich lore and history in the Mortal Kombat universe, there are countless possibilities for interesting and innovative character designs. However, the DLC choices so far have been uninspired, relying heavily on guest appearances from other franchises rather than introducing original fighters that could bring something truly unique to the game.

Overall, these factors result in a limited selection of fresh and exciting playable fighters in Mortal Kombat 1, leaving players craving more variety and creativity in their combat experiences.

Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing
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Online mode remains unchanged

Despite being a key aspect of modern fighting games, the online mode in Mortal Kombat 1 disappointingly remains unchanged from previous iterations. With no substantial improvements or new features introduced, online play may feel stagnant and fail to provide fresh experiences for players looking to compete against others globally Which is disappointing for fans. The outdated matchmaking system persists, making it difficult to find balanced matches. Additionally, the game lacks innovative online features that could enhance the multiplayer experience. Persistent connectivity issues further hamper the online mode, causing frustrating lag and disconnections during gameplay. Overall, while Mortal Kombat 1 excels in other areas, its online mode fails to deliver any significant improvements or advancements.

Mortal Kombat 1: A Fresh Take on Klassic Killing
Image credit: Green Man Gaming

Our Verdict

From its introduction in 1992, Mortal Kombat 1 revolutionized the fighting game genre with its bold and controversial approach. The game’s combination of digitized characters and graphic violence pushed boundaries, creating a unique experience that captured players’ attention. With innovative gameplay mechanics like the Fatality finishing moves and realistic graphics, Mortal Kombat 1 left an indelible mark on gaming history. Its impact resonates even today as it paved the way for future iterations to push boundaries further and solidify Mortal Kombat as a staple in the fighting game community. Mortal Kombat 1 is a must-play for fighting game enthusiasts and a worthy addition to the Mortal Kombat franchise. With its streamlined mechanics, deep combat system, and outstanding single-player content, the game offers a fresh take on the iconic franchise. The addition of Kameo fighters and expanded aerial combat adds new layers of strategy to the gameplay. Whether you’re a casual player or a seasoned fighter, Mortal Kombat 1 provides a balance between approachability and depth. Available on multiple platforms, including PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch, and gaming PCs, Mortal Kombat 1 is a game that should not be missed.

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