Mortal Kombat Games RANKED From Worst to Best

Mortal Kombat Games RANKED From Worst to Best

VOICE OVER: Dave Thibault WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
For decades, “Mortal Kombat” has been the go-to game for brutal brawls and gory deaths, but not every game has been perfect. For this list, we'll be ordering the “Mortal Kombat” games from worst to best. Our countdown includes “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe”, “Mortal Kombat 11”, “Mortal Kombat X”, and more!

Script Written by Ty Richardson

Every Mortal Kombat Game RANKED

For decades, “Mortal Kombat” has been the go-to game for brutal brawls and gory deaths, but not every game has been a shiner. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re ranking every “Mortal Kombat” game!

For this list, we’ll be ordering the “Mortal Kombat” games from worst to best. However, we’re only counting the main series. Really, must we include “Mythologies” and “Special Forces”? We all know where those games belong…

#11: “Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe” (2008)

Let’s face it - this was NOT a “Mortal Kombat” game. Considered to be the eighth entry in the main series, “MK vs. DC” was living proof for why the franchise can never dip below an M-rating. As if the title wasn’t frustrating enough with its crappy hit boxes and half-baked story, it lacked what makes a “Mortal Kombat” - the gore. Sure, it had some Fatalities and...Heroic Brutalities (whatever that nonsense is supposed to mean…), but they all sucked. At least every other game on this list at least tried to make something crazy! This game, on the other hand... GET OUTTA HERE!!!

#10: “Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance” (2002)

Even though the game had a few good ideas (killing Raiden and giving characters weapons were good starters), the complete package left us breathing out a sigh of dismay. Overall, “Deadly Alliance” just felt unfinished and unpolished; animations were stiff, character designs felt lazy, and combos were not exciting to watch. On top of that, each character only had ONE Fatality. It also didn’t help that the two final bosses were Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. We get that they formed a DEADLY ALLIANCE and are the biggest threat at this point in the story, but this felt lazy and uninspired.

#9: “Mortal Kombat 4” (1997)

While we aren’t happy about the game getting rid of digitized actors, we can’t knock MK4 around too much. The game made its foray into the third dimension a little too late, struggling to replicate the success of earlier examples like “Tekken”, “Virtua Fighter”, and “Dead Or Alive”. Overall, it’s a very “meh” game. The combat is okay, the graphics are alright for the time, and even the roster is decent. Although, we can’t say the same for the fatalities and character endings.

#8: “Mortal Kombat: Armageddon” (2006)

When you stand back, “Armageddon” had some really good ideas; it featured every character to ever appear in a “Mortal Kombat” game and implemented a feature where users could create fatalities. However, you have to stand REALLY far back to really appreciate this. One step closer and you’ll notice just how abysmal it truly is. “Armageddon’s” roster featured many clone characters with a handful of recycled animations, and the Kreate-A-Fatality system was nothing more than generic moves jumbled together. It didn’t help that the game was incredibly unbalanced and made it easy to win by button-mashing. Had it not been for the reboot, this game could have become the franchise’s own armageddon.

#7: “Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3” (1995)

The original MK3 was a mess; the combat was unbalanced, Kabal was broken, and the game forgot Scorpion... That’s why when people talk about MK3, they typically talk about “ULTIMATE Mortal Kombat 3”. This version of the game fixed everything by improving controls, nerfing certain characters, and remembering Scorpion exists. As terrific as the game was back when it launched in 1995, it hasn’t aged too well in the visuals. There isn’t much to complain about with UMK3, but we’d much rather play other titles if given the option.

#6: “Mortal Kombat” (1992)

Back in the early 90’s, there just wasn’t anything like “Mortal Kombat”! This came from a time where not many games were implementing an insane amount of blood and gore, and while the graphics haven’t held up too well, they looked realistic back then...if you squint really hard. It may not hold the same depth as modern titles, but you can still go back and pull off some good combos. All franchises have to start somewhere, and this debut title still stands against the test of time.

#5: “Mortal Kombat: Deception” (2004)

After stumbling through mishaps like MK4 and "Deadly Alliance", the odds were clearly stacked against "Deception". Surprisingly enough, this was the best 3D format for "Mortal Kombat". With more refined controls than its predecessors and better combos, one would notice that this is where Ed Boon and company started understanding their engine a bit more. On top of that, the Story mode felt like a whole other game, allowing players to complete missions, find treasure chests, and encounter their favorite combatants between the brawling. Mix in an awesome intro and final boss, and "Deception" would become the best 3D fighter in the franchise's history!

#4: “Mortal Kombat 11” (2019)

Admittedly, we’re a bit divided on this one. Yes, the Switch port and progression were not the greatest at launch, but "Mortal Kombat 11" did so many other things right. For starters, the story mode was compelling until the very end and wrapped up the narrative in a big, pretty bow. Then, there's the Krypt, which acts as like a puzzle-adventure game where players can find dozens of references and nods to "Mortal Kombat" history. And have you seen the sick combos people have made with the customizable movesets? MK11 certainly has its fair share of flaws, but it does so much that makes up for some of its mistakes.

#3: “Mortal Kombat II” (1993)

“Mortal Kombat II” is the game that made the franchise what it is, with its significant improvements to the formula, including more special moves, more detailed character models and environments, and new fatalities. Speaking of which, this was where Babalities and Friendships were first incorporated! Another first for the series here was the famous “Toasty!” line, which would appear in almost every game from here on out. There’s so much to love here, and that’s why MK2 is the best of the original games.

#2: “Mortal Kombat X” (2015)

Of the more recent titles, MKX is certainly the odd one of the bunch. The story mode is polarizing due to its focus on newer characters and putting the Cage family in the spotlight. Additionally, it is faster than previous installments, and the game is geared to a slightly more casual audience. However, it is still a fantastic fighter! Not only did it retain ideas introduced in the 2011 reboot, but it also borrowed the idea of “Variants” from “Deadly Alliance”, “Deception”, and “Armageddon”, turning them into distinct movesets. Basically, MKX succeeded in being a game that was easy to learn, yet difficult to master.

#1: “Mortal Kombat” (2011)

If you were to tell someone who knew nothing about the franchise, we’d direct them straight to this game. MK9 was a revival that the franchise desperately needed after “Armageddon” nearly killed the series. The story mode found a perfect blend of drama and campy humor, the fatalities were the goriest we’d ever seen in the series, and the introduction of a meter made for some interesting competitive play. This was the game that reminded everyone why “Mortal Kombat” kicks ass, and it helped ensure a brighter future for the franchise as well as NetherRealm Studios.