Gaming’s goriest fighter holds a special place in many player’s hearts. With fans old and new, the Mortal Kombat franchise endures as a pillar of the fighting game scene. Mortal Kombat X has been the defining title of the franchise so far. With Netherrealm’s commitment to pushing the envelope, some unique mechanics set this fighting game apart from the competition.
However, those same mechanics also make choosing the right character a daunting challenge for Mortal Kombat X players. Here are the ten best Mortal Kombat characters.
Princess Kitana is 10,000 years old, but is considered young in her realm of Edenia and has the appearance of a young woman. Kitana was taken by Shao Kahn when he invaded her land, her “twin” sister is out to kill her and her mother has been brainwashed while killing folk with her hair. Kitana relies mostly on her Steel Fans in battle, although she is more than adequate in unarmed hand-to-hand combat. She can use her fans as both a projectile and a melee weapon, as well as a means to levitate the opponent for a juggling combo. She can also throw her fans while airborne and execute a mid-air punch to counter other airborne foes.
As a mercenary and leader of the international crime cartel known as the Black Dragon, Kano rises beyond mere brutality and aggression by also being sly and cunning. His knife projectile and cannonball roll make him a handy character to play as, while his heart rip fatality is one of the most violent the game has ever seen. A portion of Kano’s face is covered with a metal plate, the result of a disfiguring injury he sustained at the hands of Major Jackson Briggs prior to the events of the series, with the plated eye being a glowing red orb capable of emitting laser beams.
8 Sonya Blade
The first lady of the Mortal Kombat series, Sonya Blade’s feud with Kano is one for the ages and the two have been inextricably linked since the very first game. Whether they’re in the tournament, or forced to watch as captives, where there’s Kano, Sonya isn’t far behind. Her abilities are vast, mostly based on agility, as well as deadly and impressive due to her Special Forces training. She is very fast in combat, using quick and effective kicks and strikes.
A hidden character in Mortal Kombat 2, Smoke would go on to become one of the series’ best ninja characters, mainly due to his ability to disappear in a puff of smoke having been burnt alive by a cult when he was a youngster. In Mortal Kombat X, Smoke is undead, now identifying himself as Enenra – a creature of smoke and vapor. With the ability to teleport around the playing field, Smoke is a nightmare to go up against.
The Thunder God, the protector of Earthrealm, the Highlander – Raiden has been ever-present in the Mortal Kombat series, taking human form to enter the original tournament and fight using his nifty lightning projectiles and teleportation techniques. He is arguably one of the most powerful characters in all of Mortal Kombat. After the second defeat of Shinnok, he ascended to the status of Elder God. Being a god, he possesses many supernatural abilities, such as the ability to teleport, control lightning and fly.
Reptile was a hidden character in the first Mortal Kombat, where his battle took place at the bottom of the pit among the spikes. What we love about Reptile is how he’s evolved over the years – both physically and as a character – becoming one of the most important names in the franchise. Initially, a green ninja character who spewed acid and could turn invisible, Reptile would transform into something much more reptilian as the years went by.
4 Johnny Cage
He’s a cheesy movie star who hands out autographs to his opponents and isn’t afraid to bust out one of his awards during a fight. But unlike, say, Dan from Street Fighter, Cage is actually pretty badass when the fight starts, with the ability to uppercut his opponent’s head off. Johnny Cage matures considerably by the time of Mortal Kombat X, losing much of his earlier arrogance and airheadedness. In the process, he becomes a more rounded and serious character, although his penchant for humor remains mostly intact.
Created in the Flesh Pits, Mileena actually has more in common with Baraka than her sort of sister Kitana, sporting a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth that she uses to quite literally eat her opponents alive. Despite her savage appearance, Mileena is actually one of the most graceful fighters in the series, and her soaring sais, teleport kick, and rolling thunder specials are deadly in the right hands.
Are video games too violent? They are if Sub-Zero is around. Sub-Zero’s head rip Fatality, where the blue ninja rips his opponent’s head off – dangly spinal cord and all – was ammunition to the naysayers, lobbyists, and newspapers of the early ’90s. This Sub-Zero was actually killed by his arch-nemesis in the first game and was replaced by his brother, who’s a bit of a touch soft compared to the first one, showing compassion and choosing to help people instead of just killing them. With the ability to freeze his opponents and slide across the screen, Sub-Zero is one of the best characters for beginners.
Even if you’ve never played a Mortal Kombat game, you’ve probably heard the famous line Scorpion utters as he drags his opponents across the screen with a well-placed harpoon. Scorpion has become the poster boy for the Mortal Kombat series, which isn’t surprising when you’re as fascinating as he is, with a great selection of moves and some exceptional fatalities – from tearing his mask off and toasting his opponent to summoning a hell hand and dragging them to the underworld.