Mortal Kombat 1 – Game Review

Mortal Kombat has already seen a reboot of sorts with Mortal Kombat 9 so fans were both excited and nervous to see how NetherRealm Studios would change the already familiar story. Luckily for fans they actually changed quite a bit, including who Scorpion is in this timeline. As well as finally giving some explanation to how the has been so many timelines. Then utilizing the multiverse in one of the best fighting game chapters of all time in my opinion. All that and more as we look deeper at Mortal Kombat 1….

Details of Mortal Kombat 1

GAME INFO - Mortal Kombat 1
Image Source: Mortal Kombat 1

Developer: NetherRealm Studios  

Publisher: Warner Bros. Games  

Platform: PC, Windows, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Release Date: 19th September 2023

Price: £59.99

Story of Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat 1 review | CNN Underscored
Image Source: CNN

Mortal Kombat 1 follows the ending of Mortal Kombat 11, with Liu Kang going back in time to train the Great Kung Lao. Little did we know however that not only was that ending canon, but so was Shang Tsung’s. With Mortal Kombat 1 actually being a combination of both of MK11s endings, opening the series up to the even broader multiverse. The story sees to capitalize on this with many variants of fan favourite characters showing up in the last chapter, as MK1 redoes Armageddon, just done right this time.

In the new timeline Liu Kang has used his powers to try and limit Shang Tsung and other villain’s power in the new world. With Shang Tsung reinvented as a wandering salesman. However, Kronika isn’t having any of this and seeks out Shang and others with the promise of making their lives like how they used to be. To give them the power they once commanded.

Analysis of Mortal Kombat 1


Mortal Kombat 1 Review - Gory Glory - Game Informer
Image Source: Game Informer

Gameplay is what you expect from Mortal Kombat. Plenty of variety in character playstyles in the roster gives players an impressive range of strategies. Although as someone who isn’t much of a competitive MK player, I tend to just play with friends using characters that have easy combos. Although I did find myself managing to get bigger combos in the installment, the attacks seem to flow like water making combos easier to attempt.

The big change in gameplay this year was removing environmental attacks, which were amazing, and swapping them out for assist characters. This allowed NRS to include even more characters without fully coding/animating characters. With assist characters having limited move pools, animations, fatalities, etc. it allowed the developers more time to work on other areas. It’s just a shame that work wasn’t put into allowing offline play.


Mortal Kombat 1 - Review 2023 - PCMag UK
Image Source: PCMag UK

The game came packed to the rim with content. From singleplayer elseworlds were you make your way through different maps each season, eventually taking on the multiversal boss. The obviously addictive story mode, local and online co-op, as well as fighting game staple- arcade mode. After completing the story, I didn’t find myself replaying it too many times. The final chapter being the sole exception. As I liked seeing the different variants that can appear in the chapter. NRS really flexed their creativity with the enemies and all of them feel fresh to fight against. Plus usually provide a cheap laugh.

The singleplayer seasonal content was engaging, and fun to play. However, due to the always online nature and the poor quality of the servers, I ended up just deleting it off my system within a few weeks. With me only just getting back into it, hoping the servers have gotten better.


Mortal Kombat 1 review - a false start in the race for reinvention |
Image Source: Eurogamer

Mortal Kombat 1 is the first game since the series’ inception that a new character hasn’t been made available in the roster. This does make the roster feel a tiny bit stale as there are no new characters to bring new experiences just updated previous playable characters. I did like seeing more 3D era characters return like Ashra, but it would have been nice to at least have one or two new characters.

Summary of Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat 1 Review - Gamereactor
Image Source: Gamereactor UK

Mortal Kombat 1 is by far my favourite Mortal Kombat yet. The creative changes made to beloved characters in the story was genuinely fresh and had me enthralled from the get-go. I loved how they intertwined the two endings of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath and made both canon. The gameplay is addictively fun, and the roster is one of the better ones of recent games. Unfortunately, the always online nature paired with poor servers (at launch) stunted an impressive installment in arguably the most popular fighting game franchise of all time! You won’t be dissatisfied with Mortal Kombat 1, it just continues to provide gory, engaging, fights. Rammed pack with fatalities and everything else that has become beloved of the franchise.

Recommendation: YES!

Platform Played On: Steam Deck