While the track record of video game movies has been less than ideal, they are, at the very least, a good reason for you to go check out the source material. I still remember watching Paul W. S. Anderson’s 1995 adaptation of Mortal Kombat on VHS, begging my mum to let me rent a SNES copy of the game from Video Ezy.
Judging by what we’ve seen so far of the new movie, it looks like Mortal Kombat is leaning fully into the absurdity of the games. There’s a moment in the trailer where Sub-Zero slashes Scorpion and then proceeds to turn his blood splatter into a knife that he then stabs him with.
If the concept of a “frozen blood knife” gets you hyped, there’s never been a better time to pick up Mortal Kombat 11 for a replay or first time.
We owe the Mortal Kombat games a huge debt of gratitude
Up until Mortal Kombat 9, you didn’t really pick up a fighting game for the story. While some might argue that they’re still not buying these games for the story, the fact that more fighting games actually have substantial stories now is sort of MK 9‘s fault.
MK 9 was the first in the series to introduce a chapter-based approach to the main story, which also acts as a tutorial for each character. The idea being that as you play through the story mode, each chapter will teach you how to use the roster of fighters while also giving you a good reason to care about them as characters.
Introducing actual character development gave people without competitive aspirations a reason to play Mortal Kombat. It added more weight and meaning to the story, since you now have characters you properly care about.
Sure, Mortal Kombat‘s story is a still a lot of over-the-top fun, but it’s over-the-top fun you actually care about.
What’s so good about Mortal Kombat 11?
Released in 2019, Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest instalment in the long running franchise.
You know how Avengers Endgame had the main cast travelling back in time, revisiting various key moments from the series, and kind of mucking up the time stream? MK 11 is a lot like that. The game revolves around Kronika, the Keeper of Time, who sets to bring balance back to the universe by any means necessary. This involves her messing around with timelines, which results in dead characters being brought back to life, along with younger and alternate-timeline versions of characters to appear.
It’s all very ridiculous, but this is also a game series that has spent the last decade improving slow-mo animations of spines being severed, so what do you expect, really? It’s a game that really celebrates the Mortal Kombat-iness of the Mortal Kombat series.
The best version of the game to buy is the Ultimate edition, which includes the main game, along with the two Kombat Packs and Aftermath DLC. These packs will give you extra characters to play as – including The Joker, Spawn and, uh, Rambo – while Aftermath adds an expanded epilogue to the main game.
If you’re a savvy shopper, you can snag a copy of MK 11 with a nice discount thrown on top. The Nintendo Switch edition is currently on sale for $49, which will save you $30 off the RRP. If you’ve got an Xbox One or a shiny new Xbox Series X, MK 11 Ultimate is available for $74.90, down from $89.
The PlayStation 4 edition is on sale for $69.77, and for those lucky few who own a PlayStation 5, you can grab Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate for $49. down from $89.95. A PC copy of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will set you back $77.99.
What other Mortal Kombat games are worth playing?
If fighting games aren’t really your forte or you don’t feel like dropping money on something you’ll maybe play once or twice, you can currently play Mortal Kombat X for free if you have a Playstation Plus subscription.
If you’ve been a fan since the 1990s and really want to ride a nostalgia trip for all its worth, for $14.99 you can get the Mortal Kombat: Arcade Kollection for PC. This bundle includes the original Mortal Kombat, MK II and Ultimate MK 3.
While you’re there, why not grab a CD copy of The Immortal’s soundtrack for the original Mortal Kombat game and slam it into your Walkman. Yes, it includes The Song.