Mortal Kombat
STORY:  Goro lives... A 2,000 year old half human dragon Goro remains undefeated for the past 500 years. He won the title of grand champion by defeating Kung Lao, a Shaolin fighting monk. It was during this period that the tournament fell into Shang Tsung's hands and was corrupted.


That was a selection screen back then... Woo 7 characters!


Inspired by the arcade smash hit that was Street Fighter 2... The original Mortal Kombat emerged in 1992 featuring groundbreaking digitized graphics, immersive sound, and unparalleled video game violence (which would spawn years of controversy, along with hype). Featuring 7 selectable characters, 2 boss characters (and 1 secret character) Mortal Kombat introduced an exciting new cast of martial arts inspired characters and backdrops.


Unforgettable characters and backgrounds...


Mortal Kombat's
gameplay engine features 5 buttons: 2 punches and 2 kicks (mid & high), and an unfamiliar "Block" button. MK was indeed the first fighting game to ever require a block button, and undoubtedly required some getting used to for players familiar with other fighting games of the time. The block button became a unique trademark to the series, while most other fighting games retained the "hold back to block" format. Most fighters in MK share nearly the exact same priority attacks, including an insanely "hard-hitting" uppercut... which offered a new level of "satisfaction" never seen before in the fighting game realm. Most importantly, each fighter has a selection of their own unique special moves & projectiles, and effectively allows them to stand out from one another.

The "secrets" of MK added infinite hype to the game!

Along with the strikingly unique appearance of the game, MK's interesting gameplay elements, like "Fatalities," further distinguished the title from other well-known fighting games. After winning the final round, MK characters can execute a brutal finishing move or "fatality" on their opponents by inputting a special button command (which had to be discovered outside of the game itself). These "secret" moves are gruesome, involving the likes of "ripping off heads" and "burning flesh to the bone". This violence became a defining aspect of the Mortal Kombat series, and ended up adding a ton of hype to the game over time. After witnessing a Fatality, newcomers to MK were usually quick to ask the winning player "How did you do that!?" ...and thus, a new hit in the growing fighting game industry was born.


"Shang Tsung....  ....  ....Wins."

In addition to the staple "arcade ladder" of single opponents, Mortal Kombat introduced an innovative new feature called Endurance Mode. Endurance Mode pits your character against 2 opponents, one after the other (with only one health bar). Other bonus mini games like "Test Your Might" also defined the 1-player experience of MK. Finally, a variety of "secrets" like stage fatalities, finishing moves, and other hidden elements of the game pushed the title to be one of the most successful and memorable fighting games of the early 90's. MK's straight-forward, yet complex style of gameplay also made it enjoyable for newcomers and rewarding for long-time players.






  View more products at TFG Shop



Page Updated: January 1st, 2024
Developer(s): Midway
Publisher(s): Midway
Designer(s): Ed Boon, John Tobias
Platform(s): Arcade, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Master System, Game Gear, Amiga, Game Boy, PC, PSP (in Midway Arcade Treasures), Playstation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Release Date(s): Oct. 8th, 1992             Arcade
Sept. 13th, 1993         SNES, Genesis, GG, GB)
May 25th, 1994          PC
May 25th, 1994          Sega CD
Aug. 30th, 2011          PSN - in MK: Arcade Kollection
Aug. 31st, 2011          XBLA - in MK: Arcade Kollection
Characters Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kano, Rayden, Goro, Shang Tsung, Reptile

mk1-s3.png (298866 bytes)mk1-s1.png (300967 bytes)mk1-s8.png (14320 bytes)mk1-s9.png (11747 bytes)

Featured Video:

Related Games: Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 4, MKGold, MK: Deadly Alliance, MK: Deception, MK: Armageddon, MK Trilogy, Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, Mortal Kombat 9, Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1, Eternal Champions, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury Special, World Heroes, Fighters History, Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter: The Movie, Killer Instinct, Primal Rage

Gameplay Engine  9.0 / 10
Story / Theme  9.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  8.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.0 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  10 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 9.0 / 10

 Review based on Arcade & SNES  versions   


Final Words: Like many other arcade kids of The Fighters Generation... I literally was just a kid when MK first showed up at arcades. I was as shocked as everyone else to see realistic humans in a video game falling to their deaths onto bloody spikes, and having their heads ripped off.   I have to admit it even slightly disturbed me in the beginning (it was intense!); but I eventually came around and began to appreciate MK1 (and later, fall in love with MK2).

The "universal uppercut" that every character can perform was always one of my favorite things about MK... as simple as that is. The ouch factor and satisfying oomph was so strong with that move, in particular. Perhaps, even more satisfying than some of the Fatalities themselves.

No one could ever deny the impact of the "shock value" of the first Mortal Kombat game. Everyone... from parents to congress were talking about Mortal Kombat when it released, and some immediately declared it was dangerous and would corrupt the nation's youth. In retrospect... it's definitely ironic and a little bit funny that some of those people "blamed" violent video games for causing people to be violent. Like violence didn't exist before Mortal Kombat? (Those same "old people" are probably known for shit-posting political crap on Facebook all day... causing actual bigger problems. I digress.)

Needless to say, the first Mortal Kombat made a huge impact on the genre. After a wildly successful arcade run, MK1 would go on to sell millions of copies worldwide on home consoles. Mortal Kombat not only had some of the most impressive fighting game visuals to date... it was actually a pretty fun game at the end of the day, as well. The sequel, Mortal Kombat 2, shattered all expectations and made a huge statement sever years later.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen  

Click Here for all character cards!


Click Here for all box art / flyers!

FOLLOW    ON: