OK, so a lot of you really loved our Worst Fighters In Mortal Kombat article, even though some people thought the likes of Stryker and Shao Khan shouldn’t have been included. Hey, to each their own. But now that we’ve dragged through the Pit counting down the worst, we’ve decided to point out the best that Outworld has to offer, with the ten best Mortal Kombat fighters.
Again, this is an opinion piece, and if you think there’s a favorite you missed (or you don’t like how the Scorpion/Sub-Zero ranking ended up), sound off and let us know. We already know you Kano fans won’t be pleased with us, as he ranked number 11.
While our list of Mortal Kombat favorites mostly consists of veterans, we gotta admit that Kenshi is a pretty awesome fighter in his own right. Robbed of his eyesight by the evil Shang Tsung, Kenshi is by no means defenseless, as he packs a mean sword and devastating telekinetic powers that could easily send any opponent packing. His teleport is pretty cool too, even with the lame name of “Mind Warp”. As for his fatalities, hey, who else do you know that can blow up someone’s body with his mind?
9. Shang Tsung
The end boss from the original Mortal Kombat has come a long way over the years, regaining his youth and powers to make him even deadlier than before. He’s able to transform into a number of characters, while also launching fireballs out of the ground to send an enemy flying. Plus, his classic fatality – sucking the soul from an opponent and leaving a withered corpse as a result – never gets old. We can’t wait to see what new tricks Shang Tsung has up his sleeves with the new Mortal Kombat game, coming our way next year. “Fatality!”
8. Smoke (Robot Version)
While Smoke the ninja is a great hidden character in Mortal Kombat II, we found the robot version introduced in Mortal Kombat 3 more to our liking. We even like him more than either Cyrax or Sektor, actually. His teleport uppercut punch is outstanding, enabling you to set up a multi-hit combo with little effort. His chest-activated spear is pretty cool, too, similar in strength and impact to Scorpion’s. Plus, he has one of the coolest fatalities out there, where he transport into his opponent’s body and then emerges, ripping them apart in the process. He also has an Animality that doesn’t look completely lame, as a porcupine that shoots lethal quills at his opponent.
The sub-boss from the original Mortal Kombat is still an awesome character after all these years. His strength even manages to overcome the power of his tiger-skinned sibling Kintaro and the lamely conceived Sheeva. The way he can grab an opponent and pummel them with his upper arms is bad-ass, and we also dig his charging punches. Our best memory of Goro, though, has to be from the Mortal Kombat movie. We’ve even included a clip of the film above for good measure.
6. Johnny Cage
Despite an over-driven ego (he is a Hollywood actor, after all), Johnny Cage packs more of a punch than most people expect. His shadow kick and punch moves are impressive, as well as his glowing fireball attacks. Plus, his “nut shot” attack hurts everyone – even women. (And again, if you need proof of that, see the movie clip above.) But if we’re impressed by anything, it’s his friendship, in which he autographs a picture of himself for his opponent to admire while they’re healing in the hospital. (It made it in the film, too. Nice!)
Even though Milleena and Sonya are both great fighters, our favorite female of the bunch has to be Kitana. Her fan lift is a great way to set up mid-air combos, and her thrown fans are lethal projectiles. Plus, her air punch, while not the realistic attack in the world, is a great counter for jump kicks and incoming aerial attacks. But the thing that really won us over is her fatality in Mortal Kombat II, where she kisses an opponent that makes them inflate – and eventually explore. And you thought Sonya’s fiery kiss of death was lethal…
Baraka may have a face that only his mother would love (and even she would question it), but this toothy warrior is one of our prime picks for a fight. His bladed arms are devastating, as he can use them to counter any incoming attacks, slicing up anyone that gets in his range. His blade spark is a terrific projectile as well, quick and effective. As for his fatality, he’ll either chop your head clean off or shove you into his blades until your dead body slides down further onto them – a nice little after-effect if we’ve ever seen one. He’s an awesome guy – but we’ll be damned if we shake his hand.
And…let the controversy begin. Although Scorpion is slotted in third place, that doesn’t make him any less dangerous to opponents. This guy can launch a roped spear better than anyone in a fighting game, and his teleport punch is a great way to throw off an unexpecting opponent. Plus, there’s his fatality, where he rips off his hood to reveal a skull and lets loose with a fiery blast from his mouth, which toasts his foe. It’s still one of the all-time greats.
2. Liu Kang
It’s easy to see why Midway included Liu Kang in the original Mortal Kombat. He’s like an ode to the legendary Bruce Lee, complete with a dragon kick that flies across the screen and a cool fireball attack that can be launched from high or low positions. His nimbleness and fighting expertise make him an ideal pick, even if he’s dead – which he has been since Mortal Kombat; Deadly Alliance. Surprisingly, he’s just as good in zombie mode as when he was alive. Let’s hope he returns to the land of the living for the new edition next year – with cartwheel uppercut intact.
And now, our number one pick…
When it comes to destroying an opponent, you’ve got to have an ice cold heart – and that’s exactly what makes Sub-Zero our favorite Mortal Kombatant of all. His freeze attacks are outstanding, stopping an opponent dead in their tracks and letting you do whatever you want to them in the few seconds they’re frozen. We also like the ice floor technique, as they lose their stance and, again, leave themselves wide open for Sub-Zero’s attacks. However, what really sold us was his fatality, in which he grabs an enemy’s head and rips it right off their shoulders, with spinal cord intact. As great as the other fatalities are, this is the one that best sticks out in our minds. (Irony, don’t you think?) Head-ripping for the win!
Again, if you disagree, sound off and let us know why!