Celebrate the new ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie with these timeless games
It’s been twenty-four years since the last Mortal Kombat film, and the wait for a new installment is over! The new Mortal Kombat movie dropped on HBO Max today. The franchise’s previous two entries weren’t exactly award-winning films, but they’ve become cult classics. That’s largely due to the absolutely phenomenal game series the films are based on.
If you’ve played video games any time since the Atari, you’re probably familiar with Mortal Kombat. The game franchise began in the arcade era when 1992’s Mortal Kombat shocked gamers with its sprite-based graphics and generous amounts of gore.
Mortal Kombat is a fighting game, and it’s the best of its kind. Since 1992, there have been nearly two dozen games in the main series, as well as spinoffs, comics, and now three total films. Whether you’re an old fan hyped for the new movie, or someone looking to see what Mortal Kombat is all about, these are the games you should check out first.
Mortal Kombat – 1992
This is the game that started it all. Mortal Kombat originally came out as a standup arcade console, and it’s been ported to just about every gaming system since. The first game in the series is far from the best, but it’s easily attained on an emulator, and it’s worth getting a look at the roots of the series.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around a martial arts tournament where competitors fight to the death. The game mechanics & graphics are the real focus, though. The arcade game sparked tremendous controversy over its violent content. Mortal Kombat helped lead to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which still rates video games to this day.
Mortal Kombat II – 1993
This is the entry that cemented Mortal Kombat as a mainstay of video games. The series’s first installment sparked enough controversy to bring it public attention, but Mortal Kombat II proved that there was more than shock value holding the game together. Even now people compare current fighting games to Mortal Kombat II.
The sequel to Mortal Kombat doesn’t improve much graphically. What makes this game shine is the variety it offers. Each of the game’s characters have their own unique moves and abilities for players to learn. The characters are equally powerful, so it’s up to players to master their favorites and test their skills against each other.
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance – 2002
A decade after the Mortal Kombat series began, Deadly Alliance redefined the franchise. Every game since the original built on the world’s story while also making sure to revisit the parts that made Mortal Kombat a hit.
After ten years, players were becoming frustrated that Mortal Kombat’s story was bare yet predictable. They were also growing tired of using the same game mechanics over and over again.
So, in 2002, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance killed off a main character and dramatically changed the game’s mechanics. All characters had three different fighting styles they could access, leading to endless new combinations of button presses and fatalities. The game revitalized the franchise and brought in scores of new fans.
Mortal Kombat 11 – 2019
This is the most recent game in the series, and it pairs best with the new Mortal Kombat movie. The game is available on consoles and computers, so anyone can enjoy the best Mortal Kombat has to offer.
11 is the culmination of nearly three decades of game design. Its graphics are second-to-none. The game has more characters with a wider variety of play styles than any before it. Most exciting to longtime fans, it’s designed around competitive online play. Putting players all over the world in head-to-head deathmatches is what Mortal Kombat is truly about, after all.
Before you sit down to watch the new Mortal Kombat movie, pick a game, settle back, and smash some heads. Immerse yourself in the grit and gore of the best fighting game franchise of all time. Then go watch movie stars bring it all to life on HBO Max.