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Mortal Kombat is the title for the 9th fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series, developed by the newly named NetherRealm Studios (formerly Midway). The game was first hinted at by developer Ed Boon in January 2009, shortly after the release of the previous game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. On June 18, 2009, Boon confirmed in his Twitter page that they were performing motion capture for the game.

He also revealed that the game is not related to the Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe game, and that they were again aiming for a "Mature" rating, contrarily to the "Teen" rating attained by the previous game.


The story retells the events of the first three games, in a new timeline where Raiden receives a message from himself in the prime future after the Battle of Armageddon has happened and Shao Kahn became the supreme leader of all the realms. Because of this plot, characters and scenarios present are the classic ones, bringing the old to new and starting a new conflict.

The story mode of Mortal Kombat (2011) contains 16 chapters total, telling a cohesive story recounting the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games, with both major and minor changes. Each chapter focuses on a single character from the series (except Chapter 11, with Liu Kang taking the final fight), and contains a combination of fights and extended cutscenes.

Below is a list that shows the chapters in order:

  1. Johnny Cage
  2. Sonya Blade
  3. Scorpion
  4. Cyrax (Human)
  5. Liu Kang
  6. Jax
  7. Smoke
  8. Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang)
  9. Kitana
  10. Jade
  11. Kung Lao
  12. Stryker
  13. Kabal
  14. Cyber Sub-Zero
  15. Nightwolf
  16. Raiden


The story mode of Mortal Kombat is told in 16 chapters, with one character being playable in each chapter. The order of each chapter is listed below:

  1. Johnny Cage
  2. Sonya Blade
  3. Scorpion
  4. Cyrax (As Human)
  5. Liu Kang
  6. Jax Briggs
  7. Smoke
  8. Sub-Zero
  9. Kitana
  10. Jade
  11. Kung Lao (the final battle of the chapter, however, is fought by Liu Kang due to Kung Lao's death)
  12. Kurtis Stryker
  13. Kabal
  14. Cyber Sub-Zero
  15. Nightwolf
  16. Raiden


The normal blows have changed a lot. Instead of having a few punches and kicks divided between high and low, there's now a button for each limb: front arm, front leg, back arm, and back leg. This combines with most martial arts techniques. The player can also execute many special moves with little effort. Also new are intro and outro animations. Each character will have a different intro and outro, depending if they decided to do a Fatality or not.

The controls also refer a lot to Mortal Kombat 3, with the clash limited to a single plane, the fastest pace of struggle. Many attacks will throw the opponent into the air, and several others that take advantage of aerial combat. The "run" button is no longer in, but there is quick dash the player can use to inflict even more damage to their opponent if they're quick in getting their combo. Also out is the infamous system "Dial-a-Kombo", which was introduced in MK3 and used pre-defined sequences of buttons to execute "ready" combos. The combos are more akin to those found in MK and MKII, consisting largely of chaining regular attacks and special moves together. In the words of Ed Boon: "You're making your own combos. We aren't programming them in as much". This brings a lot of freedom to play and with the speed of return, as it is very easy to improvise a few effective beatings.

Another welcome return are the "real" Fatalities. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon used the infamous Kreate-a-Fatality and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe used toned down versions of the finishers. Now violence is back with great pride. This time, the team began creating the game for Fatalities, an element that was before the end of the development cycle. From this process emerged ideas on how to combine fatalities. "Before, Kung Lao had a fatality in which he cut a guy in half and another in which he beheaded a person, now he has one where he does both", claims Ed Boon in an interview with Giant Bomb. Surprisingly, Babalities have also returned from MK3.

One new feature that has drawn much attention and keeps very well the climate of brutality is the introduction of X-Ray Moves. With them, the player can see the internal damage caused by the blows on the opponent. The player must wait until their special bar is full before they can use such moves. Players can also use their special bar to execute combo breakers or to enhance their special attacks. There is also distinct damage done to the characters during the matches.

The game features three different single player modes: Story Mode, in which the player assumes the role of several different pre-designated characters and the main plot is told; a tournament ladder reminiscent of the earlier MK games which features a sub-boss, boss, and an animated ending for each character; and a training mode which allows players to hone their skills with their chosen character.

Mortal Kombat (2011) also includes several mini-games, like the classic Test Your Might, and Test Your Sight, as well as the new Test Your Strike and Test Your Luck. The game also includes a massive 300 mission challenge in a new mode called The Challenge Tower.

Another new feature is the Fatality Practice Mode, where the button combinations for the Fatality are shown above, and a green square on the ground indicates the correct distance for the Fatality to work. If the player moves away from the square, it turns red, indicating that the Fatality will not be executed.

An online feature called King of the Hill, is a spectator view, in it observers are given the ability to interact directly with those currently engaged in battle.

It seems that NetherRealm Studios are going to take advantage of the PS3 custom soundtrack feature. It will allow players to listen to the music they want while playing the game.


The game features 28 playable fighters for Playstation 3 users, and 27 playable characters for Xbox 360, in addition to 4 downloadable (DLC) characters, 3 unplayable bosses, and 4 secret character battles. Cyber Sub-Zero is unlocked upon defeating him in chapter thirteen in the Story Mode, and Quan Chi is unlocked upon completing the Story Mode, while Kratos from the God of War series is an exclusive character for Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita.

Playable Characters[]

  • Scorpion
  • Liu Kang
  • Kung Lao
  • Sub-Zero
  • Sindel
  • Ermac
  • Reptile
  • Kitana
  • Johnny Cage
  • Jade
  • Mileena
  • Nightwolf
  • Cyrax
  • Noob Saibot
  • Smoke
  • Sektor
  • Sonya Blade
  • Jax Briggs
  • Kano
  • Kurtis Stryker
  • Shang Tsung
  • Baraka
  • Kabal
  • Raiden
  • Cyber Sub-Zero (Story Mode Unlockable)
  • Sheeva
  • Quan Chi (Story Mode Unlockable)

DLC Characters[]

  • Skarlet (Once a rumored red ninja from Mortal Kombat II. Avaliable for free in the Komplete Edition and PSVITA versions.)
  • Kenshi (The blind swordsman.. Available for free in the Komplete Edition and PSVITA versions.)
  • Rain (The prince of Edenia. Available for free in the Komplete Edition and PSVITA versions.)
  • Freddy Krueger (Guest Character From the A Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise)


  • Kratos (Guest Character from the God of War video game series)

Unplayable Characters[]

  • Goro (Playable in Challenge Tower)
  • Kintaro (Playable in the PSVITA version's exclusive 2nd Challenge Tower)
  • Shao Kahn (Playable in the PSVITA version's exclusive 2nd Challenge Tower)

Other characters in Challenge Tower and Story Mode:

  • Ruutuu
  • Cyborg (Unit 5)
  • Stunt Man
  • Director (Also playable in Fight Mode)
  • Tarkatan Soldier
  • Tarkatan Leader
  • Tarkatan General
  • Zombie
  • Cage Twin
  • Tremor (Playable in the PSVITA version's exclusive 2nd Challenge Tower)


  1. The Armory
  2. The Bell Tower
  3. The Cathedral
  4. The Courtyard
  5. Dead Pool (Stage Fatality)
  6. The Tower
  7. Goro's Lair
  8. The Graveyard
  9. Kahn's Colosseum
  10. Chamber of the Flame (Playstation 3 exclusive with 3 Stage Fatalities, Kratos' Stage)
  11. The Living Forest (Stage Fatality)
  12. The Desert
  13. Hell (Stage Fatality)
  14. The Pit (Stage Fatality)
  15. The Pit Bottom
  16. The Rooftop
  17. Shang Tsung's Gardens (between Pit I, Palace Gates and Warrior Shrine)
  18. Shang Tsung's Flesh Pits
  19. Shao Kahn's Throne Room
  20. Soul Chamber
  21. The Street (Stage Fatality)
  22. The Subway (Stage Fatality)
  23. Throne Room
  24. Training Dojo
  25. Wastelands of Outworld


  • Ronald M. Banks - Quan Chi
  • Dana Lyn Baron - Sonya Blade, Skarlet
  • Ed Boon - Scorpion (Get over here! and Come here! voice clips), Additional voices
  • T.C. Carson - Kratos
  • Bob Carter - Baraka, Shao Kahn
  • Tom Choi - Liu Kang
  • Henry Dittman - Rain
  • Robert Englund - Freddy Krueger
  • Richard Epcar - Raiden, Shang Tsung (Clown Form)
  • Jin Hyong - Kung Lao, Fighter 1
  • Andrew Kishino - Shang Tsung, Sektor
  • Ken Lally - Smoke, Goro, Shinnok
  • Linda Lee - Jade
  • David Lodge - Kabal
  • Jim McCance - Endings Announcer, PD Radio Op.
  • Michael McConnohie - Ermac, Kano, Elder God
  • Matthew Mercer - Kurtis Stryker, Soldier 1
  • Jim Miller - Sub-Zero / Cyber Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang)
  • Lani Minella - Sindel, Sheeva, Elder God
  • Larry Omaha - Nightwolf
  • Rhasaan Orange - Cyrax, Kintaro, SF Radio Op.
  • Jeff Pilson - Johnny Cage
  • Jamieson Price - Noob Saibot / Original Sub-Zero (Bi-Han), Announcer
  • Gerald C. Rivers - Jax Briggs
  • Garret T. Sato - Additional Voices
  • Patrick Seitz - Scorpion (Main Voice), Soldier 2
  • Karen Strassman - Kitana, Mileena
  • Marz Timms - Reptile, Additional Voices
  • Ping Wu - Additional Voices


  • All 16 played characters are fought as opponents at least once throughout the Story Mode.
  • Bi-Han is the most frequently fought opponent in the series, as he is fought six times. One of these fights, however, is Shang Tsung assuming his form. He is fought in two different forms.
  • As Sub-Zero, he is fought by Sonya, Scorpion, and Smoke.
  • As Noob Saibot, he is fought by Kung Lao, Kabal, and Cyber Sub-Zero.
  • Kuai Liang is the most frequently played fighter in Story Mode, fighting 4 times as Sub-Zero and 4 times as Cyber Sub-Zero. Liu Kang follows as the second most played, fighting 5 times in Chapter 5 and once in Chapter 11.
  • In Kitana's chapter, after defeating Sheeva her unconscious body is shown on the ground, but upon closer inspection, one can see Sheeva is in her alternate costume and not her primary costume
  • In Chapter 8, after Kuai Liang was taken away, if listened carefully Shang Tsung mentions the next two combatants are Kenshi and Reiko.
  • In Chapter 16, Kung Lao and Stryker as renevents first appear in their alternate costumes (The ones they died in.). But during the actual fight they're in their primary costumes.
  • Sonya, Scorpion, Liu Kang, Smoke, Kitana, Kung Lao, Kabal, and Cyber Sub-Zero all fight once in which they must deal with two opponents at once. Raiden fights two rounds in which he must fight three opponents at once.
  • There are some "rematches" played in Story Mode:
  • Scorpion and Sub-Zero fight each other in Chapters 3 and 8. In Chapter 3, Sub-Zero is played by Bi-Han, while in Chapter 8, Sub-Zero is played by Kuai Liang.
  • Smoke and Kitana fight each other in Chapters 7 and 9. In Chapter 9, Smoke is teaming up with Johnny Cage.
  • Kuai Liang and Ermac fight each other in Chapter 8 and 14. In Chapter 8, Kuai Liang is in his human form. In Chapter 14, Kuai Liang is in cyber form.
  • This is the first game in the series to introduce guest characters. It is also the first fighting game in the series to feature more than one guest character from other franchises. In this case, Kratos from God of War Series, and Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movie series.
  • This is the first Mortal Kombat game to not have a manual, as well as the only fighting game to not have a manual on the PS3 or Xbox 360.
  • This is the first fighting game in the franchise to include battle intros.
  • This is the first Mortal Kombat game where the original secret characters are playable in their original outfits.
  • This is the only game to feature the Bell Tower without a stage fatality.
  • This is the first game to introduce characters Quan Chi and Kenshi in a 2-D plane fighting game.
  • This is the developers' first Mortal Kombat game designed under Netherrealm Studios.
  • This is the only game to show all Lin Kuei cyborgs in their human forms, before their automation.
  • This is the only game Sub-Zero has a cyborg form, as he was the only Lin Kuei ninja to not have one.
  • This is the first game where Kintaro has fatalities of his own.
  • This is the first game where every character has their very own in-game voice.
  • Despite showcasing past moments in the original timeline, every moment, including the immediate outcome of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, showcases characters wearing their outfits debuting in the game rather than their older outfits, with the exception of Liu Kang (represented as his zombie form), Raiden (represented as Dark Raiden), Kenshi (as his new DLC design had not been finalized at the time) and Shao Kahn (wearing his Armageddon armor).
  • Although commonly listed as the first Mortal Kombat game to have a tag team mode, this is not strictly true. Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition and Mortal Kombat Trilogy also had this feature, as well as Mortal Kombat: Deception's double enemy stages.
  • However, this is the first game where two players can work together (Online/Offline).
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy had a 3 fighter team mode, however, it was not possible to switch out, characters only changed after one died, similar to Endurance Matches in the early games
  • The announcer voice for this game is Jamieson Price, who is also the announcer for Super Street Fighter IV. Therefore, both rival franchises share an aesthetic element with each other.
  • The demo for the game was hacked not far from its release, revealing everything about the game. (Characters, Stages, Etc.)
  • At an early development stage, the finisher theme was originally the same one used in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, before it was changed as the game's development progressed.
  • Footage of the game was shown in a scene from the Warner Bros. film, Project X.
  • Freddy shares a similar power to a Mortal Kombat Kombatant, Shang Tsung. They are both feed off the souls of their victims.
  • If not counting the DC Universe characters, Freddy is the second guest character of the Mortal Kombat series. The first is Kratos from God of War. Though unlike Freddy, Kratos is only available on the PlayStation 3 where as Freddy is available on both PS3 and XBox 360.
  • Scorpion and Freddy share the same power of fire. Also they both died and became immortals at age 32.
  • Mortal Kombat character Johnny Cage refrenced Freddy on his official Twitter, stating that "I have been having strange dreams #Nightmares."
  • All of Freddy Krueger's names of fatatlity's are quotes that he say in films (Tell 'Em Freddy Senta Ya from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Welcome To My Nightmare from Freddy Vs Jason) and they are referenced. His first fatality references how he killed Roland Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) in the third film and his second fatatliy references how he killed Kristen Parker (Tuesday Knight) in the fourth film.
  • Freddy has no dialogue lines, aside from a "Shhh." while performing a throw, and a "No!" after being thrown in front of a car during The Street's stage fatality. When he does make sound, it's a laugh during his intro and Fatalities, and attack grunts.
  • All of these effects were, in fact, performed by Robert Englund, which was not confirmed until 2017 by Mortal Kombat series co-creator Ed Boon on Twitter.