When it was first introduced a staggering 27 years ago, Mortal Kombat always had that reputation of being “That fighting game where you rip people’s heads off.” Known more for its gore and violence than its gameplay. Things have changed since then with MK9 and MKX bringing the quality of gameplay up to meet the quality of violence. That upward trend continues with Mortal Kombat 11, which is not only the best Mortal Kombat has ever been, it’s also arguably Netherrealm’s best game yet. This is one of the most fully featured fighting games you can buy, with both single- and multiplayer modes that will last both casual and hardcore audiences a long, long time.
Mortal Kombat’s defining quality among 2D fighters is that its combat centers around two punch buttons, two kick buttons, and a block button. This is actually more unique than it sounds. While other 2D fighters typically have some combination of light, medium, and/or heavy attacks, with weaker attacks linking into stronger attacks, Mortal Kombat has no such concept. Instead, MK employs a “dial-a-combo” system that requires knowledge of very specific button combinations in order to build a combo. It’s definitely not a super-accessible combat system for newcomers, but fortunately, Mortal Kombat 11 comes with one of the best fighting game tutorials I’ve ever played. It covers everything from basic fundamentals all the way to the most advanced techniques such as frame traps, jailing, and block strings, all while highlighting key concepts and clear instructions on how to implement these techniques.