Generally favorable reviews - based on 60 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 60
  2. Negative: 0 out of 60
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    A great game. It's not the most polished fighter out there, but it has a distinct flavor and it'll be a hit at gamer get-togethers.
  2. Apr 19, 2011
    Over-the-top, bloody, and bursting with content, Mortal Kombat is a return to form for the franchise.
  3. Apr 19, 2011
    Visually, Mortal Kombat looks great. If you are hoping for a highly detailed, gruesome experience, then Mortal Kombat definitely delivers.
  4. Apr 19, 2011
    This is the best Mortal Kombat yet. It didn't blow my mind to the degree that Mortal Kombat 2 and 3 did back in the day, but when it comes down to the gameplay and longevity tied to it, this new entry towers above its 2D lineage.
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    Of course, if you're like the vast majority of the folks who wandered by my desk during the weeks that I played Mortal Kombat, you want to see one thing, and one thing only: utter carnage. And hey -- it's here in spades. Just try to remember that for once, Mortal Kombat is more than the sum of a few flying body parts.
  6. Apr 21, 2011
    When you take it all into consideration, Mortal Kombat is a pretty good entry into the series, namely for the surprisingly high-quality story mode, but it falls short in other areas. You'll spew vulgarities almost every time you have to choke down a 1v2 fight and when the AI suddenly gains near-psychic prediction abilities, but when it's an even 1v1 fight, the game is a lot of fun. The choice to essentially reboot the series was a wise one, and now is probably your best chance to get caught up with the Mortal Kombat story, short of replaying the originals. However, some truly asinine fights will certainly dull the enjoyment from time to time.
  7. Apr 22, 2011
    It packs in a ton of characters, a lot of unlockable content that's actually pretty cool, and it returns MK back to its ultraviolent roots, something that was sorely lacking for most fans in the otherwise decent Mortal Kombat vs. DC game.
  8. Apr 21, 2011
    In one swift blow, Mortal Kombat reminds me why I dressed up as Sub-Zero for Halloween when I was six: It's brutal, aggressive, and awesome. The blunders with the auto-difficulty, story, and online can be easily patched or passed over by the return of the franchise to its arcade roots - where it belongs.
  9. Apr 19, 2011
    Mortal Kombat has achieved something that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime: a fighting game that has more than enough single player content to keep casual players involved, with a gameplay system that can satisfy even the most hardcore fighting game fans. NetherRealm Studios' dedication and attention to detail on all fronts shows that they are much more in tune with what gamers look for when purchasing a new game more so than any other fighting game developer out there.
  10. May 6, 2011
    Not the reinvention we hoped, but it's hard to hate something so desperately eager to please. [June 2011, p.64]
  11. Apr 19, 2011
    A successful sequel that both reboots and redeems the wayward series, though it's not a flawless victory. Character balance, inconsistent detection and a stingy coin reward system drag down an otherwise bloody good time.
  12. May 1, 2011
    The latest Mortal Kombat is, in our opinion, the best in the series so far. This is more ambitious than the previous ones, has a perfect roster of fighters and offers more content than any other fighting game.
  13. May 9, 2011
    Aside from those admittedly minor issues, Mortal Kombat is an impressive piece of work. It's got more than enough gore to satisfy the older fans, a deep combat system to draw in tournament-level players, and a huge amount of content. It's nice to see that after twenty years, the series can finally move towards being something other than a guilty pleasure.
  14. May 2, 2011
    Fighting fit and ready to rip off your head, it's definitely the best Mortal Kombat game released to date.
  15. Apr 22, 2011
    An incredible package that should appeal to any fighting game fan or anyone who grew up with the series. Ed Boon and his team at NetherRealm have created a love letter to fans that will stand the test of time.
  16. May 8, 2011
    While fans will revel in the HD sheen of its signature gore, long-standing cynics and newcomers alike will find a game that, just as it did 19 years ago, pales in comparison to its more fluid, graceful peers. [June 2011, p.95]
  17. May 13, 2011
    The fact that, in harking back to earlier days, the game feels stuck in the past, the fact the fighting system really isn't deep compared to other modern-day brawlers, the fact the gore is little more than a sideshow and the fact that most of the fan service appeals to fans who have grown up a great deal since the Nineties throws up numerous reasons to criticise, however.
  18. Apr 20, 2011
    Mortal Kombat is here. Its gameplay system can satisfy all kinds of gamers and the game offers tons of variety and hidden extras. It's really a return to form for the franchise.
  19. Apr 21, 2011
    Feels like such a thorough piece of fan service, it's difficult to see how NetherRealm Studios will ever be able to follow it up, as it feels like there's little left to do. Still, for now that doesn't matter. Mortal Kombat feels like the return of an old friend - a thoroughly unhinged friend, but one we're delighted to have back.
  20. Apr 21, 2011
    But when it comes down to it, it really seems like the PS3 is the best fit for Mortal Kombat. (With that said, I'll probably end up doing most of my playing -- reluctantly, mind you -- on the 360, where it seems the bulk of my personal network of friends is competing.)
  21. May 18, 2011
    It took nearly a decade, as well as the death-knell of the company that spawned it, but at last Mortal Kombat can competently stand toe-to-toe with the other fighting greats due to its gameplay, rather than its gore.
  22. May 19, 2011
    This new MK truly deserves the title "Mortal Kombat" since it feels like a new start for the series in many ways.
  23. Oct 20, 2011
    A very good reboot for the series. 3D-arenas have been axed, so the combat system is simpler and at the same time more refined. [May 2011]
  24. May 27, 2011
    Mortal Kombat definitely provides a fighting experience like no other. With a return to the original all-star cast, the involving Challenge Tower, the best Story Mode in fighter history, approachable gameplay, and mindblowing graphics, this is an affair that definitely requires your attention.
  25. May 4, 2011
    Mortal Kombat is so far without a doubt the best Mortal Kombat ever.
  26. Apr 26, 2011
    Mortal Kombat goes back to its roots, making it even better than past Mortal Kombat games. There is so much content and there are so many improvements that this title is the best fighting game you'll find in stores right now.
  27. Apr 26, 2011
    Mortal Kombat is a morbid celebration of recognition. The game does everything you'd expect from a product of the franchise. Especially online the qualities of the fast gameplay come to fruition, but offline the game doesn't let down by any means. It's too bad though, that the storymode, a large part of the singleplayer, isn't more than a few cutscenes intertwined with a bunch of fights.
  28. Apr 19, 2011
    A remake more than a reinvention, but one that retains all the simple gameplay and outrageous gore that made the original games fun.
  29. A solid, nostalgic fighter, but lack of depth in the core combat means it's unlikely to hold you attention for long in a crowded genre - and Street Fighter still pummels it into the dirt. [June 2011, p.102]
  30. Apr 19, 2011
    Darkly decadent as one of its sadistic X-ray moves, the new and improved Mortal Kombat emerges as an impressively realized reboot that elevates the series to a new plateau of excellence. If your interest in Mortal Kombat has remained in stasis until now, unfreeze your expectations and take a dip in the dark side. You will that find ripping someone's head off is a lot more fun than you originally remembered.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 443 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 126
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    One of the greatest Mortal Kombat games in the series. This really does take you back to the original games with its 2D gameplay and goryOne of the greatest Mortal Kombat games in the series. This really does take you back to the original games with its 2D gameplay and gory fatalities. If you are a veteran of the series, this is a must have. The levels are greatly detailed, and the character models are pretty cool. Each character has several fatalities, and casual gameplay is rewarded by a point system generated by combos, wins, and fatalities. The game runs smooth, the online is fun, and the fatalities are gruesome. Pick this game up now. Full Review »
  2. Apr 20, 2011
    WOW! I love this game. So glad they went back to the 2D fighting and fatalities. It is easy enough to play for a beginner yet still complexWOW! I love this game. So glad they went back to the 2D fighting and fatalities. It is easy enough to play for a beginner yet still complex enough for the Hardcore MK fan. I also love all the original maps remastered in 3D HD. They look great. And KRATOS on the PS3 version is a really amazing idea. Sorry XBox guys, He's all ours!!!! lol Full Review »
  3. Apr 24, 2011
    Growing up, I spent tons of quarters - and later dollars - on Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 in the arcade and for consoles. Couldn't get enough of it.Growing up, I spent tons of quarters - and later dollars - on Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 in the arcade and for consoles. Couldn't get enough of it. When Mortal Kombat 3 came out, however, the entire method of the game switched from one of mastering special moves to learning how to cheese with unblockable combo chains, with or without special moves, that would juggle your opponent to the point where they COULDN'T do anything. They spend a quarter and maybe get one button press before they were down and out. I adapted and got pretty decent at it, but I didn't have fun. Not like the past. Afterwards, Mortal Kombat just went on a downhill skid. And that's the biggest problem with the Mortal Kombat reboot - it goes back to the Mortal Kombat 3 style of play, not Mortal Kombat 1 or 2 where timing and skill mattered as opposed to picking a character with the cheesiest juggle combo. And that's all the new MK is about - juggling your opponent(s) into combos that can't be blocked and can't be broken and then unleashing a 9-10 hit string that takes down their life to near dead.

    Sure, giving the beat down is fun (at first), but if you're constantly being beaten on simply because someone chose a specific character, it's not fun. I was hoping for a return to timing and skill, not a return to the MK3 combo cheesefest.

    Story mode is OK, not really the greatest but probably the best in a recent fighting game, however the game loves putting you in 2v1 situations that are disgustingly hard (see combo cheesefest) even on Medium difficulty. The voice over work is some of the worst in recent game memory. X-Ray mode is interesting, but it gets old after the first few times while the characters' signature special moves are less powerful than many of the simple two-button combos themselves. Graphically, the game is OK, but nothing to shout about and looks dated by a few years.

    I'm sure people who only started playing MK when MK3 or UMK3 were out will be in love with this game. But as someone who grew up with MK, who remembers learning the moves, the skill and timing of how to deploy them, this game is an utter disappointment. Just another bland fighter where people are rewarded for learning how to play at the cheesiest, cheapest level.
    Full Review »