• Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Oct 4, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
Buy On
  1. Game Informer
    The gameplay has evolved to a frightening degree, and exacting painful death upon your opponent is only the tip of the bloody iceberg...Deception is easily the most-accomplished fighter to date. [Oct 2004, p.120]
  2. It's like shifting through gears in a sports car. It takes a little practice to get good at it and the timing needs to be just right, but once you get the hang of it, it handles like a dream.
  3. 93
    Midway went the extra mile and added new, fresh gameplay options, full online play, and a nice helping of polish into an already quality title. If you're a Mortal Kombat fan (or fanatic), you can't pass this up.
  4. features a staggering amount of replayability, Live play, hours of unlockables, multiple gameplay modes, and far more than any other fighter since "Soul Calibur." To say that I enjoyed the game would be an understatement.
  5. The gameplay is riveting and exciting, the visuals and audio some of the best ever, with enough ways to play that will keep you busy for months.
  6. With an excellent versus play, an addictive Puzzle mode, and a strategic chess mode, MK: Deception is chock full of solid gameplay. Add to this a decent campaign mode which is a necessity for cool unlocks, and you have yourself a certified console fighting classic.
  7. This is the definitive Mortal Kombat title. You have more fatalities, self-fatalities (hara-kiri), stage fatalities, more characters, four deep modes of play, unlockable Krypt items, and online play.
  8. AceGamez
    Whilst Deception is much better than "Deadly Alliance" and the inclusion of online play is done flawlessly and is great fun, the main single player attraction is just so dumbed-down and chore-like that it's not a whole lot of fun and I couldn't imagine ever going through it again.
  9. Cheat Code Central
    Deception has everything an MK fan could possibly want from the heavens: more gore, more fatalities, more characters, traps, more modes and online play.
  10. 90
    There are some issues with the game, its not perfect, but its still the most fun MK I've played.
  11. 90
    Deception's drop-dead gorgeous graphics are loaded with clever details (Mileena's thinly veiled mouth or razor-sharp teeth, for instance) and vibrant colors. The Xbox version has the edge over its PS2 brother with sharper graphics.
  12. The total package that it offers by returning to 'its roots' and bringing back things such as Stage Fatalities as well as introducing new features such as Death Traps, Puzzle Kombat and Chess Kombat make it too good for MK fans to miss out on.
  13. 88
    More moves, more fatalities, more characters, more mini-games, and the addition of online play are what Deception is all about, and it makes for an end product that's just shy of excellent.
  14. An impressive addition to the Mortal Kombat Universe, one that handily picks up where "Deadly Alliance" left off. The included game modes expands the replayability for Deception significantly, and the stability of online play will guarantee that this title will stay in consoles for a long, long time.
  15. The new Konquest mode is ok but nothing major. And I do wish the controls weren't so unforgiving sometimes. It's still Mortal Kombat though, and that's totally ok with me.
  16. Practically three full games for the price of one. Seriously, you won't find a better value in games these days. And for those who were addicted to Tetris, Puzzle Kombat is going to steal away many hours of your life.
  17. It is the long-awaited return to the bloody joy of MK's glory days – and as a life-long fan, I am happy to say welcome back.
  18. If you're on the market for a fighter then you could do a lot worse than MK:D. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to do any better as this is a highly complete and well-rounded package with lots to keep you interested.
  19. The best, most fully developed part of Deception is its fighting system. Like any great fighting game, this one carefully strikes the balance of delivering fast-paced, visceral thrills and rewarding lots of practice and complex tactics.
  20. 85
    "Deadly Alliance" was a great title, but Deception sticks its head out of the hole a little bit further.
  21. The added modes are a real breath of fresh air for the series and make the game far greater than its predecessor. The online is very welcome and hopefully here to stay for any future games, although I do wish they would make a better ranking system and disconnect penalty.
  22. The return of classic characters like Baraka, Nightwolf, Kabal and Sindel will spark the interest of anyone who used to love these games, and the vast amount of unlockable content makes the latest Mortal Kombat good value for money.
  23. The amount of detail that went behind the mythologies and the history of the game really makes it feel more alive than previous iterations.
  24. Despite the flaws in the controls, fans will like this one a lot more than Deadly Alliance.
  25. Those who liked Deadly Alliance's general style - its fighting system, story mode, collecting Koins and unlocking Koffins - will certainly enjoy Mortal Kombat: Deception.
  26. Official Xbox Magazine
    It's not a question of whether or not you'll enjoy this latest deliciously gore-filled brawler; it's where you'll find the freakin' time to fully explore everything the game offers. [Dec 2004, p.86]
  27. I wish the fighting system was a little tighter and didn't feel so much like button mashing, but generally speaking, this is a step in the right direction for Mortal Kombat.
  28. Play Magazine
    As good as the match-ups are, balanced through a generous, likeable collection of 24 old and new warriors, that comedic gore factor - as pervasive as ever - certainly strengthens the flavor. [Nov 2004, p.64]
  29. GMR Magazine
    Deception is excellent, and its online play and hundreds of unlockable secrets give it more longevity than most fighters. [Dec 2004, p.112]
  30. Deception throws in an extremely polished Konquest mode, the fun Chess and Tetris modes, plus online play.
  31. If you have been looking forward to this game you may be a little disappointed with the Konquest mode, but the other modes help make the game a solid choice.
  32. Xbox Live is a timely upgrade, the Konquest mode plays well and Puzzle Kombat rocks, but without any significant improvement in fighting styles or basic playability Mortal Kombat is good but just not good enough.
  33. You've almost got to love Mortal Kombat if you like gaming. It's big, it's brash, it's bloody and it's not in the least bit ashamed. Fatality! [Xbox World]
  34. 80
    If you're looking at the game for continuing the fun, campy Mortal Kombat legacy, you'll find a lot to like here. If you're looking for highly technical fighting matches or evolved modern game storytelling, you'll do better looking elsewhere.
  35. Players who were not bowled over by "Deadly Alliance" will probably find little here that will tip the scales. On the other hand, for those who loved the last game, Deception feels like an expansion pack to an experience that they already enjoy.
  36. 80
    We love it for the über-violent finishing moves and optional online action and hate it for the "instant death traps" we get stuck in on nearly every level. If only we were less clumsy!
  37. 80
    The online play, chess kombat, puzzle kombat, arcade mode and Konquest mode will be enough to keep most gamers entertained for hours.
  38. Pelit (Finland)
    You cannot blame Midway for not trying, as Mortal Kombat: Deception is packed with content with kombat chess, puzzle kombat and a disappointing adventure mode. It almost manages to inject new blood into an increasingly stale franchise. [Jan. 05]
  39. The added Puzzle Kombat is surprisingly fun-Tetris-style one-on-one gaming is punctuated by miniature, big-headed characters popping each other in the skulls. Throw out your old MK games; it's time to call this one your daddy.
  40. Instead of puzzle and chess mini-games and a story mode, why not spend time and resources developing another dozen levels and resurrecting the series' classic characters?
  41. 80
    Amazingly fun; once again, fans will be shouting "Finish him!" for months to come.
  42. 80
    With tons of secrets to uncover, and a surprising array of different gameplay options, Mortal Kombat: Deception is a surprisingly fun package.
  43. Considering the extremely fast response times needed for a fighting game, it's amazing how smoothly the online mode plays. It's just as responsive as it would be if you were playing with a pal sitting next to you, which is an astounding achievement.
  44. Deception takes everything that was good about Deadly Alliance and adds on another layer of polish.
  45. A great edition in the Mortal Kombat legacy. It has all the over the top attributes that people love about Mortal Kombat.

Awards & Rankings

#30 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#56 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Oct 8, 2017
    My favorite Mortal Kombat game.

    The graphics are great. The character models, battle damage and blood look better than Deadly Alliance. The
    My favorite Mortal Kombat game.

    The graphics are great. The character models, battle damage and blood look better than Deadly Alliance. The soundtrack is good but I like Deadly Alliance more. The sound is reused from Deadly Alliance but the voice acting and sound effects sound way better. The gameplay has been improved with the combo breaker mechanic, death traps, Hara Kiri's and the classic two fatalities system. I love the way that they brought back classic stages from the original Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2 and Deadly Alliance. I also love that they brought back classic characters like they did with Deadly Alliance.

    The only thing I don't like is the Konquest Mode. It is a good mode but it's too short and the emphasis on finding collectible chests in which some of them are really hard to find and to unlock most of the extras, team photos, stages, costumes and fighters that are in the Krypt can get really irritating. I hate the way if you wanted to learn moves and battle classic characters you had to find them, then practice their moveset then go to a different area and fight someone else and unlock items which I found to be very time consuming as you already have practice mode to use and you can buy unlockables in the krypt. The ending is bad and Shujinko is dumb. They should have stayed with the Deadly Alliance version of Konquest mode as it was easier to earn money and you could buy the things you wanted in the Krypt.

    Another thing I didn't like is that some of the new characters and their fatalities are bad but not as terrible as Deadly Alliance. Most of the new and classic characters used recycled win animations which was a cheap thing to do. The game's arcade mode is WAY too short with only 6 fights as Deadly Alliance had much more and I think the Hara Kiri's were a waste of time.

    Overall, A great Mortal Kombat game. Buy it.
    Full Review »
  2. ShaneS.
    Sep 12, 2006
    After playing DOA4 I must give this game a ten. Mortal Kombat has nice simple controls that anybody can pickup and use. The dial-a-combo After playing DOA4 I must give this game a ten. Mortal Kombat has nice simple controls that anybody can pickup and use. The dial-a-combo system seems a bit dated but it's simple and easy to use in comparison to the overly complex button mashing of DOA4. Twice a match you get to use a button called the "breaker button". Whilst your opponent is unleashing a devestating combo on you, you can hit this button to intterupt his combo and start your own. The game offers a plethora of different characters. Some characters are combo machines. Some are weapon oreinted. Some are special moves users. A lot of them are hybrids. The opponents face each other side to side, just like any oldschool game, yet you can still move around, and dodge. The greatest part about this game is that is sticks with what works. It's simple and easy to pick up, and play. Also killing your opponent via Fatality is always fun. Xbox live works like a dream too. Almost all characters are viable. There's no single pwnage character. Well anyway anybody that's sick of the complexities of DOA, Tekken, Soul Calibre, etc. will love this game. Anybody that likes Tekken, or DOA will hate this game. Full Review »
  3. ArmandoD.
    Sep 5, 2005
    This is good fighting game... specially if you are MortalKombat fan. The puzzles etc... are nice extras. Konquest mode is very good idea, bit This is good fighting game... specially if you are MortalKombat fan. The puzzles etc... are nice extras. Konquest mode is very good idea, bit it kinda sucks. Full Review »