Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 80
    What I especially like about Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is its easy accessibility. If you're a little out of touch with your Mortal Kombat lore, or if you haven't played the game since MK2, or if you haven't ever played MK at all, Shaolin Monks eases you in and provides all the tools for you to get up to speed.
  2. Apart from actually putting together a completely decent gameplay engine, Shaolin Monks is so ridiculously chock-full of hidden goodies and subtle wink-and-nod-style in-jokes that anybody who professes to have a degree in MK will be hard-pressed not to come away entertained.
  3. If you're looking for a fight you came to the right place. If you're looking for something more than just a fight you've also come to the right place. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks puts the mental fun back in fundamental.
  4. I haven't had this much fun with a co-op game in quite some time. [Oct 2005, p.122]
  5. 70
    The Xbox's advantage is, of course, graphics. Here the character models don't look as flat and the textures feature slightly more intricate detail. The world is still pretty blocky, but with a decent framerate and solid effects, we can accept that.
  6. The combat system is easy to learn but has enough depth that it will take time to master.
  7. The story is weak, boss fights are hard, but the action is extremely enjoyable and in a game where the main focus is the action, which is all that counts.
  8. A fairly impressive beast. It might not be smart, polished or new, but it's wonderfully violent, varied and bloody. Plus, it's proof that two heads are better than one.
  9. 80
    It offers a stellar single-player adventure mode experience, a ton of unlockables, a comprehensive two-player versus mode, and best of all, the original freakin' "Mortal Kombat II" arcade game. For all of these different modes in a single game, the price tag is practically a steal.
  10. Definitely an experience that is best shared, but even if you do find yourself playing alone, you will be able to immerse yourself into a surprisingly deep story and wonderful fantasy world of Asian-influenced culture that is loaded with non-stop and brutal action.
  11. 60
    Shaolin Monks' replay value could use a jump-start or two from Raiden's fingertips. Despite an arcade port of Mortal Kombat II and a two-player versus mode, there's simply not enough "kontent" to justify a purchase for most.
  12. Along with the many hidden features in the game, power ups, skills you can gain, the latest entry into the long line of Mortal Kombat games is definitely worth checking out and has our hopes up that there will be future installments.
  13. A shining triumph of beat 'em up glory, spinning off from the traditional MK one-on-one gameplay and showing us all just how excellent the old-school beat 'em up can be in this current generation of gaming.
  14. Go ahead, fanboy - this one's for you. [Dec 2005, p.116]
  15. It's a non-offensive way to while away a few hours digging up the past, but the core gameplay doesn't hold a candle to the title it's so fondly remembering. [Nov 2005, p.108]
  16. The fighting - and there's tons of it - never grows laborious or monotonous... [Nov p.76]
  17. Were it not for the sometimes-unclear objectives (coupled with a tough-to-follow map); puzzles that almost always involve throwing an enemy into a wall, spikes, and the like; and some minor annoyances, this one would be award worthy.
  18. MK fans will rate Shaolin Monks a fatality – others will find it surprisingly fun in short doses.
  19. After years of suffering from mediocrity, the MK franchise shines in this latest actioner, offering an engaging story and rock-solid combat, MK-style.
  20. The story may not make total sense, but the action is fresh and furious. Gamers well versed in the ways of the Flawless Victory should get a kick out of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks as well.
  21. It's certainly not a 'Klassic' by any stretch of the imagination - and it may not feature the cutting-edge style of other titles - but its furious fighting and mostly wonderful boss encounters provided many hours of enjoyment.
  22. It's a game that will certainly appeal to MK fans thanks to its self-referencing details, but more than that, Shaolin Monks will appeal to action/adventure fans in general thanks to a very solid combat system that surpasses previous attempts at multi-directions 3D combat.
  23. The generous slathering of nostalgia for the locations and characters of the old arcade games is a treat. [Dec p.93]
  24. The game has its flaws- some of the platforming areas are a pain in the neck- but Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is probably the best thing to happen to Kombat fans in the past five or six years. If you're a fan of the series, or even a fan of fighters in general, pick this one up.
  25. The game flows extremely well, and is just a complete blast to play. Seeing your favorite MK landscapes come to life is a total joy and the story provides some insight into the strange MK world.
  26. It's a really nice combination of old and new Mortal Kombat.
  27. If you love all things MK, you'll see Shaolin Monks as a special milestone in the franchise and a reward for your loyalty. Otherwise, it's just a fun brawling diversion with lots of gloopy blood and two unlockable characters. Either way, it's good stuff.
  28. The crowning glories of this slick fighting engine, though, are the all-new Fatalities. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  29. Shaolin Monks redeems itself by not only keeping the tone of the series perfectly intact, but crafting around it a solid beat-em-up engine with moves aplenty, outstanding two player support, and cool little touches here and there for the avid MK fan. TOASTY!
  30. Even though it's not a one-on-one fighting game, I still think that Shaolin Monks is by far the best Mortal Kombat game to come out in many years.
  31. If you wished the Xbox had a "God of War" to call its own, then Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks should be your cup of tea.
  32. The creators get points for keeping the combos, juggles, air attacks, and instant-kill fatalities, not to mention the chopsocky feel and cameos from familiar faces like Baraka and Reptile.
  33. 85
    While the nutball MK mythos is annoying-click through those windy speeches by Raiden as quickly as possible-it's all good once disembodied heads are bouncing around like popcorn.
  34. The story line is reasonably weak, the puzzles are fairly random and the role-playing elements very watered down. But the fighting is good enough to make the overall game a surprising amount of fun.
  35. I like the cheesy characters and the cartoon-like blood and gore thing. I can understand now why I wasn't allowed to play it as a teenager, but as an adult it sure is goofy fun.
  36. The nostalgia packed in the game is amazing, and better yet, you can unlock "Mortal Kombat II." Still, you can't help but feel the creators made this only as a 'thank you' for the hardcore rather than for everyone else to play.
  37. The controls are laid out well and you won't need a six button controller to be good at it.

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