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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. It's bigger, it's badder and there's a whole lot of cutting... and hey, that's a good thing, for once. MKD is a can't miss game.
  2. The game also provides many good reasons to return to it, aside from its core fighting game mechanic, but those reasons support the core mechanic rather than overshadow it.
  3. 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]
  4. 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.
  5. It may seem odd to praise a fighting game that rests in the three foot end of the Olympic diving pool of fighters, but it's the combination of totally engrossing extra game modes, seemingly endless unlockables, an easily accessible mythology and the kind of passion and geeky pride that just rubs off on you.
  6. It's nice to see that Midway has really listened to video game fans in the development of Mortal Kombat: Deception. The game is a considerable improvement over "Deadly Alliance."
  7. 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.
  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. A good fighting game elevated by its fluid visuals, unique modes (for a fighting game anyway) and superb implementation of online play, which easily elevate it to great status. Unfortunately, the poorly implemented Konquest mode keeps the game from soaring too high.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. It reminds me of the roller rink, the movie theaters-anywhere that had a working Mortal Kombat machine. That's the draw for this game ' nostalgia. The hook is everything else.
  14. 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.
  15. The core one-on-one fighting action--whether you play it offline or online--is easily the best part of the game. Like its predecessor, the fighting in Mortal Kombat: Deception is gory, intense, and quite complex, meaning it captures much of what's made MK an institution among fighting games.
  16. Somewhere between the incredible combo system and the freakish amount of extras, this game captured my heart like no other in its series.
  17. A great game that seems to be missing something, all of the great characters that we love to use.
  18. It's the fighting game they threw the kitchen sink at...This isn't just the biggest Mortal Kombat to date - it's the biggest fighting game, full stop. Topping this will take some doing. [PSM2]
  19. Every dollar you spend will come back threefold with this game.
  20. And one final word of warning ' Mortal Kombat is very liberal with blood and gruesome death, which is either a very good or very bad thing depending on your view of violence in games.
  21. 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]
  22. The combat herein is a tour de force, oozing over-the-top charm and playing with as much balance as any of the more traditionally respected fighters out there. However, the experience will, most likely, be at least tainted for newcomers by a tacked-on one-player challenge that is not so much badly implemented, just poorly thought-out.
  23. 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.
  24. PSM Magazine
    Easily the best 3D fighter PS2 has seen since "Soul Calibur 2" and "VF4 Evolution." [Dec 2004, p.76]
  25. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Puzzle and chess modes are great fun. [Dec 2004, p.119]
  26. 80
    With tons of secrets to uncover, and a surprising array of different gameplay options, Mortal Kombat: Deception is a surprisingly fun package.
  27. 80
    Amazingly fun; once again, fans will be shouting "Finish him!" for months to come.
  28. 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!
  29. 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.
  30. Ironically, Deception's Konquest mode that the developer has been pushing so much is the games only real weak point.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Perhaps the single greatest addition to Deception is the revolutionary online versus mode. So far the servers are amazingly free of lag, which would all but kill this timing-sensitive game.
  34. It still labors under a fighting system that rewards memorization over improvisation far too much for my taste, but I'm sure the Mortal Kombat faithful are going to be thrilled.
  35. 70
    It seems unfortunate that the game’s strength depends on its weakness to gain lifespan, and while the Chess and Puzzle games are amusing, the core fighting element of the game is where most gamers will be directing their attention.
  36. The phrase fan-service has never been so apt.
  37. It's simply that the fighting aspects of the game remain very similar to "MK: Deadly Alliance," which caters to a casual market. The extra modes of Puzzle Kombat, Chess Kombat, online play, and Konquest certainly add a great deal to the title, but if you didn't like Deadly Alliance, chances are you won't like Deception either.
  38. The extra games are all very nice and shiny but some more work should have gone into creating a level field of play, wherein each character can compete fairly and we aren't left damning Kobra's utter rubbishness as Noob-Smoke kicks seven varying shades of faeces out of him yet again.
  39. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    It's unfortunate that the underlying mano a mano action can't match the rest of Deception's ambitious package, but precious little has been done to improve upon the last MK's ("Deadly Alliance") leaden, mash-happy combat. [Dec 2004, p.152]
  40. While the fighting engine is still decent and the combat graphics are fine, Mortal Kombat: Deception does little for the series. It's a victory, but hardly a flawless one.
  41. games(TM)
    It's fair to say that Deception remains true to the series in that it delivers much of what you'd want from it, though this only means it's a reasonable fighting game with plenty of blood and some grisly deaths... Kould have been much better. [Dec 2004, p.110]
  42. 50
    Despite how oddly compelling I found many of the diversions found herein, I couldn't get too into this game's dated fighting mechanic.
  43. Savage karnivores may still enjoy this bloody-rare slab of fighting beef, but genre gourmets should look elsewhere.

Awards & Rankings

#38 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#35 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 106
  2. Negative: 4 out of 106
  1. Apr 21, 2015
    Takes what Deadly Alliance did right and none of what it did wrong. The character models are gorgeous and not jarringly different from whatTakes what Deadly Alliance did right and none of what it did wrong. The character models are gorgeous and not jarringly different from what you're used to from a Mortal Kombat game. The combat is incredibly methodical and slow unlike the fast paced action one might be used to from Mortal Kombat. The game becomes much more tactical and skill-based rather than twitch-reaction based. The best thing it does however, is take the game's mysterious lore and backstory and expands on it in a way that blew me away. The game features a mode called "Konquest" which is essentially a Mortal Kombat RPG that allows you to explore the universe that previous games in the series helped create. What results is one of the better experiences you can have in video games, period. The free roam combines the mystique and brutality of the universe with the brutal combat of the game itself to create what I view as a masterpiece, through and through. It's just one of those things you have to experience yourself to truly appreciate. It also features two other modes- puzzle combat and chess combat. They're basically exactly what they sound like but nowhere near as gimmicky as one would believe and extraordinarily fun. Full Review »
  2. Jan 5, 2014
    I could start this game from scratch and it would take me months until I got bored. The fatalities are cool, ingenuitive, and gory. TheI could start this game from scratch and it would take me months until I got bored. The fatalities are cool, ingenuitive, and gory. The addition of Hara-Kiri's werent bad either. I love the whole style branching Combos. Konquest can get a little dull when you have to learn every single move of someone every 5 minutes, but other than that its pretty good. There are decent side challenges in konquest if you fell like it. Even after you beat konquest, there are still Keys to be found, some of which can be ridiculous. Otherwise this is the best mortal kombat there is, over armageddon, and way over the newer Mortal Kombat. I think the different kinds of koins is what made Deception a lot better than Armageddon in my book. Chess Combat was where I spent most of my time after konquest. Full Review »
  3. May 1, 2011
    If Mortal Kombat: Deception were at any fault, it would be the addition of "hara kiri". Is there a point in killing yourself in a worse mannerIf Mortal Kombat: Deception were at any fault, it would be the addition of "hara kiri". Is there a point in killing yourself in a worse manner than your foe probably would? Aside from looking stylish. Full Review »