Mortal Kombat has been around since 1992 and has given us some of the most iconic fighting game characters of all time. From Scorpion to Sub-Zero, these characters have been battling it out in the Mortal Kombat tournament for decades. With so many great characters to choose from, it's hard to narrow down the best of the best. But we've done our best to create a list of the 10 greatest Mortal Kombat characters of all time.
Top 10 best characters in the Mortal Kombat series, ranked
10. Shao Kahn
- First appeared in: Mortal Kombat II
There is no doubt that Shao Kahn is one of the most powerful beings in the Mortal Kombat series. Shao Kahn is the Emperor of Outworld and one of the main antagonists of the Mortal Kombat series. In Mortal Kombat, he has been able to defeat some of the most formidable warriors, and he has ruled over Outworld for centuries. His strength, durability, and fighting skills are legendary, making him one of the most dangerous foes anyone can face.
As one of the original Mortal Kombat fighters, Kitana has had a long and storied history in the franchise. She was introduced as a villain in the second game but became a fan-favorite over time, thanks to her impressive martial arts skills and cool demeanor. While she doesn’t have the sheer power of some of the other characters on this list, she more than makes up for it with her agility and speed. Her fans also appreciate that she has one of the more interesting backstories in the series, making her a well-rounded and three-dimensional character.
Cyrax is a cyborg with a distinctive yellow tint in the series, favored by many since the franchise's early days. His staple abilities are using his iconic energy net and a plethora of other weaponry, such as bombs, a grinder, a pulse blade, and even a self-detonating device. These utilities enable him to control the flow of the combat, putting himself exactly where the players want him to be in the fight.
He is famous for being one of the few characters able to beat Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat III. Due to the game's input-reading technique, the CPU controlling Shao Kahn could predict and effectively "mind-read" the player's moves, successfully countering them, which made Shao Kahn almost invincible. Cyrax was one of the few characters who could go around that issue, spam-trapping him in his energy net and proceeding to do an uppercut until winning the round.
One of Mortal Kombat's most powerful characters, he is the eternal God of Thunder and protector of Earthrealm. This character has become one of the most iconic characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise and is among the most popular in the world. His lightning bolt attacks have become one of his trademarks, and he has appeared in all the main installments of the series. His status as Elder God was earned after he defeated Shinnok twice. In addition to this, he is also one of the founding members of the Mortal Kombat Defenders of Realms.
Whenever she takes part in Mortal Kombat tournaments, Mileena is regarded as one of the most fierce and deadly competitors there is. Despite being one of the few female fighters in the series, she is well deserving of respect and is definitely not to be underestimated. Her agility and speed make her a force to be reckoned with, and she has some powerful moves that can easily take down her opponents.
5. Johnny Cage
Hollywood actor Johnny Cage has made quite a name for himself in the martial arts world, as he participated in Mortal Kombat, a tournament in which he is well known for his extraordinary martial arts skills. Despite his cockiness, he has the moves to back him up and the confidence to follow him through. In order to save Earthrealm from the forces of the Outworld, Raiden recruited him to help him.
4. Noob Saibot
Originally appearing as a secret character in Mortal Kombat II, Noob Saibot was the original Sub Zeo before his demise and ultimate resurrection as a wraith. Ever since that time, he became a staple character and is favored among the true fans of the franchise. Used as a show-off of the knowledge of Mortal Kombat trivia, his name comes from the franchise's creators, spelled backward, containing Ed Boon (Noob) and John Tobias (Saibot).
3. Liu Kang
Aside from being one of the original Mortal Kombat champions and an all-around good guy, Liu Kang is considered one of the faces of the Mortal Kombat franchise for a reason. There is no doubt that he is one of the best fighters in the world, as he is a great fighter with an amazing move set that is easy to learn and master but is still challenging, so he is accessible for casual fans yet still thrilling for hardcore players.
Sub-Zero has always been a fan favorite, thanks to his unique ice abilities, cool demeanor, and iconic costume, as well as his fighting skills. Having been one of the first characters to appear in Mortal Kombat, he has remained a staple of the franchise for over a decade now. While he's had some changes throughout the years (including being turned into a cyborg), he's always been a top-tier fighter.
Scorpion is one of the original Mortal Kombat characters, appearing in the first game in 1992. A powerful warrior with a teleport punch signature move that catches opponents off guard. He also has a kunai spear that he can use to impale opponents, and he can shoot fire from his mouth.
Scorpion is a fan favorite due to his cool moves and attitude. Mortal Kombat games often portray him as the antihero, but he is a good guy as well. It is relatively easy to execute his moves, making him a great character for beginners.