Mortal Kombat 1 Review – A Flawless Victory?

Ready to test your might in Fire God Liu Kang's new era? Check out our review on Mortal Kombat 1 and find out if the game is standout entry in the arcade fighting series.

The newest installment in NetherRealms Studios ever so popular arcade fighting series has arrived on the scene and there are so many things to talk about. With the reigning champion of Mortal Kombat and now Fire God Liu Kang rebooting the entire timeline, you might wonder if the series has lost its charm to the constant trope or does it continues to be as epic and impresses everyone. After a week of trying out the chaotic realms of Mortal Kombat 1 and going through every mode it has to offer, it’s safe to say that the game has the true potential to be one the best the series has produced. There are a lot of things that the latest iteration of the series does right. And some that might arguably be the best decisions so far. However, does it pull off a flawless victory? Here is our spoiler-free review of Mortal Kombat 1 and know what we think about the latest development.

Mortal Kombat 1 Reviewmk1 campaign

First off, kudos to NetherRealms Studios for revamping the timeline while keeping the Mortal Kombat essence intact with the installment. The game stays true to its franchise’s gameplay recipe that we have seen and loved throughout the series since its inception. But there’s more – the addition of the Kameo mechanic and Invasion mode breathes life into the gameplay. The Kameo mechanic is something I looked forward to since the game’s closed beta, it stays true to its hype.

“You’ve chosen to defy peace, then you have chosen war with a god”mortal kombat 1 story mode

After taking control of the hourglass and wielding the role of Keeper of Time, Fire God Liu Kang has reset the timeline to create a new and peaceful era this time around. However, “with great power comes great consequences”, and that’s the entire crux of the narrative. The Mortal Kombat tournament has been once again invoked. But this time it’s more of a time-honored tradition, with the Earthrealm protector gathering all the combatants aka our beloved characters to face off against Outworld competitors. While the initial chapters won’t feel like much, the game story drastically shifts the narrative to a more compelling one within a matter of acts.

All of the characters have a unique and completely different origin story in Mortal Kombat 1, unlike their previous counterparts. It makes the campaign story feel more fresh and captivating, to say the least. Not to mention, it holds answers to many questions that might have gone unanswered in the previous iterations of the series. Ever wondered how the Tarkatans came to being or how Kenshi lost his eyes? The game has intriguing answers and one that you can truly get behind.

While the story slows down a bit in between chapters, it has a well-maintained pace overall. You will be cruising through the story acts in no time. I breezed through the storyline within six hours, except for the occasional breathers. The story genuinely doesn’t feel dull at any point and keeps you engaged throughout. It might even be the most refined one that NetherRealms Studios has come out with all these years. After completing the story I gave myself enough time to explore other modes and mechanics that the game had to offer. And to put it simply, this is where things get even more interesting.

“If you fail to prepare, your preparations will fail you”mk1 kameo mechanic

The talk around when Mortal Kombat 1 was still in its closed beta phase was the newest Kameo mechanic that the game had to offer. And well, it’s one interesting feature that I’m sure most of us would be welcoming towards. The mechanic has a lot of potential with its unique combination of different characters. Kameo characters are “assist companions” that players can call out for help or even to extend combos. Each Kameo character has unique abilities of their own that will aid the main characters in Kombat.

It is a new versatile option you can explore and prefer on any occasion you want in combat. However, you will need to keep a tab on the Kameo meter above. Most of the Kameo moves use up half of the meter, meaning you will be able to call for assistance for a second time. But some will cost you the entirety of it.

There are many things that you will have to get used to in this newest installment. Chief of which is the addition of new mechanics like upper block, super meter, aerial combat, etc. Nevertheless, even with this addition the game feels easygoing. For someone who is just starting in the fighting series, you will feel Mortal Kombat 1 to be more than friendly. Although I would recommend learning the character kombos before going through the story mode. The game directly puts you in the shoes of the specific characters and pits you against your opponent, so better to learn them beforehand.

Fatal Blows, Brutality, and Fatalities are as brutal and barbaric as ever. On top of that, there are two different fatalities and quite a few brutalities that you will unlock over time for each character. Along with them, the customization also offers gears, different skins, and even taunts. You will unlock all of them as you progress through the different modes and level up the characters.

“Like the weird portal to other realm – in my bedroom”invasion mode mk1

Speaking of invasion mode, think of it as a mix between Krypt and Towers of Time from Mk11, only this time on a board. While the overall premise of the mode may sound happening and compelling, I for one found it pretty dull. In the mode, you will go through various encounters in different settings and realms like Johnny Cage’s Mansion for example. And it’s here, where you will find different rewards varying from character gears to taunts. The invasion mode does have much to offer but it feels a little less thought out than its previous versions.

“Honestly, I’m surprised too”mortal kombat 1 graphics

Surprisingly, even after running on Unreal Engine 4, Mortal Kombat 1 really stands out in the visuals department. NetherRealms Studios hasn’t cut any corners and has delivered graphics that are on point and breathtaking. The backdrop of every realm and even different settings are as immersive and realistic as they can be. The colors and design of the game are really what separates the game, even with its vibrant yet, at times, dark themes. And it might just be one of the most beautiful games of 2023 so far.

The voice actors have delivered a fantastic performance yet again, and the sound score has been positive. Interactions between characters after character selection are interesting in Mortal Kombat 1. The sound design and effects have backed the gameplay and interactions well.


mortal kombat 1 verdict

Mortal Kombat 1 stands out as one of the greatest installments in the beloved fighting series and with everything considered, the most refined of them all. I would say it is one of those games that will allow players to settle in. It will also take some time to become familiar with the new Kameo mechanic, story changes, and other additions to the game.

The invasion mode too tries to leans its inspiration from the Krypt and Towers of Time but it lacks depth and becomes dull way too quickly. It will be interesting to see if seasonal changes and rewards will lift the mode up. Playing the game online is a different experience altogether and depends on each individual. The lack of a crossplay option really hinders the game.

Nevertheless, setting aside these minor issues the game has excelled in most of the areas. It surely is a more than welcoming entry in the arcade fighting series. And arguably even does most of the things better than its predecessors. In my opinion, while it may not be a flawless victory, NetherRealms Studios was surely close on this one.

If you enjoyed reading this, we recommend you check out more of our reviews right here on Gamer Tweak.


The Realms Are In Safe Hands!

It's a near flawless victory for Mortal Kombat 1.Once again, NetherRealms Studios have gracefully revamped the timeline while keeping the Mortal Kombat essence intact. In my opinion, the game has to be one of the greatest entries in the arcade fighting series. And it surely is captivating right from the get-go.

  • Story 9
  • Graphics 9
  • Gameplay 8.5
  • Overall Performance 8.3