Mortal Kombat is a video game franchise that requires no introduction. Originally developed by Midway Games' Chicago studio in 1992, it and its sequels remain a staple among aficionados of fighting games after a quarter century. At the time of its release the game was unique for its fantasy-horror themed fighting genre and spawned many sequels and a media franchise consisting of several action-adventure games, films (animated and live-action with its own sequel), and television series (animated and live-action). Other spin-offs include comic book series, a card game and a live-action tour. Along with Capcom's Street Fighter and Bandai Namco Entertainment's Tekken, Mortal Kombat has become one of the most successful fighting franchises in the history of video games. As of June 2000, the franchise had generated $5 billion in revenue, making it one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. The series has a reputation for high levels of bloody violence, including, most notably, its Fatalities (finishing moves, requiring a sequence of button inputs to perform). The Fatalities, in part, led to the creation of the ESRB video game rating system. The series takes place in a fictional universe consisting of eighteen surviving realms. The Elder Gods decreed that the denizens of one realm could only conquer another realm by defeating the defending realm's greatest warriors in ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments. The series features scores of player characters. Among them are Earth's humans and cyborgs, good and evil deities, and denizens of Outworld and other realms. Here is a list of all the characters that appeared in the Mortal Kombat Franchise - Rank them from most favorite to least to tell us who ought to be the real champion of Mortal Kombat! (Queue theme Music!)
Notifications on. Click to turn notifications off.
Notifications off. Click to turn notifications on.
Drag and drop to sort list. Click to browse.
Ermac is a red-clad ninja who utilizes telekinesis during fights in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Before that, however, he was a subject of fan speculation that began with a glitch in Mortal Kombat. Making his debut in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Ermac has been a controversial and mysterious character in the Mortal Kombat series whose existence was rumored since its inception. Ermac is a fusion of the many souls destroyed in Outworld's wars, only to be controlled by Emperor Shao Kahn and his Shadow Priests. Because of this, he refers to himself as "we", "our", "us", and "ours", instead of "I", "my" "me", and "mine". Because of the sheer concentration of souls within Ermac, he possesses the gifts of telekinesis, teleportation, and the ability to travel between realms. Ermac rarely shows any signs of emotion, but he has proven to be quite wise and a very deadly combatant, using his telekinetic abilties to battle multiple opponents at once while keeping the upper hand. Disappearing after the events of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he only returned in Mortal Kombat: Deception, where he was freed from Shao Kahn's grip by the blind swordsman Kenshi, whom he repaid by teaching him the Telekinetic Slam. He decided to become a force of good, partly in guilt of his past evils. To prove this, he decides to help Liu Kang free the souls of his friends from Onaga's control. In the current timeline, this did not happen and, after the events of Mortal Kombat, he soon came under the possession of Shao Kahn's soul, as well as King Jerrod's. Despite this, it's implied that Ermac has free will and is no longer evil due to Shao Kahn's death, as he willingly chose to side with Kotal Kahn to be ruler of Outworld instead of Mileena in Mortal Kombat X, despite Shao Kahn's decree. While Ermac's goal has varied over time, his overall allegiance is to Outworld, whether from defending it from threats like Onaga or finding a proper ruler for the realm itself.
Shang Tsung (尚宗) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game, in which he served as the final boss. A powerful, deadly sorcerer and a primary villain in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Shang Tsung is a shapeshifter who needs to consume souls in order to sustain his health and life. In the Mortal Kombat series, he is the epitome of cunning and decadence, as symbolized by his preference for lavish parties, grand palaces, and stylish clothing. Unlike the crude Shao Kahn, this bombast is a facade, disguising Tsung's true intellectual and mental sophistication. His arch-nemesis is Liu Kang, but throughout his unnatural lifespan, he has earned the hatred of many others, including Kung Lao and Kenshi. Shang Tsung's allegiance to Shao Kahn granted him the status of a free roaming sorcerer. As such, he is able to move between realms without detection by the Elder Gods or local deities, an ability which has granted him many opportunities to commit atrocities over the centuries. Only Delia, Shinnok, Shao Kahn, and Quan Chi can match Shang Tsung's skills as a sorcerer.
Kabal is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3. Kabal was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, sporting long, black hair, Hookswords and a respirator. He was a mysterious chosen warrior who survived an attack from one of Shao Kahn's extermination squads. His origin was unknown, however, his ending reveals he was actually a member of the Black Dragon. At the time of his introduction, he appeared as a force for good, but has since reverted to his evil ways, planning to place himself as the head of the new Black Dragon clan. In Mortal Kombat (2011), Kabal is once again good, although his past as a Black Dragon member was mentioned by Kano after Kano fixes him with his respirator and improvements. Before his disfigurement by Kintaro's flames, he was a police officer partnered up with Kurtis Stryker.
Liu Kang (劉鋼) is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the first Mortal Kombat arcade game. He serves as the protagonist of the first four games, the live-action films and the original comic book series. He became the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat throughout the first four tournaments, a title that remained undisputed in the original timeline. In the alternate timeline, he only became the Grand Champion on two occasions, due to the fact that a third tournament did not take place during the invasion of Earthrealm. Although Liu Kang appears in every main Mortal Kombat game, he is not playable in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, as he was killed by the Deadly Alliance. Liu Kang is one of the most popular and accessible characters in the series. He is one of Earthrealm's greatest warriors, having defeated many to prove his valor. Throughout the series, he has been gradually portrayed as the main hero, becoming champion after the first Mortal Kombat tournament. Kang has found a nemesis in the traitorous Shang Tsung, a sorcerer who he has defeated on numerous occasions. He is often considered the greatest threat to the plans of Shang and his emperor, Shao Kahn. He is a member of the White Lotus Society and trains extensively at the Wu Shi Academy. It was at the Academy that he was murdered by a Deadly Alliance of Shang with Quan Chi. In the first entry in the series, Liu Kang was shown to be non-violent, in that his finisher did not graphically kill the opponent. Starting with Mortal Kombat II, however, all of his Fatalities were more gruesome. His body was resurrected without his spirit in Mortal Kombat: Deception. This physical half killed hundreds of innocent people, with the skills he refined to protect them while he was alive. Liu Kang retained his personality as a zombie, as he still had his trademark yells. A notable exception is the intro of Armageddon, where he groans like a recognizable zombie. He is said to be one of the Great Kung Lao's last descendants through various media (a trading card, the first film, etc.) It is possible that Liu Kang and Kung Lao are cousins. He is referred to as the "Immortal Champion of Mortal Kombat" in later games, and his ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception has him again assuming the role upon his restoration to life.
Cyrax is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, who made his debut in Mortal Kombat 3. Making his debut in Mortal Kombat 3, Cyrax was one of the three cybernetic ninjas created by the Lin Kuei, in an effort to convert all members into unfeeling, cold-hearted, cybernetic assassins to improve their performance. Of all the three cyborgs, Cyrax appears to be specialized in Hand-to-Hand Combat. He was assigned to hunt down the renegade, former Lin Kuei member Sub-Zero as designated unit LK-4D4. Of the three cyborgs, he has become the first to recover his humanity. This is due to the efforts made by Sonya Blade and Jax Briggs. He has currently allied with them as a token of his appreciation. In the alternate timeline of MK 2011, he was automated and dutifully serves the Lin Kuei, but was visibly opposed to the process before being presumably automated against his will.
Noob Saibot, once known as Bi-Han (璧漢 or 避寒) and the original Sub-Zero, was a Lin Kuei assassin turned wraith from the Mortal Kombat fighting games series. He is one of the few original characters, debuting in the original Mortal Kombat arcade game as Sub-Zero, older brother of the current, younger Sub-Zero. He first appeared as Noob Saibot as a secret character in Mortal Kombat II, first becoming playable in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and was once again a secret character in Mortal Kombat 4. In one form or another, Noob Saibot has appeared in every generation of Mortal Kombat games as a playable character. Reincarnated in the darkest of all realms, the Netherrealm, Noob Saibot is the very incarnation of evil. Before becoming a wraith, he was once (Bi-Han) The Original Sub-Zero, an assassin among the most powerful of Lin Kuei. As Sub-Zero's name, clothes, and powers would suggest, his character was icy and distant. In all aspects, he was a cold-blooded and violent assassin absolutely dedicated to his clan, the Lin Kuei. While essentially neutral, his soul had become dark and corrupted from years of violence and remorseless killing. Before his story is revealed to the player, the player can make an educated guess on who he was. He disappears after MK, and reappears in MKII reborn as Noob Saibot. When he died in the first Mortal Kombat tournament at the hands of Scorpion, his soul, corrupted by years of violence, descended to the Netherrealm's Fifth Plane, but was resurrected by the sorcerer, Quan Chi, who also resurrected Scorpion. The evil within his soul was released, stripping him of pride, compassion, and everything else that made him a human. He wishes not only to remain in the Netherrealm, but to conquer and rule it. Though he has been seen in the service of conquerors such as Shinnok and Shao Kahn, his ultimate allegiance is to himself.
Kai is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. He made his debut in Mortal Kombat 4. Kai made his debut in Mortal Kombat 4 as a nimble and agile Nepali fighter of the Gurkha warrior class. Like Liu Kang, he is a Shaolin monk and skilled martial artist with the ability to use fire in battle.