Mortal Kombat has been a popular FGC (Fighting Game Community) staple since its
inception, and not doubt Mortal Kombat One is going to be one of the most popular fighting
games to come this generation. However, how does it stack up against other modern fighting
games in comparison? Heavy hitters such as Guilty Gear Strive and Street Fighter 6 have
brought to light what a fighting game needs in order to be considered “high quality” or “industry
standard”. It may be odd to talk about other games within a review, but these modern games are
what set the high bar Mortal Kombat is being compared against. So let’s dive into NetherRealm’s
newest game and soft reboot, and pick apart how it fairs in the world of today’s fighting games.
Gameplay (Offline): Lets not waste time, fighting games are about mashing buttons and
battling, so what is it like? Mortal Kombat One offers a fantastic combat experience. Its moves
are satisfying, featuring impressive visuals and smooth offline performance. The game’s ease of
play is a makes it a good entry point for new fighting gamers, as it has: user-friendly motion
inputs, dial in strings, and simple combos that can still net good benefits. Simultaneously, it
provides depth for competitive players, enabling exploration of character-specific tools, the
ability to explore opponent string gaps, and combo optimization. Notably, the Kameo system
introduces a captivating layer of complexity, allowing players to experiment with various assist
options. These assists are other characters that did not make the main roster, and can be used to
bolster one’s gameplay. From: extending combos, making pressure safe, to harassment of the
enemy, the kamoes have good variety and a lot to explore. At first I was not thrilled about the
idea of it being an assist fighter, but once I got into the game I became enthralled by this system
and it is a ton of fun.
Gameplay (Online): The online experience is where Mortal Kombat One falters. It falls short of
industry standards, plagued by common issues such as crashes and disconnects. Most notably,
the absence of a ping/connection filter in Kompetitive ranked mode is a significant drawback. If
you match up against a player with terrible ping, it does not matter if you know the experience
will be poor. The game forces you to fight, or sacrifice your rank standing. The netcode itself
also exhibits inconsistencies, leading to lag and disadvantages for the second player(the player
on the right side of the screen). In summary, the online component requires substantial
improvement to meet the expectations set by contemporary titles.
Side Content: Story, Arcade, Training, and Seasonal Activity: Mortal Kombat One delivers
an engaging, but CHEES, narrative. It is pretty decent “for a fighting game”, although it relies
on familiar character tropes I was hoping they might change with this pseudo reboot. The Arcade
mode, known as Towers, is suitable for experimenting with different characters. Seasonal
Activities, called Invasions, offer a fun but somewhat grindy side experience. The training mode
is a valuable tool for competitive players, allowing them to practice combos and understand
frame data. While the side content adheres to the usual fighting game line-up, the inclusion of the
seasonal system adds a unique touch to the game, even if it can be a slog.
Graphics: The visual presentation of Mortal Kombat One is a highlight. It features impressive
character models, stunning backgrounds and stages, and visually striking ability effects.
Cutscenes and facial animations are of high quality, and fatalities, the game’s signature feature,
are gruesome and well-rendered. Overall, the graphics contribute significantly to the game’s
Conclusion: Mortal Kombat One is a solid fighting game, celebrated for its exceptional
presentation and visual appeal. Its gameplay strikes a balance between accessibility for
newcomers and complexity for competitive players. Thanks to the innovative Kameo system,
there is a lot of experimentation and fun to be had exploring character combinations. However,
the online experience lags behind industry standards. While the game plays it safe, it has the
potential to improve and might one day stand alongside industry-changing titles like Guilty Gear
and Street Fighter 6. Long-time series fans will find it in line with their expectations, as it is very
similar to the mortal kombats of the past. Newcomers should find the game easy to pick up and
enjoy, but I cannot admit that it is the BEST option when it comes to a modern fighting game.
No doubt the game will be popular and draw community has most NRS games do, and could be
a worthwhile time investment for those wishing to enter the Fighting Game Community.