Ever since Midway Games unleashed Mortal Kombat on arcades in 1992, gaming has never been the same. While not the first fighting game to hit the scene, the gory and violent Mortal Kombat altered the genre by utilizing sprites based on filmed actors, while later entries in the series would shift to utilizing motion capture to truly differentiate the characters from one another.
Serving as a welcome competitor to Capcom's Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat has stood the test of time, despite experiencing some speed-bumps along the way. Along with being a staple of the industry, NetherRealm Studios' franchise has amassed a dedicated fan-base who love nothing more than to show their appreciation for the iconic property. One way to accomplish just that is through the medium of memes.
Memes serve as the ideal medium to connect licenses that otherwise would have nothing to do with each other. Somehow, this meme found a way to reference Avengers: Infinity War, Mortal Kombat 11, and - of all things - Scooby-Doo.
For those not in the know, this Thanos meme may feel confusing, but this is actually a reference to a rumor that Shaggy might be a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 11. Luckily, there is no such thing as impossible when modders are involved.
9 Out With The Old, In With The New
Mortal Kombat 11 may have over 20 characters in the base game, but that does not mean each member will be given the same amount of love. Overall, the roster is relatively well balanced; however, those looking to compete in multiplayer cannot afford to spread themselves too thin.
At most, a player may master two or three fighters, while the rest are largely ignored. Following a lengthy try-out period, a single character is chosen as the main, leaving those that remain to be left in the dust.
8 A Troubled History
Mortal Kombat is hardly short of identifiable characters, with the likes of Raiden and Goro also being instantly recognizable for anyone remotely familiar with gaming. That said, Scorpion is undoubtedly the franchise's mascot. Initially coming across as somewhat of a villain, Scorpion is actually a complex character seeking retribution for the extermination of his family, clan, and himself.
Ironically, the person who revives Scorpion and sends the hellspawn on his quest for revenge is also the one behind the Shirai Ryu clan's destruction. It takes Scorpion a while to realize as much.
Veterans of any fighting game series are constantly at the mercy of the developer's whims. What if the studio opts to shake things up and omit your main from the next entry? After only being included as an NPC in Mortal Kombat X, Sindel faced the risk of being omitted completely from the sequel. While not one of the franchise's most iconic characters, Edenia's ruler has been a constant presence since Mortal Kombat 3, and her declining importance has been disappointing.
Mortal Kombat 11's base game presumably crushed Sindel players, although the fighter will eventually be included in a DLC pack. Better late than never.
6 GET OVER...Never Mind
Mortal Kombat does not seem like a series prone to producing quotable catchphrases, but a couple of expressions have etched their way into gaming history. Plastered on most of the series' box art, Scorpion is Mortal Kombat's poster boy, despite being a relatively minor player in the majority of the games.
One of the fighter's most legendary phrases is "get over here," which is typically spouted with the fury of a thousand volcanoes. Considering the "lookers" plastered all over Mortal Kombat's roster, this meme is actually quite the insult.
Memes are all-encompassing. If a property has a fan-base, memes will be created. It is simply the circle of life. Even though that might be the case, certain brands are better suited for memes than others. Mortal Kombat is not among the most bountiful sources for adaptation, although many creators have managed to find humor in NetherRealm's brutal license.
Fortnite and Overwatch memes are plentiful and reflect those titles' more accessible nature. Comparatively, Mortal Kombat memes are a rare delicacy, designed primarily for those already enamored with the fighting franchise's succulent taste.
There is no greater putdown in gaming than to be described as a "noob." The term is disrespectful and regularly gets thrown around in any title with a competitive edge. At one point or another, everyone has been new to a franchise, but not all experienced players seem to appreciate that learning to play a title takes time.
In Mortal Kombat, there is a character called Noob Saibot, whose name is a reference to the creators of the franchise (their surnames spelled backwards). In this one instance, Noob is a term of endearment rather than derision.
3 Now, That's The Truth
Ermac has an interesting history. Introduced in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, rumors circulated that the black and red ninja was only a glitch. Considering that the early games loved to palette swap characters to get around hardware restrictions, this theory did have some weight to it.
Nowadays, Ermac is an established part of the Mortal Kombat lore, even though he is not a playable character in the most recent entry. He is Ermac.
2 The Elder Gods
Raiden is an awesome and powerful warrior. The dude is practically Thor, a very familiar yet very different sort of thunder god. Yet, Raiden remains at the mercy of a handful of even more powerful beings.
This is one of those memes that most people should be able to relate with, even if they are not familiar with Mortal Kombat. The Elder Gods are just stand-ins for parents.
1 The Fallen Elder God
It is not unusual for Mortal Kombat to gaze towards ancient mythology when forging the lore behind a character. However, Shinnok's status as a fallen Elder God who becomes the ruler of Neatherrealm is a touch on-the-nose. Shinnok is quite a rare entity, in design and inspiration.
As the icing on the cake, Shinnok has amassed a cult of dangerous followers willing to do anything to aid in their master's revival and success.