Mortal Kombat is obviously one of the greatets fighting franchises ever released. Aside from Street Fighter, maybe even the greatest. Of course, the controversy and gore certainly helped add to its mystique and popularity. But above all, what has made it so endearing throughout the years is its incredible cast of characters.
The characters of Mortal Kombat have since become iconic, and many of them have become synonymous with gaming as a whole. One only needs to hear the words "fighting game" to envision the likes of Liu Kang or Scorpion.
But who among them is the greatest? These are the ten most powerful Kombatants, ranked.
10 Noob Saibot
Despite the kinda goofy name, Noob Saibot is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Noob Saibot is often considered to be a cheap character, as he has some incredible powers that few others character do. You know, hence the name "Noob." He's for the noobs. Saibot can do a lot of fun and original things, like controlling shadows and generating intense Spirit Balls. However, he can also teleport, and really, who ever wants to face a teleporting enemy? It makes things a little difficult. Finally, he can summon a shadow double to tag team his enemies, further signifying his complete cheapness.
A lot of people sleep on Ermac, which is a shame, because he is coolness incarnate. For one thing, Ermac is composed of thousands of dead souls, all of whom have converged into one physical body. If that doesn't make you the coolest fighter in the world, we don't know what does. He also utilizes his dangerous telekinesis, allowing him to perform various complex actions like floating away from his enemies and attacking them from a distance, just as he did to Jax in 2011's Mortal Kombat. It's a little hard to fight against an opponent who can hit you from a distance!
Sindel is another mystical character who uses her magical abilities to her advantage. But then again, isn't that kind of the point? Some of her abilities include sending a purple fireball towards her opponents, levitating in the air, and shooting fireballs out of her mouth. But perhaps her most famous move is the Banshee Scream, which sees Sindel screaming in an annoying and extremely high-pitched voice, leaving her opponents stunned and open to attack. She's not physically powerful or anything, but she does have some spectacular moves that literally leave her opponents breathless and stunned.
7 Quan Chi
Quan Chi is known as the most powerful sorcerer that the world has ever seen, and...yeah, that sums it up pretty well. He can freely travel through portals to stun and confuse his enemies, he can reanimate the dead and make them serve him, he can make false copies of himself to trick his enemies, and much like Shang Tsung, he can steal souls. He can also peform a lot of scary stuff in battle, like teleporting above his enemies, summoning a skeletal hand to literally slap his opponents, generating magic circles, and shoot flaming green skulls from his hands. In short, he is utterly terrifying, and we would never want to fight him.
6 Shang Tsung
Shang Tsung is the OG final boss for a reason - he's really, really powerful. His main move is to morph into any Kombatant he so chooses. However, this is more than surface level morphing, as he also takes on all of their abilities and special moves. This alone places Shang Tsung high on the list of most powerful Kombatants. We mean, he IS the Kombatants! However, that's not all he has up his sleeve. He also has the ability to shoot flaming skulls towards his opponents, and he can even steal small portions of their souls, giving him small damage boosts and slightly restoring his health. So, yeah, he's pretty OP.
5 Kotal Kahn
Kotal Kahn is unbelievably powerful, so much so that we kind of consider it cheating. For one thing, he has immense physical strength and is able to break the bones of his opponents with a single punch. He also wields a massive weapon called the Macuahuitl, which he is able to use to obliterate his enemies. He can also literally draw upon the strength and power of sunlight, which both allows him to heal his physical wounds and deal substantial damage to his enemies. Finally, he can enter Blood God state, allowing him to call down a beam of incredible solar flames. It's no wonder why he's considered a God.
4 Shao Kahn
It really doesn't get much scarier than this. Serving as the final boss in both Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat III, Shao Kahn is evil incarnate. Much like Kotal Kahn, Shao Kahn has super human strength and durability, which of course makes him an imposing figure and an incredibly difficult opponent to physically best. He can also wield light spears, explosive balls, force fields, and of course, his Wrath Hammer, which can decimate opponents in a single hit. Oh, and he can also generate soulnados, obliterate entire civilizations, and steal billions of souls with combined soul steals and portals. He's pretty darn dangerous.
Onaga is so incredibly immense and dangerous that even Shao Kahn feared physically fighting him, instead relying on poison like a coward. That alone tells you all you need to know about the sheer vastitude of Onaga. He is so large that he sends shockwaves towards his opponents after leaping and landing on the ground, and he is even able to generate small shockwaves to knock his enemies back. Oh, and he's also a dragon, which means he can spew flames and generate fireballs. When Onaga has the Kamidogu he is virtually unstoppable, and not even the combined powers of Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, and Raiden could stop him.
2 Liu Kang
When it comes to mortal humans, no one is as powerful as Liu Kang. He is a six-time Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat (four in the original timeline, two in the alternate), and he was able to best the likes of Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn, who should have easily overpowered Liu with their brute strength and mystical powers. Such is the legend and unstoppable nature of Liu Kang. While Liu can generate fire and use various mystical abilities, he tends to rely on his incredibly speed, agility, acrobatic skills, and martial arts to best his opponents. Sometimes old school is the best school.
Of course the top spot goes to Raiden. How could it NOT go to Raiden!? Raiden is literally the God of thunder and lightning, and he is every bit as powerful as one would expect. He uses and manipulates electricity at will, and can pretty much do anything you can think of with it. He can use it to both heal himself and resurrect others. He can summon lightning bolts and shoot electricity from his hands, which of course has the ability to incapacitate, and even kill, all of his opponents. He is also unbelievably fast, he can set traps, create forcefields, manipulate objects and people, and even control the weather. Put simply, he is a God, and he comes equipped with all the bells and whistles that accompany such a lofty designation.