With Mortal Kombat X‘s release approaching, and some of the most gruesome Fatalities coming with it, we thought it was a good idea to revisit the Top 25 ways to humiliate your opponents at the end of a match. To be fair, we split it up into two sections: arcade (MK1-MK4) and console-only (MK:DA-MK9). So come join us as we journey through the history of gore, from 16 bit pixelated blood to last-gen realism.
25.) Freddy Krueger’s Welcome to My Nightmare: Mortal Kombat 9
I never imagined that Freddy Krueger, who gave my generation nightmares as children, would be a playable character in Mortal Kombat, the game that gave my parents nightmares. This Fatality brings back all the bad memories – and just a tad of anti-semitism.
24.) Li Mei’s Roundhouse Head Kick: Mortal Kombat: Deception
One of MK‘s throwaway characters, Li Mei’s Roundhouse Fatality is one of my personal favorites. No, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but it looks really cool. The creators must have thought so, too, because Liu Kang borrows the move in Shaolin Monks. Nothing says Mortal Kombat quite like an errant head exploding a body.
23.) Ashrah’s Voodoo Doll: Mortal Kombat: Deception
Ashrah, another of MK‘s one-and-done characters, has one of the more original Fatalities in the catalog. The voodoo doll is a nice touch to add to the variety of murders in the game, and I could definitely see this making a comeback if a more spiritual character comes along.
22.) Kenshi’s Split Ends: Mortal Kombat 9
21.) Mileena’s Be Mine: Mortal Kombat 9
Fan boy fantasy ruined. Mileena shares quite the intimate moment with her opponent, right before ripping their head off and taking her mask off and munching on the head. Let’s not forget the sexy little dip at the end. Gross.
20.) Jade’s Shish Kabob: Mortal Kombat: Deception
Sure, you’ve played Mortal Kombat, but you haven’t lived the MK life until you’ve stabbed somebody through the head with a giant spear. This Fatality is just so smooth, down to the presentation of it all.
19.) Jade’s Half-Mast: Mortal Kombat 9
This Fatality is a little less smooth and a little more on the gruesome side, although that doesn’t stop Jade from giving a sexy little shake at the end (give it up for male creative teams!). My favorite part of this one has to be the warrior’s cry.
18.) Shao Kahn’s Golf Swing: Mortal Kombat: Deception
Shao Kahn was finally a playable character in Deception; you could finally exact your revenge for the years of horrible trash talk by BEING the most powerful character in the game and taking a golf swing at your opponent’s head. Being bad never felt so good.
17.) Sub Zero’s Have an Ice Day: Mortal Kombat 9
There have been many variations of the torso rip, but none as “eww-worthy” as Sub Zero’s. Oh man, and the icicles that grow out of the opponent’s bottom half? This is the equivalent of a cat showing you the kill they just made – he’s so proud!
16.) Sindel’s Migraine: Mortal Kombat 9
This is what is feels to sit through a three-hour lecture on the principles of Thermodynamics. Or about half-way into a party full of your girlfriend’s coworkers. Or, for a positive spin, listening to Kiesza for the first time. Seriously, she will blow you mind. Sindel is cool, too, I guess.
15.) Scorpion’s Split Decision: Mortal Kombat 9
You know those late night infomercial that advertise crazy sharp knives that can cut through things like leather shoes and steel bars. Scorpion happened to have the night off and dialed that number. Scorpion tested, Scorpion approved.
14.) Shang Tsung’s Bang Bang: Mortal Kombat 9
When Netherrealm Studios had to dial back the “fatal” part of Fatalities in MK vs. DC, a bunch of people were left disappointed by the character’s finishing moves. One of the best ones in the game was Joker’s fake gun, so it was great to see it in all its gory splendor in MK9.
13.) Sub Zero’s Leg Takeout: Mortal Kombat: Deception
Lieutenant Dan, you ain’t got no legs! One of the creepier progressions on realism in the MK fatalities was the way characters try to crawl away after losing their limbs. It looks like MKX is getting more of these gross Fatalities, so prepare to squirm.
12.) Kobra’s Eat Your Heart Out: Mortal Kombat: Deception
11.) Kitana’s Splitting Headache: Mortal Kombat 9
If you thought fans were a stupid ass weapon compared to Scorpion’s dagger or Kung Lao’s hat blade, I think Kitana would like a word or two with you. I’m sure by the end of that discussion you would be a fan of fans…or she will find one way or another to get it through your head.
10.) Kano’s Heartbreak: Mortal Kombat 9
You don’t know it by watching this, but Kano gave up the fighting game to become a physical trainer for other fighters. Sadly on his first day as he went to massage a fighters back, he came in a little too strong and ended up pushing his hand straight through the body. I guess old habits die hard.
9.) Scorpion’s Spear Surgery: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
MK:DA ushered in a whole new regime of realism (it sounds funny saying that now, but at the time, these moves were legit), and so when I first saw this Fatality, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. A little elbow grease was all it took to get that spear unstuck from Scorpion’s opponent’s head.
8.) Sheeva’s Strip Down: Mortal Kombat 9
DAMN SHEEVA, YOU SCARY! Similar to some of the older games, Sheeva continues to show total disrespect for peoples skins. It is pretty horrific seeing the skinless body dance for a few moments before receiving a kick in the chest. Even those of House Bolton are taking note.
7.) Kung Lao’s Kickstand: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
You know those garbage cans where you have to kick a foot pedal down in order for the lid to open? Well that is exactly what Kung Lao was thinking of when his opponent so rudely got his hat stuck in his head. Pure garbage.
6.) Sektor’s Scarecrow: Mortal Kombat 9
No where in my mind did I think this would be the end result of getting a star fish thrown at your chest. It is moments like this where you appreciate the few things in life that matter like, living, having all of your limbs attached, and MK9.
5.) Sub Zero’s Frozen Pitch: Mortal Kombat: Deception
4.) Kabal’s It Takes Guts: Mortal Kombat 9
3.) Kung Lao’s Razor’s Edge: Mortal Kombat 9
What a drag. What a buzzkill. This gives me a splitting headache. I always knew Kung Lao had split personalities. It’s like Kung Lao only half enjoyed this. Please insert all other desired puns followed by a comedic drum role.
2.) Noob Saibot’s Make a Wish: Mortal Kombat 9
Disgusting. If we were grading Fatalities purely based on how disgusting they were, this would be number one 100 times over. The thought of getting split from the groin up simply by two dude pulling really hard is on my short list of ways I do not want to die.
1.) Scorpion’s Nethergate: Mortal Kombat 9
I’m sure the good people at Valve Corporation were horrified by this Portal-inspired Fatality. And, of course, there is something innately terrifying about hangings, making this portal to the Netherrealm the most horrific in MK history – and that includes getting split down the middle, balls first.
This article was written by Evan Lowe and Sherif Elkhatib