Shao Kahn is the son of the evil Elder God Shinnok and brother to Raiden. We’re led to believe early on that he is not exactly a God, differing him from his father and brother. However, he is still very powerful. He has spent many years as Emperor of Outworld, constantly trying to conquer new places. One of those included Edenia, where he took Princess Kitana as his forcefully adopted daughter. Kahn has often used others to do his bidding, but he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Making him one heck of a well-defined character in the MK Universe.
Reiko had literally everything one could ask to be a good character. He’s a General in Shao Kahn’s army, known for his furious brutality and the fact he spares no one mercy. MK Creator Ed Boon even supplied his very own face to be the face of Reiko. On top of this, there was a heavy debate on whether Reiko was supposedly Shao Kahn in disguise or taking over the throne. Moreover, he has a few different endings that gamers can find. However, neither are good or well thought out. It’s like they just did not care about making Reiko compelling or interesting at all.
Raiden is one of the most iconic Mortal Kombat characters of all time. Known as the “Thunder God,” most of his offense and even defense is made up of moves connecting to electricity or lightning in some form. His story closely resembles that of Thor from Norse Mythology, both in his God-like status and his relationship with other Gods. His one mission in life is to protect Earthrealm from his father, brother, and others that will do it harm. Thus, he invented the White Lotus Society to prepare warriors for each Mortal Kombat Tournament.
It is likely early on that MK developers had no real plan for Mileena. She pretty much just showed up as a color swap version of Kitana, where she wore pink rather than blue. Eventually, her character’s background was formulated. Due to Shao Kahn’s disappointment in his adopted daughter, he had Shang Tsung make a better daughter for him. Thus, Shang used her DNA and mixed it with that of a Tarkatan. Mileena and Kitana are like twins except for the massive Tarkatan teeth. Mileena just seemed forced early on and still does. Though they have done a better job defining her existence, all it does is further muddy the waters.
Johnny Cage has been incredibly well done in the MK Universe. Originally, MK was developed after Midway was not able to make a Jean-Claude Van Damme game. Yet they were huge fans of his, so Cage’s entire reason for being was their love letter to JVD. Thus, he was made into an actor with legit fighting ability who wanted to prove himself. Along the way, he falls for Sonya Blade and calms down a bit to become smarter about how he does things. This is incredibly present in MK11 where he can be seen ashamed of his past self’s attitude and general d*** behavior.
Early on, Rain was Ed Boon’s favorite character seemingly. As he was a huge Prince fan, so Rain’s attire was purple for a legit reason. Boon’s favor for Rain only continued as he made the once random ninja into something that really seemed forced. Rain went from being an apparent Lin Kuei ninja to a Demi-God former Prince of Edenia somehow. He is now seeking the Outworld throne for himself, while also seeking revenge against his father, the God Argus, for killing his mother. Rain has always been fun to play as, but his story has gotten so wild and complicated that it’s really just too much now.
Liu Kang has always been so well done and was pretty much made out to be the hero of the game from the start. While he’s used a bit weirdly in the MK11 game, becoming what is essentially a Fire God, he fits in so well with this universe. A lot of Mortal Kombat characters seem so random at times. Yet Kang felt like a true hero you could care about who fought well and was always fun to play as. It’s hard to find anything negative to say about the guy really.
Due to the success of Goro in the original Mortal Kombat, it seemed that MK developers were really big on trying to bring in more of the Shokan. That eventually led to bringing in a female from the species, named Sheeva. While we later find out she was actually Queen Sindel’s protector, her role was not really defined most of her existence in the franchise. Moreover, she felt forced. Like the franchise felt they HAD to put in a female Shokan rather than offering a proper reason for it.
Princess Kitana was part of Edenian royalty until Shao Kahn took the throne away from her family by force. He then adopted Kitana who was forced to become an assassin and fight in his honor. She never wanted that life. Her mother Sindel killed herself and we later find out she even betrayed her father, always evil. When Kitana was innocent in all of this. Noted for his fans that can slice your head off, her ability to fight makes her a literal Warrior Princess. Kitana is easily one of the best Mortal Kombat characters ever created. Plus, her story has usually been consistent.
The Titan Kronika is supposedly the keeper of time and the very reason the MK Universe exists at all. However, her entire reason for being was seemingly forced in because of an issue within the series. For those unaware, Midway Games had their own MK series. But when they were bought out and Warner Bros. created NetherRealm Studios, they had their own Universe. There was a need to combine things to make one, official universe, leading to the events of MK11. Kronika only ever existed for this game only, just to give us the official universe.
Important to note here that we are referring to the current Sub-Zero, the Grandmaster Kuai Liang. He is the brother of the original Sub-Zero, Bi-Han. Noted for his freezing powers, Liang is now thought to be far better than his brother ever was. He is also capable of doing things with his powers that Bi-Han was unable to or never could truly do. Though he has also had run-ins with the likes of Scorpion among other major ninja characters, Liang is thought to be a good guy who has now managed to get along with most people. Even his former enemy and killer of his brother, Scorpion.
Only ever appearing in the latest Mortal Kombat film, Cole Young is literally forced into this movie without one reason as to why. We’re given that he is somehow a descendant of Scorpion, but it’s truly unknown why we needed him. He’s the MAIN CHARACTER of this movie having never once appeared in any of the games. MK likes to introduce new characters and bringing him into the world was fine. But making him THE main character, having the movie flow through his actions. It’s nonsense, and he isn’t even that interesting.
Scorpion is the best Mortal Kombat character to ever exist. Seriously, fight us on this if you want, but we’re saying it. Hanzo Hasashi’s wife and son were killed by what he assumed to be the Lin Kuei, especially Sub-Zero. More than this, his entire clan of the Shirai Ryu was taken out too. The real person behind it was Quan Chi, whom Hanzo later kills to get revenge. While Scorpion is still essentially a hellspawn, he managed to bring back his clan and even become something of a Grandmaster to help others. We also know he will do literally anything to protect the ones he loves. Even go to hell and back. GET OVER HERE!
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