Mortal Kombat's reputation among its fighting game contemporaries has always been rather strained. Fans and developers alike regularly separate the gore-heavy brawler from the likes of Tekken and Street Fighter for not being a proper, technically-minded game that rewards skill over button mashing.
That may have been true two decades ago in the days of Mortal Kombat II and Street Fighter Alpha, but gaming's bloodiest series has caught up quite spectacularly in recent years. Sure, it's never going to be a staple of the e-sports scene, but then, that's not what Mortal Kombat has ever really been about.
No, Mortal Kombat is about its comically gory violence, rich story (for a fighting game), and its interesting characters. Over 60 of them to be exact. In the 23 years since its inception by Ed Boon and John Tobias, the MK series has seen an extended family's worth of fighters come and go through the tournament doors, some becoming famous, others being forgotten.
With such a huge cast of characters to choose from, a list such as this can never be easy, but rest assured - every entry here has earned their place in the most violent hall of fame you're ever likely to see.
Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.