9. Shao Kahn
Appearance: Mortal Kombat II
The main antagonist of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Shao Kahn is the feared emperor of Outworld. Despite not appearing in the original game, he features as the final boss of both Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3. Shao Kahn made finally his playable debut in anthology title Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
Shao Kahn was originally an advisor to Onaga, a powerful being who ruled over Outworld. He rose to power when he poisoned Onaga and took his thrown for himself, where he proceeded to initiate Mortal Kombat with various other realms in order to conquer them. Kahn was successful in doing this with Edenia, the home of Kitana and Sindel, and aims to do the same with Earthrealm throughout the course of the franchise.
In his original playable appearance, being a boss character,
Shao Kahn is very strong, using his large ‘Wrath Hammer’ to defeat countless
opponents. In his most recent appearance, he acts as a DLC pre-order bonus in
2019’s Mortal Kombat 11. Shao Kahn is not as strong here, being much slower
than his previous counterparts to balance out his powerful heavy attacks.
Despite his downgrade, Shao Kahn remains one of the most popular characters in
the franchise, and one of the most iconic villains fighting game history.