20 Greatest Ever Beat Em Up Video Game Characters

2. Liu Kang (Mortal Kombat)

The de facto protagonist and hero of the Mortal Kombat series, Liu Kang enters the MK tournament to save Earthrealm, and has since been its protector along with Raiden. Kang is the character most newbies to the MK franchise tend to get to grips with fast, due to the ease of executing his best moves, such as the brilliant Bicycle Kick, throwing fireballs and the zooming kick across the screen. He also has one of the most famous fatalities in the gaming, where he turns into a dragon and bites his opponent's body in half. I for one wasn't too pleased when Liu was killed off in the MK game Deadly Alliance (and was unplayable, for Christ!), though thankfully this exile didn't last too long. His relationship with Katana is a rare instance of thoughtfulness in regard to the series' characters, and though he might not have the badass staginess of some of MK's more iconic characters, he is for my money the best and most fun to play with.
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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.