Mortal Kombat 1 Review: 7 Ups & 3 Downs

A promising restart.

mortal kombat 1 liu kang

In many ways, Mortal Kombat 12 (aka Mortal Kombat 1) is the most hyped entry in Ed Boon's beloved fighting saga. Being a reboot (for the most part), fans were deeply curious how this latest instalment would play out. What elements would be keep? What elements would change?

Most importantly, would it be any good? It may be early days, but all signs are pointing to Mortal Kombat 1 being an absolute triumph. Although it was quite risky for NetherRealm to press the reset button (again), Mortal Kombat's future has never looked brighter, thanks to this astounding requel.

Boasting a brand-new story, an ambitious roster, new mechanics, and a gaggle of intriguing features, there is much to discuss. Do the Kameo fighters make fights better or worse? Is the Invasion campaign something we could see more of or is it a total misfire? And let's not forget the most important question:

Are those infernal microtransactions back?

Before we look at the positives, let's break down a few things in Mortal Kombat 1 that didn't work.

Starting with the biggest elephant in the room...

10. Downs - The Switch Port Is A Travesty

mortal kombat 1 liu kang
Saber Interactive

Because the Switch port of MK11 had water-downed graphics, fans worried MK1 would suffer the same fate.

Sadly, it was MUCH worse. Every visual aspect is compromised, including lighting, animations, facial expressions, voice syncing, and textures. (And the gaming community thought Starfield's NPCs looked dead-eyed.)

In the midst of battle, kombatants can disappear, teleport, stretch out, or shrink. After executing a Brutality, random body parts are left floating in the air. The loading for each fight can take up to a minute, which quickly becomes tedious.

Although fans should be eager to see the Fatalities, there is little incentive to perform finishers, since the downgraded graphics and out-of-sync movements make them look incomplete and unintentionally hilarious. And if MK purists don't have any interest in pulling off Fatalities, you know the development team messed up.

But it's not all bad news. The main campaign's pre-rendered visuals look breath-taking, and are arguably the best graphics seen on the system. However, watching the stuttering transition from photorealistic cutscenes to the dated gameplay graphics further highlights how lacking the visuals are.

Unless this port receives a massive patch, Mortal Kombat 1 on the Switch is in serious trouble.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85