Mortal Kombat (1992)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Mortal Kombat (1992): The Arcade Classic That Revolutionized Fighting Games

In the annals of video game history, few titles hold a place as iconic as Mortal Kombat. Released in 1992, this side-scrolling fighting game took the arcade scene by storm and forever changed the landscape of the genre. With its innovative gameplay, unforgettable characters, and groundbreaking Fatalities, Mortal Kombat became an instant sensation and spawned a sprawling franchise that continues to thrive today.


Mortal Kombat’s gameplay is deceptively simple yet endlessly addictive. Players control one of seven characters, each with their own unique fighting style and special moves. Combat takes place on a 2D plane, with players able to move forward, backward, and jump. A variety of punches, kicks, and throws can be chained together to create combos, and each character also has access to a set of special moves that can be performed by inputting specific button combinations.

One of the most distinctive features of Mortal Kombat is its Fatality system. When a player defeats their opponent for the second time, they can perform a unique finishing move called a Fatality. Fatalities are incredibly violent and gory, often involving the loser being dismembered, decapitated, or otherwise mutilated. This level of violence was unprecedented in video games at the time and caused a great deal of controversy, but it also became one of Mortal Kombat’s most enduring trademarks.


Mortal Kombat’s roster of characters is one of its greatest strengths. Each character has their own unique backstory, fighting style, and Fatality, making them all instantly recognizable and memorable. Some of the most iconic characters include:

  • Scorpion: A ninja who was resurrected from Hell to seek revenge on his killer. His signature move is the “Spear,” which he uses to impale his opponents.
  • Sub-Zero: Scorpion’s rival, a cryomancer who can freeze his opponents with his ice powers. His signature move is the “Ice Ball,” which he can throw at his opponents to freeze them solid.
  • Liu Kang: A Shaolin monk and the champion of Earthrealm. His signature move is the “Flying Dragon Kick,” which he can use to launch himself at his opponents from across the screen.
  • Johnny Cage: A Hollywood actor who entered the Mortal Kombat tournament to prove his fighting skills. His signature move is the “Shadow Kick,” which he can use to teleport behind his opponents and kick them in the back.
  • Sonya Blade: A Special Forces agent who is determined to take down Kano, a criminal who killed her partner. Her signature move is the “Leg Sweep,” which she can use to knock her opponents off their feet.


Mortal Kombat’s impact on the video game industry cannot be overstated. It was one of the first fighting games to feature digitized graphics, which gave the characters a more realistic appearance than previous sprite-based games. It also popularized the use of gore and violence in video games, which became a staple of the fighting genre.

Mortal Kombat has spawned a vast franchise that includes numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. The series has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and has been ported to almost every major gaming platform. It has also been adapted into several films, television shows, and comic books.


Mortal Kombat (1992) is a true classic that helped to define the fighting game genre. Its innovative gameplay, unforgettable characters, and groundbreaking Fatalities made it an instant sensation and cemented its place in video game history. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to the series, Mortal Kombat (1992) is a must-play for any fan of fighting games.

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