Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition Review – Big Beautiful Brutalities

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition Review

Typically, we play games to escape the world around us. But those of us who like being fully emersed in their gaming experience yet are weak at heart be warned; Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is as brutal as you would expect. As someone who hadn’t gotten the opportunity to indulge in the original, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is a true treat. I find with many gamers that the reason they don’t play fighting games is the difficulty curve. Still, these people should really give the latest Mortal Kombat a try, considering a very noticeable difficulty slider and a plethora of content to explore beyond the online and towers. Like many other Ultimate Editions before it, this package comprises the complete version of Mortal Kombat 11. Which, for the uninitiated, means Kombat Pack 1, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, and Kombat Pack 2.

If you’re looking for a next-gen experience for your new PS5 or Xbox Series X/S, this may be a current-gen title, though it has many upgrades under the hood. This includes extremely fast loads compared to the original Mortal Kombat 11, which broke franchise records back in 2019. If you got a new console and skipped Mortal Kombat 11 on Xbox One or PS4, this is your excuse to check it out and see why it was nominated Fighting Game of the Year by several outlets the year it was initially released.

Unapologetically Violent

Mortal Kombat has always pushed the envelope with its gory visuals and demonic undertones, and that’s no different with Mortal Kombat 11. We’ve come a long way from the FMV visuals from the SNES/Genesis era of Mortal Kombat that caused a stir by looking too realistic. Something laughable compared to the visuals of today’s Mortal Kombat. While the initial MK game sparked the ESRB, we’ve all come to expect absurdly gory visuals from the series, and most people who used to be outraged by Ed Boon’s baby have fallen silent. The violence of Mortal Kombat is still extreme with Mortal Kombat 11, and the improved hardware offered by the new Xbox and PlayStation take limits away from Ed Boon, allowing him and his team at NetherRealm to go crazy with Brutalities, environmental weapons, and more. While people seem less sensitive about Mortal Kombat these days, the squeamish may want to continue to avoid the series, though the addition of friendship moves makes the game more accessible in this regard.

Mortal Kombat: Aftermath was released as the franchise-first story expansion earlier this year for Mortal Kombat, and it continues the narrative of the campaign, with three new characters, new stages, and the return of stage fatalities and the friendship finishing moves. Considering how awesome friendship finishers are, it’s soul-crushing to think that gamers who skipped this DLC are missing out on the hilarity. Friendship finishing moves show our favorite Mortal Kombat characters in a new light. Some of my favorite friendships are Fujin’s kite flying, Frost’s frost-capades, and Jax the Sax Guy. Friendships bring a fun touch to an otherwise barbaric fighting game and they strike me as Ed Boon’s version of South Park’s “We’re sorry” meme. Only it’s directed towards all of the concerned parents, Church groups, and other people who actively hate the series rather than taking the contempt approach.

Mortal Kombat 11 Mileena

MK11 Ultimate Edition Takes “1V1 Me Bro” to Next-Gen

The Mortal Kombat 11 campaign is delightful, but towers will give you the excuse to come back to this fighting game on next-gen consoles due to its endless replayability. These towers will be familiar to MK11 fans, but a tower is basically a series of fights that offer set rewards. Some offer additional challenges that present double or nothing gambles. Mortal Kombat towers are very similar to the multiverse levels in Injustice 2 for the DC Comics fans among us. The difficulty scaling on the towers, and in MK11, in general, is flawless and is noob friendly with an extremely high skill ceiling. Though the initial tutorials may feel overwhelming to a new player, they’ll quickly get the hang of the kombat provided they’ve chosen the appropriate difficulty.

X-ray moves continue to raise the gore of Mortal Kombat to new levels, inducing several involuntary cringes, winces, and chuckles. The stage design of Mortal Kombat games has always led the charge in 2D fighters, and they continue to make their last title look bad with Mortal Kombat 11. The stages’ visuals and performance will be noticed even more by people who are playing on next-gen consoles, with the Ultimate Edition offering 4K dynamic resolution and noticeably enhanced visuals. Most importantly, load times are becoming a thing of the past with Xbox Series X/S and PS5, so you won’t be waiting long between matches if you’re playing it on the new consoles. Being a cross-generational game, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition offers crossplay between Xbox One, PS4, and PC with the next-gen consoles. Considering I’m playing Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One, NetherRealm Studios and Microsoft allow Smart Delivery with the package, so when I finally upgrade to the Xbox Series X, I can immediately jump back into the Kombat.

Characters with Beards - Kano - Mortal Kombat-min

Towers Keep Mortal Kombat 11 Endlessly Replayable

When Mortal Kombat 2011 rebooted the series and rekindled my love for Mortal Kombat, and Injustice 2 showed me what MK would look like with superheroes, I wasn’t sure I could ever get that coming home feeling from a title in the series again. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition proved me wrong and showed me exactly why the initial release sold over eight million units. Ed Boon and NetherRealm continue to outdo themselves, and gamers who think MKX lacked a bit should consider getting back into the series now. As someone who hadn’t already given MK11 a try, I found that this installment’s story brought the characters together in interesting ways during breathtaking cinematic cutscenes made even better on next-gen consoles. While the fights don’t always happen for a comprehendible reason, NetherRealm Studios does a great job of bringing the extensive roster of characters together in ways that make sense beyond all of the time-bending stuff. Included with the fighters in Kombat Pack 1 (Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Sindel, The Joker, Terminator T-800, and Spawn) are three new playable heroes in Kombat Pack 2: Rambo, Mileena, and Rain. Out of all of their counterparts, I found Rain to handle the best, but because Rambo handles like Terminator, I enjoyed playing with him. New characters aren’t the only big change for the Mortal Kombat 11 roster, however, as there are several new skins for all of the characters, new and old alike.

Ed Boon is a gaming industry legend and a deity to the fighting game community. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition feels like a love letter to the series in the same way that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was to the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is the ultimate excuse to get back on board this series if you’re a lapsed fan like me. MK 11 is a deserving cross-gen title with a fitting upgrade on Xbox Series X and PS5 made for people like me who may have snoozed on the initial release. Or even people who were there on day one but didn’t check out any of the DLC. While I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise and Injustice sequel, MK 11 Ultimate Edition is a great void filler to close out this generation of consoles that will be playable whenever I upgrade to the Xbox Series X.

***Xbox One code provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Deadly roster
  • Difficulty scaling
  • Ready for next-gen
  • Great stages
  • Great value

The Bad

  • Small frame rate dips
  • Same game, new shine