Mortal Kombat X Review: Deadly Fun


Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Publisher: Warner Bros.

Platforms: PS4 (Version Reviewed), Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Android, iOS

Release Date: April 7 (iOS), April 14 (PS4, Xbox One), April 23 (Android), TBA (PS3, Xbox 360)

Mortal Kombat X is an adrenaline rush of a game. It is fine tuned as a fighter, but makes itself accessible for all skill levels to be able to pick up and learn how to play the game at a sufficient level. Mortal Kombat X is a little light on content outside of the story and varied fighting system, mainly featuring a system of towers with varying difficulty factors thrown your way. This is a game made to be played with others or at least with others in mind. The Faction system and the online are passable in making those things possible even if you are someone who does not entertain others a lot.

Story Mode and Gameplay

The greatest twist Mortal Kombat ever pulled was turning their obviously violent game into one so over the top you could not take it seriously. If Mortal Kombat 9 is like the Fast 5 of the NetherRealm bringing everything together, Mortal Kombat X is Furious 7. It takes all your favorites and brings them back again. Is there a really good reason for it? Yes; the evil Shinnok is attempting to break free using his agents of the NetherRealm to overcome his imprisonment. Is it at all explained how the amulet that so successfully imprisoned an elder God was so easily lost to others? Nope. It is done for the sake of the story. Who cares? We have brutalities now!

The usual suspects of Mortal Kombat are back this time around, however in a variety of different ways you’ll see them. Each character has 3 different forms. In addition, the game’s story mode, while not allowing you to choose which player you play as, successfully shows off varying fighting styles of different major players. Then you can take your personal fighting style into the metagame of Mortal Kombat X and fight alongside your fellow faction members.

My favorite character of choice was Takeda Takahashi. Takeda is the son of Kenshi and a student of Scorpion’s Earthrealm form of Hanzo Hasashi. I am not the greatest player at fighting games, except Super Smash Bros., because I’m not exceptionally great at chaining moves together. I found that Mortal Kombat X offered a variety of combos and attacks that made it so you did not have to be the most proficient at combos in order to compete at a high level in the game.

Takeda Fighting Styles vary from long to short range weapons

Takeda has 3 different fighting styles based upon his weapon choices. He has the Lasher variation which features whips for extended range attacks and combos. Then he has his Shirai Ryu variation allowing him to throw kunai at the foot of his opponents and knock opponents off balance. In Takeda’s final variation, Ronin, he dons a plasma sword that he can control telepathically. Throw the sword on the ground and knock your opponent into the air or use it for more powerful medium attacks.

The kinds of combos you may attempt and can pull off with a fighter of Takeda’s caliber changes with each variation. This allows for you to have a lot to learn in the mastery of even one single player. This greatly adds on to the replay value beyond the Story Mode that is present in the game.

Game Modes

Unfortunately, the rest of the Mortal Kombat X’s hooks are not nearly as interesting in single player. They have created a faction system wherein you earn points for your team by defeating opponents and participating in a Faction Towers event. This is a long and steady trend among games in this generation to attempt to extend replay value with a metagame. In Mortal Kombat X, the game is not really enhanced by these faction elements. You gain a unified faction fatality. You can feel a part of something bigger, but should you make Mortal Kombat X the only game you play to grow your faction reputation? I am not so sure.

Alongside factions, Mortal Kombat X is littered with other goals for you to seek out. The game features a Krypt where

Be kareful in the Krypt

Koins you unlock at the end of each match can be redeemed for in-game items, such as alternate costumes and alternative fatalities. I have not found an issue with the rate at which you gain Koins to unlock items. Mortal Kombat X is really fun, so you can rack up items rather quick as long as you are playing the game pretty regularly and winning matches.

The rest of the single-player amounts to playing “Test Your Luck” matches where they throw in some difficult factor that may cause you to bleed out slowly as you play or for your character to be weaker than the opponent. This extends into the classic Towers mode

which features a variety of towers with a variety of challenges thrown your way. The single most annoying feature I found to be a challenge to break an urn by mashing the buttons fast enough to hold in a framed outline on screen. Controllers for consoles cost as much as the game itself, please stop asking me to try to mash these buttons in for the sake of “challenge.”

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If you are not the best at fighting, then you can also speed all of that up by buying the whole Krypt as DLC. This is really the most controversial aspect of the game. Many features of Mortal Kombat over the years have been unlockable with cheat codes. It seems that DLC has been now used to replace many of those cheat codes. An aspect of older video games that is not as common anymore, I do miss those. Most of the old sites now serve as walkthrough guides on how to achieve certain hidden abilities as opposed to unlocking them to see it in game.

After some early issues forced me to reinstall the game, the online connectivity has not been much of an issue for me. There were some connectivity issues I encountered when I was playing the game from time to time, such as my faction information would not update sometimes. I do not really recommend playing most fighting games online without a really fast connection as it is easy to lose an entire match on lowered frame rates. However, I did not have any issues finding or playing matches online in my time with the game.


Mortal Kombat X is one of, if not, the most accessible fighting game on the market not named Super Smash Bros. Featuring a successful transition from the old to the new, with plenty of diverse and powerful characters, the total package is very impressive. Mortal Kombat X might just be the most fun I’ve had with a game this year, even if it only offers that fun in a limited variety.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.