October 9th marks the 25th(!) anniversary of the brutal, gory, controversial, and indomitable Mortal Kombat.
Released in arcades in 1992, the game was a lightning rod of controversy regarding video-game violence due to its realistic digitized sprites and over-the-top gore that dismembered, froze, beheaded, or burned opponents in a way that rarely seen in the mainstream gaming world.
As a result, Mortal Kombat’s home release on the SNES was deliberately watered down, and the Genesis version required the famed ‘blood code’ be entered in order to play the game uncensored.
Perhaps the most famous feature of Mortal Kombat are the fatalities that spawned the controversy in the first place. These finishing moves alternate between brutal hilarity, to over-the-top gore, to fourth-wall breaking silliness, like a Mortal Kombat Arcade Cabinet descending from the heavens to smoosh your opponent flat.
In honor of Mortal Kombat’s legacy and history and anniversary, below is a compilation of every Mortal Kombat fatality ever, care of YouTuber Izuniy:
The original Mortal Kombat spawned congressional hearings, the formation of the ESRB, and ushered in a new era of Ultra-violence in gaming we still feel today in games like Gears of War.
Since release, there’s been 20+ games sporting the Mortal Kombat moniker, from traditional 1v1 fighting games, to cross overs with the DC universe, to side-scrolling action games and action-rpgs like the underrated Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The games went on to include brutalities, ‘friendships’, baby-alities, and other finishing moves that looked to play up (or play down) MK’s calling card.
And that’s not all. In honor of the special occasion, NeatherRealm Studios tweeted a montage of the impact Mortal Kombat has had over the past quarter century…and hint at what’s to come.