Back in 1992, kids would flock to arcades in huge numbers to waste countless coins on one particular game: Mortal Kombat. The fighting game set the standards for violence in gaming and a lot of people were outraged by how brutal the game was. Despite this, kids would still flock to arcades to get their hands on it because it was just so good.
Fast forward to 2017 and Mortal Kombat still retains its place as one of the most violent franchises ever. After 10 mainline entries and several spin-offs, it looks like Mortal Kombat is here to stay for a long, long time.
The premise of the game is pretty simple. It’s set in a fictional universe wherein 18 surviving realms exist; one of which is Earth. The realms were created by the Elder Gods. The realms were filled with both good and bad and the baddest want to conquer other realms. To level the playing field, the Elder Gods decided that one realm could conquer the others only by defeating the defending realm’s greatest warriors in ten consecutive tournaments. Thus Mortal Kombat was born.
Each realm has their own set of powerful champions and these are the guys we know of in the game. They’re all pretty powerful but some are weak by Mortal Kombat’s standards. Here are the 8 most powerful and 7 weakest characters in Mortal Kombat.
15. Most Powerful – Ermac
The funny thing with Mortal Kombat’s Ermac was that he started out as a glitch in the original game. Since then, he has become one of the most powerful characters in the game. He started out as a glitch come to life but now that the developer has touched up his backstory, Ermac’s power has gone up tenfold.
Ermac is the fusion of countless souls in the wars in Outworld. That’s why Ermac refers to himself as “we“, “our“, “us“, and “ours“, instead of “I“, “my” “me“, and “mine.” Thanks to the countless souls that are in his body, Ermac has become capable of powerful telekinetic abilities which are partnered with his other skills that include teleportation and the ability to travel to different realms. Even adding more power to Ermac is the fact that Shao Kahn’s spirit is also inside him now.
14. Weakest – Stryker
There’s not much to fear about Kurtis Stryker, especially if you have otherworldly powers like most of the cast of Mortal Kombat. Stryker is one of the humans tasked with defending the Earthrealm from everything that wishes to harm it. We’ve got to give him props for going up against demons and other outrageous beings but seriously, he’s a weak character.
As a police officer, Stryker carries with him a few tools to help in combat. These tools include a baton, a grenade and guns. While this may sound fatal for common humans, let’s face the fact that guns and explosives probably won’t work against monsters such as Goro and Onaga. He may stand a chance against other humans in Mortal Kombat but for him to overpower the likes of Shao Kahn, Kano, Kintaro and others would take A LOT of good luck for him and bad luck for the bad guys.
13. Most Powerful – Kotal Kahn
Mortal Kombat’s main antagonist; Shao Kahn bit the dust back in Mortal Kombat 9. With the former ruler of Outworld dead, someone needed to take Shao Kahn’s place. In comes a Mortal Kombat debutant, Kotal Kahn. He’s worshipped as the Mayan god of war and that should say a lot when talking about just how powerful Kotal Khan is.
Kotal Kahn’s prowess in battle rivals that of his predecessor. He can use attacks that harvest the power of the Sun but his biggest asset in battle comes in his powerful and quick strikes. Unlike Shao Kahn, Kotal Kahn isn’t that bad. He prefers peace over war, as such, he looks to restore peace back into Outworld. Despite this, one would be a fool to get on Kotal Kahn’s bad side as he can get pretty rough sometimes.
12. Weakest – Hsu Hao
Aside from having a name that’s hard to pronounce, there’s not much to say about Hsu Hao. He’s an evil Mongolian grappler who just loves to wreak havoc and that’s about it. His key characteristic is the huge, red and pulsating cybernetic machine that he makes use as a heart. For Mortal Kombat’s combatants, that’s basically a bullseye to hit.
His chest is capable of laser attacks but we’re guessing that once you dodge his initial laser attack and then go for his way too obvious weak spot, then he’s as good as gone. He’s a good fighter as his cybernetic heart improves his strength greatly. However, it’s just hard to bypass that his weak spot is so out in the open and it would take Mortal Kombat characters only a few strikes to the chest to kill Hsu Hao.
11. Most Powerful – Scorpion
Hanzo Hazashi, better known as Scorpion is the poster boy of the series. He’s the most popular character and along with Raiden and Sub-Zero, he has appeared in every Mortal Kombat game as a playable character. He’s also one of the most powerful characters in the franchise and we can see why the developer is keen on bringing him back for more action.
Without his mask, Scorpion’s head turns into a flaming skull. The flame itself is called hellfire and it’s not something others would want to touch. Scorpion is immune to the effects of hellfire and he uses it himself to inflict pain unto others. Aside from being an excellent hand-to-hand combat specialist, Scorpion also has a few powers including fireballs, teleportation and many hellfire associated attacks. Perhaps his most popular move is his spear attack. When used, we hear one of the most memorable lines in gaming history; “get over here!”
10. Weakest – Kobra
At first glance, Kobra looks like Ken Master from Street Fighter. Ever wondered why he looks like a rip-off of Ryu’s friend? Well, that’s because he is. Early on in the development of Mortal Kombat Deception, Kobra’s name was Ken. The developer probably felt sorry for Kobra so they had to change his name to give him some character at least. He’s also a pretty weak fighter and that makes matters more worse than they already are.
Kobra is a ruthless and young martial artist and that’s about it. Like most of the weak characters on this list, Kobra would be big trouble for a regular human but as for most of Mortal Kombat’s cast, he’s definitely going to be squashed like a bug. He can use some pretty cool moves in combat and we can at least give him that. His best move is Flaming Fist and aside from that, most of his attacks are basic moves you’d see in a martial arts film.
9. Most Powerful – Onaga
Onaga is one of the underrated characters in Mortal Kombat but that doesn’t make him weak. He was the previous lord of the Outworld until he was usurped by Shao Kahn. You know a guy is powerful if one of his titles is Dragon King. Many players have wasted a ton of hours when Onaga served as the final boss of Mortal Kombat Deception as he was fairly tough to beat. Aside from looking extremely cool, Onaga is one of the most powerful beings in the game’s lore.
Many of Mortal Kombat’s characters consider Onaga as the one true ruler of Netherrealm and that’s for good reason. If it wasn’t for Shao Kahn’s betrayal, then Onaga would still be in his rightful place. Onaga’s a literal dragon and true to his origin, he can spew flames at his opponents. Partner that with his awesome wings and that spells death from above all over.
8. Weakest – Nightwolf
The guys over at Netherrealm Studios managed to create one of the most popular Native American characters in gaming and that is Nightwolf. He’s a prominent character in the series and he has appeared in several titles as well. However, not many are fond of Nightwolf as his attacks and special abilities just feels so basic and at times, Nightwolf is often ignored.
Nightwolf has the ability to use spirit energy in a lot of ways. These include bows and arrows and even tomahawks. Despite this, Nightwolf’s attacks in-game feel rather weak and that’s why players don’t even bother with him. He has become one of the most hated characters in the game and that’s probably because he has some of the most boring Fatalities ever. Perhaps one good side to Nightwolf is that he’s one of the more tech-savvy characters in the game.
7. Most Powerful – Shao Kahn
No other character is as intimidating as the conqueror of worlds, Shao Kahn. With his muscular build and skull helmet, we can’t blame Mortal Kombat’s combatants if they tremble in front of Shao Kahn. Another terrifying thing about Shao Kahn is that he wields a pretty huge hammer. He’s not all looks though as with his terrifying appearance comes an even more terrifying amount of power behind it.
According to MoviePilot, Shao Kahn is known for his “godlike strength which rivals, if not outright exceeds, that of Raiden, the God of Thunder. He is also known for his extreme callousness, brutality, ferocity in battle, and his fondness of personal executions.” Aside from that, Shao Kahn also has the ability to consume souls. He has terrorized other worlds time and time again and if it wasn’t for Earth’s combatants, Shao Kahn would’ve definitely conquered all realms.
6. Weakest – Meat
True to his name, Meat is a… huge chunk of meat. We got to give him credit for being intimidating at first glance. He’s a skinless creature who’s basically vulnerable to a lot of things since he’s SKINLESS. Many of the game’s characters can throw a fireball or two and it shouldn’t take them long before they can toast Meat.
Meat is actually an escaped experiment of Shang Tsung but he does not have any special abilities. In battle, Meat uses his all too unique body for a list of disgusting attacks. One of his moves allows him to take of his head to roll towards opponents. Another skill of his sees him turning into a puddle of blood and guts to teleport from one place to another. He can also cure himself by pulling out his eye from its socket and then getting it back into place.
5. Most Powerful – Sub-Zero
Sub-Zero, also known as the “Elsa of Arendelle” of the Mortal Kombat universe. He was one of the original characters from the first game who has been a part of every entry in the series. He’s a ninja who employs the use of icy powers. Sub-Zero isn’t exactly a person. There have been several Sub-Zeros already throughout the franchise but they all have one thing in common; they’re all deadly.
At the hands of a good player, Sub-Zero is near unbeatable. Since some of his attacks can cause an opponent to become frozen for a few seconds, there’s a good chance that Sub-Zero can get the coveted Flawless Victory. Aside from turning others into ice cubes, Sub-Zero’s other powers include clone making and teleportation. He surely is one of the most powerful characters in the game so the others should think twice before singing “Let It Go” in front of Sub-Zero.
4. Weakest – Bo’ Rai Cho
Mortal Kombat is filled with characters who employ various fighting styles at their disposal. One of these fighting styles is of course, Drunken Fist. Enter Bo’ Rai Cho. At first glance, Bo’ Rai Cho doesn’t look like he fits in the Mortal Kombat tournament. He’s just a drunkard who can throw a few punches and kicks to take care of business. However, when it comes to overall power, Bo’ Rai Cho isn’t one to rely on.
In battle, Bo’ Rai Cho can do a host of tricks to defeat his enemies and one of which sees him vomiting on the floor. He’s drunk during battle and what else is there to say? His other skills see him using his beer belly to hit his opponents or the ground to cause and earthquake. He’s more fit to be in a drinking contest than in the tournament and he’s lucky to still be alive after all this time.
3. Most Powerful – Liu Kang
When Earth’s in big trouble with the Netherrealm baddies, the only person to count on is Liu Kang. In hindsight, Liu Kang doesn’t look as intimidating as most of the characters in the game. He isn’t a cyborg, a ninja or anything special. It just so happens that he’s really, really good at fighting and he has saved the Earth 4 times already in Mortal Kombat 1 through 4.
Despite the odds, Liu Kang has managed to beat the likes of Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Goro and many more. Sadly, he was killed in Deadly Alliance by Shinnok and Shang Tsung. However, he comes back as a zombie a few games later. In Mortal Kombat X, he’s now one of the guys that go up against Earth’s heroes and they’re in for a battle with this fallen hero.
2. Weakest – MoKap
Why does every fighting game developer feel the need to introduce a comic-relief character? In the case of the Mortal Kombat series, that character is none other than MoKap. It doesn’t take a genius to see what MoKap is. He’s basically a dude in a motion capture suit (the one with the spandex and balls) that finds himself in one of the deadliest tournaments there is. Hence the name, MoKap.
What’s worst about MoKap is that he isn’t just a token character. He’s cannon to the game’s story. He’s probably stronger than a regular human since he’s well-versed in various fighting styles but that’s it. MoKap doesn’t have much to brag about in terms of magic and all things powerful. As to why he’s become a part of the tournament and the game’s events, it was actually just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
1. Most Powerful – Raiden
Any true Mortal Kombat fan shouldn’t be surprised that Raiden is on this list. Any list about Mortal Kombat characters is sure to have Raiden in it and even more so if it’s a list about the most powerful ones. For starters, Raiden is the God of Thunder in Mortal Kombat lore and as one of the deities of the franchise, he’s sure to pack more than just a zap with his lightning.
Throughout the series, Raiden has shown off a host of impressive powers. Many of the game’s characters have probably faced Raiden at one point and they’ve all failed helplessly at the hands of the thunder god. Even when on the brink of defeat, Raiden can still turn things around with his impressive set of skills.
In Mortal Kombat 9, Raiden talks to his past self to prevent the events of Armageddon from ever happening. He isn’t just capable of shocking things as there’s more to Raiden than meets the eye.