There’s nothing better than sitting back, relaxing and playing a good old video game. And while there aren’t too many relaxing video games (unless you’re addicted to The Sims like me), sometimes you just want to get your frustration out by sticking on a game that removes you from reality, where you can button-bash with the best of them and fight, steal, kill and even win by any means necessary. The perfect game for this is Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat is one of the most famous media franchises in the world. It has spawned additional material, source material, and films, and the original games themselves are still going strong, being released on multiple platforms pleasing gaming fans the world over. And the best part of these games are the gruesome, unforgiving ways that the characters end the lives of their enemies. Which is also another reason fans continue the love the games and the films as much as they do.
While the likes of Tekken and other beat-em-up games had their day, nothing has lasted the distance like Mortal Kombat has. The strength of the brand, the game, and their characters has brought made this become a classic.
With this in mind, I’ve taken a look at 15 of the most gruesome, exciting and downright filthy fatalities from the Mortal Kombat series to date. Be warned, there is a lot to choose from, and I’ve made sure I have chosen the worst of the worst. Enjoy!
Kano is one of the original characters and has an absolutely classic finishing move, one that has gone down in the history of video games as iconic as the title itself. This finishing move is to slam his fist through the opposition fighter’s chest, wriggle around, find the heart and withdraw the heart from its body. Not only does this happen, but then Kano lifts the heart above the head, so the final sight of the losing fighter is their heart right in front of their eyes. How lovely of Kano. Kano is generally a pretty bad guy (hence the heart move), having been a mercenary and a thug since the very first Mortal Kombat game in 1992. He has had many storylines through the various games, but always stays the wrong side of the tracks. As a classic character, Kano also appears in a lot of crossover media for the series.
In my opinion, this finishing move is one of the most brutal around. Noob, who debuted in Mortal Kombat 2, has figured in many of the subsequent games and is a suspicious looking ninja man, dressed head-to-toe in black and can spawn a clone. Which is pretty normal, I’m sure you would agree? What’s next is shocking and a little grim. Noob, when finishing a player off, will spawn his clone on the other side of his opponent, and each version of Noob will grab one leg from their foe, and proceed to pull it until the opponent rips in half through the middle. Which is all different kinds of grim. So as finishing moves go, this one is powerful and grim. Noob has, as well as games, been featured in many of the TV adaptations with his character being a stealthy bad guy.
13 Quan Chi
As one of the major bad guys in the Mortal Kombat series, Quan Chi already comes with a lot of baggage in the ‘pretty hardcore bad guy moves’ department, and yet his final move seems so simple, yet oh so effective. Once Quan has battled his opponent and beaten them to a pulp, he decides to have his wicked way with them once more. Using his psychic powers, he forces his opponent, open-mouthed, to walk towards him. Using these very same powers himself, he produces a huge sword out of thin air (don’t ask!) and forces it through the mouth of his opponent into the back of their head. Yet that is just the nice part. After he’s done this, Chi then quickly lifts his nearly-dead opponent up and down while the sword slices through their body per movement, until there is merely two halves of a fighter left on the floor. Nice touch, Chi.
Some of my personal favorite characters are the female ones because they’re often much more brutal and personal than their male counterparts. They usually have great backstories, and Mileena does. Mileena is created as a clone from a Shao Kahn flesh pit, and flesh is part of her most evil of fatalities. Jumping on her opponent as she is about to win, she launches two weapons into the back of their head and rips it from their body, only to continue to feast on their head and face almost like prey. She has another similar move that involved inhaling a whole opponent and spitting out bones and blood in return, a rather gross sight indeed. But in regards to gruesome fatality moves, this is one of the best. As one of the most longstanding classic characters, many fans of the series feel she is the most powerful player in the game.
Scorpion is an absolute stalwart of the Mortal Kombat series, having appeared in each and every game from the very beginning in 1992. As his signature moves are just as famous. Mainly dealing around fire and flames, Scorpion will be more than a match for his opponents, before battling them, readying them for his distinctive fatality: “toasty!”. In this fatality, Scorpion will remove his mask to reveal a skull head with flames around it (naturally!) and then proceed to breathe fire against his opponent until they die, which can only be one of the most painful experiences they may ever go through. A nice touch between games is what actually happens to the burnt fighter’s body after they die. In some games, they have exploded, others their bare, burnt skeleton has merely fallen to the floor. Either way, this is not the quickest death of them all.
10 Jacqui Briggs
Never one to leave any room for maneuver, the most horrific finishing move of Jacqui has to be up there with the best of the bunch. As part of her armory she is an Olympic-grade fighter, a skill that leaves her enemies in her wake. She can go toe-to-toe with anyone, a skill learned in her expert training time with the Special Forces. Her main fatality is a grim one. She will fight her opponent until they are within an inch of their life. Once she is ready, Briggs will grab the head of her foe and launch an almighty attack, lunging her fist through the face and head of her opponent, and pulling it back out, only to leave a hole where their face once was. Mean, or what? Jacqui is a mean woman and is friends with another character, Cassie Cage, both of whom worked together at the Special Forces.
9 Kung Lao
Kung Lao’s brutal fatality is one that is basically a face grind. Now, it’s not as dodgy as it sounds, but it is very grisly and gruesome. The MK2 veteran is a fighting monk (how believable is that?) who apparently wants very little to do with violence and prefers a life of peace. Which is totally inconsistent with his fatality, which goes as follows: Lao throws down his razor hat onto the ground, making it spin heavily in its place. While this is happening, he pushes his competition to the floor, forcing their face against the razor on the hat, brutally slicing and dicing their head until there is nothing left to look at— literally. For a man brought up to respect peace, that’s pretty messed up! The main strength of Kung is his power of martial arts, while his razor hat is often used to cut off body parts of his opponent. Worth staying your distance from Loa, I would say.
Ermac is another ninja, and another ninja with telekinetic powers before him. But it is his fatality from MKX that is deemed one of our grossest seen yet, and we’re pretty sure you will agree with us. Often a feature of Ermac’s fatal moves, he lifts his foe up into the air and has them balance there before him. When they’re suspended at head height, he breaks their bones entirely and proceeds to pull their organs out of their mouth into the air. It really needs to be seen to be believed, but it is by far one of the most disgusting sights you will see. Once he has done this, he then continues to crush his opponent further by smashing them into a little ball. Maybe Ermac is a little paranoid and merely wants to make sure the player he is fighting against is properly dead? Or maybe he’s just a little messed up? I vote for the latter.
Although this isn’t as physically gruesome as some of the others, and some that may follow, it is the psychologically disturbing element of this fatality that is the best part about it. Joker, coming from the MK Vs DC Comics game— an unpopular game in the franchise's history— finishes his opposition by pretending to shoot them with a gun that turns out to be a fake, popping a ‘bang!’ flag out of the end, only to look away, laugh and pull a real gun out, proceeding to shoot the other fighter like he promised to do moments earlier. This is such a tease in the game but it’s a fantastic and fresh feature that can only go to show the humor as well as the shear creep-mindedness of the makers while they perfectly matched the Joker’s sick sense of humor. The Joker, of course, is best known from the DC Comics universe and more specifically Batman.
6 Kotal Kahn
I know you need to be big, have huge muscles and be rock solid on this game, but Kotal Kahn seems to be taking this all a little bit too seriously. Coming from Mortal Kombat X, Kahn was a soldier of Shao Kahn, and a mean looking one at that. With no clothes on his top half (probably for effect) and a big piece of headwear, he looks as mean as he is supposed to, and his big kill on the game is pretty brutal, too. His ending move for the game is to pick up his opponent and get them in one of the biggest bear hugs imaginable. But this isn’t a friendly thing, oh no. This bear hug is so powerful that it basically crushes the internal organs of the opposition fighter until he surrenders, then dies. And it’s really saying something that this isn’t nearly the worst end move on this list.
5 Quan Chi (Mark 2)
OK so I know we’ve had Quan Chi already, but it’s impossible to talk about fatalities without mentioning this fantastic fatality before the list is over. After laying the beatdown on his opponent, Chi waits for the opposition to kick out with their leg before ripping it from their socket, and beating them to a pulp with their own leg. This is hilarious, brutal and heavy all in one move. Imagine being beaten to death with one of your own body parts, How humiliating! Later versions of the MK series take this to an even further extreme, by way of allowing Chi to beat the opponent so hard, and so much, that their whole head actually explodes. Creative! All fighters have numerous fatalities which are unlockable during gameplay, and while I've tried to stay away from repeating the same character, this one was too hard to say no to.
4 Freddy Krueger
A character better known for his films outside of the MK universe and his battles with Jason in Freddy vs Jason, the guys from Mortal Kombat picked up the license for Freddy for MKX. And his fatality did not leave us disappointed. Once ready, Freddy summons a massive furnace from the sky (like you do…) and opens it. After this, he turns around and stabs his opponent in the neck and chest with his metal claws and throws them over his head and straight into the fire. Even for a horror character that is known for his scary moments, this is pretty freaky. It will be interesting to see if Freddy will be available for further MK editions, or whether this was his only outing. Although he is only a DLC character as opposed to an in-game character, this is still an exciting feature for each fan’s inner geek.
I think this fatality might be my favorite out of the whole list, because it’s just so mechanical, easy and brutal, and has loads of elements to it that just make it kind of grim to think about! Right after beating his opponent into a daze, Cyrax, a humanoid killing robot, ejects an extendable mechanical arm from his chest which latches on to the head of the person he is fighting. The arm, moving up and down three times, smashes the other fighter into the ground, pummeling them into submission before allowing the retractable arm to come back inside his body, with the corpse of the opponent still attached. The corpse is eaten up and ground out by the inner mechanics of the cyborg, never to be seen again. So, as I say, there’s a lot to this fatality!
Darrius is a kind of cool looking dude, wearing shades, facial hair and a slickly shaven head. This fatality, however, is anything but cool. Actually, as far as fatalities and deaths go, it’s pretty sweet, so long as you're not on the other end. Once you’re a little dazed in the game, Darrius will make sure you’re confused too, both mentally and physically. Once his opponent is in a world of their own, he will rip their limbs from their body, rearrange them (sticking them through their skulls) and make a modern art piece out of their skeletal structure. And if this isn’t enough, he then proceeds to kick them out of the picture. This fatality was only available in a few of the Mortal Kombat games, possibly because it all looks a little too confusing to look at, and probably just as confusing to turn from an idea to actual animated graphics.
Finally, we get to Sektor. This isn’t the most gruesome as such, but the sheer quickness of the move leaves you feeling you're controlling a ruthless, trained murderer. Sektor, who is a menacing warrior who made his initial debut in MK3, only seems to be getting more destructive. And his move is absolutely and entirely destructive, literally. He sprouts two mechanical arms which scoop up the other fighter and crushes them with one smooth movement. As I say, not hugely disgusting, but when you see it on screen, blood, gore and bones too, it does give you a little shiver. Sektor is a machine man, who has the power of superhuman strength and fantastic stamina, which makes him a really formidable enemy to many on the game.