Mortal Kombat 11’s Rambo Pays Homage to Your Favorite First Blood Movie Moments

Watch Rambo go ham on Kabal, Erron Black, and the freaking Terminator in this gameplay trailer for Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate.

Rambo in Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Back in 2011, Mortal Kombat 9’s DLC run came to an end with the first downloadable guest character in the franchise’s history, the classic slasher Freddy Krueger. Many other famous movie characters have followed suit, including Leatherface, Predator, the Xenomorph from Alien, RoboCop, and the Terminator.

Now it’s John Rambo’s turn. The First Blood protagonist will hit Mortal Kombat 11 alongside Rain and Mileena. While we thought Rambo’s teaser announcement trailer from earlier this month would be all we’d see of the action hero in the game, we’ve learned that NOTHING IS OVER! NOTHING! YOU DON’T JUST TURN IT OFF!


Although the character won’t be available until Nov. 17, NetherRealm Studios has released our first look at Rambo in action in the fighting game. This gameplay trailer shows Rambo like you’ve never seen him before:

First off, hearing Sylvester Stallone reprise Rambo in video game form is wonderful. I can’t wait to hear him say weird shit pertaining to the lore of other characters. Like when Peter Weller as RoboCop talked to Spawn about Malebolgia. God, what even is this game?

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There are a lot of neat callbacks in Rambo’s moveset, and not just in the way he fires arrows and his machine gun, or the way he goes prone, sets off traps, and stabs his enemies with his iconic knife. I’m talking about how his throat rip Fatality, which is taken straight from the fourth Rambo movie. Even the skull-cracking takedown elbow to the face is based on a brief moment from First Blood. Fittingly, Stallone accidentally broke that guy’s nose while performing that stunt.

John Rambo was introduced in 1972 in the David Morrell novel First Blood, which was adapted into a movie 10 years later. Initially, John Rambo’s story was that of an elite soldier from the Vietnam War who is haunted and broken by both his experiences on the battlefield and the aftermath of living in a country that doesn’t respect or take care of those drafted into the war. After being antagonized by some police officers, Rambo snaps and uses his guerrilla know-how to torment them.

It was a serious film that was then followed by two over-the-top action movies, a Saturday morning cartoon series, action figures, and a handful of video games. Years later, Stallone agreed to do an even-more-over-the-top fourth movie. Rambo: Last Blood, the fifth and likely final movie, wasn’t exactly well-received.

One of the big things that separates Rambo from all the other guest characters in NetherRealm fighting games is that, despite being around for decades, Rambo has never actually done a crossover. Outside of these games, we’ve seen Freddy vs. Jason, Jason vs. Leatherface, RoboCop vs. Terminator, Alien vs. Predator, and so on. Meanwhile, Rambo has always kept to himself. You know, much like Rocky Balboa, who has never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a member of GI Joe! (Look it up, it’s pretty funny.)

Fingers crossed that we can get far enough past this pandemic so that we can do Mortal Kombat 11 esports tournaments in public again. I absolutely need to hear a big room of people screaming along with Rambo’s machine gun winpose when someone wins in Top 8.