Best Mortal Kombat Fatalities Ever

Mortal Kombat has been killing it since the early '90s. Here are the best Fatalities in the franchise's history!

Mortal Kombat Fatalities
Photo: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

From the moment Mortal Kombat hit arcades, it was seen as more than just a simple Street Fighter II clone. The controls were different, the atmosphere was different, and it had an extremely different look, thanks to the digitized actors that replaced the traditional pixel art of the era. That more realistic look went hand-in-hand with the gruesome use of blood. Yeah, Street Fighter II had blood splatter here and there, but getting hit with an uppercut in Mortal Kombat meant several pints of blood squirting to the skies and then splattering on the floor.

This culminated in the game’s most infamous gimmick: the Fatality. All seven playable characters had a single move that allowed them graphically kill their defeated opponents, plus a special Fatality everyone was capable of doing on the Pit stage. Unsurprisingly, the Fatality got parent groups up in arms and helped Mortal Kombat become a household name.

It became part of Mortal Kombat’s DNA. Every game had to have at least one Fatality. But that wasn’t enough. Midway began adding spinoff finishers like Friendships, Babalities, Animalities, Brutalities, Hara-Kiris, and so on. Other fighting games also introduced their own rip-off versions like No Mercies, Overkills, Executions, and Claytalities.

With Mortal Kombat 11 offering a whole new slew of excellent Fatalities, it’s time to look back and celebrate the best Fatalities Mortal Kombat has to offer. Instead of doing an overall list, I’m going to do a top three of each game. Why? Because context. These days, the Fatalities are extensive and over-the-top, so tossing a mere heart rip in the middle of the list doesn’t really make sense.

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I’m also not including Mortal Kombat Armageddon due to its lame Kreate-a-Fatality feature. Since there were no character-specific Fatalities, it’s not really worth talking about here. Here is our ranking:

Scorpion's Fatality from Mortal Kombat


The one that started it all made a lot of waves with its Fatality concept and it even led to Nintendo’s decision to no longer be overly PG at all times. When the game was ported to the 16-bit consoles, the Genesis version had a special blood code while the SNES version had characters exude sweat instead of blood when getting hit. Several Fatalities looked ridiculous in the SNES version (not as bad as the non-blood-code Genesis Fatalities) and the game’s inability to commit to the graphic violence led to Genesis selling more copies. When it came time for the sequel, Nintendo learned its lesson.

3. Kano’s Heart Rip: There’s something perfectly campy about not only tearing someone’s heart out of their chest but holding the still-beating organ inside your fist. It wouldn’t be the same without that exclamation point. The other Fatalities in this game are mostly based around incineration and decapitation, so it’s cool to see something so inherently violent that stands apart from the rest.

2. Scorpion’s Toasty: In the early days of the series, Mortal Kombat featured several unmasking Fatalities used to reveal the identities of ninja characters like Scorpion and Reptile. Scorpion was the first to be unmasked. Under that yellow mask, Scorpion had no flesh on his head and could breathe fire. Whatever he was, he wasn’t human. Not anymore.

This became Scorpion’s go-to Fatality for the next several games. The difference was how his victims would react to being engulfed in Hellfire. Maybe they would explode. Maybe they would run around in excruciating panic before collapsing.

1. Sub-Zero’s Spine Rip: It just had to be this. This was the stand-out killer visual that pushed the game’s gore to the absolute limit. It was one thing to hold a man’s dismembered head. Hell, even Nintendo Power featured a cover of Simon Belmont doing the same to Dracula. But having an enemy’s spine dangling from a character’s hand? Oh, that was art.

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Even Midway may have thought the Spine Rip took things a little too far. The Fatality didn’t return in the sequel, and by the time Classic Sub-Zero appeared in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, the Spine Rip has been replaced with an incredibly lame “censored” version of the move where he’d grab his opponent’s head and the screen would go black. Midway eventually restored Sub-Zero’s original Fatality, including it in Mortal Kombat Mythologies and Mortal Kombat 4. NetherRealm Studios even made it Sub-Zero’s Injustice 2 winpose — but from the head’s perspective.

Mileena's Fatality from Mortal Kombat II


The first game’s aesthetic revolved around an earthly setting with signs of bizarre otherworldliness. Sure, there was a four-armed monster and a shape-shifting sorcerer, but they were visitors from a strange land. Then Mortal Kombat II dove headfirst into that land, showing how alien Outworld truly was. The characters looked better, the gameplay had improved, and Midway added more of just about everything. That included not only two Fatalities per character (three for Shang Tsung), but three Stage Fatalities, and the introduction of Friendships and Babalities.

3. Mileena’s Devourer: This is much like that Scorpion Fatality in the last game. Mortal Kombat II expanded on the palette-swapped ninja concept by introducing female ninjas. Kitana and Mileena fought differently and had different weapons, but other than the colors of their clothes, they looked the same. One of Kitana’s Fatalities had her remove her mask to reveal a very human face as she kissed her opponent, causing them to explode.

Mileena, the so-called twin sister, had her own unmasking Fatality. She removed the mask to reveal a set of sharp teeth reminiscent of the freakish Baraka. Leaning over as if to kiss her opponent, she instead inhaled their body and spat out their bones. It was a legit fakeout that made Mileena’s existence more mysterious because she certainly wasn’t Kitana’s twin so…what exactly was she? Beat the game to find out!

2. Baraka’s Blade Elevation: Giving a character Wolverine arm blades was an excellent decision because back in the early ‘90s, whenever Wolverine actually sliced someone up, it was always obscured so we couldn’t see the gore. Not only did the blades play into Baraka’s special moves, but also into both of his Fatalities. One was a simple decapitation, but the other felt special.

Baraka would impale his opponent and hold them up at an angle. Rather than just scream, the victim would convulse before finally slumping forward. As an added bonus, their body would then slide down the blades.

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1. Kung Lao’s Hat Splitter: There are certain Fatalities that stick out, thanks to the way the victim was animated. Kung Lao had one of these with his Fatality. With the Hat Splitter, he’d remove his hat and use it to cleave his opponent in half down the middle. The opponent would fall to their knees and split in half like an opened banana peel. An opened banana with pieces of ribs sticking out, but yeah. The animation is what makes this one really pop.

Scorpion's Fatality from Mortal Kombat Trilogy


Mortal Kombat 3’s attempts to go bigger merely made the series campier. Everyone had two Fatalities, a Friendship, a Babality, a Brutality, and an Animality. Unfortunately, the Fatalities felt lazy this time around. Many revolved around characters exploding while others were dismemberments where their bodies cut apart a quarter at a time, starting with the neck, and not only would they scream louder AFTER being headless, but their hands would float in mid-air like a bad Photoshop. Most Fatalities were a bit too silly. Despite all of the Fatalities in these games, only a few actually stand out:

3. Sektor’s Compactor: Mortal Kombat 3 gave us three cyber ninjas with Inspector Gadget-like abilities Cyrax could chop you apart with his helicopter head or go full-on Predator by setting himself to self-destruct. Smoke could force-feed you a bomb, which always looked awkward, or unleash so many bombs that Earth would explode. Meanwhile, Sektor’s felt just down-to-earth enough to work.

While letting loose with a flamethrower is neat, Sektor’s stand-out move was a large, metal vise that popped out of his chest to crush his opponent’s body. Quick, nasty, and to the point.

2. Shang Tsung’s Soul Steal: Shang Tsung is all about two things: morphing and eating souls. He had a soul-stealing Fatality back in Mortal Kombat II, but this one was way gnarlier. He’d cause his opponent to levitate before their body would be engulfed in green energy and their soul would leave them behind in order for Shang to absorb it.

What makes it so nightmarish compared to other Fatalities in this game is what’s left of the body. Without the soul, all that remains is a gooey, green skeleton and once Shang is done with his meal, the skeleton just plops to the ground and turns into a nasty, lumpy soup.

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1. Scorpion’s Hell Hand: When Midway reintroduced Scorpion in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, the studio gave him his classic “Toasty” Fatality and a really bizarre one where he’d summon over a dozen Scorpion clones and the screen would go black rather than show the violent beatdown. When Midway re-released the game as Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the developers replaced the clone attack with something very different. Scorpion would raise his hand up in the air and summon a giant, glowing skeleton hand from the Netherrealm itself. The hand would squeeze the opponent and burn them into non-existence before returning home.

Not only did this Fatality look awesome, but it foreshadowed Scorpion’s boss’ boss Shinnok as well as Scorpion’s Hell-based sorcery to come in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.

Quan Chi's Fatality from Mortal Kombat 4


The late-‘90s saw most video game companies translate their biggest franchises to 3D graphics, whether they were ready or not. For some franchises, this switch to 3D worked fantastically, such as with Mario and The Legend of Zelda. But there were also spectacular failures like Bubsy and Earthworm Jim. In terms of Mortal Kombat, Midway took Mortal Kombat 3‘s gameplay and remade it with polygons, throwing in some others bells and whistles that wouldn’t last.

Mortal Kombat 4‘s Fatalities were just old ones revised for this new 3D environment. Several involved the victim’s flesh being removed completely to reveal a bloody skeleton, which itself became a hidden character.

3. Raiden’s Overload: Raiden’s go-to Fatality type in these games is to zap someone with lightning until they die. Back in Mortal Kombat II, he’d grab his opponent and electrocute them to the point that they’d just explode. Mortal Kombat 4 brought that back but in 3D. While Midway used this strategy to lesser effect with most of the other characters, Raiden’s Fatality did it right. Not only would the victim explode, but their untouched head would fly directly towards the camera like the old 3D movies that lean way too hard into the novelty.

2. Reiko’s Throwing Stars: The original Mortal Kombat trilogy had a whole lot of ninja characters, but for some reason, they never did any cool ninja shit. Not until much later, at least, when Scorpion started wielding katanas and Smoke started throwing smoke bombs. Reiko was dressed like a Mortal Kombat ninja from the neck down but otherwise looked like a middle-aged Nightwing.

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At least HE did something that played up ninja stereotypes by unleashing a series of throwing stars that would swarm his opponent. Then, as the punctuation mark, one last shuriken would get thrown right into the victim’s forehead. Congratulations, Reiko. You did exactly one cool thing.

1. Quan Chi’s Leg Beatdown: After Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Midway out of its way to make Quan Chi seem like a big deal. He showed up in the Saturday morning cartoon, was a penultimate boss in Mortal Kombat Mythologies, and was the face on the side of the arcade cabinet for Mortal Kombat 4. He wasn’t the final boss, but he was at least painted as the one truly in control.

Quan Chi was the best of the new characters because he was one of the few who felt truly original. Even Shinnok felt like a lesser Shang Tsung. What truly made Quan Chi stand out was his main Fatality, where he’d tear the opponent’s leg off and then beat them with it. It was already a prime concept, but while other characters would likely throw down the leg and strike a pose, Quan Chi went to town on his enemy. With endless endurance, he’d smack that bleeding leg into that corpse until the screen cut to black.

Kenshi's Fatality from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance


After taking a few years off, Midway brought Mortal Kombat back with a new look and engine that was certainly a step up from Mortal Kombat 4, both in terms of the gameplay and visually. So started the “PlayStation 2 Era” of Mortal Kombat titles, where everyone looked like an action figure and Midway really into the idea of switching and linking fighting styles mid-combo. Since Deadly Alliance was the first attempt at this new system, it wasn’t fully baked. For one thing, everyone was back to having just one Fatality.

This is when Mortal Kombat Fatalities started to get a little drawn out. It’s also a time when gore started to take the form of bloody popcorn.

3. Kano’s Organ Robbery: After Mortal Kombat 4 tried to do a “best of” with the Fatalities, it was apparent that Deadly Alliance had to kick it up a notch. There’s no better example than Kano. Tearing out a heart was cool shit back in 1992, but 10 years later, Midway needed to do something new with it.

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So here, we have Kano continually reaching into his opponent’s torso to pull out random organs and discarding them. After four of these have been removed, he angrily just kicks his victim to the ground so their body can finally catch up with their death.

2. Kenshi’s Telekinetic Destruction: Kenshi’s design hit all the right notes and made him one of the best things to come out of the PlayStation 2 era. Mortal Kombat already had a character with telekinesis in Ermac, but Midway wasn’t too creative with him at the time. Having Kenshi let loose with his powers on a defeated foe was a major improvement.

At first, he uses his mind to force his opponent’s eyes from their head (unless it’s a Kenshi vs. Kenshi match). Then he levitates their body and gradually starts folding and bending it in ways that it isn’t supposed to fold and bend. Once he’s done with his victim, he drops their broken body to the ground.

1. Kung Lao’s Splitting Headache: Feels weird to give the number one spot to one of the simpler moves, but this one’s all about the personality. This is right around when the series started to develop Kung Lao as Liu Kang’s cocky rival. He loves Liu like a brother, but he’s also threatened by his status as the chosen one. In Deadly Alliance, he’s out to avenge his best buddy, but his over-confidence is still prevalent here.

Kung Lao throws his trademark hat into his opponent’s skull and its lodged right in their forehead. The opponent proceeds to fall backward and die, as one would. Seeing as how that hat is part of his image, Kung Lao casually walks over to the corpse and stomps down on it. The force dislodges the hat, pops it into the air, and Kung Lao easily snatches it and places it back on his head.

Personally, I’d wash it first.

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Sub-Zero's Fatality from Mortal Kombat; Deception


Deception was designed to build upon what Deadly Alliance had introduced to the series. More fighters, going back to two Fatalities each, adding Hara-Kiris, ring-out stage Fatalities, throwing in a Puzzle Kombat side game, and introducing a massive Konquest Mode that let players explore all of the realms while unlocking stuff. It was easily the high point of the Playstation 2 era of Mortal Kombat.

3. Goro’s Limb Tear: The Wii port of the game threw in Goro and Shao Kahn, giving flimsy explanations for why they weren’t dead. Not counting Mortal Kombat 4‘s Gameshark mode where he just performed other characters’ animations, Deception was the first time Goro was actually capable of pulling off a Fatality.

In one move, he grabs his opponent by their wrists and ankles. After some tension, he tears off all four limbs at once, leaving the torso to fall to the ground. It’s a Fatality so fitting that Goro would sort of reprise it in Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge.

2. Havik’s Arm Feast: A big chunk of Deception’s story is about the juxtaposition between a realm of extreme order and one dedicated to extreme chaos. Chaosrealm is represented by Havik, a mad cleric who wants to bring endless conflict and insanity to the multiverse. Havik himself is a stand-out weirdo freak.

I’m not too big on Fatalities that involve a character destroying themselves, but Havik has a move that works perfectly for him. He creeps over and devours his enemy’s arms from the fingers to the shoulder, extremely fast, like a cartoon beaver eating through a tree. After eating both arms, he steps away and lets the corpse collapse to the floor. Rather than simply celebrate his win, he takes a second to choke on his meal and vomit up some blood. THEN he strikes a pose. No pain, no gain.

1. Sub-Zero’s Leg Shatter: A weird thing about Deception is that Midway came up with two ice-based Fatalities, while Scorpion got the spine rip this time around. It was worth it, though.

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Sub-Zero – now a Shredder cosplayer – gets one of the more terrifying kills in this game. He freezes the bottom half of his opponent, then kicks in his enemy’s icy legs, shattering everything below the waist. Crippled and bleeding out, the opponent is still conscious enough to understand their situation. They desperately try to crabwalk backwards to safety. But since Sub-Zero still has his legs, he snuffs out what little hope remains by walking over and stomping on his enemy’s stomach so hard that the victim’s head flies off.

Kintaro's death in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks


Of the three Mortal Kombat side-games, Shaolin Monks was without a doubt the best one. A non-canon retelling of Mortal Kombat II, Liu Kang and Kung Lao fight through Outworld in an adventure-based beat ‘em up where nobody has plot armor. The game featured many, MANY Fatalities. Liu Kang and Kung Lao had a ton that they could use on cannon fodder. There was also a versus mode featuring characters from the first few games who had a couple of Fatalities each. Finally, there were boss battles featuring cinematic murder sequences.

3. The Tearing Down of Kintaro: The best sequence in the game is the introduction of Kintaro. After Shang Tsung is killed by the player in a coliseum, Shao Kahn muses over how to deal with you. The crowd chants Kintaro’s name and Kahn perks up. Even a cruel ruler like himself knows to give his people what they want every thousand years or so. With that, Kintaro marches down to face our heroes.

Once defeated, you’re able to tear off Kintaro’s lower arms. Then you remove Kintaro’s other two arms one at a time as a confused and pained Kintaro flails around. Once he’s completely armless, Kintaro bows down, all but defeated. The player grabs him by the head and tears it off. When you face Shao Kahn moments later, Kintaro’s head is available as a weapon.

2. Johnny Cage’s Crotch Destroyer: Since the first game, Johnny Cage has been known for his split punch. Despite it being his trademark, it never factored into his Fatalities. Then Shaolin Monks came along.

Johnny does a split and starts unloading punches into his opponent’s private area. He stops for a second to tip his sunglasses at the camera before unleashing more punches, turning his enemy’s pubic business into a speedbag. This culminates in his opponent’s pelvis exploding. Maybe they should have included this in the movies.

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1. Scorpion’s Judgment Day: At one point, you face Scorpion in the Netherrealm, where he’s practically a god. Surrounding the battleground is lava, plagued with damned souls out to tear apart anything that comes their way. As you outfight Scorpion, he backs up to a ledge and a few skeletons climb out to attack him. Scorpion shrugs them off.

The player runs over and kicks Scorpion off the platform and into the lava. More skeletons start to rise up and gang up on him. Scorpion momentarily escapes the situation by using his spear as a grappling hook. As Scorpion’s on his way to safety, the player kicks a corpse into him and knocks him back into the lava. Now he’s helpless as he’s grabbed from all sides and pulled under to be eternally tormented.

Before going under completely, Scorpion gives the player a thumbs up. It’s a Terminator 2 reference that comes out of nowhere, 14 years before the Terminator actually showed up in Mortal Kombat!

Joker's Fatality from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe


Midway’s last hurrah put Mortal Kombat’s classic fighters up against the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. On one hand, the game introduced what would become NetherRealm Studios’ story mode layout and even had some creative arcade mode endings that made the best of the crossover. On the other hand, this was years before Zack Snyder had Batman asking Superman “Do you bleed?” so Warner Bros. wasn’t too chill about its heroes being featured in a game about grisly murder.

With a Teen rating, the game had splashes of blood here and there, but it was also very tame in the Fatality department. No dismemberment. No gore. Superheroes couldn’t partake in Fatalities, but Heroic Brutalities, where the victim would twitch around to show that they were still alive. If someone was set on fire, it would turn their skin into a charred black and nothing more. If someone was blown up, there could be no remains outside of a clean skeleton.

In other words, coming up with a top three wasn’t easy. Even SNES Mortal Kombat’s finishers were more impressive than these.

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3. Joker’s Cards: Being a showman of a villain, Joker actually puts forth some charisma in his kills. In a variation of Reiko’s Throwing Stars Fatality from Mortal Kombat 4, Joker starts flicking razor-sharp playing cards at his victim. They all lodge themselves into the loser’s body, but the last one is sharp and fast enough to cut through their skull and hit the brain. As the opponent succumbs to the wounds, Joker gives a graceful bow.

2. Scorpion’s Trip to Hell: Scorpion opens up a portal to Hell. Jumping through it, he creates another portal beneath his opponent. The portal seems almost lava-like as it drags the opponent down to their screaming doom. Once the deed is done, a skeleton is spat out of the portal.

1. Joker’s Gun: Joker pulls out a gun, aims it at his opponent’s head, and pulls the trigger. A “BANG!” flag darts out and he completely loses his shit, while his opponent just stands there looking confused and slightly disappointed. Joker suddenly pulls out a real gun and shoots his victim in the head.

This one was leaked before the game’s release, but due to how graphic it was, they later ended up cropping it so you don’t see the victim getting shot. It’s still easily the best Fatality in the game and it would return in Mortal Kombat 9 as one of Shang Tsung’s Fatalities.

Noob Saibot's Fatality from Mortal Kombat 9


After the death of Midway, Mortal Kombat moved forward as a franchise in the hands of the WB-owned NetherRealm Studios, headed by Ed Boon, one of the series’ creators. The studio’s first installment went back to the franchise’s roots, a time-travel-based reboot that did a descriptive, albeit chaotic, retelling of the first three games. The game brings together everyone from the trilogy (except Motaro) as well as Quan Chi, Kenshi, Skarlet, and special guest Freddy Krueger.

The Fatalities here were a major step forward and picking only three was a challenge.

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3. Kung Lao’s Hat Trick: On paper, this one’s pretty basic. Kung Lao tosses his hat like a boomerang and it chops off his enemy’s head. After catching it, he uses the hat to cut the body in half down the middle and it proceeds to split apart. The best part is the slimy way the body splits open. It’s like there’s a bloody film connecting to each side, being pulled apart.

2. Sheeva’s Lend a Hand: Goro and Kintaro are always given variations of “grab an opponent and tear them apart.” Sheeva goes with something far more stylish. Grabbing onto her opponent’s body with her top hands, she uses her bottom hands to yank off their arms. She flips the arms so they’re hands-out, puts her top hands behind the back of her head, and starts punching her victim with their own fists. One such punch gets a slow-motion close-up because why the hell not at this point. Once the kill is complete, Sheeva celebrates by applauding…using the two severed arms.

1. Noob Saibot’s Make a Wish: This one is both the most graphic and the most painful to watch to the point that I’m somewhat surprised this didn’t earn the game an Adults Only rating. Noob Saibot brings in his shadow clone and they each grab one of the opponent’s legs. The two proceed to pull their victim apart, tearing the opponent in half from the crotch up. Not only does it look horrifying, but the character’s insides all fall to the floor.

Mileena's Fatality from Mortal Kombat X


Having said all there is to say about the original trilogy, NetherRealm Studios moved on to the next generation of fighters. The series jumped forward about 20 years, giving us martial arts offsprings and lots of middle-age crisis beards. While the game reestablished Shinnok as a top villain, it also put more focus on the strangeness of Outworld by giving us new and exciting warriors who were trying to keep order in that barbaric realm. The game also created a new version of Brutalities, where certain match-ending special moves would be treated as fatal under the right circumstances.

3. Quan Chi’s Mind Game: A regular version of this move would be messed up enough, but it’s the sleepwalking/mind-control that makes this one so grisly. Quan Chi uses his magic to summon a levitating sword and wills his opponent to walk in its direction with their mouth open. Without reacting in any way, the opponent keeps advancing, despite the sword slicing its way through their mouth and impaling their throat. Needing a big finish, Quan Chi levitates his victim so that the sword can slice them in half.

2. Mileena’s Tasty Treat: Weirdly enough, up until Mortal Kombat 11, Baraka’s never really used his giant, fang-filled face for anything other than talking. It’s always been Mileena’s thing to bite or eat people. While the earlier games played it up as something swift and rather cartoonish, she goes full-on savage in Mortal Kombat X.

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Mileena shoves her enemy over, pounces on them, and starts tearing their midsection open with her bare hands. It’s just guts flying all over the place. The victim tries to crawl away but eventually collapses and dies. Mileena pays them zero mind as she ravenously continues to tear them apart and feast on whatever pieces of intestinal meat she can get her hands on. It’s like Garfield eating lasagna, but directed by Eli Roth.

1. Cassie Cage’s Selfie: Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade’s lovechild is a loaded concept and God bless NetherRealm Studios for hitting the right notes with the highly-trained millennial killing machine who is good enough not to take everything so seriously. Since Mortal Kombat II, one of Johnny Cage’s trademarks has been his tendency to hand out signed photos of himself. It’s the perfect mix of ego, confidence, and insult.

How do you do that for the next generation? Simple. Cassie uses a baton to messily remove her opponent’s jaw. With said jaw hanging on by a thread, Cassie grabs the dying opponent and takes a selfie with her cellphone. To bring it to another level, the screen then pans out to reveal that she’s uploaded the Fatality pic onto social media. There are constant comments – some of which by fellow kombatants (Sonya angrily wonders why Cassie had friended Kano) – scrolling in response and certain newsfeed headlines and ads plastered on the sides that act as Easter eggs.

Johnny Cage's Fatality from Mortal Kombat 11


The plot of the latest game is that Satan’s mom is really mad about her son getting snuffed out, so she messes with time a bunch in order to create another reboot. Mainly, this sequel is an excuse to have Mortal Kombat II-era characters interact with their modern selves.

As for the Fatalities, they all now tie into the dramatic winpose style introduced in the Injustice games. Every Fatality is drawn out a bit, culminating in an impactful and usually splatter-filled final image, an in-your-face freeze frame. Well, not quite freeze frame. Just very, very, very slow. It’s a neat effect.

3. Terminator’s Target Terminated: Quick aside, there’s a Fatality in the game where Cassie Cage runs over and kicks her opponent so hard in the crotch that their skeleton bursts out of their skin. Doing this to the Terminator is absolutely hilarious.

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Anyway, one of Terminator’s kills has him use his shotgun to blow off his opponent’s shins. Rather than finish them off himself, he activates a time sphere and sends them off to his future. Suddenly in a dystopian warzone, the opponent is too wounded to get their bearings and is easily shot to death by nearby Terminator exoskeletons.

2. D’Vorah’s New Species: This is it. Mortal Kombat body horror has hit its absolute peak. D’Vorah, whose character is essentially “annoying bug queen from your nightmares,” stabs her prey in the shoulders with her giant bug legs and pulls them towards her. She then starts puking into their mouths and you can see that there’s a lot of maggot-like larvae mixed in there. D’Vorah shoves her enemy onto the ground, where they immediately start convulsing.

Soon, four giant spider legs burst out of the loser’s torso. As the legs touch the ground, the torso is separated from the character’s legs and this creature-within-a-corpse starts crawling forward. Finally, the bug’s head appears in the place of the character’s head, causing their skull to split open from the inside. Anyway, let’s never speak of this again!

1. Johnny Cage’s Who Hired This Guy?: Back in the first Mortal Kombat, there was a weird glitch/code for Johnny Cage’s Fatality where instead of just uppercutting his opponent’s head clean off, he’d perform three uppercuts and three heads would pop off, one at a time. This bit was brought back in Mortal Kombat II for the hell of it. Fun as it is, it doesn’t really make sense.

Mortal Kombat 11 riffs on this in a way that breaks the fourth wall. He goes for the uppercut and it knocks his opponent’s jaw off. Annoyed, Johnny steps away while a boom mic pops into view and you hear a woman cut the scene for a reset.

The second time, Johnny uppercuts his opponent, but the head doesn’t so much pop off as it tears halfway, turning the victim into a Pez dispenser. Johnny starts to lose his cool, screaming, “Who hired this guy? What the fuck?!”

The third time, he uppercuts the head off, but the head is stuck over his fist, like a glove. Fed up, he throws the head into the camera, cracking the lens. He gives the camera the middle finger.

And that’s how you make sense of a triple decapitation uppercut as performed by a B-movie star. You make it one of the best Fatalities ever.