When it comes to fighting games, I tend to gravitate towards older staples such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, with Mortal Kombat 9 being among my favourite of the newer iterations of the series. My time with Mortal kombat 11 however, was limited to the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Despite its technical shortcomings when compared to other versions of the game, the game still felt fun to play and was a huge step up from the last time a console MK was available portably (MK 9 on Vita).
With the release of next-gen consoles, I wanted to check out how an already well-polished game would translate on to new hardware, and I’m happy to report that Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate lives up to its moniker on the PlayStation 5.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate features all of the base content found in the 2019 release, including all of the DLC present since release, including all of the characters from its Kombat Pass and the follow-up single-player campaign, Aftermath that expands the already narrative-heavy base game story. For those who may be playing the game for the first time, the base story in Mortal Kombat 11 introduces the character Kronika whom the name somewhat suggests, can control time. This leads into typical Mortal Kombat kraziness with the added benefit of time-travelling warriors, which is an excuse for the game to reintroduce dead and classic fighters up against newcomers and variants of their past selves.
Like Injustice and past entries into the Mortal Kombat series of games, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate has a rather deep story mode, fully-fleshed out (and torn) with well-animated cutscenes that look gorgeous in HDR and beautifully and seamlessly transition into actual bouts. The story in the game may not be the definition of nuanced and thought-provoking writing but realistically Mortal Kombat has always been more about its over the top action and cornball charm, on top, of course, the great gameplay.
The fighting mechanics itself remain largely unchanged from Mortal Kombat X, with the addition of Fatal and Krushing Blows, amongst other small changes. Fatal Blows like the X-ray moves found in MK9 and X, deliver devasting damage but can only be triggered when the player’s HP drops to around the 30% threshold, they can also be used once per match , making them a great last-ditch effort in securing a win.
Krushing Blows, again, similar to the X-Ray attacks are small cinematic attacks that deal more damage than a regular move and can be activated if certain conditions are met, such as countering at the right time or if the opponent messes up their timing with a block. Stage hazards also spice up each match, with characters being able to trigger and interact with objects in said stages, giving each level its own unique flair that goes beyond merely looking good.
In terms of PlayStation 5 upgrades, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate delivers a razor-sharp 4k image, with brief loading times thanks to the power of the new SSD in addition to a consistent and locked high framerate, making it the ideal choice for competitive play outside of perhaps the PC. Like the Switch version of MK11, thanks to the Dualsense controller, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate feels excellent, with each attack and blow accompanied by a satisfying rumble that helps bring the game to life.