During the 2023 Summer Game Fest, we got our first look at Mortal Kombat 1 and what to expect. As it turns out, it could very well give Street Fighter 6 a run for its money as the best fighting game for this year.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to watch it first before continuing. There was a good chunk of information we got during the Summer Game Fest, and we will be breaking down what information we got from it. What do we have to look forward to with Mortal Kombat 1? Let’s find out.

When Does Mortal Kombat 1 Release?

Mortal Kombat 1 is available September 19, 2023 on PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and on the Xbox Series X/S.

Is Mortal Kombat 1 a Sequel?

No. Mortal Kombat 1 is a soft reboot of the popular 30-year old series.

Is There a Trailer?

Yes! Check out the Mortal Kombat 1 trailer here:

Roster: Playable/Kameo Fighters

The biggest question about the roster for Mortal Kombat 1 was how exactly the roster was going to look. While we did get a good idea of who to expect (Kung Lao, Raiden, Fire God Liu Kang, Kitana, Milenna, and the future DLC fighter Shang Tsung), we couldn’t say for sure who else would be in a playable state and who would be relegated as being a backup fighter known as a Kameo Fighter. During the gameplay reveal, we got to see a couple of new fighters and a couple who (at the moment of this reveal) is currently acting as backup.

Those of you who were bummed to see Kenshi turn into a zombified corpse in Mortal Kombat 11 will be happy to know that he does make his return as a playable fighter.

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Mortal Kombat 1 shown off with Kenshi attacking Johnny Cage in hsi own home.

Sometimes, pictures speak more words than one can write out. Just beautiful.

While we didn’t see many psychic moves from him, we do see how he does fight with his sword drawn and alongside a spirit swordsman. This could very well lead to some fun combo routes with him (although we’ll have to wait and see what else he can do). We did also see the return of Johnny Cage and his very own stage that looks to be set in Johnny’s house. Not much to say about Johnny, but his house (and the other stages we saw) looks absolutely incredible. You can tell there was just as much time in making each location special alongside the fighters themselves.

Kameos don’t fully debunk a character’s chances of being playable… yet.

After watching Johnny and Kenshi fight, we got to see how the Kameo Fighters will work as we see Jax, Sonya, and Kano in action alongside Goro and Stryker. We can see how the Kameo Fighters essentially act just like an assist would in any fighting game where they can come in to attack the opponent, help extend combos or even bail you out of a bad situation. Another thing to note is how these three do look to have their original outfits from earlier titles. As Ed put it, Kameo Fighters are a nod to earlier Mortal Kombat titles.

While it might seem like being a Kameo Fighter might punch someone’s ticket into not being playable, we can’t rule this out entirely yet; even Ed Boon confirmed during the interview you could effectively play Sub-Zero teaming up with Sub-Zero (he even slipped in Scorpion during that moment too. Very sneaky of you, Ed). Mind you, Goro and Stryker most likely are not playable. However, during the trailer, we do see characters like Kung Lao and Sub-Zero come in to help out too. The two of them don’t look like their Mortal Kombat 1 counterparts, but it does mean a couple of the characters could very well be both Kameos and Playable (but not all of them).

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Besides the Kameos helping out in fights, they also assist in X-Ray moves and even have their own fatalities. In a way, they are almost like an extension of your playable characters and can be just as vital as the character you choose to fight with. Kameos will have their own meter and separate from what playable characters will use.

Speaking of Roster…

While Geoff was interviewing Ed Boon on stage, we also got our first look at the character selection screen for both playable fighters and Kameo Fighters. While the demo doesn’t show the full cast yet, we do have a good idea of who to expect. As of right now, we can speculate the following:


  • Kung Lao
  • Raiden
  • Fire God Liu Kang
  • Kitana
  • Milenna
  • Johnny Cage
  • Kenshi
  • Shang Tsung (DLC)


  • Sonya Blade
  • Kano
  • Jax
  • Goro
  • Stryker
  • Kung Lao
  • Sub-Zero
  • Scorpion
Mortal Kombat 1 shown off at Summer Game Fest

So as you can see for selectable fighters, we are looking at a possible launch roster of about 24 characters. This would mean that (if we don’t count the sorcerer or any other additional Downloadable Characters) we have another 17 unannounced fighters ready and waiting. Meanwhile, for Kameo Fighters, we have a roster of 16 (which means we have another possible eight Kameos to toss in).

And yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme will be a skin for Johnny Cage (and will be voicing his own skin). We didn’t get the chance to see it, but Ed did confirm Van Damme’s inclusion into the game after seemingly 30 years of trying to get him to make some kind of appearance in Mortal Kombat. If you don’t know the history: Mortal Kombat was supposed to be a Bloodsport game, but after things fell through the game got a rework in what we know it to be today.

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There isn’t much else to share at the moment, but we will get more information on Mortal Kombat 1 as we approach the release of the game.

What do you think?

Are you excited about Mortal Kombat 1? Which characters do you hope will make a return either as playable or a Kameo Fighter? And what else do you expect to see before the release? Leave your thoughts down in the comments and follow us here at Strangely Awesome for more on Mortal Kombat 1 and other things happening in the gaming world.

Mortal Kombat 1 will release on September 19 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch

Michael Solseth
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