The Mortal Kombat series has no shortage of incredible and iconic characters. So much so it can be impossible to narrow down who is the best, incorporating the story, the design, relevancy, and gameplay. Let’s try to break down which characters from this beloved series deserve the top 5 spots.
Noob Saibot aka Bi Han, the original Sub Zero from the first Mortal Kombat game. After suffering a fatal defeat at the hands of Scorpion Bi Han was reborn as Noob Saibot giving him the ability to control and manipulate darkness and the shadows. Allowing Noob to summon a shadow clone, construct weapons, and even teleport. The great cyromancer turned wraith has managed to keep a strong presence in the games, first starting as a hidden character in Mortal Kombat 2 and consistently evolving in each appearance he has had in the series. Even when Noob manages to not make it into the roster the fan base without fail will let the developers at NetherRealm studios know who is a top and highly requested contender for DLC.
Johnny Cage is one of the OGs of the Mortal Kombat games also having a hidden history to the creation of the franchise. Mortal Kombat originally started as a Bloodsport movie tie-in game, the licensed had fallen through causing the developers to revamp the game. Johnny was one of the characters inspired by the actor who starred in the Bloodsport film Jean-Claude Van Damme. Johnny Cage has stayed a staple character not only from his cool and cocky personality, but also from his wild moveset which incorporates green energy, shadow kicks, and the nut punch. It truly is hard to imagine a Mortal Kombat game without the famous actor Johnny Cage pulling out a parry of his shades before brutally pulling off a Fatality.
The protagonist of the Mortal Kombat series Liu Kang, is the champion/chosen one of the Mortal Kombat tournament. Starting a shaolin warrior that was picked by Raiden to compete in the tournament to protect earth realm Lui kang has overgone many changes in his character. One point being a zombie, at another becoming a primary villain to now becoming a Demi-god and the new protector of Earth realm. Even with such a rapid change and growth of Liu Kang as a character he will always manage to throw out a fire ball alongside a bicycle kick for the win.
Grandmaster and Cryomancer of the Lin Kuei, Sub Zero is one of the classic ninjas of Mortal Kombat. He starts off as Bi Han the cold-hearted assassin who was killed by Scorpion in the first Mortal Kombat tournament. Bi Han would later find himself resurrected and turned into Noob Siabot by the sorcerer Quan Chi. After Bi Hans’s death his younger brother Kuia Liang would take his place as the new Sub Zero and seek vengeance against Scorpion. Years would go by and Sub Zero would grow and rebuild the Lin Kuei from the cyber initiative, become its new grandmaster, adopt an student named Frost, and even reconceal with Scorpion and his clan the Shirai Ryu. With years of great developments and continues to be one of the funniest characters to play in every entry. Sub Zero has shown that he is more than worthy to take a spot on this list.
Hanzo Hasashi aka Scorpion is the most famous Mortal Kombat character. When you hear the name Mortal Kombat this guy’s face along side the saying “get over here” is probably what you imagine. Consistently proving himself to be a fun character with his utilization of hell fire and his classic spear. Scorpion has been on both sides of the morality chart, being a villain and servant of Quan Chia and now more recently a Grandmaster to the Shirai Ryu and a protector of EarthRealm. Even more recent in the latest game of Mortal Kombat 1 Scorpion has gained a new identity as Kuia Liang, the younger brother of the first Sub Zero Bi Han and also the former Sub Zero of the original timeline. With such a rich history in the franchise Scorpion has and will continue to have a large presence in Mortal Kombat and I feel more than deserves to be at the top of this list.