Games have changed over the years. You buy a game, then you need to buy DLC and expansions to play that game, or at least to get the most out of it. However, after some time, you’ll normally be able to pick up a Game of the Year edition that has it all included, but the likes of spoilers will probably hit you before then. This is kind of what happened with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition.
Whilst you won’t get spoilers as such, with most of the content being for new fighters, there was the Aftermath expansion adding a new story to the mix as well. However, rather than buying season passes or expansions separately, you can now get it all in one tasty bundle, the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition. And best of all, if you don’t have the new-gen consoles yet, you can download the previous-gen version and upgrade for free when you finally manage to get hold of those elusive consoles.
But what does the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition include? Well, you get Kombat Packs 1 and 2, which include a bunch of new characters both from the Mortal Kombat universe like Nightwolf and outside of it with fighters such as Robocop and The Joker. On top of that, you also get, as mentioned above, the Aftermath expansion introducing an all-new cinematic story following on from the game’s original plot, as well as even more characters to fight with. In total, that gives you two cinematic stories, 37 playable characters and all features and modes introduced throughout the core game and all the extras.
But enough about what you get, how does the game play? Well, it’s fantastic. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is one of the most enjoyable fighting games I’ve played in years. The detail that goes into it, the list of different modes available, the smoothness of the gameplay itself, it all just works together in sweet harmony.
In terms of the detail, I thought it looked great when I played it back at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, and even more so following its release when I played it on the Xbox One. But playing it in 4K the game looks superb, and it runs brilliantly too. No lagging, no blurring of motion, no dark patches here and there, the PS5 version, in part thanks to the new-gen technology makes the game run extremely well.
But it’s the finer details that really do it. Like when you land a severe blow and everything slows down, zooming into the section you’ve hit, showing you their ribs cracking, the jaw being smashed amongst other gory scenes. And gory doesn’t really do it justice, as Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is the most brutal fighting game I’ve checked out. And these small scenes in fights only cover the tip of the iceberg, as once you hear the famous FINISH HER/HIM words, many of the fatalities, brutalities and so on to finish your fights introduce a whole new level of butchery.
Once you get over the excitement of how great Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition looks, you’ll be able to jump into the two stories and appreciate how well that has been put together. It is just a case for you to fight repeatedly, but with cinematic cutscenes in between piecing the reasons for each fight together. And a lot of detail has been put here too, giving background to many of the game’s stages. There were two issues though, although both minor.
Firstly, whilst installing the game, it gives you access to limited features so you can begin to enjoy it before it is all installed. With games like Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition and many sports titles, this means you get to play your typical standard versus modes and tutorials, to allow you to get to grips with the game. Then as more features become unlocked, you’ll be able to access them. However, you get access to the story mode before it’s actually ready. It just threw me into fight after fight, and then randomly once finished installing, then I got the cutscenes, and realised I had to start again.
The story was pretty decent though, maybe a little confusing at times if you haven’t followed Mortal Kombat lore for some time, but it was detailed and enjoyable to play through. And that goes for both the base game story, and the Aftermath expansion. My only other quarrel though, was that some of the cutscenes were a little long. I know they’re cinmatic, but it felt like I’d paid to be in a cinema to see some of them. But, they were enjoyable to watch, and they did get all the information across you needed to follow the plots. So whilst it may be a small gripe, it’s one you can forgive.
The gameplay is much more than some pretty images though. Each character in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition has their own move sets, and each character can be customised to mould their move sets to your fighting style. A nice feature that will really suit those looking to get into the competitive scene. And what I liked most, is gone are the days with so many complicated button combinations I remember. And now, even I can pull off some of the fatalities.
There are still a few that you’ll need to practice and get used to, but they’re much easier to master. Making the game a lot more enjoyable. Although I still button bash now and again if things aren’t going my way.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition overall thoughts
Like I said toward the start of my review, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is the best fighting game I’ve played in years. The developers commitment to the game’s quality in terms of graphics and gameplay is to be commended. From the smaller details to the most brutal of finishers, it’s such a well-rounded title and it’s refreshing to see the game not hold back, maximising the gore in the game, instead of toning it down for more youthful audiences. If you’re a fan of the genre, it’s definitely a title worth picking up. Especially with all the extra content included.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is developed by NetherRealm Studios and Shiver Entertainment and is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and the Series S/X, and is soon to be available on Google Stadia. You can find out more about the game on the official website HERE, and find more of our game reviews HERE.