Mortal Kombat X is one of the best Mortal Kombat games. Hands down, it's more profound, more mechanically rich, and more fully featured than any of the previous nine games. Furthermore, developer NetherRealm Studios has taken several chances by bringing brand new characters to the MK roster and enjoyable, different versions to returning ones.
Each of these chances pays off to varying degrees, but they also expose some of the franchise's flaws. Overall, Mortal Kombat X is a fantastic fighter and the most enjoyable Mortal Kombat game I've ever played.
Introduction to Mortal Kombat XL
The first thing MKX does to make itself feel new and exciting to both old series fans and casual fighters is to shuffle the lineup. Before talking about DLC, MKX has a decent 24 combatants. A staggering one-third of those are genuine new characters rather than palette swaps or altered variant versions of previous ones. Few fighting games with such an extensive roster of fan favorites have cleaned the house thoroughly, and MKX is all the better. Sure, I have a long history with people like Kabal and Smoke. Still, newcomers like Takeda and Kung Jin add so much variety to the table in gameplay that it's difficult to be sorry about their departure.
Characters of Mortal Kombat XL
This is how the game keeps you hooked: you may find Raiden's thunderous techniques appealing, but upon mastering his main set of maneuvers, discover that you prefer his teleportation attack style over his lightning trap alternative. And it doesn't end there: new modes such as the Living Towers are all about variety, taking a traditional fighter's core structure and imbuing it with a near-limitless number of modifiers. You may, for example, end up fighting in slow-motion or at super-speed – with your old favorite Stryker peppering the stage with grenades.
It's no doubt a tournament players' idea of hell, but Testing Your Luck against constantly rotating rule types is undeniably entertaining – and, of course, the standard settings are still very much present and correct, so it's not like you have to indulge in the slathered on silliness.
Gameplay of Mortal Kombat XL
There's much to get your teeth into here. Each character features a plethora of strikes and combo chains that serve various functions, ranging from high/low mixups to safe block strings and juggling openers. X-Rays, the MK version of super moves, has been returned to be more valuable for the resources required to perform them.
Throws may now be canceled and connected into entire combos, providing another essential method to spend a meter. This adds to the richness of resource management decisions. Most significantly, selecting between three versions of each character means that there will be more matchup-specific information to learn since playing against Sonya's martial arts-focused Special Forces variation will not prepare you for the Oki setups she can construct with her Demolitions.