This is our previously published review of Mortal Kombat 11 updated with a fresh take on how the ultimate version fares on PS5
Immortal Kombat that stands test of time and a leap into the next generation of gamingI have been playing Mortal Kombat games for as long as I can remember and the quality has really ramped up in recent years.
Mortal Kombat X (10) was one of the greatest fighting games of all time so could MK11 really keep NetherRealm Studios’ famously gory franchise on an upward trend?
The short answer is - yes. And then some.
Thrilling to play and exciting to watch
I simply have not got the time, space or the patience to take you through the story arc of Mortal Kombat to present day but the brilliant story mode is so expertly woven and polished that anyone can get involved whether an MK newbie or hardcore fanboy since the original game back in 1992.
For those who have - like me - been playing MK since the beginning you will know that traditionally it was renowned for its graphics, realism, blood, guts, gore and fatalities.
Street Fighter was where you went for fluidity and class-leading gameplay.
Over the years, though, NetherRealm has seriously dug down into the heart of the game’s mechanics, so much so that by now on MK11 we are presented with an unrivalled, slick fighting system that is both easy for beginners to pick up and play while also offering great depth to the hardcore element.
And as ever it is thrilling to play and just as exciting to watch no matter the skill level.
The cinematic story mode has a blockbuster feel and for me is undoubtedly the crowning achievement in MK11. The previous story modes were excellent but MK11 takes it up another notch centered around new villain of the piece Kronika who is bending time to cause chaos.
The roster is, as ever, amazing. There are 25 playable characters at launch, two of them initially locked, and a host of new faces alongside some fight game royalty.
The superb tutorials - as is the case in the excellent Injustice games - take you through both the fundamentals and more advanced elements.
While the cinematic story mode took up most of my playing time before writing this review I must also mention the addictive Towers Of Time. This is a more substantial, developed version of the time ladders seen in other NetherRealm games. The unpredictable nature of the Towers - thanks to the modifiers which impact various levels and fights - mean Towers of Time provides a consuming channel for the single player long after you have completed story mode.
To be honest I am struggling for anything negative to say about MK11 besides perhaps the grind involved in the rewards from the Krypt (nitpicking).
This truly is not only one of the greatest - if not the greatest - Mortal Kombat of all time but one of the greatest fighting games of all time. A triumph.
In line with the launch of next gen console gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X earlier this month, NetherRealm patched Mortal Kombat 11 adding optimized technical upgrades.
Kombat Pack 2, along with all previous downloadable content, is included as part of the game's enhanced Ultimate Edition re-release. There are 3 characters added, Mileena, Rain and... wait for it... RAMBO!And Rambo is even authentically voice-acted by Sly Stallone who apparently recorded the dialogue at from home due to the pandemic.
PS5 gives MK11 more than just a lick of paint.This feels next generation in every way and a noticeable upgrade on the PS4 version.
Your eyes are in for a treat because MK11 is now running in 4K Dynamic Resolution on PS5 meaning truly enhanced visuals.
Loading was a bit of a pain in MK11 on PS4 but the beast that is PS5 means those frustrations are no more.
There is not only cross-gen compatibility when you have the PS5 version (handy when half the world is still desperately trying to get a PS5 and you’re looking for people to play with) but also cross-platform too.
All of the key factors at the heart of what makes MK11 so damn good remain or are improved. The fighting system is still accessible, deep, and exciting to both watch and enjoy at all skill levels.
The new characters are fantastic and only add to the stellar roster.
Those who are new to the game can call on brilliant genre-leading tutorials from the basics to the most advanced elements of play.
Towers Of Time are more addictive than ever and a patch has been released to fix bugginess that was being reported by some.
Gring in the Krypt is still my major bug bear but that is a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things.
One thing the PS5 version shows us is that MK is here to stay on next gen and there’s plenty of life in this video game giant yet.