From day one, Sub-Zero has been my guy. He’s the only one that’s ever taken me to defeating Shang Tsung in MKI. In MKII, I got the exact timing down that I could “Freeze, Uppercut. Repeat” my opponents the whole time. Every game, they seem to make Sub-Zero a more legitimate and well-rounded player each game. They also have made him a great defensive player, and I have made grown angry using Sub’s Ice Clone move. He’s not as flashy of a player as Scorpion, but he’s the yin to Scorpion’s yang, offering a smoother, more well-balanced option than the hell-spawn.
Here’s a little known secret: my mom used to whoop my ass at Mortal Kombat II using Scorpion. Sure, I was 6-7 years old, but it still stings. From then on, I vowed to exact revenge on my mom. I’m actually planning to invite her over and destroy her at MKX. As a character, I’ve enjoyed everything about Scorpion. The specials are diverse enough to catch a character in any situation, especially the Backflip Kick (please make a comeback!). He’s ascended to franchise mascot this game, taking the spotlight from Sub-Zero.
He’s definitely taken on more of the necromancer look since his MK3 debut, but his MK: Deception incarnation was my favorite. He was this kind of half-mummy, half-ninja guy and he had similar telekinetic powers to Kenshi, but you could string them together as combos a lot better. As far as the ninja aspect of it went, he was sort of the replacement for Reptile in the new games, who underwent a transformation into some kind of lizard guy after MK4. He’s often referred to as one of the easiest characters in the game to learn.
4.) Kung Lao
Ah, Liu Kang’s less douchy counter-part. The Shaolin Monk has such flavor; he was easily my favorite addition to MK2. Kung Lao was also the first character I ever did a Fatality with. His quick, multi-hit combos made him look really awesome, even if they don’t doll out that much damage, and his Spinning Shield move was great in a pinch when you needed a breather from an oncoming attack. Plus, when it comes down to the fate of the Earthrealm, he’s the only one I really trust to take it all.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw Kenshi was the Blind N**** Samurai from The Boondocks. From then on, it didn’t really matter what his moves were; I was going to love Kenshi, and play as him A LOT. Deadly Alliance also introduced weapon fighting stances, and Kenshi’s sword combos were super effective. His telekinetic moves were also pretty sick, ensuring that opponents were not safe at a close or far distance. It brings me joy that Kenshi gets a good hand in the story mode in MKX, because he is one BAMF.
6.) Smoke (Human)
MK9‘s retcon version of Smoke is my favorite iteration of him yet. I enjoyed playing with him as a cyborg, too, but his movements seemed so smooth in the last game. Maybe I’m just partial to guys with white hair, but the swiftness that Smoke has in MK9 makes him the most ninja-iest out of all the ninjas.I was immediately able to pick him up and use him well, and felt even better once I got some practice in. Oh, and the dude goes invisible, which is always a pain in the ass for opponents. He’s assuredly the cheapest character in MK9.
Call me old fashioned, but when I choose a favorite character, there’s a certain level of commitment I expect back from them. Raiden, along with Sub-Zero and Scorpion, are the only three players to appear in every single iteration of the game. It’s pretty cool. His ad-libs in the original generation of games are the best – primal jibberish or hidden messages? You be the judge. They’ve made his character a little bulkier in recent games, but he’s still got the Torpedo.
8.) Noob Saibot
Originating from the backwards spelling of the co-creators last names (Ed Boon and John Tobias), Noob is more of happy accident than a well-thought out character. He’s another one of those characters that is good from both near and far in the arena, and once you master his special moves, can frustrate the crap out of anybody you play against. There are times when you play against Noob that you feel you are actually fighting multiple characters at once. Oh, and that “Make A Wish” Fatality… classic.
9.) Cyber Sub-Zero
It made me so sad to see Sub-Zero turn into a cyborg in MK9… until I got to use him! Cyborgs in the game are so much fun, and even more so when I got to use the robo version of my favorite character. It makes me wish there was a game called Rock Em Sock Em Cyborgs and it was just cyborg versions of all the MK characters…. Well, the cool ones. Anyway, Cyborg Sub-Zero was pretty slick, and the robotic variations to his specials were sweet. End of story.
This cyborg has game. He’s one of the more creative characters in the game, relying on various weaponry – aside from just the explosives that Sektor has. He also fights more like the ninja characters than Sektor does. Once we got to see his more human side in MK9, I was on board. Real life Cyrax had the same moves as the cyborg, meaning that this guy was like a deadly Inspector Gadget.
Check the next page for Robert’s picks.