Mortal Kombat 1 tier list – the top 10 fighters

Two characters are about to fight in Mortal Kombat 1

Two characters are about to fight in Mortal Kombat 1

Multiplayer games are rarely perfectly balanced, and after any major patch, some characters or weapons will always outperform others. Nevertheless, below we’ll provide you with a Mortal Kombat 1 tier list and tell you about the top 10 fighters in the game.

We will take a look at how they are doing in the newest game but also judge them on the basis of their performance in previous games as well. Who is most likely to be the best?

By the way, if you want to learn about the DLC characters in Mortal Kombat 1, check out our article where we listed them. Also, you can read our guide about Mortal Kombat 1 Steam Deck performance.

Mortal Kombat 1 tier list

Mortal Kombat 1 works as a reboot of this famous franchise, so some things will be new even for old fans. The world is a bit different and some characters will change their roles. So, let’s take a look at the top 10 fighters from MK1.


Mortal Kombat 1: Liu Kang
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1. Liu Kang

Liu Kang is the first character on this list and is one of the most iconic in this franchise. He is a real gangster and the champion of the Mortal Kombat tournament. Present in almost every Mortal Kombat game, Liu Kang is a very strong character with many recognizable moves.

In MK11, he was one of the strongest characters and also performed great in both MK9 and MK10. He is able to shoot fire projectiles, which gives him some zoning options. Also, he can perform different charge attacks that move him forward. In general, he can put a lot of pressure on the opponent and adapt to different situations.

According to the plot, he now plays the role of Raiden. Liu Kang is a god of fire who seems to be the new mentor of the Earthrealm warriors.

2. Sub-Zero

The blue ninja is another legend of Mortal Kombat. Sub-Zero was not as powerful as Liu Kang in most previous MK games due to his slow moves and specials. However, in MK11, he was really strong and could compete even with top-tier characters.

His main strength lies in his ability to freeze his enemies in different ways. This allows him to punish foes for any mistake they make. Also, Sub-Zero is very mobile due to his slide ability and potentially has a good defense if the developers give him back his ice clones.

Sub-Zero’s story seems interesting now, as he is more aggressive than usual. Perhaps he will become a villain or a more morally gray character.

3. Scorpion

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the fan-favorite Scorpion! The yellow ninja does the same things in the new game. He can teleport, throw fire, and make the iconic “Get over here!” move.

He’s always been a strong character with a huge problem that can’t be solved by balancing. Scorpion is so popular that everyone knows how to play against him. His moves are cool and iconic, but they are quite predictable. So, players quickly learn to react to Scorpion’s arsenal and punish him for different mistakes.

As for the plot, it’s a bit weird and extraordinary. Previously, the Scorpion clan was known as the main rival of Lin Kuei, the Sub-Zero clan. In MK10 and MK11, they became more of an ally. However, in the new universe, Scorpion is the brother of Sub-Zero and a member of Lin Kuei.


Mortal Kombat 1: Raiden
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4. Raiden

Raiden has always been one of the most important characters in the MK universe and he takes on a new role in Mortal Kombat 1. Now he is a young and talented warrior who is going to fight for the future of Earthrealm. So, in the current world, Liu Kang is the mentor and Raiden is the champion.

In terms of gameplay, Raiden is pretty much the same character. He is able to perform different lightning strikes. So, those who liked to play him in MK11 and other MK games will most likely be able to use his arsenal in the same way.

5. Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung is the first villain of the MK series who was the final boss in the very first game. Now he is available as a playable character with lots of cool features. He can perform different magic attacks and is very good at zoning.

However, the most important feature is his ability to turn into an enemy character. This makes Shang Tsung the most versatile character in the game, and he is very flexible against any opponent.

In Mortal Kombat 1, he seems to be the main antagonist again. At least, that's how he's portrayed in the game's trailers.

6. Johnny Cage

Our favorite action movie actor will be alive and kicking in Mortal Kombat 1. His arsenal is basically the same and he will be one of the fastest characters in the game.

After all, Johnny has one of the most aggressive fighting styles in the series and is always good at dealing damage with his punches. Also, he should be able to close the gap between himself and his opponent very quickly.

Based on the information revealed, he will once again be a selfish celebrity who fights for his fame. It's nice to see Johnny like this after his more humble version from MK10 and MK11.


Mortal Kombat 1: Kitana
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7. Kitana

It seems that Kitana is no longer the heir to the throne of the Outworld, but a bodyguard or an assassin protecting Mileena. She is able to throw her fans and overall has good zoning and mobility.

With her arsenal, you will be able to perform many beautiful and graceful combos. In general, Kitana looks like a well-balanced character, able to deal with her opponent at any distance.

8. Mileena

Mileena is the heir to the Outworld throne and Kitana’s older sister. Her moveset is also balanced and consists of good ranged and melee specials. She can respond to any threat and deal with different situations. However, her performance in the previous game was a little mediocre, as she had many bad matchups.

The current Milina is not a clone of Kitana, but a real person, sick with some kind of Tarkatan disease. Perhaps all Tarkatans are now just sick people, and not half-demons, as in previous games.

9. Kung Lao

Kung Lao is a fan-favorite Shaolin fighter and one of Liu Kang’s closest friends. His hat is still a sharp blade which he uses to perform different special moves.

The arsenal of this character has always been amazing, and Kung Lao is one of the fastest and most aggressive fighters in the entire franchise. It seems that he hasn’t lost his main features in Mortal Kombat 1 and will still be able to throw his hat, teleport, and do other things.

10. Kenshi

Kenshi is the only character on this list that was not included in MK11. However, his new features seem to be really strong and he will most likely be a force to be reckoned with.

Now Kenshi is able to summon a samurai spirit that moves at the same time as Kenshi and performs its own attacks. So, you will be able to perform amazing combos with this special move and become a real threat to your opponent at any distance.

These are some of the best characters in Mortal Kombat 1 and we can't wait to see how they perform. Hopefully, the rest of the fighters will not let us down, and we will get a decent and balanced roster. And while you are still here, feel free to check out our list of the best weapons in Baldur's Gate 3.

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