Damien Lucas updates his review of Mortal Kombat 11 and adds a fresh take on how the Ultimate version fares on PS5.
I’ve been playing Mortal Kombat games for as long as I can remember. 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 keep NetherRealm Studios’ famously gory franchise on an upward trend?
The short answer is yes. And then some.
Mortal Kombat 11 on PS5: Expertly woven story mode
I haven’t got the time, space or patience to take you through the story arc of Mortal Kombat to present day. However, the brilliant story mode is so expertly woven and polished, anyone can get involved.
That goes whether you’re an MK newbie or hardcore fanboy since the original game came out in 1992.
For those who have – like me – been playing MK since the beginning you’ll know it was renowned for its graphics, realism, blood, guts, gore and fatalities.
Street Fighter was where you went for fluidity and class-leading game play.
Over the years, however, NetherRealm has seriously dug down into the heart of the game’s mechanics. So much so that on MK11 we are presented with an unrivalled, slick fighting system that’s easy for beginners to pick up and play while offering great depth to the hardcore element.
And, as ever, it’s 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. It centres 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 the fundamentals and more advanced elements.
While the cinematic story mode took up most of my playing time, 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.
Towers Of Time
The unpredictable nature of the towers – thanks to modifiers that affect levels and fights – means Towers Of Time provides a consuming channel for the single player long after you’ve completed the story mode.
To be honest, I’m struggling to find anything negative to say about MK11. If I had to choose one, perhaps the grind involved in getting rewards from the Krypt? But then I’m merely nit-picking.
This is not only one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Mortal Kombat of all time it’s also one of the greatest fighting games of all time. A triumph.
Mortal Kombat 11 PS5 review: It’s got Rambo!
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 optimised 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 three 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 home because of 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. This leads to amazingly enhanced visuals.
Loading in MK11 was a bit of a pain on PS4. However, the beast that’s PS5 means those frustrations are dead and buried.
There’s not only cross-gen compatibility when you have the PS5 version – handy when half the world is desperately trying to get a PS5 and you’re looking for people to play with – but also cross-platform too.
All the key factors at the heart of what makes MK11 so darn good remain or are improved. The fighting system is still accessible, deep and exciting to 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. These range from the basics to the most advanced elements of play.
Towers Of Time is more addictive than ever and a patch has been released to fix the bugginess some reported.
Grind in the Krypt is still my major bugbear but that’s a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things.
One thing the PS5 version shows us is MK is here to stay on next-gen. There’s plenty of life in this video game giant yet.
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