Mortal Kombat 11
In the latest instalment of Mortal Kombat, MK11, you can fight in the avatar of Johnny Cage — a Hollywood megastar-turned-superhero and one of the first characters of the game — against his younger version from the past and eventually break his body into two for a ventriloquial finish. Or you can play as Raiden, an equivalent of Thor, and rip apart bodies by electrocution.
MK11 may not look very different from the MKX, released in 2015, but NetherRealm Studios has employed major tweaks to its old fighting formula and delivered a refreshing game that is slow-paced and methodical.
Mortal Kombat’s defining quality among 2D fighters has been its combat controls — two punch buttons, two kick buttons and a block button. This is actually more unique than it sounds. While other 2D fighters typically have combinations of light, medium and heavy attacks — with weaker attacks converting into stronger attacks — the Mortal Kombat series has no such concept. Instead, it employs something called “dial-a-combo” system, which requires you to remember very specific button combinations. It’s not easy for newcomers but, fortunately, MK11 has one of the best tutorials I have played. It covers not just the basics but also advanced moves, which are also character-specific. It even encourages you to come up with your own combos.
MK11’s rich, well-written and superbly voiced and acted story goes to show how far the game has come from its arcade origins — something you wouldn't expect from a 2D fighter. However, the endless fights against AI opponents — the cheapest way to get customisable gear — can often dull the experience.
Overall, MK11 is an excellent multiplayer game with great mechanics and an exhaustive story.