Mortal Kombat 1 characters – all 30 fighters

Find out about all of the Mortal Kombat 1 characters, including Kombat Pack DLC fighters, before you jump into the game on Xbox, PS5, Switch, and PC.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Liu Kang standing with his hands together holding fire, set against a blurred background of MK1 gameplay.

The return of Mortal Kombat is finally here, and with it brings us the full Mortal Kombat 1 characters list for the 2023 game. A mix of new and returning fighters make up the roster, so before you start practising any combos for your main character, it’s worth knowing who you can choose from. After all, even those with MK experience could find a character they haven’t yet played; Kenshi’s last playable appearance was in 2015’s MK X, while Reiko was last playable in 2006’s Armageddon.

Mortal Kombat 1 quickly fought its way onto our best fighting games list thanks to it’s excellent gameplay and standout roster, as our Mortal Kombat 1 review notes. But what fighters make up this incredible roster? Find out just that and more below, though you’ll want to use our Mortal Kombat 1 tier list to find out which character is worth picking right now from a meta perspective.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters list

The 30 Mortal Kombat 1 characters are:

  • Scorpion
  • Sub-Zero
  • Liu Kang
  • Raiden
  • Kung Lao
  • Kitana
  • Mileena
  • Shang Tsung
  • Johnny Cage
  • Kano
  • Jax
  • Kenshi
  • Smoke
  • Rain
  • Tanya
  • Baraka
  • Li Mei
  • Geras
  • Reptile
  • Ashrah
  • Havik
  • General Shao
  • Sindel
  • Nitara
  • Reiko
  • Homelander from The Boys (Kombat Pack DLC)
  • Omni-Man from Invincible (Kombat Pack DLC)
  • Peacemaker from DC Comics (Kombat Pack DLC)
  • Quan Chi (Kombat Pack DLC)
  • Ermac (Kombat Pack DLC)
  • Takeda (Kombat Pack DLC)

As you can see, there’s a lot of variety in the MK1 characters roster. From old favorites that have been absent from the last few entries, like Reiko, to revamped mainstays. In fact, there’s even brand-new crossover characters including Homelander, Omni-Man, and even Peacemaker.

In the base game roster, players can choose from 24 characters. However, the Kombat Pack DLC will periodically release six new characters to bring the total to 30. While this Kombat Pack isn’t necessary, there are some incredibly entertaining characters set to be released in this DLC. So, if you’re a big fan of MK1 and want an even bigger list of Mortal Kombat 1 characters to choose from, it’s worth picking up.

The roster of fighters is separate from the Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo Fighters mechanic, which are characters that are selected separately and will offer assistance during fights.

Read on below to find out more about each of the MK1 characters you can play as during the story and in multiplayer matches.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Scorpion can be seen

Scorpion

The most iconic character in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Scorpion (also known by his human name, Hanzo Hasashi) is a resurrected ninja who is strong, fast, and capable of performing amazing feats while using Hellfire, an element found in abundance in the Netherrealm.

He has appeared in every Mortal Kombat game since the series started so it’s not surprising to see him in the roster, but we’re still happy he returns here.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Scorpion setting Liu Kang on fire in the air.

His affinity with Hellfire makes him a deadly fighter, setting anyone in his path ablaze. Scorpion is also highly agile, being able to dart around the arena and pull enemies towards him.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Sub Zero can be seen

Sub-Zero

Next to Scorpion as one of the most iconic characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Kuai Liang, better known as Sub-Zero, is a dangerous cryomancer that is as deadly as he is fast. He can create various weapons out of pure ice, landing devastating blows against anyone in his way.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Sub Zero next to a frozen enemy.

This version of Sub-Zero is also the one to end the rivalry between the Lin Kuei and Shirai Ryu, working with his long-standing enemy Scorpion. Furthermore, Sub-Zero and Scorpion are brothers in Mortal Kombat 1, playing into the game’s reinvention of the universe.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Liu Kang can be seen

Liu Kang

Liu Kang is one of the few characters to have made an appearance in every single Mortal Kombat game. Nevertheless, for those unaware of him, Liu Kang has been the protagonist of the series numerous times, usually being seen as a threat by Shang Tsung and his master, Shao Khan.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Liu Kang kicking Scorpion.

In this timeline, Fire God Liu Kang is the main character, after successfully resetting the universe in the Mortal Kombat 11 expansion, Aftermath.

Making use of quick kicks and jabs, you can swiftly knock opponents around the arena in style.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Raiden can be seen

Raiden

The eternal God of Thunder and protector of Earthrealm, Raiden should be familiar to anyone who has played Mortal Kombat before, being one of the characters seen in every game in the series. He’s seen as a father figure by Liu Kang and Kung Lao, however, in Mortal Kombat 11 he is corrupted.

This version of Raiden is hoping to avoid the mistakes of his future self after Kronika removed the old version of Raiden from the original timeline.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Raiden electrocuting an enemy, holding them in the air.

As the God of Thunder, Raiden makes use of lightning to perform shockingly good attacks. He’s able to conjure bolts of lightning and generate electricity from his hands to overwhelm opponents.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Kung Lao can be seen

Kung Lao

Instantly recognizable by his razor-sharp hat, Kung Lao is one of Earthrealm’s champions, similar to Liu Kang, however, he’d much rather live a life of peace. Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as that in the Mortal Kombat universe, and he is on a constant path to prove he is equally as strong as his friend Liu Kang.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Kung Lao can be seen fighitng sub zero

Kung Lao is able to dish out blazingly fast attacks and at quick considerable range thanks to his iconic razor-rimmed hat. You’ll want to make great use out of his unique weaponized headwear to extend your combos as you push enemies around the arena.

Kitana can be seen

Kitana

Back from the dead, Princess Kitana was originally murdered after betraying Shao Khan and siding with the Earthrealmers. However, in Mortal Kombat 11, she was brought back thanks to some time-jumping shenanigans and helped Raiden and his friends defeat Kronika. In the end, she worked with Liu Kang to mould a new future, but the Aftermath expansion changed those plans.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Kitana kicking an enemy.

She’s a deadly opponent, performing agile acrobatic moves with her pair of steel fans that can be used both as a projectile and as a melee weapon. If you want to defeat Kitana, you’ll have to be even quicker than she is.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Mileena can be seen

Mileena

A genetic experiment created by Shang Tsung, Mileena was adopted by Shao Khan and became a ruthless assassin. She has been an antagonist for most of the series, constantly jealous of her “sister” Kitana, typically showing a sadistic side of herself.

While she was somewhat missing in Mortal Kombat 11, aside from being a DLC character post-launch, though she’s back in the standard roster for Mortal Kombat 1.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Mileena lunging at an enemy.

Mileena is a ferocious fighter, making use of her Tarkatan DNA to deadly effect, rivaling the brute force of Shao Khan himself. Pair with this her great speed, and she’s a force to be reckoned with in the arena.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Shang Tsung can be seen

Shang Tsung

An Earthrealm soul-stealing sorcerer, Shang Tsung is a major antagonist for the series, his abilities are almost unmatched. His allegiance with Shao Khan allows him to move between the realms unnoticed by the Elder Gods.

In the Aftermath expansion for Mortal Kombat 11, Shang Tsung failed in beating Liu Kang to create his own timeline, which would’ve been a lot more apocalyptic than the one we see in Mortal Kombat 1.

Making use out of his Wolverine-like arm claws to deadly effect, Shang Tsung certainly feels like one of the more brutal Mortal Kombat 1 characters. He’s also got a kick combo with surprisingly long range, which is a great move to take advantage of to turn the fight in your favor.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Johnny Cage can be seen

Johnny Cage

Action movie star Johnny Cage returns in Mortal Kombat 1. Despite his silly nature, immature behavior, and overall ego, Johnny Cage has become one of Earthrealm’s greatest defenders alongside the likes of Raiden and Liu Kang as the series went on.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Johnny Cage punching an enemy.

Taking his rockstar style to the max, Johnny Cage has some of the most unique animations in the game. Expect lots of outlandish kicks and heavy punches with this version of Cage.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Kenshi can be seen

Kenshi

One of the most badass characters in the fighting series, and that’s saying something, Kenshi is a swordsman with psychokinetic abilities, with a hatred for Shang Tsung after the evil sorcerer tricked him into wielding a powerful sword.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Kenshi about to attack an enemy with his sword.

As an expert swordsman, Kenshi is a swift and strong character at close range. Pair that with his affinity for telekinesis, which allows him to push and pull enemies around, and Kenshi is certainly a fighter you want to avoid in a fight.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Smoke can be seen

Smoke

A good friend of Kuai Liang, and a member of the Lin Kuei, Smoke is an incredibly talented assassin who excels at close-range combat thanks to his superb speed and combos. In the first two timelines, he is turned into an unwilling villain, forced to serve antagonists against his friends.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Smoke fighting Kenshi in Mortal Kombat 1 trailer

As you might have guessed from his name, Smoke has access to smoke teleport attacks that are great for messing with your opponent. He’s also got one of the best anti-air attacks that will knock enemies out of the air from a distance, with the enhanced version even pulling them towards you.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Rain can be seen

Rain

Starting off as a trick invention by Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon, Rain was originally a Demi-God as the son of Argus. He is an Edenian Prince, using a variety of water-related magic that can control opponents at range, and deal great amounts of damage.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Rain fighting Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 1 trailer

Rain’s name is also rather telling, letting you in on his unique water-themed attacks right away. With several large, sweeping attacks and long combos, Rain can be a deadly fighter despite him lacking speed.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Tanya can be seen

Tanya

In the first few timelines, Tanya has been a cunning and deceiving Edenian that serves as an antagonist, usually siding with the villainous Mileena. In MK1, she is still fulfilling this role, albeit in a position of higher authority to protect “the Empress”, Mileena.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Tanya can be seen

Her fighting style is extremely agile and fast-paced, with a staff capable of being used like a whip or a blunt-force weapon. Landing these staff attacks on your enemies feels incredibly satisfying, especially when you use her dash to get the drop on your foe.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Barakka can be seen

Baraka

Baraka, a general of the Tarkatan Horde, is a ferocious and dangerous character who is loyal to Mileena and the Outworld Empire in previous games. In the MK1 timeline, Tarkat is a virus rather than a species, which debilitates and turns people into monsters, with Baraka once being a respected merchant.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Baraka fighting Li Mei in Mortal Kombat 1

His appearance in Mortal Kombat 1 is much more feisty, being much faster and having a range of combos that can be devastating if you’re caught on the receiving end of them.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Li Mei can be seen

Li Mei

Li Mei was originally an Outworld citizen, being betrayed by Shang Tsung in an attempt to save her enslaved village from the evil sorcerer. In the second timeline, she was attempting to find sanctuary for her fellow villagers in Earthrealm.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Li Mei fighting Raiden in Mortal Kombat 1

Her abilities in Mortal Kombat 1 retain her magic seen in previous timelines, but her spells have a more firework look to them, with little particles flying off enemies. Unfortunately, despite her flashy acrobatic animations, Li Mei is generally a weaker fighter.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Geras can be seen

Geras

Debuting in the last Mortal Kombat game, Geras returns as a protector of the Hourglass, an artifact that is used to change and bend time at the Keeper of Time’s will. He is an artificial construct, who was loyal to Kronika, the antagonist of MK11, though is now friendly with Liu Kang following his victory.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Geras during a fight in Mortal Kombat 1 trailer

Geras is shown to have great skill, capable of using time to his advantage during fights. He has a mixture of control combos, as well as devastatingly strong attacks that make him a powerful and satisfyingly hefty Mortal Kombat 1 character.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Reptile can be seen

Reptile

Reptile is back and for once he doesn’t look bad. While his redesign will definitely raise some eyebrows, Reptile looks a lot better than he has in a while and he can now freely transform in and out of his giant lizard form. He also has a number of new attacks including a dive and a large projectile.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Reptile is fighting Li Mei

Whether in human or lizard form, Reptile is a ferocious fighter, with heavy hitting punches that see him shift between forms. His ranged attacks as a lizard are particularly strong for maintaining pressure on an opponent.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Ashrah can be seen

Ashrah

Ashrah hasn’t been seen in an extremely long time, making her last appearance in Armageddon back in 2006. Here she looks better than ever and the Edenian demon has a whole suite of new moves, abilities, and attacks.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Ashrah can be seen

Ashrah has all the fundaments of a great character, with some of the best attack strings, good damage, and impressive range thanks to her sword. She’s incredibly good at shutting down opponents using these combos and dominating the battlefield.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Havik can be seen

Havik

Another fan-favorite, Havik returns in his beloved body-mutilating form. The menace that he is can rampage at his opponents, tearing his arm off, clawing into them over and over again, and chomping at their faces.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Havik can be seen fighting Ashrah

He was last playable in Armageddon, like Ashrah, but has been seen as a cameo since then. However, here he is radically redesigned and in our opinion looking better than he ever has.

Mortal Kombat 1 General Shao: General Shao can be seen

General Shao

Shao returns once again, but he isn’t Shao Khan yet. Instead, he is General Shao, playing a key role in the story and returning with his large axe.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: General Shao can be seen stepping on Sub Zero

He is one of the most fearsome fighters in the game thanks to his abilities and sheer power, so watch out for his strong combos. However, he is also one of the largest and slowest fighters, so he can be predictable at times.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Sindel can be seen

Sindel

Sindel is back once again and here she has a brand-new style. Her hair is bigger and more prominent than ever before and she has some brutal combos and fast-hitting attacks that will keep you guessing in a fight.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Sindel can be seen kicking someone

In fact, Sindel is arguably the most broken of the Mortal Kombat 1 characters due to a very strong and hard to avoid attack chain when making smart use out of your Kameo Fighter. Outside of this, Sindel is very agile, making it easy to mess with your opponents combos.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Nitara can be seen

Nitara

The vampire queen is back after an extended absence. Trying to save her people, Nitara is played by Megan Fox in Mortal Kombat 1 and comes with an expanded and completely reinvented set of moves for the modern era of the fighting game.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Nitara can be seen grabbing someone in the air

Most notably, she comes with a lot of aerial moves and buffs that set the stage for interesting mixups and attacks that will combine well with your Kameo fighter of choice.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Reiko can be seen

Reiko

Reiko hasn’t been playable since 2006, but finally, the general of Shao’s army is back. He is one of the faster Mortal Kombat 1 characters, utilizing a variety of kicks, grabs, and fast dashes to keep you guessing and on your toes.

Mortal Kombat 1 characters: Reiko can be seen grabbing someone

Most of all though, you’ll want to take full advantage of his annoying grappler playstyle to control the battlefield. Alongside this, he’s got access to an exceptional ranged attack that’s great for shutting down aerial combos.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Homelander can be seen

Homelander – Kombat Pack

Homelander, the iconic villain of The Boys TV show is going to be the first DLC fighter in Mortal Kombat 1. While we’re yet to see any gameplay of him in action, we can expect to see his superpowers represented in game. From laser beams to flight and incredible strength, Homelander is known for his overwhelming force and brutality. All in all, he’s a perfect fit for Mortal Kombat 1.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Omni-Man can be seen

Omni-Man – Kombat Pack

Keeping this theme up, Omni-Man is the twisted hero turned villain of the Invincible TV show. Boasting similar powers and philosophy to Homelander, it will be interesting to see how Omni-Man differs in terms of playstyle.

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If you’ve seen the TV show, then you’ll know just how brutal and overwhelming Omni-Man’s powers can be. From heavy-hitting punches to rapid attacks making use of his flight, Omni-Man will be a terrifying new arrival. In fact, several of his abilities, Fatalities, and X-rays recreate scenes from the show.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Peacemaker can be seen

Peacemaker – Kombat Pack

Peacemaker, from the titular TV show and comics by DC, is another announced crossover character in the Mortal Kombat 1 Kombat Pack. This violent vigilante loves peace and America so much that he’s up to do just about anything for it.

His skills with firearms and hand-to-hand combat will no doubt make him a fun addition the roster, let alone the inherent irony and entertaining personality of the character.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Quan-Chi can be seen

Quan Chi – Kombat Pack

Quan Chi is a necromancer and brutal dark sorcerer that hasn’t been seen as a playable character since Mortal Kombat (2011). Fans of this fighter have had to wait a very, very long time for his return, but Mortal Kombat 1 will do just that.

While he’s likely to retain his brutal melee and ranged magic from previous iterations, Mortal Kombat 1 could see a spin on his playstyle given how long its been since his last appearance.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Ermac can be seen

Ermac – Kombat Pack

Ermac is a ninja adept at telekinesis. Like Quan Chi, he hasn’t been seen properly since Mortal Kombat (2011), making him a great pick for the Kombat Pack DLC roster.

In previous games, Ermac has been an incredibly agile character that can teleport and hover, meanwhile catapulting enemies across the arena. However, he too could see some big changes to his kit with his latest appearance all these years later.

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters: Takeda can be seen

Takeda – Kombat Pack

Takeda is Kenshi’s son and a member of both the Shirai Ryu and the Special Forces. Having made his first playable appearance in Mortal Kombat X and again in 11, it’s not been quite as long since Takeda’s last entry.

Nevertheless, he’s a lightning-quick fighter that can chain punches and kicks together with rapid lethality. As an apprentice of the one and only Scorpion, Takeda is also adept with blade whips and swords can be used to weave combos together and disrupt opponents.

These DLC characters include not only iconic MK characters, but also crossover characters that are almost too good to be true, such as Homelander. These DLC fighters will, however, have a staggered launch. Right now, we know that Homelander will be available Spring 2024, so it’s expected the remaining characters will be released on a regular cadence afterwards.

These characters will feature brand-new moves and skills for you to learn the ins and outs of as you take them into the arena. It’s a great way to keep the meta fresh with new match-ups and fighters that will keep players on their toes as we move away from the original release.

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If you’re simply browsing the list of Mortal Kombat 1 characters to see if the game is worth picking up, whether you’re a series veteran or a newcomer, you can get the game below.

That covers all the Mortal Kombat 1 characters you can play as right now, including the Kombat Pack DLC characters on the way. We’re glad that many of our favorite fighters are returning from previous game most of all, as losing characters never feels good. If you’re looking to take the fight to friends on other platforms, it’s worth finding out how Mortal Kombat 1 crossplay works beforehand.