No one ever doubted that Mortal Kombat 11 was on the way. Just like the fact that no one doubts Mortal Kombat 12 will inevitably follow it – something creator Ed Boon has already teased on social media.
But the announcement of Mortal Kombat 11 did surprise us to a degree when it was confirmed that the game would also be coming to Nintendo Switch. While the Switch received ports of games like Wolfenstein II and Doom, third-party support for multiplatform titles is still nowhere close to the number of releases hitting Xbox One, PS4, and PC. But now, Mortal Kombat fans will be capable of ripping spines on the go. The question then becomes, what character’s hands do we want to get bloody?
NetherRealm Studios has officially announced eight fighters: Sonya Blade, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Baraka, Skarlet, Shao Kahn (pre-order bonus), and newcomer Geras. We also have seen that there are 25 character slots available on the fighter selection screen. So, without being able to account for entirely new roster additions like Geras, let’s look at five characters I hope make the final cut.
While Smoke was originally just another colored variant of the well-known group of ninja sprites consisting of series staples Scorpion and Sub-Zero, he has always stood out to me due to his speed and vapor-like teleportation. In MK2, he was a hidden character. MK3 saw the character turned into a cyborg by the Lin Kuei, but MK9 reversed his fortune with Sub-Zero assuming the cyborg role. MK9 gave Smoke an identity and design that elevated the character depth already oozing (ventilating?) from his skill set. With smokey grey hair and a Lin Kuei-inspired grey suit, all of which meshed well with the tufts of smoke he left in his wake, Smoke’s design unmistakably marked the elemental power he was named after.
A shadow by design, Noob Saibot was yet another ninja sprite that appeared in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 as a black variant. Initially, Noob Saibot was more of a fun easter egg than anything. His name is simply the co-creators’ surnames backward. (That’s Ed Boon and John Tobias.) Thanks to the later games like Mortal Kombat Deception, we learned that Noob had a dark past to match his physical stygian appearance. Essentially, he is a wraith of the original Sub-Zero who was killed by Scorpion. Just like the character, his otherworldly abilities are capable of entrapping opponents in shadowy voids or teleporting through them.
As a sorcerer from the Netherrealm, Quan Chi has some of the most unique abilities of any Mortal Kombat fighter. Granted, he harbors staple moves like projectiles and teleportation, but he enacts them with an unmatched level of necromancer flair. Quan Chi can land repeated blows with his special moves, making him deadly in the hands of any skilled gamer. And yes, while I realize he met a grisly end at the hands of Scorpion in MKX, we’re once again working with time travel in MK11. So, anything’s possible.
Sindel is the powerful mother of Kitana, but due to her alliances, she is very much a villain in opposition to her daughter. She first burst onto the scene in MK3 and stood out with deadly hair and a voice that inflicted catastrophic damage. Again, because of her abilities, I’d like to see Sindel make a true return on the roster (unlike the revenant form we witnessed in MKX).
The Native American shaman, Nightwolf, has been a divisive character. Some of that divisiveness is due to the stereotypical approach to Native American heritage applied to the character’s design. Others simply didn’t care for him as a fighter in his earlier Mortal Kombat career. In those days, many felt his attacks were weak compared to other fighters on the roster. With MK9, the team rectified that issue. Nightwolf had a carefully-crafted balance to his defensive and offensive attacks, particularly in the execution of his staple move that returns projectiles to their source. In the story, he eliminated himself in an effort to bring down Sindel, but again, time travel is a fickle thing once that can of worms is opened.
What characters do you hope to see unveiled as we come closer to the release of Mortal Kombat 11? Let us know your dream roster in the comments below!