When it comes to the world of fighting games, few franchises can hold a candle to the legendary Mortal Kombat series. Since its inception in the early ’90s and up to the latest edition in 2023, Mortal Kombat has been wowing gamers with its thrilling gameplay, spine-tingling fatalities, and a cast of unforgettable characters. In this article, we’re going to dive into the world of Mortal Kombat and explore five of its most iconic heroes, along with the reasons why fans can’t get enough of them. It is worth noting that all five warriors that we will talk about are also MK1 characters — the franchise reboot didn’t leave them on the sidelines.

Scorpion – The Hellfire Ninja

You can’t talk about Mortal Kombat without mentioning the franchise’s poster boy, Scorpion. Hanzo Hasashi, once a fearsome ninja, was transformed into the enigmatic and vengeful specter we all know and love. With his yellow ninja costume and that iconic “Get over here!” catchphrase, Scorpion has become the face of the series. He’s a character whose backstory and quest for vengeance resonate with fans.

Scorpion’s appeal extends beyond his stylish appearance. He’s known for his fiery moves, teleportation, and, of course, his spear, which he uses to drag opponents close for some brutal combos. He’s both a fan favorite and a dominant force in the competitive scene, making him a cornerstone of the franchise’s success.

Sub-Zero – The Cryomancer

The yin to Scorpion’s yang, Sub-Zero, is another character that’s been with Mortal Kombat from the beginning. The Sub-Zero mantle is passed down through generations of the Lin Kuei clan, with two distinct brothers, Bi-Han and Kuai Liang, donning the role. These siblings are masters of cryomancy, and they’ve been enthralling fans with their frosty abilities ever since.

What makes Sub-Zero so iconic is his powerful ice-based moves, like freezing opponents solid or creating icy clones. These abilities not only make for entertaining gameplay but also set the stage for some of the franchise’s most memorable fatalities. With his strong character development and contrasting rivalry with Scorpion, Sub-Zero has solidified his place in the hearts of Mortal Kombat fans.

Raiden – The Thunder God

When it comes to godly characters in fighting games, Raiden stands tall as the protector of Earthrealm. With his glowing eyes, hat, and electrifying moves, Raiden is instantly recognizable. His image in the Mortal Kombat movie, where he was portrayed by Christopher Lambert only added a bonus to the legendary status. As one of the franchise’s elder statesmen, Raiden plays a crucial role in the Mortal Kombat narrative.


Raiden’s godlike abilities are what make him so beloved by fans. His control over lightning and thunder can be a game-changer in battles. Additionally, his wisdom and guidance to the younger generation of fighters in the series add depth to his character. Whether he’s zapping opponents with lightning bolts or offering sage advice, Raiden remains a fan favorite for his power and mentorship.

Kitana – The Princess of Edenia

Kitana brings a unique touch to the Mortal Kombat universe as a character defined by her grace and combat finesse. As the princess of the realm of Edenia, Kitana has a complex backstory and a lineage that connects her to fan-favorite characters like Liu Kang and Mileena. Her iconic fan-shaped blades, combined with her regal appearance, make her instantly recognizable.

What sets Kitana apart is her agility and deadly close-quarters combat skills. Her quick and graceful movements are a breath of fresh air in a roster filled with powerful brutes. Fans appreciate Kitana for her intriguing storyline, her royal lineage, and her ability to hold her own against some of the most formidable fighters in the Mortal Kombat universe.

Johnny Cage – The Hollywood Star

Every roster needs a character with a dash of humor and charisma, and in Mortal Kombat, Johnny Cage fits that role perfectly. Johnny is a cocky, Hollywood action star with a penchant for flashy moves and one-liners. He’s been part of the series since the beginning and has gone from being a shallow narcissist to a beloved comic relief character with surprising depth.


Johnny’s fighting style, a mix of martial arts and showmanship, adds a unique flavor to the series. His splits and nut punches are legendary, but his character development, especially in the more recent Mortal Kombat games, has endeared him to fans even more. He’s a character that combines humor, cockiness, and genuine heart, making him a true standout in the Mortal Kombat pantheon. The fact that out of all Mortal Kombat 1 roster, he was the one to receive the skin of legendary actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, only proves Johnny’s exceptional status.

In Conclusion

Mortal Kombat has a roster brimming with iconic characters, each with their own distinct charm and appeal. Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Kitana, and Johnny Cage are just a few examples of the unforgettable fighters who have kept fans hooked for decades. Whether it’s their powerful abilities, rich backstories, or distinctive personalities, these characters are the lifeblood of the franchise. So, the next time you pick up a Mortal Kombat game, you know which characters are very likely to appear.