Confession: I haven’t played a Mortal Kombat game since Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Stepping into the quasi-3D world of Mortal Kombat 11 was familiar but new, which is a hallmark of a great game. Mortal Kombat 11 takes place in the aftermath of Mortal Kombat X, and many of our beloved characters are nearly unrecognizable from their previous counterparts. The story is whacky, but in a good way, and is pure fan service to those who have been longtime fans of the franchise. The lore of the Mortal Kombat universe is so deep, and Mortal Kombat 11 explores these depths to no end. In addition, it has extraordinary gameplay. It’s safe to say that it’s the best game to come out this year and is a GOTY contender. Surprisingly, the Switch version of the game holds up remarkably well to its counterparts.

Story

The story of the game takes place after the events of Mortal Kombat 10, ramifications and all. Raiden has turned dark and Liu Kang and his companions are undead and serve the forces of darkness. This is where things take a peculiar turn. Kronika, the keeper of time, fractures the timeline and past and present become one. Both old and new incarnations of the characters co-exist, the past versions of the characters coming from the era of the original Mortal Kombat games. The dynamic between characters, especially Johnny Cage and his past self, is a spectacle to behold. The story is a ride from beginning to end and serves to satisfy old fans and new fans alike, and even fans like myself, who are making a return to the series after 20-plus years.

Kombat

Mortal Kombat 11 Nintendo Switch Review

Mortal Kombat 11 has one of the most intricate combat systems in any fighting game, ever. What’s even better is that it also has the best tutorial of any fighting game. It teaches you, piece-by-piece, how to become a master combatant. Not everyone will pick up all the various moves, combos, and counters, but that’s okay; it’s accessible to newcomers, fighting game veterans, and those not so good at fighting games. Regardless of this fact, with practice, everyone can become a master. One of the newest additions to the game is the fatal blow move, which is accessible once per battle and is only accessible once your health falls below a certain point.

Mortal Kombat 11 Nintendo Switch Review

While this may seem to reward someone for losing, this is certainly not the case. If your opponent’s health is relatively unscathed, a fatal blow will not save you and will only take a decent, but not devastating, amount of your opponent’s health. If used to knock your opponent out in a close battle, a fatal blow will not be available in the next round. If your opponent hasn’t used there’s yet, you must be careful. Your opponent will have theirs readily available and will use it, and if you’re evenly matched, they’ll be the victor. This adds an amount of balance to the game rather than reward players for losing and is one of the most balanced “super moves” I have ever witnessed in a fighting game.

Game Modes

Mortal Kombat 11 Nintendo Switch Review

Mortal Kombat 11 consists of four main game modes: the campaign mode, Towers of Time, the Krypt, and Klassic Towers, which make their return. Classic Towers are formatted very much like the originals. There are five different Towers: the Novice Tower, which has five opponents; the Warrior Tower, which has 8 opponents; the Champion Tower, which has 12 opponents; Endless Tower, which has an unlimited amount of kombatants that you fight until you fall; and Survivor Tower, which has 25 opponents, but there is a catch: health carries over match-to-match. Alternate endings are unlocked for each character, even on the Novice Tower. In Novis Tower, Warrior Tower, and Champion Tower, you are able to choose your difficulty. Endless Tower has a difficulty of medium, while the Survivor Tower is unspecified. This gives you a multitude of various challenges and is faithful to the original games. The Towers of Time game mode features rotating towers, where players can reap various unlockables. While difficult, it is very rewarding and includes some very sweet loot.

In the Krypts mode, you play as a character far removed from the Mortal Kombat mythos and go on a journey exploring the realm of Shang Tsung. It is essentially a 3D action-adventure game. There are no enemies, although an abundance of puzzles. Throughout your exploration, you unlock various items, most of which can be used to customize your characters. These range anywhere from weapons, outfits, character skins, and other various unlockables. Although these are merely superficial, they do add a certain “cool” factor to your characters. Krypt mode is probably the weakest link with regards to all the game modes, but it is satisfying in its own right and a lot of fun to play through, which speaks volumes with regards to the quality of the content present in Mortal Kombat 11. Through the unlockables you gain in Krypt mode and the Towers of Time, you’re able to customize your character to your liking. Although these skins don’t add anything competitively, they are very cool nonetheless.

Versus Play

There are a multitude of different online game modes. There are ranked battles, standard versus battles, King of the Hill, and a Kombat League, which has yet to launch. There are also a number of private matches you can set up with friends, which is a nice touch. Online runs very smoothly and there are no hiccups, which is a nice change of pace on the Nintendo Switch, as it has had problems online, especially with first-party games. Standard Versus Mode has a standard 1v1 battle, a Tournament mode, and an AI battle mode where you can send kustomized AI fighters to battle other players’ teams. Mortal Kombat 11’s multiplayer modes, both online and off, set themselves apart from other high-profile fighting games and solidifies its spot as the best in the genre.

Switch Version

The Nintendo Switch version plays smoothly and great care was taken in porting such a demanding game on the system. It runs at 60 frames per second, which is an astounding feat. The game doesn’t look nearly as good as its companions, and it shows at times, but the game still looks incredible. It runs at a lower resolution in portable mode, but still runs as smooth. Let’s be honest though; Mortal Kombat 11 is an experience meant to be played on a television. All in all, the Switch version is every bit as good as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, minus the graphics, which at times (on rare occasion) look subpar. Regardless, to get a game such as this running so well on Nintendo’s flagship system is a major accomplishment. Silver Entertainment outdid themselves porting it to the Switch.

Mortal Kombat 11 is a Game of the Year contender. It is the best fighting game released this generation. The Switch version is the lesser of the three iterations of this game, but don’t let this fool you — it’s still an incredible game and a must-have for anyone who owns the Switch exclusively. It’s accessible to hardcore fighting game fans and newcomers alike, and is the type of game that only comes around once in a console generation. The story is excellent, the game modes give it endless replayability, and the multiplayer sets it apart from any fighting game on the market.

To put it simply, Mortal Kombat 11 is the best game to come out so far this year.

Mortal Kombat 11 Review (Nintendo Switch)
Mortal Kombat 11 is a Game of the Year contender. It is the best fighting game released this generation. The Switch version is the lesser of the three iterations of this game, but don't let this fool you -- it's still an incredible game and a must-have game. It's a Game of the Year contender and the best game to come out so far this year.
Overall Score9.3
Pros
  • Excellent combat with the best tutorial in any fighting game
  • Variety of different game modes gives it unlimited playability
  • The graphics are stunning
Cons
  • Graphically it's a step down from the PS4 and Xbox One versions
  • The resolution isn't great in portable mode
9.3Excellent
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over five years and has written over 1,500 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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