Mortal Kombat 1 - Everything You Need To Know

2023 is set to be a big year for fighting games, as a new "Mortal Kombat" game is joining the soon-to-launch "Street Fighter 6" and "Tekken 8." After years of speculation – and a few leaks – the latest bloody tournament has finally been officially announced. Called "Mortal Kombat 1," NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Games seek to re-ignite the franchise with "reimagined characters like they've never been seen before," as well as new mechanics and gameplay systems that change up what players think they know about the series.


Last year, NetherRealm Studios and the "Mortal Kombat" team celebrated the 30th anniversary of the original game, but wanted to focus on the occasion rather than the next announcement. Half a year later, fans finally have a first real look at "Mortal Kombat 1." There aren't too many details known about the game yet, but it does have a release date and a trailer that goes over some of the story and returning characters (but sadly doesn't show actual gameplay). Here's what we know so far.

Does Mortal Kombat 1 have a release date?

Though the game's title was leaked a few days early, fans didn't really know when to expect "Mortal Kombat 1" until the official trailer dropped on May 18, 2023. At the very end of the first "Mortal Kombat 1" trailer, it is finally revealed that the game will launch on September 19, 2023 — barring any delays, that is. Thankfully, there haven't been many release dates pushed back in the history of "Mortal Kombat," and a release date set for just a few months out could indicate that it's already in a near-complete state.


When "Mortal Kombat 1" releases on September 19, 2023, it will be available for PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. It will likely receive some visual downgrades to accommodate the Switch's older hardware. However, it is worth noting that it appears the game will not be available on last-generation consoles (aside from the aforementioned Switch). Looks like the franchise is officially embracing the current generation.

There is also an opportunity for some fans to access the game a little bit earlier than the official release date of "Mortal Kombat 1." Players who pre-order the game on either Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5 will have access to a limited beta test in August 2023. Unfortunately, the FAQ on the "Mortal Kombat 1" site does not list PC or Nintendo Switch pre-orders as being eligible for the beta. Diehard fans who pre-order either the Premium Edition or Kollector's Edition will also be able to access the full game five days early and boot it up on September 14, 2023. 


Is there a trailer for Mortal Kombat 1?

The trailer for "Mortal Kombat 1" was released on May 18, 2023, following weeks of teasers posted by creator Ed Boon and the rest of the "Mortal Kombat" team at NetherRealm.

The trailer begins with a shot of Thunder God Raiden and Kung Lao, with the latter seen wearing a version of his signature hat without its iconically weaponized rim. It cuts to a crowd of people watching a horse-drawn carriage go by, which carries both Kitana and Mileena inside. The trailer cuts again to two warriors who appear to be Scorpion and Sub-Zero (notably not at each other's throats). So far, there's little in the way of the iconic "Mortal Kombat" martial arts or over-the-top deaths. In fact, as the camera pans, it focuses on an eclipsed moon, implying that Sub-Zero and Scorpion are set to unite. As Fire God Liu Kang descends from the sky to greet Raiden and Kung Lao, Shang Tsung appears from a portal.


At this point, the trailer almost instantly pulls a 180 and throws a montage of fights, fatalities, and all the gut-wrenching gore fans expect from a next-gen "Mortal Kombat" game. Most of the confirmed characters for "Mortal Kombat 1" appear in this trailer — except for Johnny Cage — and Shang Tsung will be available as a pre-order bonus.

What will gameplay be like in Mortal Kombat 1?

Though the first trailer doesn't show off any of the actual gameplay, the game's official site reveals that "Mortal Kombat 1" isn't just a reboot of the story and a reimagining of the series' iconic characters. The familiar fast-paced, ability-laden, brutal combat of the "Mortal Kombat" series isn't going anywhere, and there are a bunch of confirmed new gameplay features coming to "Mortal Kombat 1."


The main new mechanic detailed so far is the Kameo system, which will allow players to choose an ally from a separate unplayable roster of characters. The nature of how these partners assist in matches is unknown at this time. "Mortal Kombat 1" will also feature the returning Story Mode, which the devs promise features "a brand-new cinematic narrative featuring unexpected twists on classic rivalries and original backstories for the wide-ranging cast of legendary fighters."

The FAQ also reveals the game will have "bone krushing finishing moves" (perhaps like the X-ray attacks seen in the more recent entries). Fatalities are a mainstay of the series, and they're going to be abundant, as well. Judging by the final moments of the "Mortal Kombat 1" trailer, the new game is set to have some of the series' gnarliest executions yet.


In a move that may disappoint some, "Mortal Kombat 1" will also seemingly have microtransactions in the form of the Dragon Krystals currency, which can be purchased in bulk as part of the game's new Kombat Packs. The first of these Kombat Packs grants access to a Johnny Cage skin modeled after legendary action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, as well as early access to new characters and Kameo allies.