Mortal Kombat 11 is the game that keeps on giving, coming back one more time in its ultimate form: Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate.
The cross-generational release marks the debut of the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, with the base game receiving a free upgrade to support the new consoles, and MK11 Ultimate coming in as a catch all GOTY-style release that encompasses everything released so far, barring a few paid costume packs. Adding to the base game, the first Kombat Pack, and the Aftermath story expansion, the main addition for Ultimate is Kombat Pack 2, starring Rain, Mileena and John freaking Rambo!
Breaking the rules of not repeating your DLC, Rain returns for the second time as a DLC character, and he doesn’t disappoint. As the name would suggest, he has a menagerie of water-based moves to help him murder his foes. If you’ve ever seen a water jet cut things then you’ll get the idea of what this can entail.
He feels very fluid to play (pun intended), either kicking his opponents off screen to have them appear behind so he can continue a combo, or turning into a giant ball of water and rolling into unsuspecting foes. One of his finishers also randomly pays homage to Queen’s album, Queen II. It is nice to see Rain’s backstory fleshed out a little more in 11, because he was relegated to just being a ninja recolour previously. Now, he is the Prince of Edenia, a rightly deserved title.
Mileena is a character that’s almost too good to not be in an Mortal Kombat game. Her absence from the main roster was a curious one, but it’s good to see her here. She is as brutal as ever, utilising her deadly sai and taking every opportunity she can to use that lovely set of teeth she has. They’re all the better to bite her opponents faces off.
I really like her move set, but it was slightly frustrating that a lot of her immediately useful combos only used one of her moves, the Ball Roll. I feel with time and experimentation she has the potential to be a go-to, top tier character with a great mix up game. It’s going to take time for people to get good with her, though.
Her finisher, Spinning Out of Control, is probably my favourite of the new batch. It has Mileena turn herself into a spinning death wheel and go all Sonic the Hedgehog on her opponent, slicing them in twain in the most brutal way possible, posing for victory with viscera hanging off her. OK, so Sonic doesn’t go quite that far, but you get the idea.
Finally, we have Rambo as a guest character. Yes, John bloody Rambo, who’s voiced by Sly Stallone himself! It’s actually quite risky business adding guest characters to fighting games, because it’s a 50/50 toss up whether or not they will feel at home in the universe they’ve been plonked into. Thankfully, Rambo actually feels alright.
He’s got some really cool thematic moves that really make you feel like a jungle survivor – he can set claymores, spike traps and pull M60s that are hidden in foliage in order to bring the pain to his foes. The customisation options are a little on the weak side, but then again, you probably just want Rambo with his shirt off, right?
Of course, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate also marked debut of the game on the new generation of console – as already mentioned, owners of Mortal Kombat 11 on PS4 and Xbox One also get free upgrades for the base game. Playing on PlayStation 5, there’s a nice shiny 4K coat that makes each bone snap look that little bit better. The frame rate looks just as snappy as you’d want them and the loading times… man, the loading time are just so much better. Getting into fights is so quick now, I can’t imagine going back to waiting thirty seconds to a minute to get into a match.
Another cool bonus is the ability to do Krossplay, now. This allows players to fight each other online whether you’re on PlayStation or Xbox, though only in online Kasual lobbies. I personally didn’t come across any issues here, fighting many opponents on different platforms. It’s important for fighters to maintain consistency online and it doesn’t disappoint.
If you are jumping from one generation to the next, your progress will also partially carry over, letting you take all items you’ve earned in your inventory and any rewards you won. So that big wardrobe you’ve been building? Yep, you get to keep it. NetherRealm haven’t built a in a way for this to work between console families, though, so if you are going from an Xbox One to PS5, you will not get to keep anything. Everything else, like story modes etc, will have to be completed again, but at least you get a new set of Trophies or Achievements to earn.
As time goes on, the deal gets sweeter and it’s great for people just starting out with MK11. If you already own it, the asking price for Kombat Pack 2 is fairly reasonable for the three new characters, so there’s no real losers here. Well, unless you are taking a Fatality, that is. But still, as a full package, MK11 Ultimate is the ultimate version of this game and is definitely worth your time.