I might as well clear this up from the get-go: I love Mortal Kombat 11. I think it’s a brilliant game and said so in my original review (which you can read here) and also in my review of its Aftermath expansion (which you can also read here). Naturally then, I got very excited when I heard a spruced up release would be coming to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in the form of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, even IF it annoyed me a little that they didn’t put the word ‘Ultimate’ before the title of the game. Maybe I’m nit-picking, sure, but they did it with the third entry in the series and it rolled off the tongue much nicer.
Anyway, this new edition doesn’t only improve upon the original game and include all previously released DLC, but also brings with it three new characters: Mileena, Rain, and Rambo. And yes, it’s THAT Rambo, meaning you can finally pit Sly and Arnie against each other in brutal kombat. What more could you want from a fighting game?
This review will focus on the improvements brought by the new consoles and the new characters included in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. Want to know how the game feels to play? Check out our original review through this link.
Let’s get started with the new characters that have released with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, with the selection not only pleasing but also surprising fans.
Mileena’s inclusion in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is one that’s sure to put a big grin on the faces of fans of the series, especially since series creator Ed Boon has been pretty vocal about her not being included in the game on social media for some time. With her masked monstrous appearance and versatile move set though, I’m sure she’ll be a popular pick for newbies to the game too. Getting to use her to battle Kitana once more or seek revenge on Shao Kahn and D’Vorah is pretty awesome, whilst she’s accessible enough in design to get used to quite quickly.
Rain lives up to his name by using rain to help drown his enemies in pain. He adopts a similar aesthetic to Sub Zero and Scorpion with his ninja-like appearance, except he’s purple. So he’s purple Rain… yeah, that joke was already made back when Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 released. I’ve really liked Rain ever since I first played as him all those years ago and, much like Mileena, he’s pretty easy to use thanks his versatile move set, so he’s definitely a character I’m looking forward to using more. Plus, he has a Queen reference in one of his fatalities, which is AWESOME.
Then you’ve got f*****g Rambo. The Mortal Kombat series has always loved its guest characters (just look at Robocop and Terminator who have already released for this game), yet somehow Rambo feels like the most bizarre of them all. It’s not a complaint by any means, especially since Sylvester Stallone himself has voiced the character, but it’s STILL a little odd to see him mixing it up with the nasties of the NetherRealm. At least he’s aware of it though, with his comical battle introductions seeing him acknowledge how weird his new foes are (which is sometimes emphasised with a perfectly delivered ‘f**k’).
Again, he’s a pretty easy character to use, so even newbies who want dream battles between the unlikely trio of Rambo, The Terminator, and Robocop will be able to jump in and do so with ease. He might not be the most interesting of the three as far as his move set and appearance is concerned, but it’s still great to be able to control another Hollywood icon.
The new characters that come with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate are great, but it’s the game’s performance on the next-gen consoles that’ll interest a lot of people. Thankfully, it delivers here, with the 4K resolution certainly making all of the action look a lot sharper than before. There have also been other visual enhancements made, but I have to admit that I found it a little difficult to really notice them – Mortal Kombat 11 already looked superb on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, especially with its facial animations, so I didn’t always pick up any significant improvements outside of a few more details in the environments.
I’m sure they’re there and players with a keener eye will probably notice the finer details… either way, it’s a stunning looking game anyway, so there won’t be any complaints from me.
One of the biggest improvements that comes with the new hardware were the loading times. Whilst they weren’t horrendously long, Mortal Kombat 11 did see you waiting in between battles – it’s something that was much more noticeable when playing through the Towers, especially since the Story Mode covered loading screens up with cutscenes. Now, battles kick off almost immediately, meaning you can dive in and out of the action with minimal fuss. As someone who likes to marathon through the game’s Towers of Time, this was a real big deal for me and ensured less time was spent distracting myself during loading screens and more time was spent dishing out some brutalities upon my enemies. God, I love the SSDs of these new consoles.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a must-buy if you don’t already own the game, with the next-gen enhancements and plethora of content making for a brilliant package. There’s so much to see and do across the base game and its ‘Aftermath’ expansion, whilst having all of the DLC characters (including the newly released Mileena, Rain, and Rambo) is a real treat. It also helps that the game is brilliant anyway, so it’s great to be able to play it in its ‘ultimate’ form.
Already own the game? Upgrade for free to the next-gen version and enjoy sharper visuals and much faster loading times. It’s a win-win really, so even existing players can benefit from the improvements brought by this fantastic fighting package.
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC