I have been playing Mortal Kombat games for as long as I can remember and the quality has really ramped up in recent years.
Mortal Kombat X (10) was one of the greatest fighting games of all time so could MK11 really keep NetherRealm Studios’ famously gory franchise on an upward trend?
The short answer is yes. And then some.
I simply have not got the time, space or the patience to take you through the story arc of Mortal Kombat to present day but the brilliant story mode is so expertly woven and polished that anyone can get involved whether an MK newbie or hardcore fanboy since the original game back in 1992.
For those who have - like me - been playing MK since the beginning you will know that traditionally it was renowned for its graphics, realism, blood, guts, gore and fatalities.
Street Fighter was where you went for fluidity and class-leading gameplay.
Over the years, though, NetherRealm has seriously dug down into the heart of the game’s mechanics, so much so that by now on MK11 we are presented with an unrivalled, slick fighting system that is both easy for beginners to pick up and play while also offering great depth to the hardcore element.
And as ever it is thrilling to play and just as exciting to watch no matter the skill level.
The cinematic story mode has a blockbuster feel and for me is undoubtedly the crowning achievement in MK11. The previous story modes were excellent but MK11 takes it up another notch centered around new villain of the piece Kronika who is bending time to cause chaos.
The roster is, as ever, amazing. There are 25 playable characters at launch, two of them initially locked, and a host of new faces alongside some fight game royalty.
The superb tutorials - as is the case in the excellent Injustice games - take you through both the fundamentals and more advanced elements.
While the cinematic story mode took up most of my playing time before writing this review I must also mention the addictive Towers Of Time. This is a more substantial, developed version of the time ladders seen in other NetherRealm games. The unpredictable nature of the Towers - thanks to the modifiers which impact various levels and fights - mean Towers of Time provides a consuming channel for the single player long after you have completed story mode.
To be honest I am struggling for anything negative to say about MK11 besides perhaps the grind involved in the rewards from the Krypt (nitpicking).
This truly is not only one of the greatest - if not the greatest - Mortal Kombat of all time but one of the greatest fighting games of all time. A triumph.