July 31, 2023: A new trailer and information for Geras has been added to the list.
Who are all of the Mortal Kombat 1 characters? NetherRealm Studios is once again rebooting the timeline, only this time, we have Liu Kang as the Fire God guiding the mortals of EarthRealm instead of the Thunder God Raiden, as history repeats itself once more. However, instead of being a traditional fighter, Mortal Kombat 1 introduces assist characters called Kameos, who you can call to help get out of sticky situations.
So far, we’ve seen fighters we’d expect as Mortal Kombat 1 characters, and several long-forgotten fighters reintroduced in the new timeline. That said, even some of the fighting game‘s classic characters have had tweaks to their origin story, with Scorpion seemingly alive and Kitana genuinely caring for her sister Mileena. With the Mortal Kombat 1 release date coming relatively soon, we’re listing all of the fighters that have been confirmed so far.
Mortal Kombat 1 roster list
The roster for Mortal Kombat 1 is split into two different types. There are characters you directly control and Kameo characters that act as assists. If you’re familiar with the original Marvel vs. Capcom, then this mechanic should bring back some memories. These Kameo characters act either as extensions to your combos or to break an opponent’s combo.
Mortal Kombat 1 playable characters
At the Summer Game Fest 2023 presentation, we caught a brief glimpse of the Mortal Kombat 1 character select screen. There are enough slots for 24 characters, though it’s unclear if any are reserved for DLC or if this is the starting line-up.
Here are the Mortal Kombat 1 characters confirmed so far:
- Reptile (NEW)
- Havik (NEW)
- Ashrah (NEW)
- Li Mei
- Kung Lao
- Johnny Cage
- Fire God Liu Kang
- Shang Tsung (preorder bonus)
Regarding timeline differences, Scorpion and Sub-Zero seem to be allies rather than enemies with a loftier goal than just protecting EarthRealm. In the latest trailer, Smoke joins them with a new look, and Lin Kuei comes to blows with Rain, who, instead of being the purple ninja, is now a sorcerer with even more power over water.
So what of the characters in the new timeline? Well, Liu Kang is now the Keeper of Time, taking the mantle from Kronika in the events of Mortal Kombat 11. Geras, the guardian of the mantle, is the only other character in the current timeline who seems aware of what came before. He observes that when Liu Kang restarted the timeline, he made key alterations, but his “vision of peace might already be compromised”.
Kung Lao is the teacher of the rather green Shaolin Monk, Raiden. At the same time, the mystical samurai Kenshi is annoyed that his sword seems to be in Johnny Cage’s weapon collection in his penthouse suite, indicating that he’s actually a good actor in this timeline.
Meanwhile, Kitana and Mileena have a sisterly bond waiting to break, though, in this timeline, Kitana currently idolizes her sister. Mileena has also changed in that she is now inflicted with a disease that’s turning her into a Tarkatan rather than being born one. As Baraka mentions in another trailer, the ‘Tarkat’ virus “disfigures, then debilitates. In time, it will turn us all into bloodthirsty monsters”.
Mortal Kombat 1 also sees the return of characters who rarely appear in mainline games. Tanya first debuted in Mortal Kombat 4, and in the original timeline, is an Edenian who betrayed her kind to serve the Outworld overlords. Here it seems she is one of Mileena’s trusted servants.
Li Mei is the most surprising inclusion so far, as she’s only ever been playable in the 3D Deadly Alliance trilogy of games. In the original games, she was a fighter trying to save her village’s fate from Quan Chi and Shang Tsung’s machinations but ultimately met her demise. In this new timeline, she was the leader of Umgadi warriors who swore to protect the royal family but became an outcast after Mileena’s father died on her watch.
At EVO 2023, there was the reveal of three more characters. Reptile is a classic Mortal Kombat character and a long-term adversary to the Earthrealmers. However, he is now on their side, having been exiled from Outworld due to his shapeshifting abilities to transform between human and reptilian forms. In the trailer, he is seen attacking Princess Kitana and is even referred to by his birth name, Syzoth, by Liu Kang.
The demon Ashrah is a returning character who first appeared in Mortal Kombat Deception. Banished from the Netherrealm by her sisters for purging most of the evil from her soul, she now takes on a human-like form. Liu Kang recruits her and Reptile to train with the monks for the war ahead.
Finally, we have Havik, another character who first appeared in Mortal Kombat Deception. In the original games, he is a cleric of Chaos who doesn’t really take sides, but here he takes on a more obviously undead appearance and wants to conquer other realms to free his own.
Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo characters
We also caught a brief glimpse of the Kameo character select screen, which you enter after picking your main combatant. There are enough slots for 16 Kameo characters, though more could be added in the future.
The gimmick here seems to be that the Kameo fighters are from the original timeline from when Kronika is the Keeper of Time. This is why we see Sub-Zero and Scorpion in their classic ninja gear, and Cyrax and Sektor are robots. It also explains why other characters wear outfits from their first appearance in other Mortal Kombat games, such as Jax’s Mortal Kombat 2 outfit with his real arms or Sonya and Kano having their original Mortal Kombat gear.
Here are the confirmed Mortal Kombat 1 Kameo characters so far:
- Sareena (NEW)
- Classic Scorpion
- Classic Sub-Zero
- Jax Briggs
- Sonya Blade
- Kung Lao
Mortal Kombat 1 DLC characters
Shortly after the announcement of Mortal Kombat 1, VGC reported on an Amazon listing that details the contents of the first wave of DLC characters. Some seem to be returning characters, while others take superheroes from DC, Image Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment, who all now have popular films or TV shows. These characters have now been officially revealed, and they are:
- Quan Chi
- Homelander (The Boys)
- Peacemaker (The Suicide Squad/Peacemaker)
- Omni-Man (Invincible)
Those are all of the Mortal Kombat 1 characters so far. If you’re excited about the future of the long-running series, you may wish to check out the Mortal Kombat 1 system requirements to see if you need to upgrade your PC.