Why does the cyborg turn into a shark?!
Mortal Kombat 11 is just around the corner, and it’s already shown us some of the nastiest, most brutal fatalities we’ve ever seen. But brutality isn’t everything. Throughout the history of mortal combat, there have been plenty of Fatalities, Friendships, Animalities and more that weren’t afraid to get weird with it. From the bizarrely gruesome to the gruesomely bizarre, here are our picks for the 25 craziest finishing moves in MK history.
Spoiler alert: There’s a lot of MK 3 in here. That game was wacky.
25. Mortal Kombat 3 – Reptile – Fatality
Even setting aside the fact that in order to swallow his prey, Reptile’s head expands by about 500%, the real WTF?! of this finisher is the question of how can a man who’s head and vocal chords are currently being digested keep screaming?! Or maybe it’s Reptile who’s screaming, though that begs the question why we haven’t seen his ventriloquist act yet.
24. Mortal Kombat 3 – Kano – Fatality
Kano’s real special ability, it turns out, is showmanship. Sure, you’ve seen people get their spines torn out and their heads ripped off… but have you ever seen a man pull someone’s entire skeleton out through their mouth?
All of them. Sure, they’re an expert-level diss on your opponent, but they’re just… super weird.
22. Mortal Kombat 3 – Jade – Fatality
Jade must really focus on biceps and triceps, because it takes a lot of energy to impale someone then swipe them back and forth so fast that not only does their skin get peeled off their bones by the sheer momentum she’s creating, but then they also explode.
21. Mortal Kombat 2 – Liu Kang – Friendship
The concept of hanging a disco ball and dancing the night away isn’t, in itself, that crazy. But it is when you’ve just pummeled someone to within an inch of their life and no one is around to dance with you.
20. MK: Deadly Alliance – Quan Chi – Fatality
That’s not how necks work, Quan Chi.
19. Mortal Kombat 2 – Mileena – Fatality
Another stellar example of how Mortal Kombat is secretly the most horrifying Looney Tune ever, Mileena devours her opponent like she’s sucking helium out of a balloon and then instantly spits out a pile of bones. The only thing missing is the xylophone sound effects and a belch.
18. Mortal Kombat 9 – Skarlet – Fatality
I can almost excuse the whole “turning into blood” thing, but then the rest is just… nah.
17. Mortal Kombat 3 – Kabal – Animality
So the whole point of Animalities is that you finish your enemy by embodying the spirit of the animal which best represents you, right? So what does it say about Kabal that his spirit beast is a freaking skeleton of a rhinoceros?
16. Mortal Kombat: Deception – Tayna – Hara Kiri
The whole concept of the Hara Kiri finishers in the first place is pretty grim, but Tanya’s is just so… extra.
15. Mortal Kombat 3 – Kitana – Animality
This finisher was designed by someone who read way too much Bunnicula as a kid or really loved Monty Python. Either way, it ensured that a bunch of us would never look at rabbits the same way again.
14. Mortal Kombat 3 – Mileena – Fatality
First, Mileena drinks what can only be described as a paint can full of thumbtacks, and then fires them at her opponent out of her mouth like a goddamned machine gun, only providing further evidence that she is actually an escapee from the ToonTown equivalent of Arkham Asylum.
13. Mortal Kombat 3 – Jade – Animality
Only slightly weirder than Kitana’s animality, Jade transforms herself into an adorable housecat and then attacks and shreds her opponent, Tazmanian Devil-style, until an explosion of bones and viscera fly in all different directions. Part of me believes this is why I’m more of a dog person.
12. Mortal Kombat 11 – Johnny Cage – Fatality
Leaning into the dark humor of the franchise, MK 11’s Johnny Cage makes light of his past as a Hollywood star – by brutally injuring his opponent, take after take.
11. Mortal Kombat 3 – Jax – Fatality
There’s nothing in any MK lore to explain it, but Jackson Briggs apparently has the ability to go all Atom Smasher on his foes. It’s something I really hope they explore more in MK 11.
10. MK: Deception – Liu Kang – Fatality
There are better ways to fit into a bodysuit, but apparently, Liu Kang doesn’t know any of them.
09. Mortal Kombat 3 – Shang Tsung – Friendship
In what hopefully confirms the best universe crossover in gaming, Shang Tsung turns into the miniature knight riding a tiny ostrich from the 1982 game Joust. Now we just need the Ostrich Knight as DLC for MK11.
08. Mortal Kombat 3 – Cyrax – Animality
This one kept me up at night as a kid, and probably will again now that I’m thinking about it. Why is Cyrax a shark? He’s a cyborg, no part of this makes sense. Why is Cyrax a shark, and how does he swim through solid earth?!
07. Mortal Kombat 9 – Shang Tsung – Fatality
Stealing moves straight from the Clown Prince of Crime himself, this finisher is an homage to the Joker’s finishing move in the first MK vs DC game. It’s also designed to torment people who are scared of clowns playing a game in which they would have no reason whatsoever to expect clowns to show up.
06. Mortal Kombat 3 – Liu Kang – Fatality
Liu Kang phases out of existence, summoning a MK 1 arcade cabinet to fall and crush his opponent. This raises so many questions. Are kombatants aware that they’re in a video game? Or does the video game just star other people in their world? Do they play it? Why does Cyrax turn into a shark?!
05. Mortal Kombat 3 – Scorpion – Fatality
So many Scorpions. How and why he’s able to summon or manifest so many copies of himself is perhaps beyond our mortal comprehension… but I know that Multiplicity movie would have been a lot more interesting if it had been Scorpion instead of Michael Keaton.
04. Mortal Kombat 3 – Nightwolf – Friendship
Again with the arcade cabinets! But this time it’s even more confusing, because while almost everyone else’s Friendship moves somehow reflect their character or abilities, Nightwolf just… turns into Raiden. Like… why? Can he shape-shift into anyone or just the God of Thunder? Is that his way of saying “I get to play Raiden” so he can spam the Torpedo? I mean, I get it, but it seems kinda cheap.
03. Mortal Kombat 2 – Raiden – Friendship
Raiden, what are you doing bringing a child into this arena of death and destruction? Also where did you get a child? Kidd Thunder is said to be “Raiden’s favorite nephew” according to an old card game, but let’s be honest – this was probably just added in to f**k with us.
02. Mortal Kombat 3 – Scorpion – Animality
You would think that with a name like “Scorpion,” you’d know what was coming when you performed the move that would turn him into an animal. But you would be wrong. Very wrong.
01. Mortal Kombat 3 – Smoke – Fatality
He blew up the whole world! Why would he do that?! He’d already won the fight.
So there they are – the craziest MK finishers we could find. What’s your favorite? Did it make our list? Let us know in the comments below, and for more on Mortal Kombat, why not check out every fatality we’ve seen for MK11 yet, or get caught up on the story so far.
Special thanks to Life & Death Live on YouTube for helping us get footage of all of these ludicrous finishers!