Facepalm: Mortal Kombat will celebrate its 30th anniversary later this year. You would think there would be big plans to honor one of the most influential – and controversial – fighting game franchises in history but according to a recent leak, that does not appear to be in the cards.
A pre-order listing for a Mortal Kombat 30th anniversary ultimate bundle recently surfaced on Amazon's UK portal. Priced at £29.99 (about $35), the offering includes Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate and the 2021 Mortal Kombat film in 4K Ultra HD – all enclosed in a collectible SteelBook.
And, well, that is about it.
For a franchise with such a rich history, this feels awfully disappointing. Would it have been that much trouble for NetherRealm Studios to put together remakes of the first game or two in the series for modern platforms, or to throw fans a couple of other bones?
Mortal Kombat hit arcades on October 8, 1992, with "realistic" digitized graphics, extreme violence and levels of gore that were unprecedented for the time. Arcade-goers ate it up, making Mortal Kombat the second top-grossing arcade game the following summer behind NBA Jam (also from Midway). A major marketing campaign dubbed Mortal Monday was created for the home console release (Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Boy and Game Gear) on September 13, 1993.
Mortal Kombat sparked a ton of controversy. In fact, it was highlighted alongside other contentious titles like Night Trap in government hearings on video game violence and the corruption of society, which led to the eventual creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to assign age and content ratings for games.
The franchise spawned a long list of mainline sequels, the latest being Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. We also got a few Mortal Kombat movies and even a 10-track music album. The original MK was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 class alongside other classics like Super Mario Kart and Microsoft Solitaire.