Mortal Kombat 1 has been announced as the next title in the Mortal Kombat series, acting as a reboot for the long-running fighting franchise. This official reveal follows teases that showed the hand of a clock skipping over 12 and landing on 1, which neatly established plans for a new shake-up with this entry. Although this isn’t Mortal Kombat‘s first reboot, with MK9 also serving to reset the series, over a decade has passed since that last big upheaval. The promise of making things fresh again has already caught the attention of many fans.


Mortal Kombat 1 uses MK11: Aftermath‘s good ending as a springboard to begin anew, following the Fire God Liu Kang to a timeline that leaves behind the context of the recent games. The new setting takes place in the past, although familiar characters will still be making their return in this unfamiliar era. This is a world that Fire God Liu Kang has shaped to his will, attempting to create a better timeline than before. Of course, peace and prosperity can only last so long in the world of Mortal Kombat, and the return of Shang Tsung offers a clear threat to spur some fresh fatalities.

The Mortal Kombat 1 Release Date Is September 19, 2023

Fire God Liu Kang with glowing eyes standing behind the Mortal Kombat 1 logo.

The announcement trailer for Mortal Kombat 1, available on the Mortal Kombat YouTube channel, reveals the game’s planned release date as September 19, 2023. For fans who have been waiting years to see where the series goes next, waiting only a few months from announcement to release should come as something of a relief. In the meantime, potential players can expect to see more showcases of the gameplay and features coming to the next installment of the franchise.

Mortal Kombat 1 will come simultaneously to Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC, with both physical and digital editions available. Playstation 4 and Xbox One owners seem to be out of luck, with the launch focusing only on more recent consoles. The Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC versions should be able to comfortably deliver the impressive visuals revealed in the trailer, while the Switch port offers a handheld alternative that follows up Mortal Kombat 11‘s appearance on the system.

Mortal Kombat 1’s Character Roster Features Some Classics

Scorpion and Sub-Zero facing each other in Mortal Kombat 1

The Mortal Kombat 1 trailer reveals a number of core characters for the game, although most are not quite as they’ve been seen before. The inclusion of Fire God Liu Kang and the Great Kung Lao pose no particular surprise, considering these characters appeared in the MK11: Aftermath ending, but other reveals make for bigger surprises. In a new setting, it’s hard to predict who and what will carry over, particularly in a franchise with a surplus of memorable characters. The full character roster so far is as follows:

  • Fire God Liu Kang
  • The Great Kung Lao
  • Mileena
  • Kitana
  • Scorpion
  • Sub-Zero
  • Shang Tsung
  • Raiden
  • Johnny Cage

Most of these characters appear in MK1 announcement trailer, although Johnny Cage is only mentioned in the FAQ for the game on the Mortal Kombat website. Since the game takes place long before the main timeline for the series, it’s currently unclear what the narrative reason for some of the roster to be included is. In a setting that Fire God Liu Kang refers to as a “blank canvas that [he] has painted in with warmth and peace,” it’s possible that their appearances are the result of his design. It remains to be seen just how some of the cast connects to the prior versions of the characters.

Related: Biggest Timeline Breaks In Mortal Kombat’s History

For the moment, a number of Mortal Kombat 1 characters can be easily explained. Fire God Liu Kang is obviously the same being as the character in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, serving as the most direct link between the past games and the reboot. The Great Kung Lao is an ancestor of the Kung Lao who has traditionally appeared as a playable character, making for an easy transition between the usual reincarnation of the fighter and the original legend. Others like Shang Tsung and Kitana are established to have lived for centuries, and Raiden’s status as the eternal God of Thunder makes his appearance a no-brainer.

Preorder Bonuses For Mortal Kombat 1

Image showing Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1 offering his character and beta access as a preorder bonus.

Fans who can’t wait to get their hands on Mortal Kombat 1 have a number of options for preorders, which open on May 19 at 1pm ET/10am PT. The game offers Standard, Premium, and Kollector’s Editions, with the first two releasing physically and digitally across systems and the Kollector’s Edition arriving as a physical copy for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. Although most benefits of the various editions aren’t specifically tied to preorders, getting the Premium or Kollector’s Edition early will provide early access to Mortal Kombat 1 on September 14. Other bonuses that don’t require preorders include currency, fighters, and in the case of the Kollector’s Edition, physical goodies.

The biggest preorder bonus for Mortal Kombat 1 comes in the form of Shang Tsung as a playable character, allowing fans who lock in an order for any copy of the game to get their hands on the evil sorcerer himself. Players who chose the bad ending for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath will likely want to step into his shoes again, even if the path they took hasn’t made it into the canon. Fans eager to try out the action can also secure access to a PS5 and Xbox Series X/S beta in August with a preorder. Unfortunately, this latter bonus isn’t currently indicated to be available on other platforms.

Whether players choose to spring for a pre-order or wait until the game’s release, the arrival of Mortal Kombat 1 on September 19 will no doubt be a major day for fighting game fans. As a new beginning for the series, Mortal Kombat 1 represents the biggest shakeup in years, but plenty of elements that fans love appear to be returning. Although the material showcased in the announcement trailer will have to satiate those itching to get a feel of the game for now, more characters, concepts, and most importantly, fatalities are sure to be revealed before the launch of the Mortal Kombat 1.

Source: Mortal Kombat/YouTube, Mortal Kombat

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