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  • And the Fandom Rejoiced:
    • The announcement and subsequent trailer for this game, which takes the game back to its 2-D roots. With copious amounts of blood, violence and carnage, to top it all.
    • The return of the "Test Your Might" and "Test Your Sight" mini-games, along with two new ones, called "Test Your Strike" and "Test Your Luck", as well as a 300-level "Challenge Tower".
    • Anyone who doubted the game could possibly be bloody enough to stand out was shut up with the news that Kratos would be joining the carnage.
    • Rain is back as DLC, after being left out of the main game. And he has his super roundhouse kick back.
    • FREDDY. KRUEGER.
  • Awesome Music: Nearly all of the music of the original games gets a remix, including several very well done orchestral remixes.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Kratos. You've got the fans who think he's a great addition to the roster, the fans who are vehemently against his presence in the game, the fans pestering Netherrealm Studios to add a 360 exclusive character, and the fans who just don't care about him being in the game.
      • With the reveal that the fourth DLC character is Freddy Krueger, the fanbase is further split between those who think he's a welcome addition and those who feel that he's even less fitting in the game than Kratos is and that the reveal is a disappointment after the hype leading up to his release.
    • Shang Tsung's Bang Bang! fatality. Some find it a hilarious Take That towards the Joker's censored fatality in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Others see it as completely Out of Character or ill-fitting for Shang Tsung.
    • Babalities are back in the game. Without Friendships or Animalities to accompany them.
    • There's also the announcement that goes both ways: Unmasked Sub-Zero, YAYYYYY! Wait, Retro Cyber Sub-Zero, BOOOOOO!
    • Cyber Sub-Zero is a HUGE one among the fans.
  • 8.8: IGN gave the game a "mere" 8 out of ten, with a one page review and some complaints about the single player mode. The latter falls under Did Not Do the Research, since they were that it was too hard, and that the story mode wasn't comprehensive enough. Note that when the reviewer states in the review that when he made remarks about the difficulty to other IGN writers, they noted "Sounds like Mortal Kombat, then" and that none of the other fighting games except for a few feature a story mode.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Johnny Cage's inflated ego has ironically made him a fan favorite this time around, as his douchebaggery reaches So Bad It's Good levels of funny.
    • Also, Stryker gained a lot of popularity in this game, due to his genre-savvy personality and re-tweaked look.
  • Everybody Remembers the Stripper: Inverted AND averted within Story Mode. Most of the female characters remain clothed to some degree, with one surprising exception at first. No, not Sonya. Or Kitana. Or Jade. Or Mileena. Or even Sheeva. It's Sindel. In what is the only display of "frontal nudity" of any kind in the entire series, when Quan Chi resurrects her to match the events of Mortal Kombat 3, she is brought back naked, with only a view shown of her upper chest above the nipples.
  • Excuse Plot: Zig-zagged. There is an actual plot and some respectable storytelling and voice-acting, but some dialogue is clearly just to get characters punching each other. Even when people are on the same side, talking solves nothing. Violence Is the Only Option. Somewhat justified since this is a Fighting Game.
  • Fan Dumb:
    • It doesn't matter if you point out you like the game anyway, that you think everything else is good and that you still enjoy the game much. They will still flame the crap out of you and call you a noob for complaining about how luck is a factor in some of the gameplay.
    • Much of the fan base seems to think that the game's Fake Difficulty doesn't exist and that skill can overcome things like, say, Shao Kahn ignoring hitstun and hitting you in the middle of the attack that was supposed to knock him back.
    • If some fatalities are performed on Kratos, his expression and animations won't change. For some reason, everyone claims that this is obviously "special treatment" (and for some reason, they always use those words) from the licensers not wanting Kratos to die violently, and not, you know, anything like his reactions simply being unfinished.
    • There is a lot of fandom controversy around the story mode scene involving Sindel slaughtering most of the cast.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Some of Goro's and Kintaro's weaknesses can be exploited via these. They can't comprehend uppercut spamming on Normal difficulty, and are also impotent against diving kicks, especially Cyber Sub-Zero's, which is a Godsend when you fight both of them towards the end of Story Mode.
  • He's Just Hiding: A good portion of the fans believe that Liu Kang didn't die when Raiden shocked him, and that he'll be showing up in the next game having made a Face Heel Turn. Whether or not this is true is unconfirmed. It was Jossed in X: not only he died, but he's one of the Revenants.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mortal Kombat Defenders of the Realm gave us a non-canon glimpse of Cyrax and Sektor before they underwent automation; they were respectively shown to be Asian and Black. While we've known that (in canon) Cyrax has been shown to be dark-skinned at the least since his ending in Gold (additionally, his bio for this game confirms that he's Botswana), this game's story shows us all of the major Lin Kuei warriors before they were converted into cyborgs. Sektor is shown to be Asian and the son of the LK Grandmaster, thus meaning that he and Cyrax swapped races between the games and the cartoon.
    • A year before the game was announced, a YouTube user uploaded this video. At the time it was just a show off of Armageddon's "Kreate-A-Fatality" feature, where the player could build their own character, with their own powers, fighting stances, weapons, etc. But now that Freddy was confirmed to be DLC, the video seems (unintentionally, of course) prophetic...
    • Canon Foreigner Hydro becomes a cyborg. So does Sub-Zero! Made funnier by the fact that a fangame (Mortal Kombat Project) has Hydro with the same cyborg design as MK3!Cyrax and Sektor, which eventually became Cyb-Zero's downloadable costume! Even better: Cyb-Zero's moveset is very similar to Cyborg Hydro's in the aforementioned fangame.
    • Annihilation features a scene where Rain announces to Shao Kahn that he's captured Kabal and Stryker. Cue 9, and both of them are Bash Brothers.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The X-Ray moves and Fatalities in particular have high HSQs, though there's no shortage of this in the game's storyline as well.
  • Memetic Mutation: Combining Sub-Zero's versus portrait with those of other characters has yielded hilarious results.
    • This dialogue, from Challenge #20 in the Challenge Tower:

 Scorpion: I HATE TEDDIES!

Mileena: But I worked so hard on it. You MUST accept it!

    • Thanks a particular leak about DLC, "DLC BASEMALE is my main/is God Tier" looks like it's working its way up as well.
    • Stryker and Police!Kabal's conversation in the middle of Chapter 12:

 Kabal: Stryker, check her [Mileena] out! What do you think? Friend or foe?

Stryker: Foe.

Kabal: Dressed like that?

Stryker: Definitely foe.

  • Nightmare Fuel: Check the page.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mileena, again.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: If Armageddon didn't rescue Stryker, this game surely did. Aside of an even cooler riot suit, any traces of his previous Creator's Pet-ness have been replaced by pure, unadulterated badassery. Having a good VA (Matthew Mercer), as well as a mellow, Genre Savvy personality doesn't hurt either.
  • The Scrappy: Sindel after the events of Chapter 15 where she effortlessly curbstomps 10 people at once killing all but Johnny Cage and Sonya. To be fair to her, she was Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Bosses randomly ignoring hitstun, AI Roulette, and button reading. The fact that no patch has been forthcoming to fix any of this isn't helping.
  • Tear Jerker: When the game goes into Wham! Episode overdrive, expect a lot of these moments:
    • Scorpion is a walking Tear Jerker at times, especially when it looks like he may spare Bi-Han/Older Sub Zero like Raiden asked him to... but then Quan Chi shows him Fake Memories of how Bi-Han and the Lin Kuei killed his family and clansmen, and he loses it enough to incinerate an already surrendering Bi-Han. That means losing the chance to have his loved ones revived (which Raiden had promised to do) and sealing Bi-Han's fate to become Noob Saibot (aka why Raiden wanted him to spare his enemy).
    • The death of Liu Kang. Watching all the trust he held in the one person he believed would guide his people to victory dissolve into anger and disillusionment just before he dies is certifiably tragic.
    • Raiden's near-Heroic BSOD in response to everything he goes through, including the above.
    • Kitana's Died in Your Arms Tonight moment with Liu Kang at the end of Chapter 15.
    • Smoke's distraught over Kuai Liang!Sub-Zero at the end of Chapter 8.
    • The game's Bittersweet Ending. Sonya is desperately struggling to hold back tears, and no one can blame her.
  • That One Boss: Shao Kahn in Story Mode, if only because Liu Kang requires a lot more practice for Beginners. He also has a lot less combo potential and easy buttons to use. More specifically the 360 version because the D-Pad is pretty bad.
    • A cheap way to beat him during the Liu Kang matchup is to keep getting as far away as possible, as this seems to force him to taunt you. Repay this kindness with a flying kick, and repeat.
    • Kintaro/Goro in Arcade Mode can become this because of their Super Armor as well as severe Hitbox Dissonance on Kintaro's throws. They're not so bad in Story Mode however.
    • The final battle against Shao Kahn as Raiden in Story Mode will break you. He seems to LOVE reading your control inputs and countering at just the right time. And if you try to get a good hit in, chances are he'll bust out the hitstun to hit through that and smack you around for twice as much damage. Not even cheap projectile spamming (which works well in Arcade Ladder Mode) will help you here.
    • Another tactic which works is to play defensively, and get really lucky. Always try to get as far from him as possible, and when he throws his hammer at you, teleport next to him and uppercut. If you try it when he tosses a spear, he'll hitstun block it and rape your face (on rare occasions the blow will connect). If he taunts you, use the flying torpedo move instead, as it recovers faster than a hammer toss. Repeat this until he either dies, or more likely, the timer runs out (hopefully with you having more health than him). Landing an X-Ray move is also helpful, the best time for that also being during a taunt or hammer toss. The luck factors in regarding his dash move, and how often he uses it to close the distance on you. If he gets too close for comfort, teleport again and retreat. Trying to fight him straight up WILL NOT WORK. Good luck, and in the words of Shao Kahn, "You will die."
  • That One Level:
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Shang Tsung. He can only morph into to the character being fought, and they can block this to prevent it. His moves aren't that great, one of which even leaves you open for attack, and is easy to do by mistake when throwing combos involving uppercuts. And 2 of his big advantages, his grab and Soul Steal, are useless on the bosses. He can be played okay in the right hands, but even then, he's moderately good at best.
  • Villain Sue: Quan Chi is working his way up here, if not already there thanks to this game. However it's helps greatly when it's implied that Shinnok is possibly receiving information from his future self, and thus allowing the two to plan accordingly. Indeed at the very end the two state that everything has gone according to plan. And X works on averting this, since many of his plans fall and Karma does catch up with him in the form of Scorpion.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Raiden just stands and watches the Lin Kuei cyborgs abduct Sub-Zero; that this comes after warning Cyrax against the Cyber Inititave & his saving Smoke from that same fate makes it especially glaring. An argument could be made that his inability to understand his message from the future ("He must win") could fall under this, as he keeps thinking that it means a specific combatant from Earthrealm, even after Liu Kang's victories over Shang Tsung & Shao Kahn didn't ward off Armageddon. In fact, Raiden from the original timeline could fall under this too, because he could have very easily specified who the message "He must win" was referring to, though to be fair, he was just beaten up and about to be killed, so he must have had little time to clarify..
      • For one, he didn't go to the Elder Gods until the last possible minute, nor explain his visions.
    • Hey Sonya, Ermac's got a hold of Jax! Want to help Jax out? No? Okay, let's just hope nothing bad happ--Oh wait, there goes his arms. Good thing you're here Sonya, now you can stop the bleeding!
    • Shao Kahn himself at the very start of the game. If he simply killed Raiden there and then as he started his gloating, the timeline wouldn't have changed and he wouldn't have been annihilated by the Elder Gods. Though it's not like that Shao Kahn could've seen it coming. And of course he's an Evil Overlord so the gloating is to be expected. So really it's less of an Idiot Ball, and the Villain Ball instead.
  • Win Back the Crowd: This game basically won over the fanbase and then some after a dry spell of games that were either derided as being broken (Mortal Kombat Deception), rushed (Mortal Kombat Armageddon), or mediocre (Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe). The sheer effort placed into this game and all of the features included made this a hit.
  • The Woobie: You can't help but feel for Raiden after all's said and done. Accidentally betraying your friends, being manipulated by every evil bastard between Outworld and the Netherrealm, watching your world destroyed in an invasion, finding no help from your superiors, and ultimately, figuring out it all went south because you couldn't even understand your own doomed message. Even if he played with the Idiot Ball, Raiden deserves a Friendship by the end of Story Mode.
    • Cyber Sub-Zero is this both in Story and Arcade Ladder. In both cases he is doomed to A Fate Worse Than Death, both an initial, temporary one, and a second, possibly more permanent one.
    • Long story short, this game made the setting a World of Woobie. It is utterly heartwrenching to see the domino effect screw over nearly everyone.
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