Every Fighter In Mortal Kombat 1, Ranked

Mortal Kombat 1 has an ample roster with many fighters, making it difficult to know which one to pick. Characters can excel at being strong zoners, apply pressure to opponents, or have gimmicks that give them advantages as they appear behind their opponents.



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This list will show you the best fighters to pick to get better results in ranked mode or just to know which fighters are the strongest in the game so you can be prepared to fight them. The tier list will rank fighters based on their overall effectiveness rather than if they have a particular combo or gimmick.

3 Tier S

Tier S Combatants

These fighters are the best of the best; they have significant coverage, can excel in multiple areas, and feature some outstanding options in offensive and defensive playstyles, making them beasts when it comes to controlling the flow of battle and dictating the pacing of the fight. If what you want is uber-powerful characters, go with the S-Tier Fighters.

Li Mei

Mortal Kombat 1 Li Mei Victory alongside a Kameo Fighter

Li Mei is a strong character thanks to her repertoire of attacks featuring fast projectiles, gap closers, and powerful combos. It is a straightforward character that can execute a wide array of attacks on her opponents, keeping them at bay.

She has a move that lets her summon a lantern over her opponent’s head, and it is helpful to have that trick as it disables her foes from jumping, making them approach her by moving on the ground. That enables you to restrict some possible plays and predict your enemy more easily. If you want a character with a bit of everything and easy to play, go with Li Mei.


Mortal Kombat 1 Sub Zero Executing a Brutality on Rain

No matter what Mortal Kombat game you are playing, Sub-Zero will always be one of the best fighters, and with good reason: he can freeze his opponents. The Assassin of the Lin Kuei is a fight threat as he can use his freezing abilities to stop opponents cold on their tracks and guarantee strong attacks.

A defenseless opponent is an easy target to defeat, and Sub-Zero having a solid game as a zoner with his ice projectiles can be challenging to deal with. In addition, the character has good gap closers, and his ice hammer can deal solid damage.

As if that was enough, he can leave an ice clone that will freeze opponents that touch it, giving you breathing room to plan your next move, and the enhanced version of the move can leave up to three clones, protecting you from opponents closing in.

Johnny Cage

Mortal Kombat 1 Johnny Cage Intro

The superstar actor is here to show that he is the business when he is filming his movies. Cage’s mechanic allows him to negate the attacks of other fighters, making him effective at turning off your opponent’s tactics and getting on their nerves as you stop their strategies completely.

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Couple that with his effective array of moves and his ability to go behind opponents and quickly move across arenas, and you have a speedy fighter that can be pretty hard to predict in matches. Cage makes for a good character for both experts and novices in the game.


Mortal Kombat 1 Kenshi Super Move

Kenshi is an incredibly effective fighter who can deal a lot of damage with his sword and devastating moves to his foes. The blind swordsman can be challenging to master as the fighter is more complex than others in the roster, but if you take the time to learn him, you will be rewarded incredibly.

His telepathic moves give you some range options for dealing with your opponent, but the real trick here is his summon of ancestral spirits. It allows Kenshi to attack alongside the spirit, increasing his damage and making it hard for opponents to respond as they are fighting two fighters simultaneously. Kenshi can also block while the ghost attacks, thus allowing him to play offensively and defensively.

Liu Kang

Mortal Kombat 1 Liu Kang Victory with Fire

The God of Fire is one of the best characters in the game, as his moveset features strong attacks that can hit your opponent from their foot or keep them cornered. His high-speed attacks, fireballs, and classic kicks make Liu Kang a great character at all ranges. His enhanced attacks can also deliver devastating blows that rip apart your foe’s health bar.

The fighter is easy to learn and master overall, making him an excellent choice for newbies to Mortal Kombat or those who want a solid character to learn the fundamentals of the game. You have many options to go on the fly with Liu Kang, allowing you to react to your opponents instantly and choose how to approach them in a manner that better fits the matchup.

2 Tier A

Tier A Fighters

These fighters are strong characters to pick that can deal significant damage while having the gimmicks that give them an edge in battle. The only difference between S-Tier Fighters and A-Tier Fighters is that these characters below are less effective than their peers in the upper rank, but they are still deadly to face in Mortal Kombat.

Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung (left) gives Baraka (right) a deadly drink

Shang Tsung is a strong fighter in the game right now, thanks to his ability to shapeshift, as not only does he have his moves and options but he can also use those of his rivals. Shang Tsung can easily copy them and enjoy their benefits if his opponents depend on a gimmick or have a decisive moveset. The character, along with Kenshi, has the highest ceiling of mastery in the game, as you will need to know all the other fighters’ moves to use the master of disguise effectively.

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His projectiles are similar to Liu Kang’s but faster and can provide excellent coverage on both ground and air. His moveset counts with two variations, as in addition to transforming into other fighters, he can also alter between his young and old form. Doing so drastically changes how his moves play out, as projectiles can come from the ground rather than his hands.

His diverse pools of attack, fast movements, and ability to copy his opponents make it extremely hard to predict Shang Tsung and give him all the tools he needs and some to spare to deal with his foes.


Scorpion victory in Mortal Kombat 1

While he cannot throw ice balls at his opponents, Scorpion must catch up to Sub-Zero as a deadly fighter. His chain can pull opponents close, while his combos can be fast and challenging to predict. Couple that with his teleportation and the ability to generate chain attacks from his special moves, and you have a character that can cause intense pressure on foes.


Reptile Victory Screen in Mortal Kombat 1

Reptile is a versatile fighter that is fun to play. His moves make him invisible, keeping your rivals guessing your next move, while his range attacks can lead to uppercuts or aerial combos. His range might not be as far as other fighters, but once he’s close to the enemy, his gimmicks and close-quarters combat are fantastic.


Mortal Kombat 1 Ashrah Fatality

Ashrah’s playstyle might have been what you initially expected of Kenshi, but the former is a swift blade while the latter is a slow and methodical swordsman.

Ashrah can buff her weapon, and her stylish combos and moves make for a strong fighter with some amazing overheads that can be hard to block. In addition, her projectiles, while not having a lot of range, have excellent coverage in height.

General Shao

General Shao Fighting Raiden

Like Ashrah, General Shao can buff his weapon, and like Reptile, he can do some fantastic combos with uppercuts. The difference? That General Shao hits like a truck, as the buffed fighter can quickly dish out tons of damage if his attacks are not stopped.

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He can also use his weapons in numerous ways and even throw them, giving the character more options to cover terrain. He does have less health than other fighters, but he is worth it, thanks to his damage potential.

1 Tier B

B tier fighters

Tier B characters are not as good as Tier S and Tier A, but they are still solid characters to learn to use if you struggle with a particular type of opponent and if you take the time to master them. While these fighters are not as deadly as those stated above, they can still be quite effective in the right hands.


Geras In Mortal Kombat 1

Geras is a good fighter but might be particularly useful for those who struggle with spammers, as his sand vortex is a swift move that can quickly stop projectile characters. His overheads can be reasonable to use on unsuspecting opponents, and they can start in single, simple actions, giving him a bit of leeway in creating his chain of attacks.


Baraka doing his Brutality on Kenshi

Baraka is a decent fighter overall, featuring swift attacks with blades that can be flashy on the screen. Because of how fast his attacks come out, they can be hard to block and are easy to chain together due to the character’s gameplay. Sadly, for all the attacks that Baraka unleashes, his damage tends to be lower when compared to the rest of the cast.


Smoke Fatality in Mortal Kombat 1

Smoke is an assassin, perhaps even more than his peers in stealth and assassination. The fighter can teleport behind opponents and in the air, and while his long-range combat is non-existent, his close war is ruthless and powerful.

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As a bonus, this fighter has some outstanding anti-air support, meaning that opponents who jump a lot will be highly punished, and some of his enhanced moves deal significant damage with an easy startup.


Raiden Fatality in Mortal Kombat 1

Raiden is replacing Liu Kang as the champion of Earthrealm in this entry, and as such, he has become quite the force to be reckoned with. Even if he is not a god of thunder anymore, the fighter is mighty, as his moves can close gaps between combatants in a blink, and his projectiles can be charged to deal devastating damage.

Thanks to these perks, Raiden is a solid fighter, and his electric field can stun foes while keeping him relatively safe from harm. Also, he can teleport, too, and his combos are beginner-friendly.

For the rest of the fighters, read below to find their placements:

C Rating



Kung Lao


D Rating





NEXT: Mortal Kombat 1: Invasion Tips

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