Every Taunt In Mortal Kombat 1, Ranked

Taunting in Mortal Kombat has always been part of the show, with Mortal Kombat 1 being no exception. Characters taunt each other on loading screens, when entering the match, they’ll even taunt your defeated corpse, even if you can’t listen to them anymore.



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You can even taunt during a match, even if doing so comes at the risk of being uppercutted to a different realm of existence. Still, some taunts are more than worth it, since winning is not the same without applying some salt on the wound. And there are characters that really know how to drip that salt.

23 Havik

Havik in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Playing an undead character certainly has its appeal, and Havik scratches that itch for the fighting game scene. Most of his combos revolve around dismembering himself to deal additional damage or for added range. He can even remove his lower jaw to do the most unsanitary of projectiles.

Yet for a taunt, variations of breaking your own neck just don’t fit the bill. If he did the Exorcist move of spinning his head on its own, that’d be a different deal, but instead he just seems to be doing your work for you. When he does it to attack that’s one thing, but as a taunt, it doesn’t look right.

22 Ashrah

Ashrah in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Characters like Ashrah are actually great to see on the roster of Mortal Kombat; while the classics like Scorpion and Sub-Zero are all well and good, sometimes we want to see some more obscure characters take center stage.

That said, her taunts are just not that great. They do keep her theme of a regal huntress, and while they do fit her, they’re just not entertaining to do. Maybe she was doomed from the start, since a good taunt requires a more outgoing character to begin with.

21 Nitara

Nitara in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

As a blood-sucking monster, Nitara certainly nails the presentation — if you can look past some of the voice acting that is. Her combos are really strong making her a great pick, so with such a presence you’d expect taunts to match.

Well, let’s hope you like screeching, since that’s most of what she does. The wing stretch does add to the menacing aspect of her, but not by much. A single screech would’ve been fine, but it reaches a point where it’s hard to tell the difference between taunts.

20 Rain

Rain in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

As a water-based character, Rain isn’t the most imposing of characters. While he’s certainly a formidable fighter, when compared to fire gods and ax-wielding giants, throwing water at people just isn’t the same.

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He does have very interesting combos, however, and what makes him stand out the most is his staff. The taunts he does with it are at the very least fun to look at, almost like he’s putting up a show for everyone present. Even if not threatening, he’s certainly entertaining.

19 Geras

Geras In Mortal Kombat 1 Photo Mode

Geras is a strange combination of old and new; old because he comes as a keepsake from a different era, but new because he was introduced in Mortal Kombat 11, the previous game in the series. He retains his awesome look and sandy powers, along with his regal demeanor.

While not spectacular, his taunts do see him flex for all he has, and the dripping sand is always a nice touch. The effect that puts him over the edge is when he destroys the hourglasses, something that represents him well in both his timekeeper role and his destructive powers.

18 Scorpion

Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

The new timeline came with a lot of changes, and no one shows this more than the new Scorpion. He’s alive, for one, his identity behind the mask being remade as Sub-Zero’s brother. This makes their rivalry have a different meaning, and makes for a more interesting story, too. He still keeps all his fiery powers and kicks, though.

For his taunts, however, his flaming skull is sorely missed. Is not that there’s something inherently wrong with his taunts; the way he flaunts his weapon is certainly flashy, along with his fire powers. It’s just that he used to have some of the best taunts, and now that’s lost to time.

17 Kitana

Kitana in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

With the way she fights, Kitana’s whole move set almost looks like a taunt. She’s always throwing her fan upward, doing a knife combo, and then slapping you with the downward-coming fan. Her taunts reflect her move set, doing small pirouettes and showing off her weapons.

While all her taunts are great, especially the one telling you to come closer, they do blend together a bit too much. In fact, since all her tools are bladed, it’s a bit weird that she’s not dealing damage when twirling around. At least that fact might throw your opponents off guard.

16 Reiko

Reiko in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

While his beginnings have him more as a ninja, the way Reiko fights is more reminiscent of a wrestler, with all kinds of throws to fit the bill. As such, he comes with a lot of charisma into Mortal Kombat 1, and that shows in his taunts.

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Some of the taunts have him gear up for a fight, and the few laugh tracks do add to the whole taunting idea of, well, taunts. They are great to perform after a well-placed throw, enticing your opponent to attack before putting them down.

15 Genera Shao

General Shao in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Even if he’s no longer a Kahn, Shao is still a force to be reckoned with. His battleax and size give him this imposing presence that you don’t want to mess with. To make a good taunt for such a character shouldn’t really be a problem.

And while there’s nothing wrong with his taunt, they rely too much on his presence and don’t add much else. That may be a shame, but they still work simply because having Shao just standing there is enough to give a message; a don’t mess with me message.

14 Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

The soul eater himself is back in Mortal Kombat 1, with abilities to copy moves and swap between an old and young form. This could make him have very original taunts, yet all he does is laugh and sharp his claws.

While simple, these taunts are effective, especially considering that Shang Tsung is taunting you all the time; that smirk seems unmovable. Besides, what makes a good taunt is the ability to mock your opponent, and what’s better than laughing in their face.

13 Tanya

Tanya in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Tanya seems to have had a change in personality more than story, since she remains an ally of Mileena, but her ideals of betrayal seem to have faded. While it may still be too early to tell, as far as her taunts go the interesting part is her powers.

Her weapon does show in most of them, something expected when compared with the other characters. She does have a special power about summoning hands, and they do show up in one of her taunts, looking cool and making Tanya rise above many others in terms of style.

12 Mileena

Mileena in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

The cloned sister of Kitana, Mileena’s whole deal has always been her wide grin. This might seem one-note, and while it certainly might be, it’s one excellent note. The devastating damage she can do with those teeth is on display in her combos.

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So when she taunts showing her real mouth, you know what you can expect. This might just be her years as a main character in the franchise, but the simple act of removing her mask sends the right message, letting them know they’re next on the menu.

11 Li Mei

Li Mei in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Li Mei seems like a straightforward fighter until she starts casting purple light lions everywhere. That makes her abilities incredibly flashy, with the purple light making a big contrast against most backgrounds found within the game. This is not only great for her visibility, but also for her visual identity.

When it comes to taunts, most of them make plenty of use of her powers, making a sort of light show that draws the eyes towards her. The taunts with lanterns can be quite deceptive, since the moves that normally spawn them make them explode. While they don’t deal damage when summoned by a taunt, your opponent doesn’t know that.

10 Baraka

Baraka in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

When talking about menacing looks, Baraka takes the win. He looks like he could kill you by accident with a friendly hug, so imagine if he actually wants to hurt you. His taunts reflect this, each making note of a different way in which he could disembowel you.

What sets him apart from other fighters is his design and baggage that such a classic character carries. His grunts differ from those of Nitara because there’s a bigger meaning behind them, one given by the player when seen.

9 Kenshi

Kenshi in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Kenshi’s whole visual style seems to evoke a deadlier Daredevil. His swordplay is on point, no matter if he’s slicing and dicing or making a showing-off pirouette while taunting. He might not say much but what’s there is more than enough.

The one taunt that sets him apart is the one where he tries to listen in. This is a great counter taunt, since the taunts of other characters tend to have a visual component. Being blind, Kenshi can just lean in, almost mocking their showmanship by stating that he can’t even see them.

8 Sub-Zero

Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Besides the logo, the most iconic thing in the Mortal Kombat franchise has to be the ninja outfits, among them those of Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Sub-Zero alone has always had the most iconic fatalities. So you can imagine that when taunting, just having Sub-Zero do his thing is more than enough.

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Sure, he isn’t adding much to the idea of being Sub-Zero, but just seeing the ice effects and the mastery of the power on display is enough. Besides, with Sub-Zero you can freeze your target in place, make a taunt, and then deal the finishing blow.

7 Smoke

Smoke in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Smoke’s identity has been tied to the cyborgs for so long that, when you see him in his ninja persona, that makes enough for his look to be striking. On design alone, he looks like the most calculated of the ninjas, and the most sensitively dressed.

When it comes to his taunts, the way he plays with his knife makes him look menacing yet determined. He’s not flaunting his abilities, he’s preparing his dexterous hand for finishing the fight quickly and then moving on to the next target.

6 Kung Lao

Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Kung Lao is a fan favorite mostly due to his weapon choice. The hat has given way to many an original fatality, and his move set is great to boot. While most of his taunts are alright, what pushes him over the edge are two specific animations.

One has him play with his hat, making it shine. He does so with a coy smile, like he knows where the hat is going next. Yet the best one has to be the clear Matrix reference, where he entices you to move forward by extending his arm and motioning towards him with his hand.

5 Raiden

Raiden in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

Raiden might no longer be the protective god he once was, yet that doesn’t stop him from being an electrical powerhouse. While he no longer has the wisdom of the ages, he’s now a younger, more stylish fighter, and that shows in his taunts.

Previous games would have most of Raiden’s animations show his ancient side, and now that he’s just a mortal we have more energetic taunts. Oddly enough, these changes make his powers seem more fitting, looking like a charged-up youngster ready to show his worth.

4 Liu Kang

Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 1 photo mode

As the new protector of the realms, Liu Kang has a design overflowing with power. While you’d expect him to then have plenty of regal taunts, he actually has really varied ones, making the best part of them how different they are from one another.

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Among the best ones, there’s clearly the one he shares with Kung Lao, gauding your opponent to come closer. He can also show disappointment, a perfect disrespect that you want in the best of taunts, not to mention he can also simply flaunt his firepower with a different taunt. A lot to choose from with this one.

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