The 7 Best Original ‘Mortal Kombat’ Fatalities, Ranked
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Mortal Kombat / WB Games

The 7 Best Original ‘Mortal Kombat’ Fatalities, Ranked


Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Mortal Kombat / WB Games

7. Johnny Cage’s decapitation

Always the cocky asshole, Cage winds up and lands an uppercut so devastating it knocks his opponent’s domepiece clean off — then reaches behind him and whips out a pair of stunna shades, David Caruso-style. “Guess the perp… lost their head,” you can almost hear him say.

6. Scorpion’s “Toasty!”

When you’ve got your enemy teetering on the brink of unconsciousness, are you gonna help them out of the ring — or are you gonna rip your mask off to expose a grinning skull, then spit fire at their feet until they go up in a gout of flame? The first one, we hope, since we live in a civilization with a social contract and all. But don’t confine Scorpion to such suffocating moral frameworks!

5. Sonya’s kiss of death

The move itself is dope: The U.S. Special Forces soldier blows a kiss at her rival, which sends a glowing ember flying toward them, ultimately consuming them in flame. Our issue is really with the way developers Midway — like so many other studios in the early ’90s — turned female characters into caricatures. Swap fire-based fatalities with Scorpion, though, and you’ve got yourself something special.

4. Kano’s heart rip

We always assumed that Earthrealm, where the MK games take place, didn’t have the same pop-culture landscape as our own earthly realm — but judging by the way super-criminal Kano reaches into his opponents’ chests and pulls out their still-beating ticker, he clearly has a soft spot for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

3. Raiden’s electric decapitation

Relax yourself, girl. Not only did our man with the glowing eyes have the best battle-cry of the whole damn game — all together now, HAYUBABALAYEEEE! — but he was a master of current events. At least, that’s the best way to describe what happened when he channeled electricity into his doomed adversaries. In other words: head asplode.

2. Liu Kang’s cartwheel uppercut

Sure, Johnny Cage packed a punch, but the homie Liu Kang knocked people off the stage itself, sending them plummeting to their grisly ends — impaled on the massive spikes down on the ground. Penetrating insights.

1. Sub-Zero’s spine rip

Yes, they got it from Predator. But that didn’t make the move — in which the ice-wielding ninja pulls his opponent’s head off their body and then holds it aloft, vertebrae dangling — any less iconic. It’s a game, people.

Read more: Rock, Paper, and Scissors, Ranked