Best Mortal Kombat Games On Nintendo Systems – Every MK, Ranked By You

This kountdown is based on the User Ratings of Nintendo Life readers — that’s right, you lot!

So if you think something looks a little bit off with the ordering, then you can potentially alter it in real time by applying your own ratings to each game. Simply tick the star icon on each entry below and give it a score from 1-10 (just make sure you’re signed in first!).

So without further ado, get over here and check out our komplete list of the best (and worst) Mortal Kombat games on Nintendo hardware…

Publisher: Midway Games / Developer: Virtucraft

Release Date: 12th Dec 2001 (USA) / 21st Feb 2002 (UK/EU)

In yet another attempt to extend the reach of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Midway Games opted for a GBA port simply called Mortal Kombat Advance. The problem with this one, however, is that it’s borderline unplayable thanks to the oversimplified controls and awful input lag. Add to this some poor AI for your opponents, and you’ve got a version of Mortal Kombat 3 that is best left on the cutting room floor.

Publisher: Midway Games / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 1st Dec 1998 (USA) / 1st Apr 1999 (UK/EU)

Mortal Kombat 4 on the Game Boy is about as different from its N64 sibling as you can get; it trades the new 3D visuals for 2D graphics and removes all bloody visuals outside of the weird FMV fatalities. There are no weapons or combos to speak of, so the gameplay here is disappointingly basic and not up to scratch when compared to the N64 version. You’re best off giving this one a miss.

Publisher: Midway / Developer: Avalanche Software

Release Date: 8th Dec 1997 (USA) / 12th Feb 1998 (UK/EU)

Sub-Zero is an absolute boss, so it’s no wonder that he’d be the one to get his own Mortal Kombat spin-off (though we’re still waiting for that Scorpion game). Even so, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero proved to be a bit of a misfire for the franchise, attempting to translate the excellent fighting gameplay into more of a platforming adventure game. Very weird… The FMV cutscenes were pretty funny, though.

Publisher: Midway / Developer: Midway

Release Date: Nov 1995 (USA) / 1995 (UK/EU)

Much like other Game Boy entries in the franchise, Mortal Kombat 3 comes with some understandable compromises that nevertheless make this one tough to recommend. Several characters are cut from the console line-up, the violence has been significantly toned down, and even entire stages have been left out. If it’s the only option available, then it’s a perfectly fine fighting game, but hardly one to write home about.

Publisher: Midway Games / Developer: Midway Games

Release Date: 25th Aug 2003 (USA) / 14th Feb 2003 (UK/EU)

Following on from Deadly Alliance, Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition expanded on the original as a Game Boy Advance exclusive. The game features half the cast of characters that were cut from Deadly Alliance, essentially making this release the “second half” of the game. It’s a bit cynical, in all honesty, but it remains a pretty solid game, regardless. If you like Deadly Alliance, you’ll like this one, but if you already own Deadly Alliance, then there’s little reason to buy Tournament Edition.

Publisher: Midway Games / Developer: Midway Games

Release Date: 22nd Nov 2002 (USA) / 14th Feb 2003 (UK/EU)

Although the Game Boy Advance version of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance will never be anybody’s first choice, the team actually did a commendable job of translating the 3D fighting mechanics onto the humble handheld. The action moves a lot slower thanks to the hardware limitations and there are significantly fewer fighters to choose from, but this is nevertheless a simple, accessible alternative to the console version if it’s the only option available to you.

Publisher: Acclaim / Developer: Probe

Release Date: 13th Sep 1993 (USA) / 1st Feb 1994 (UK/EU)

If you thought Mortal Kombat on the SNES seemed rather incomplete, then you probably haven’t experienced the Game Boy version. It’s missing a whole bunch of content from the original release, but that’s not the biggest sin of this particular release. Input lag can be a bit of a nightmare here, and considering how slow the characters actually move on-screen, that’s quite an achievement. Best avoid this one.

Publisher: Acclaim / Developer: Probe

Release Date: Nov 1997 (USA) / 1997 (UK/EU)

If you can stomach the severe cutbacks made to the Game Boy versions of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II, then you’ve got a nice little two-in-one package here. That alone gives it some brownie points, but the overall experience is still incredibly rough. This is really only for the hardcore fans or collectors out there.

Publisher: WB Games / Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Release Date: 19th Sep 2023 (USA) / 19th Sep 2023 (UK/EU)

Mortal Kombat 1 on Nintendo Switch manages to deliver this superb game’s Story and Towers modes in a state that’s playable, but only if you’ve got plenty of patience. There are frame rate issues, big resolution dips, input and timing problems related to performance drops, missing content, game-breaking bugs in Invasion mode, long loading times, and unresponsive menus. If you are a huge Mortal Kombat fan whose only option is Switch, you may be able to press through all of this. However, if you have any other option, we suggest you stay away from this one.

Publisher: Acclaim / Developer: Midway

Release Date: 13th Sep 1993 (USA) / 28th Oct 1993 (UK/EU)

The original Mortal Kombat is perhaps more well-known for its unfortunate shortcomings above all else. Thanks to Nintendo’s focus on family-friendly games at the time, the game suffered from a number of deliberate changes that make this entry difficult to recommend unless you’re able to bypass it with a Game Genie cheat code. Blood was replaced with sweat and the signature fatalities were toned down beyond recognition. Still, the core experience is still here, so that counts for something.

Publisher: Midway / Developer: Probe

Release Date: 27th Oct 1994 (USA) / 27th Oct 1994 (UK/EU)

To bring the game to the Game Boy there has (unsurprisingly) been some cutbacks, but what remains manages to keep the feel of the original and there’s much fun to be had from finding new ways to string together attacks. The music is not great, but the simple sound effects work effectively. Having to block using the start button is annoying, but the controls are otherwise excellent. Overall Mortal Kombat II is an early example of a decent portable fighter which will keep players entertained.