Mortal Kombat 1 is set to launch in 2023, and it's not what we were expecting. It's been over four years since the release of Mortal Kombat 11 – one of the best-selling fighting games of all-time, with over 15 million sales. And while many expected NetherRealm to follow with Mortal Kombat 12 for PS5 and Xbox Series X, we now know that the studio is instead pushing for an ambitious reboot of the messy Mortal Kombat timeline.
Naturally, Mortal Kombat 1 is now one of the most highly anticipated new games of 2023 following the release of a bloody and brutal reveal trailer. NetherRealm is promising a new fighting system, the return of legendary characters with all new backstories and rivalries, and a suite of new additions which will take combat to a new level.
Given that Capcom is putting forward an incredible value proposition forward with Street Fighter 6, NetherRealm will need to be on top of its game here. Thankfully, early signs are promising, so keep reading to find everything we know so far and be sure to check back in on June 8 following the Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay reveal as part of the E3 2023 schedule.
Mortal Kombat 1 news
- Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay reveal is set for Thursday, June 8, as part of the Summer Game Fest 2023 showcase.
- NetherRealm has confirmed that Mortal Kombat 12 is actually Mortal Kombat 1, a reboot of the entire series coming this September.
- Mortal Kombat 1 will host an early access beta this August, but it'll only be available for players who pre-order the game.
Mortal Kombat 1 release date
The Mortal Kombat 1 release date is set for September 19, 2023. NetherRealm has confirmed that there will be a Mortal Kombat 1 early access period beginning on September 14 for players who purchase the Premium or Kollector's Edition of the upcoming fighting game, while a closed beta in August will be available for all pre-order customers.
Mortal Kombat 1 platforms
Mortal Kombat 1 will be available on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. NetherRealm has confirmed that it is handling the new-gen versions of the game in-house, while it will be collaborating with external developers for the other editions. Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive are collaborating with the Mortal Kombat creators on the Switch version, while QLOC is handling the Epic Games Store and Steam versions of the game.
Mortal Kombat 1 beta and early access
If you want to get a taste of Mortal Kombat 1 ahead of its release on September 19, 2023, you're in luck. NetherRealm has confirmed that a Mortal Kombat 1 beta will go live in August, although you'll need to pre-order the game on PS5 or Xbox Series X to get access. The studio says that there will be an early access period, starting September 14, for players who purchase the Mortal Kombat 1 Premium Edition or Mortal Kombat 1 Kollector's Edition of the game.
Mortal Kombat 1 pre-order
There will be three editions available at launch, although you may want to consider locking down a of Mortal Kombat 1 pre-order to secure a limited physical edition. You'll also want to pre-order Mortal Kombat 1 to access Shang Tsung as an in-game playable character. The Mortal Kombat 1 price and pre-order details are as follows:
- Mortal Kombat 1 Standard Edition ($69.99) pre-order will give you access to the August beta and make Shang Tsung a part of the in-game roster.
- Mortal Kombat 1 Premium Edition ($109.99) contains everything in the Standard Edition, and will give you early access to the entire game beginning September 14. The Premium Edition also contains 1,250 Dragon Krystals and the Kombat Pack, which will give you a Johnny Cage skin modeled on Jean-Claude Van Damme and eventual early access to six new playable characters and five new Kameo Fighters.
- Mortal Kombat 1 Kollector's Edition ($249.99) is only available on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The limited physical collection includes everything available in the Premium Edition, along with a 16.5-inch Liu Kang sculpture, a unique Liu Kang in-game character skin, three exclusive art prints, a steel case, and an additional 1,450 Dragon Krystals.
Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay
NetherRealm may have only shown off a cinematic trailer so far, but the studio is promising massive changes to the core Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay. The studio's chief creative officer says that "Mortal Kombat 1 marks a new beginning for the franchise", with Ed Boon also noting that the game will feature an "original storyline and fresh take on classic characters."
Naturally, the debut Mortal Kombat 1 trailer confirmed that some legendary fighters will be returning to explore this reborn Mortal Kombat universe – created by Fire God Liu Kang – with all-new backstories and twists on classic rivalries. Mortal Kombat's propensity for ultra-violence is back too, with NetherRealm promising all-new finishing moves and fatalities to complement a brand new fighting system, and a suite of offline and online game modes. Additionally, NetherRealm has confirmed that Mortal Kombat 1 will have rollback netcode to support a smoother online gameplay experience.
Boon has also teased a new Kameo Fighter system which is designed to bring "a unique roster of partner characters into the mix." Kameo Fighters will be chosen separately from the main roster of fighters, and you'll be able to drawn on these partner characters to assist you during matches – something NetherRealm believes will expand the strategies and possibilities of Mortal Kombat 1's core combat.
Mortal Kombat 1 roster
NetherRealm has only partially revealed the Mortal Kombat 1 roster, with nine iconic characters part of the initial announcement trailer. The studio is promising that this series reboot will reimagine each of the fighters, with respect to their stories and fighting styles. There's still plenty of characters to be revealed as we approach the September release date – Mortal Kombat 12 launched with 25 fighters back in 2019, which was later expanded to 37 through two Kombat Packs and a story expansion.
The confirmed Mortal Kombat 1 character list is:
- Johnny Cage
- Kung Lao
- Liu Kang
- Shang Tsung (pre-order exclusive)
Mortal Kombat 1 DLC
NetherRealm is yet to detail the shape of Mortal Kombat 1 DLC, although it has been confirmed that Kombat Packs will be launching in the future. Included in the Premium and Kollector's Edition versions of the game is early access to six new playable characters and five new Kameo Fighters, so expect this to be just the beginning. This DLC rollout follows a similar trajectory to MK1's 2019 predecessor, with Mortal Kombat 11 gaining six additional characters as part of the first Kombat Pack release shortly after launch, which was later followed with the Aftermath story expansion and a second Kombat Pack.
Mortal Kombat 1 system requirements
NetherRealm has confirmed that Mortal Kombat 1 system requirements, and you might want to spend the next couple of months improving your rig to get the most out of this fighting game. Particular attention will need to be paid to your hard-drive, as it would appear that the Mortal Kombat 1 install size runs 100GB.
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i5-6600 / AMD Ryzen 3 3100 or Ryzen 5 2600
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 / AMD Radeon RX 470 / Intel Arc A750
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 100 GB available space
- OS: Windows 10 / Windows 11 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 / AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT / Intel Arc A770
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 100 GB available space