This should get you caught up before Mortal Kombat 1 hits shelves in September 2023!

Mortal Kombat's lore is some of the deepest in gaming history. The series has seen 30 years of development since the first title hit Arcades in 1992. While the storyline is complex, the characters, locations, and move sets have remained consistent. Today, you will learn all Mortal Kombat games in order and see the accurate timeline.

Mortal Kombat story and timelines explained

Mortal Kombat started with the first installment in 1992. The first game followed the warriors of Earthrealm as they attempted to prevent Shang Tsung and Outworld's tenth consecutive Mortal Kombat tournament victory.

In Mortal Kombat II, Shao Kahn — the Emperor of Outworld — took matters into his own hands. Shao Kahn gave Shang Tsung a second chance and hosted Mortal Kombat in Outworld. Ultimately, Liu Kang defeated the Emperor of Outworld.

Following two straight losses to Earthrealm, Shao Kahn and his army of Outworld inhabitants invaded Earth. Once again, Liu Kang is the story's canonical hero in Mortal Kombat 3. The Shaolin warrior took down Shao Kang for the second consecutive game.

Liu Kang remained the hero of Mortal Kombat through Mortal Kombat 4. The 3D games, such as Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon, altered the series. More good and evil characters joined the fold, but the former always triumphed.

Mortal Kombat 2011, also known as MK9, reset the series timeline to the first game following Armageddon. MK9 retells the story of the first three games with some notable changes. This time, Raiden defeats Shao Kahn to conclude the game instead of Liu Kang.

MKX and MK11 followed in 2015 and 2019 as a continuation of MK9. With Mortal Kombat 1 set for release in September 2023, the series has once again undergone a reboot back to square one.

Original Timeline

  • Mortal Kombat
  • MKII
  • MK3
  • MK4
  • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
  • MK: Deception
  • MK: Armageddon

First Series Reboot

  • Mortal Kombat (MK9)
  • MKX
  • MK11

Second Series Reboot

  • Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat games in order by release date

MK1 key art featuring Liu Kang (Image via Warner Bros. Games)
MK1 key art featuring Liu Kang (Image via Warner Bros. Games)

Here is a look at the complete list of Mortal Kombat games in order by release date, excluding mobile and handheld games:

Release Date
Mortal Kombat
August 1992 (Arcade) / September 1993 (Console)
Mortal Kombat II
November 1993 (Arcade) / September 1994 (Console)
Mortal Kombat 3
April 1995 (Arcade) / October 1995 (Console)
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
November 1995 (Arcade) / October 1996 (Sega Mega Drive & Genesis) / June 1996 (SNES & Sega Saturn)
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
October 1996 (PlayStation) / November 1996 (Nintendo 64)
Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero
October 1997 (PlayStation) / December 1997 (Nintendo 64)
Mortal Kombat 4
September 1997 (Arcade) / June 1998 (PlayStation & Nintendo 64)
Mortal Kombat Gold
September 1999 (Dreamcast)
Mortal Kombat Special Forces
June 2000 (PlayStation)
Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
November 2022 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, & GameCube)
Mortal Kombat: Deception
October 2004 (PlayStation 2 & Xbox) / February 2005 (GameCube)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
September 2005 (PlayStation 2 & Xbox)
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
October 2006 (PlayStation 2 & Xbox) / May 2007 (Wii)
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
November 2008 (PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360)
Mortal Kombat (MK9)
April 2011 (PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360)
Mortal Kombat Arcade Collection
August 2011 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Mortal Kombat X
April 2015 (PlayStation 4 & Xbox One)
Mortal Kombat 11
April 2019 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, & Windows) / November 2020 (PlayStation 5 & Xbox Series X/S)
Mortal Kombat 1
September 2023 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, & Nintendo Switch)

Stay tuned to for more esports and gaming updates!