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Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition Review: Everybody Was 4K Fighting

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The roadmap for Mortal Kombat 11 has played out in a way that few could have guessed. After the game arrived on PS4 and Xbox One in 2019, developer NetherRealm has slowly but steadily been building it up through the addition of new characters and the release of an entire story expansion dubbed Aftermath. All of this has now led to the arrival of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition, which combines all of the previous add-ons and throws in an additional Kombat Pack with three brand-new fighters.

Truth be told, MK11 is one of the best fighting games released in years (Screen Rant's review of Mortal Kombat 11 spells out that much) and this rebrand doesn't do much to upset that status quo. The original story and subsequent expansion play out as they did before, with some much-appreciated polish thanks to the additional power of the new generation of consoles. Both are a joy to re-experience, but it all feels very much the same. This holds true for almost every other portion of NetherRealm's title. That's not to say it's a bad thing, it's just the same experience but a little bit shinier now that it's rendered in 4K.

What Ultimate Edition does offer, however, is a handful of incentives for lapsed players to jump back in. The most immediately apparent pro is the aforementioned Kombat Pack 2 which adds Mortal Kombat veterans Rain and Mileena to the fray in a playable capacity - while Sylvester Stalone's Rambo acts as the bombshell guest character. These new additions are all fun to play as, with the prospect of pitting Rambo against Arnold Schwarzenegger's already-included T-800 from Terminator being a highlight for fans of 80s action films. They all bring something a little different to the kast as well, with Rambo utilizing traps, Rain putting his ability to control water to good use, and Mileena using her razor-sharp sai and teeth.

The addition of these kombatants brings the roster count up to 37 total characters. It's a lot to choose from, with a lineup consisting of classic fighters like Johnny Cage and Scorpion and guests like RoboCop and Spawn. It's an impressive gallery, but one that still feels a little odd with exclusions like Reptile and Goro. Perhaps a Kombat Pack 3 will rectify some of these oversights (and add another guest character or two like the long-rumored Ash Williams from The Evil Dead), but for now, it's hard to express much disappointment in the characters present.

One of the less noticeable changeups with the Ultimate Edition upgrade comes in the form of krossplay support. Much like Fortnite and Call of Duty before it, MK11 now allows players on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S to duke it out online against one another. This alteration has made the online landscape a much more bountiful one, with a broader range of players across all skillsets. This is a much-needed quality of life adjustment that may go unnoticed to many, but one that drastically improves the health and long-term viability of the community.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is quite clearly a means of selling the same game to those that have (for whatever reason) not yet taken the gore-filled plunge into NetherRealm's latest fight title. Despite this, the entire package remains a forward-thinking and user-friendly initiative. Essentially, this is a free rebranding that offers an optimized experience (and the option to then purchase the three new fighters) that doesn't force consumers to re-buy the entire game again. Publisher WB Games deserves kudos for applying a much more consumer-friendly, piecemealed rendition of the Street Fighter iterative formula to Mortal Kombat, with a complete package that screams "get over here" to those that have yet to dive in.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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