Flawless Victory: Top 10 Mortal Kombat Finishing Moves


With the new Mortal Kombat aiming to bring back the glory days of bloody kombat, I felt it necessary to re-live the franchise’s trademark: over-the-top gory finishing moves. There have been many different types of Fatalities during Mortal Kombat’s run, and everyone has their favorites. Here, then, is my Top 10 Mortal Kombat Finishing Moves of All Time.


10) Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance – Bo Rai Cho’s Belly Flop

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This one seems pretty dumb, yes, but I love it simply because if I were a Mortal Kombat competitor, something like this would be my finishing move. Death by weight sounds about right to me.


9) Mortal Kombat 3 – Sheeva’s Animality

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A lot of people wish Animalities never existed. I thought they were a decent idea, just poorly implemented with all of the different animals doing virtually the same animation. Then comes Sheeva, who transforms into a scorpion and stings the opponent, causing them to explode. Many were angry that this Animality was "wasted" on Sheeva, and not saved for Scorpion’s return in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. I don’t know about all that… I mean, Scorpion’s Animality ended up being just as awesome… right?


8) Mortal Kombat – The Pit

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This finishing move set the standard for the stage fatalities we see today. Nothing can compare to the surprise a player felt when he uppercutted the opponent at the end of a match, then watched the opponent fall to his death in the spikes below. Some might say that I’m silly for voting for The Pit when there are so many other great stage fatalities, but I maintain that there would be no Dead Pool or Subway if it wasn’t for The Pit.

7) Mortal Kombat Deception – Sindel’s Helicopter Staff

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The 3D Mortal Kombat games catch a lot of flak for being subpar to the classics. However, despite the shortcomings, no one can deny that the PS2-era MKs out-gored the classics (and understandably so). One of my favorites was Sindel’s Helicopter Staff, which turned her weapon into a fan of death floating over her head. This to me is one of the more "think outside the box" Fatalities in MK history, and it was certainly as satisfying to watch as it was to pull off.


6) Mortal Kombat 3 – Shao Kahn’s Tower

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While The Pit is the original MK stage Fatality, Shao Kahn’s Tower is easily my favorite. Yes, the ultimate finish is the same (spike impalement), but there’s something about smashing your opponent through multiple wooden floors that makes the move so much more satisfying. My only question is this: If spikes line the bottom floor, unless the spikes are in the basement, how the hell do the fighters get into the tower? You’d think that’d be a bit difficult… awesome kill here, though.


5) Mortal Kombat 2 – Liu Kang’s Dragon

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Animalities, for the most part, were silly. Lions, tigers, bears (oh my), and even giant bats. However, the idea for Animalities spawned from Liu Kang’s amazing Fatality in Mortal Kombat 2. I remember walking through the arcade, seeing this for the first time, and just being in awe. This was a character whose Fatality in the first game was a lame cartwheel uppercut. Now, he has one of the coolest moves in the game. HE TURNED INTO A DRAGON! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

4) Mortal Kombat 2 – Jax’ Arm Rip

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Mortal Kombat 2 was chock full of awesome Fatalities, but this one sticks out for one reason: the aftermath. Yeah, gamers were already privy to headless bodies and skeletons in previous games, but never could you see the anguish on your opponent’s face and blood pouring out of the wound. When the defeated turns back to the camera missing his or her arms, it was quite a sight. This was a big thing for an impressionable youth like myself, and I remember seeing it and being like, "holy crap, that’s intense."


3) Mortal Kombat Deception – Kenshi’s Telepathic Split

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Kenshi was one of my favorite characters from the PS2-era MK games, His use of Tai Chi was fascinating, as was his ability to fight blindfolded. Using telepathy to kill an opponent is always a plus, as evidenced here. He pulls the guy in half WITH HIS MIND. How can you defend against that? 

(Also, his inclusion as DLC for the new Mortal Kombat is well-deserved and very awesome.)


2) Mortal Kombat 2 – Kung Lao’s Hat Slice

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I talked earlier about the aftermath to the Fatalities, how most ended up with a headless corpse or skeleton. Until MK2, not much else would be seen. Then Kung Lao took his hat off and start slicing folks in half. This was the most graphic Fatality at the time, and there was always a reaction whenever someone would perform it. I vividly remember being in an arcade watching someone play and hearing the crowd give a long "OHHHHHHHHH" when Reptile split in half in front of their eyes. There aren’t many moments that can stop a crowd, but Kung Lao did just that.

1) Mortal Kombat – Sub-Zero’s Head Rip

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Nothing beats the original. This one move started a violent revolution in games that changed the course of the hobby we love. Before this, fighting characters ended a match with a pose and a win quote. Never before did a player get the opportunity to actually kill their opponent. Sure, MK had hearts being ripped out, people being burned into skeletons, and bodies electrocuted until they exploded, but this is the one that sticks out most of all. It’s bad enough Sub-Zero ripped off his opponent’s head, but THE SPINE WAS STILL CONNECTED, adding even more realism to the already-controversial move. The franchise has produced many a bloody move, but you just can’t beat the one that started it all.


Now I’m sure everyone has their favorite Fatality and that there have to be some I missed. If there are, tell me. I’d love to see what you all think. Just remember, now that the new Mortal Kombat is here, we have entered a new era of fatal finishers. That we can all agree on.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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