Let's be perfectly frank here: Kano was a big chubby mess. Even though he was a personal favorite character of mine, he was always the sweaty guy with no shirt that barely anybody played. After all, who would play Kano when you had awesome ninjas like Scorpion and Sub-Zero to choose. It wasn't until the Mortal Kombat movie when Kano was cast as a minor villain that he finally got his due. Even though he was unceremoniously dispatched between Sonya's thighs, he's not any less of a Kombatant. This badass serial killer was always the character I choose when feeling the need to get in touch with my dark side.
As if the other amazing characters on this list weren't enough, Midway completely outdid themselves when they implemented Prince Goro into the first Mortal Kombat. Sure, he was just a monster with four arms, which is pretty cliché for a fantasy game. However, you've got to take into account that this guy was playable in a fighting game. To this very day most fighting games feature only humans because fighters are extremely hard to design otherwise. Goro was a huge step outside of the box, and he blew our teenage minds when he burst onto the scene.
Johnny Cage is just plain awesome. Some characters were more unique than him. Some characters were more powerful than him. And some characters were more popular than him, but there was no matching his sense of personality. The completely-full-of-himself movie star was a joy to play with thanks to his ridiculous ego. As a fighter he wasn't particularly noteworthy. Most of his moves were pretty standard (although his crotch punch has gone down in history as one of the best fighting game abilities of all-time). It was his screen presence that made us want to pick Johnny over and over again.
Sub-Zero has always shared the throne with Scorpion throughout the years. Because of a lack of memory on the original game cartridge, they even share the exact same outfit, which Midway tried hard to explain away through the game's lore (but never truly succeeded). The decision between Scorpion and Sub-Zero as the greatest MK character of them all is largely one of personal taste. Do you prefer launching knives out of your palm? Or do you like shooting ice balls that freeze people? It's a bit like asking if you like Pepsi or Coca-Cola.
If you had to name a king of the Mortal Kombatants, it would undoubtedly be Scorpion. Everything about this character just exudes awesomeness. Modern generations can't really understand it, but back in the day fighting games barely offered more than punching and kicking. Then Scorpion came along and started launching tractor-beam knives out of his palm. Simply put: Scorpion changed the game forever. Decades later he's still remembered fondly as possibly the greatest fighter in video gaming history.
By Josh Wirtanen
CCC Freelance Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*