Mortal Kombat (PC) Review

What we liked:
+ Smooth and gorgeous visuals
+ All content is here
+ Finally on PC
What we didn't like:
- Online has some issues
- Price point feels a little high
DEVELOPER: NetherRealm Studios/High Voltage Software   |   PUBLISHER: Warner Bros. Interactive   |   RELEASE: 07/03/2013

Kombat finally comes to PC.

It is hard to believe it has been two years since NetherRealm Studios rebooted one of my favorite franchises of all time. Mortal Kombat has stood the test of time, had its ups and downs and most importantly remained faithful to its audience. Now for the first time in ages, the series gets a proper PC port after clamoring from fans. High Voltage Software takes the reigns to deliver probably the most definitive version of the game. All of the DLC is here and unlocked from the start, but is all of this too little, too late?

If you want to see a full breakdown of the original game; you can check out my full review of the features and modes in my original review of the game.

Porting games to PC after release is usually not the most ideal situation, especially when that game is of the fighting variety. Let’s be real honest here, fighting games and PCs haven’t exactly been the best of friends over the years. The lack of proper controllers is one of the biggest issues. I tried playing MK on the PC with a keyboard; trust me I wish it simply just wasn’t supported. I also tested out the Xbox 360 gamepad, which worked great outside of the d-pad, and finally a Genius fight stick, which fared the best out of all three. Those coming in fresh need to be aware that the Xbox controller is required for any type of enjoyment.

The biggest question on my mind though was just how good can MK look running on a high-end PC. The answer is pretty amazing. Maxing out the settings and setting the resolution to 1920×1080 delivers a silky smooth 60 FPS experience that I fell in love with. Seeing the highly detailed backgrounds rendered in that resolution was amazing. It showcases how much NetherRealm put into the original game that is just now being fully realized. It almost feels like an HD remake, which would in essence be ridiculous, but that is the best way to describe how much better it looks than consoles.

As far as content goes, everything is jam packed into this version. This is the Komplete Kollection, which includes all four DLC characters, as well as the bevy of costumes that were made available after launch. All modes are also here including the Challenge Tower and even local multiplayer for up to four players. As anyone can imagine Kratos is omitted as he was a PlayStation exclusive, and of course the Vita-only Challenge Tower and costumes for the DLC characters are also absent. Still for $30 it is hard to argue the sheer value in this package.

Online play is also here, and the original MK was known for its fantastic King of the Hill mode, and eventually its smooth game play. The PC version is definitely experiencing growing pains at the time of this writing. I played several matches, with some being full of lag. The online is also sparse, which means finding games might get harder as time goes on. The community is definitely not as robust as the console was at its peak. I hope the development team takes the time to patch the online to get it up to speed, but with such a small community, it might not see a fix in the immediate future.

It’s hard to argue that MK for PC is a solid purchase. For the price there is an ample amount of content to be enjoyed. I spent well over 100 hours with the game when it dropped two years ago; and therein lies this version’s biggest problem. Most people who wanted to play the reboot of the series already have on at least one other machine. While it was nice to dig back in for a while, I have moved on to other titles now, so anyone looking for a double dip will likely not get as much mileage out of this version. For the few that have yet to play it though, you are in for a treat. The PC version is by far the best looking iteration of the game, and the amount of content packed in here will keep players occupied for months. That is of course if the online manages to get a foothold.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

This game was reviewed on an ORIGIN PC
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77I Deluxe
  • Liquid Cooling: Origin Frostbyte 120 Liquid Cooling
  • Processor: Intel i7 3770K with Professional Origin PC Overclocking
  • Memory: Corsair 8GB 1600 Mghz Vengeance
  • Graphics Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670


Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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  • What the??

    I bought this game. Unplayable. Either it’s too fast or too slow. The lower the detail the faster the movement. It’s not properly frame limit. Terrible job by High Voltage. Just google mk9 graphics or directx. I can’t believe I paid for this. Would love a graphics patch from high voltage to keep the speed the same and support more graphics adapters incl onboard and either frame limit or frame skip to keep to timing for godsake!!!

    • DReview

      Let me know your settings, and computer specs.

      Mainly I want to know your display, processor, and videocard. What you want to do is match your computer to the monitor’s native resolution, colors, and shading.

      First turn off “V-Sync” turn off “SSAO” turn off “anti-ailaising”. Those are all just bonuses to having a good PC but are not required and don’t make a break it or make it difference to graphics quality.

      If your computer isn’t too powerful also adjust lighting and shadows to medium… Last if it still lags adjust texture details, fog, motion blur, depth of field, and even cinematic qualities.

      If you’re computer isn’t powerful enough you won’t notice the high settings but it will cause strain on your ram and v-card/ and processor if you do put it in high settings.

      Also run it at the Native resolution your monitor has. Not the resolution you think is best. If you make your computer run at higher resolution than the monitor, not only will you not notice a difference, but there will also be too much strain on your computer.

      Lastly, make sure you update your drivers to the latest. Sometimes you need to look up the driver’s website and manually download it yourself. DONT download one you think is best. Download the one that is precise to your specific card.

      I did all those changes to my latest laptop. It has pretty high scpecs except for the Intel I-7 3770 2.6 ghz card. With the changes I even got it to run ‘Assassin’s Creed Black Flag’ at PS4 level. And my laptop is 2 years old. It didn’t run that well until I made adjustments.

      And if you’re a pro computer user. Go into your control settings and adjust the graphic card processor universal settings to max and adjust the shader modeling, colors, and anti-alaising pre set ups.

      Last note to give: Make sure you have no viruses, and if you don’t have any, then turn off Norton Anti Virus or any firewall you have. They cause more problems than you think. I have my firewalls and virus detectors calibrated to go to sleep when I play games.

      I’m sure it will run right if you just adjust the advanced settings.

      PS. The thing about voltage is really irrelevant to your points. But I see your frustrations and I sympathize. If I were you I would skip the current “next gens” and wait until the “Steam Box” because that will make the console wars seem irrelevant after you own one. It might be a pricey start up… But I garuantee you that in the long run owning a steambox will be the cheaper option in the 10 year life cycles Microsoft and Sony offer. I foresee Steambox offering 15 – 20 year life cycles that will always be a head of Sony and Microsoft… (Nintendo is irrelevant because they have a force-field… and their force-field involves endless originals of fun and memories.)

      Also steambox life cycles don’t mean having to worry about buying a new system and what to do with your old games… it means what new processor you want to buy, and what new video card you want to change. Any time you want without any waiting. AND YOU KEEP all your games ,and they probably will look better with advanced shading as time progresses. Something Sony and Microsoft can’t do with any of their consoles… including PS4 and Xbox One.