Mortal Kombat 1 Name

Why Is It Named Mortal Kombat 1? – Answered

My clock only goes up to 11

After teasing fans for a while, Mortal Kombat series creator Ed Boon has revealed that the new title in the series would be titled Mortal Kombat 1 instead of 12. This is indeed a mainline game and not another spinoff like Shaolin Monks, but why go with this name now instead of the expected title? Has no one in NetherRealm Studios noticed that a clock has 12 hours in it?

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Why Is The Game Called Mortal Kombat 1?

Long story short, Mortal Kombat 1 is a reboot. Following the same timeline we accompanied up to the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath DLC (also included in the Ultimate edition), we’re now entering a new timeline tailored by Fire God Liu Kang himself. As mentioned in the game’s official FAQ:

“The game will introduce a reborn Mortal Kombat Universe that has been created by the Fire God Liu Kang, featuring reimagined versions of iconic characters as they’ve never been seen before, along with a new fighting system, game modes, bone krushing finishing moves, and more.”

As we can see in the trailer, this new world is supposedly living in peace. Scorpion and Sub Zero are not immediately jumping on each other’s throats, for example, and that’s already huge. But this is still Mortal Kombat we’re talking about, so don’t expect that to last much longer.

Weird naming conventions are a trademark for this series at this point. Mortal Kombat dropped numbers in titles after 4, but brought them back at the tenth mainline game with a Roman X instead of 10. The subsequent title would resort to using the usual Hindu-Arabic 11 for some reason.

Related: What Platforms Will Mortal Kombat 1 Be Available On? – Answered

Why Is There Another Reboot for Mortal Kombat? 

As we discovered in Mortal Kombat 11, there were actually tons of in-universe timeline resets, but we as players have only experienced one of them up until now. The ninth main entry was released in 2011 as simply Mortal Kombat and served as one of these. 

The different timelines concept was already presented in titles like Mortal Kombat vs DC. Universe, but this time they went with it on mainline titles again in order to properly advance the story. With that in mind, having another one suddenly becomes almost as expected, but it still feels a little bit too soon from a gameplay point of view.

On the other side, reboots are welcome for being good points of entry for older series like this one. With features like mid-battle assists and next-gen graphics, this might be the best chance of getting into Mortal Kombat if you don’t mind seeing your character being brutally Fatality’d into an unrecognizable mess of blood and flesh.

And personally, I love the idea of getting a game named “1”. We always reference the first entry in a series as “Dead Space 1” for example despite the 1 not existing, but now it’s there.  The “1” in Mortal Kombat was probably added to avoid confusion between the 2011 and the 2023 reboots (or even the very first title), but it will probably still happen and I can’t help but love this naming mess.


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Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.