There are many beautiful games, fighting and otherwise, but the reason I return to MK over and over again, is not just the graphics, not just the setting (beautifully reminiscent of some Lovecraftian ideas, Elder Gods, anyone?) but also the strategy.
Sub Zero may win me over with his famous ice ball, Lord Rayden with his spectacular Lightning, but it is the common practice of fighting that wins the game many times, the special moves do not hurt, but serve for me to complement the already developed idea for hand to hand combat.
As a fan of martial arts, I find it enjoyable to study in minute detail how every fighter moves, how their movements affect their opponent, how they can control the space, how they weaken their flanks when they strike, and what could be done afterwards.
If I occasionally beat even the hackers who have their characters maxed out, faction wars and Shao Khan’s Towers broken, and bone shields that seem impervious to lesser attacks, it is because I enjoy all the minutia of planning ahead, of having a well coordinated team of threes whose abilities complement each other and understanding how each one would, in theory, battle against an entire team of the opponent on their own.
I don’t know about you guys, but I enjoy MKX on many levels, and not the least of them having that strategy element that depends more on my skills than anything else. It is not incredibly different for me from chess. I know a little bit about every stage of the game, all the tactical patterns and that makes it easier to play slow games against almost any kind of amateur player, I don’t lose a lot below Master level, but fast games, is a different kind of ability, I have to get lucky and be already familiar with the type of position, reconstructing in real time from scratch only works against lesser opponents. So a surprising analogy perhaps, but on the deeper levels of strategy, I would liken Mortal Kombat to chess.
If you are a fellow MKX fan, perhaps you would share my joy at this Lord Raiden figure unboxing on Youtube.