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Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List: Top Fighters Ranked!

Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List: Top Fighters Ranked!
  Written By: Priyanshu Sagar
Updated On: 03/07/2024
Est. Reading: 10 minutes

Welcome to the ultimate Mortal Kombat 1 tier list! Mortal Kombat 1, a realm where fighters of unparalleled prowess clash, demands a strategic understanding of its diverse array of characters.

From lightning-fast ninjas to sorcerers wielding mystical powers, each combatant possesses unique strengths and weaknesses. Delve into our comprehensive Mortal Kombat 1 character tier list, meticulously crafted to guide you through the complex labyrinth of game balance.

Brace yourself as we explore the top-tier champions, the formidable contenders, and the characters demanding mastery to dominate this brutal and iconic fighting universe.

We’ll be breaking down our MK1 Tier List into five categories: S, A, B, C, and D. While the S-tier is the strongest and you may consider fighters in it slightly overpowered, the D-tier may put you at a slight disadvantage, but it is not a deal-breaker. We consider different factors, including frame data, opinions of the professional players, and difficulty of execution.

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What To Look For While Choosing The Right Characters in MK1?

Choosing The Right Characters in MK1

Who should you prioritize when choosing a character? There is no universal answer. That is because we, people, are different from each other, we have different characters, wishes, and priorities. Because of that, we will highlight some of the most important factors.

  • Playstyle. Are you a fan of all-attack rush-down? Maybe you like to patiently wait for opponents to make the mistake and deliver a satisfying punishment? Maybe you prefer versatility, so you can adapt to different opponents. Some characters are suited for specific playstyles more.
  • Versatility. The more tools you have, the better, right? Of course, sometimes we all love to turn our heads off and don’t make any choices, but more options usually lead to a better result.
  • Difficulty. When you compete, it is important to calculate risks, and if you can achieve the same result by doing easier moves, that will eventually lead to more wins.
  • Damage Output and Health. Critical characteristics that have a strong influence on how a fighter is perceived.
  • Matchups. The word meta (most efficient tactic) didn’t become fundamental in esports without a reason. If you have a certain fighter in a trend, then you will have better stats by playing an effective counter against them.

These are the main factors that we consider while making the Mortal Kombat 1-tier list.

Mortal Kombat 1 tier list

Currently, there are 24 available characters. They can be divided into different groups, and we will start from the strongest.

MK1 S Tier List: Best of the Best

MK1 S Tier List: Best of the Best

Here we have the strongest available characters. They won’t auto-pilot you to victory, but when playing against an opponent of similar skill, these choices will give you the edge:

  • Johnny Cage
  • Raiden
  • Kenshi
  • Ashrah
  • Sindel

MK1 A Tier List: Strong Competitors

While they might not be as praised as S-tier characters, the following fighters are still really strong, so choosing them will not be a mistake by any means:

  • Liu Kang
  • Geras
  • Reiko
  • Kitana

MK1 B Tier List: Balanced and Solid

The fighters in this category are not as strong as previous ones, but they are still solid choices, and with enough practice, they can be on par and even stronger. In the B-tier, we have:

  • Shang Tsung
  • Tanya
  • Li Mei
  • Smoke

MK1 C Tier List: Situationally Strong

MK1 C Tier List: Situationally Strong

These fighters require an unorthodox approach if you want to unleash their potential to the fullest. They are excellent in right hands, but in the wrong hands, they will bring a disaster:

  • Mileena
  • Omni-Man
  • General Shao
  • Reptile
  • Kung Lao
  • Rain

MK1 D Tier List: Underdogs

In the D-tier, we have characters who currently are lacking something in terms of game balance. Right now, they are not someone you should give up on, but some buffs are definitely needed:

  • Baraka
  • Havik
  • Nitara
  • Scorpion
  • Sub-Zero

Mortal Kombat 1 Characters Explained

Earlier in this article you have seen the short answer to how strong each fighter is perceived. Now the time has come for us to explain the strengths, weaknesses, and important nuances of each character.

Johnny Cage (S-tier)

Johnny Cage (S-tier)

Pros: High damage and mobility

Cons: Lacks zoning abilities and range attacks

Who should choose: Players who love strong all-around characters

Who should avoid: Those who prefer to keep their distance

Best Kameo: Kano

Raiden (S-tier)

Pros: Great mobility, great stats

Cons: Not great at grappling

Who should choose: Players who prefer versatility

Who should avoid: Those who prefer big strong characters

Best Kameo: Jax

Kenshi (S-tier)

Pros: Great damage, great range

Cons: Difficult to execute

Who should choose: Everyone who wants to improve.

Who should avoid: Beginners

Best Kameo: Darrius

Ashrah (S-tier)

Ashrah (S-tier)

Pros: High mobility, decent damage

Cons: Weak at zoning

Who should choose: Players who prefer having characters with long range attacks

Who should avoid: Those who love to zone their opponents

Best Kameo: Scorpion

Sindel (S-tier)

Pros: Excellent damage and mobility

Cons: Weak in close combat

Who should choose: Players who love strong all-around characters

Who should avoid: Brawling fans

Best Kameo: Kung Lao

Liu Kang (A-tier)

Liu Kang (A-tier)

Pros: Excellent range and zoning

Cons: Lacks power in close combat

Who should choose: Players who prefer controlling opponents from afar

Who should avoid: Grappler fans

Best Kameo: Kung Lao

Geras (A-tier)

Pros: Decent damage and zoning abilities

Cons: Lacks mobility

Who should choose: Brawler fans

Who should avoid: Fans of agile characters

Best Kameo: Darrius

Reiko (A-tier)

Reiko (A-tier)

Pros: Amazing grappling skills, decent mobility

Cons: Average damage

Who should choose: Grappler fans

Who should avoid: Those who are fully into other styles

Best Kameo: Motaro

Kitana (A-tier)

Pros: Excellent range and mobility

Cons: Is not a grappler at all

Who should choose: Fans of zoning playstyle

Who should avoid: Fans of close combats

Best Kameo: Cyrax

Shang Tsung (B-tier)

Pros: Versatility and outstanding range

Cons: Weak damage

Who should choose: Versatile players who prefer having many options

Who should avoid: Fans of powerful attacks

Best Kameo: Jax

Tanya (B-tier)

Pros: Great damage, awesome range

Cons: Average mobility and zoning

Who should choose: Fans of projectile spamming

Who should avoid: Brawling fans

Best Kameo: Frost

Li Mei (B-tier)

Pros: Great damage and stats

Cons: Poor zoning skills

Who should choose: Fans of versatility

Who should avoid: Players who love zoning out their opponents

Best Kameo: Cyrax

Smoke (B-tier)

Pros: One of the most mobile heroes, decent damage

Cons: Not good at grappling and zoning

Who should choose: Fans of agile characters who love to apply pressure

Who should avoid: Brawlers

Best Kameo: Jax

Mileena (C-tier)

Mileena (C-tier)

Pros: High damage, excellent mobility

Cons: Average damage, lacks zoning abilities

Who should choose: Rush-down players

Who should avoid: Projectile spammers

Best Kameo: Jax

Omni-Man (C-tier)

Pros: Outstanding mobility and great damage

Cons: Lacks at range attacks

Who should choose: Rush-down players who love close combats

Who should avoid: Fans of gameplay from distant range

Best Kameo: Darrius

General Shao (C-tier)

General Shao (C-tier)

Pros: Outstanding damage, great grappling

Cons: Lackluster mobility

Who should choose: Brawlers and fans of big strong characters

Who should avoid: Fans of agile play-style

Best Kameo: Sonya

Reptile (C-tier)

Pros: Decent grappling skills, good damage

Cons: Not good from a range, lackluster zoning

Who should choose: Brawler fans

Who should avoid: Projectile spammers

Best Kameo: Scorpion

Kung Lao (C-tier)

Pros: Great mobility, decent damage

Cons: Average grappling abilities, lacks in zoning

Who should choose: Fans of all-around characters

Who should avoid: Players with definite playstyle

Best Kameo: Sareena

Rain (C-tier)

Pros: Great range, decent in mobility and zoning

Cons: Average damage, weak grappler

Who should choose: Versatile characters

Who should avoid: Beginners

Best Kameo: Sareena

Baraka (D-tier)

Pros: Great damage, excellent grappler

Cons: Weak from the distance

Who should choose: Grapplers

Who should avoid: Projectile spammers

Best Kameo: Sareena

Havik (D-tier)

Pros: Outstanding damage, decent range

Cons: Not mobile, lackluster zoning

Who should choose: Grapplers

Who should avoid: Fans of agile characters

Best Kameo: Sub Zero

Nitara (D-tier)

Pros: Great range, above average mobility

Cons: Average damage, Megan Fox as a guest voice over actress

Who should choose: Fans of long-distance playstyle

Who should avoid: Brawling fans

Best Kameo: Sonya

Scorpion (D-tier)

Scorpion (D-tier)

Pros: Great damage, even greater mobility, “GET OVER HERE!” shout

Cons: Not a grappler at all

Who should choose: Fans of rush-down agile characters

Who should avoid: Versatile players

Best Kameo: Cyrax

Sub-Zero (D-tier)

Pros: Nice damage, decent mobility

Cons: Lack of versatility

Who should choose: Fans of defensive playstyle

Who should avoid: Power gamers

Best Kameo: Sareena

How To Get Better at Mortal Kombat 1?

Becoming proficient in Mortal Kombat 1 isn’t just about button-mashing; it requires strategy, timing, and practice. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to level up your gameplay, here are some tips on how to become better at Mortal Kombat.

How To Get Better at Mortal Kombat 1?

1. Know Your Character

Every character in Mortal Kombat 1 has its own set of moves, combos, and strengths. Experiment with different characters to find one that matches your playstyle. Some fighters excel in close combat, while others are better at zoning or long-range attacks. Spend time in practice mode to understand their special moves, combos, and unique abilities.

2. Master the Basics

Understanding the basic mechanics is crucial. Familiarize yourself with blocking, jumping, crouching, and executing basic attacks. Perfecting these fundamentals will give you a solid foundation to build upon. Practice executing combos, stringing together basic attacks into more complex sequences.

3. Learn Frame Data

Frame data is the key to understanding the speed and advantage of moves in Mortal Kombat 1. It involves the number of frames it takes for a move to execute and recover. Knowing frame data helps in creating combos, and understanding when it’s safe to attack, and when to defend.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

The old adage “practice makes perfect” couldn’t be more accurate for Mortal Kombat 1. Spend time in practice mode refining your moves, learning combos, and understanding your character’s nuances. Consistent practice improves muscle memory, allowing you to react more quickly during matches.

5. Analyze and Adapt

Watch replays of your matches, especially losses. Analyzing your gameplay helps identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. Pay attention to your opponent’s strategies and adapt accordingly. Learning from your mistakes is crucial for growth.

6. Understand the Meta

Stay updated with the game’s meta, which includes knowledge about the current top-tier characters, strategies, and recent patches or updates. Follow professional players, watch tournaments, and learn from their techniques and tactics.

7. Play Against Others

Engage in matches with players of varying skill levels. Playing against others challenges you to adapt to different playstyles and strategies. Online matches or local tournaments can provide invaluable experience and help you gauge your progress.

8. Stay Patient and Persistent

Becoming proficient at Mortal Kombat 1 takes time. Don’t get discouraged by losses or slow progress. Keep a positive mindset, stay patient, and remain persistent in your efforts to improve.

9. Have Fun

Above all, remember to have fun. Mortal Kombat 1 is an exciting and adrenaline-pumping game. Enjoy the learning process, celebrate your victories, and learn from your defeats. The journey to mastery should be enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What factors are considered in creating the Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List?

We consider character stats, performance in top-level matches, as well as professional player opinions.

2. How often is the Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List updated?

Because there is no exact schedule of upcoming patches, this tier list is updated after developers release a big update.

3. Are DLC characters included in the tier list?

Yes. All DLC characters that are available in the game, are included.

4. Can a character’s tier change over time?

All that is required is a long change log after the update is released. But sometimes even without it fighters can move up and down if some new unorthodox playstyle is discovered.

5. Is it possible to win with a low-tier character?

Totally! However, be informed that it will require outplaying your opponent while having a disadvantage.

6. What is the best character for beginners in Mortal Kombat 1?

We would choose Raiden, Geras and Omni-Man. They present different styles, and are good for beginners. But remember that only masters will bring 100% of the characters potential.

7. How can I improve with a character from a lower tier?

Practice, practice and practice! Also, study the game, learn different nuances, and work on your strengths and weaknesses.

8. Are there any resources available to learn more about Mortal Kombat 1 characters and strategies?

On YouTube, there are many character guides. Also, there are websites that gather different game data.

9. Can I create my own Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List?

Why can’t you? Tier list is an opinion, and we have freedom of speech. Every opinion is valuable.

10. What is the most important factor to consider when choosing a character to play in Mortal Kombat 1?

Personal comfort. You must be comfortable with character and their gameplay should bring fun. After that, you will learn more and more details and climb in the ranks.

11. Are there any characters that are considered “broken” or “overpowered” in Mortal Kombat 1?

Despite its recent release, there are no game-breaking characters. Developers did a great job in balancing all the fighters.

12. How do I counter a high-tier character with a low-tier character?

Exactly the same way as you counter a high-tier character with another high-tier character: you should know the strengths and weaknesses of both your fighter and opponent. Know differences, and strike when they are not ready.

13. Can I rely solely on the tier list to determine my character choice?

Even when you have an auto-pilot, you should know where you are driving. This tier list is a great help, but it is not a universal solution.

14. Do all professional players agree on the Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List?

Oh, no! While there may be a consensus around some of the characters, discussions in social media prove that tastes and opinions differ.

15. How can I stay updated with the latest changes in the Mortal Kombat 1?

Regularly check out profile websites, social media of professional players and big tournaments.

16. Is it necessary to play multiple characters to be successful in Mortal Kombat 1?

Yes and no. Usually, professional players prefer using up to three characters. But they are experts in them. Better be a one-trick pony than a jack of all trades but a master of none.

17. How do I know if a character is suitable for my play style?

Try them and listen to your heart and gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable, maybe it is better to consider other fighters.

18. Do I need to play high-tier characters to be competitive?

While this might be helpful, it is not a must. If you have a lower-tier character that you really love and understand, it might be better to continue mastering them.

19. How important is frame data when choosing a character in Mortal Kombat 1?

On the higher level of competition, it might be important. However, if you are a casual player, personal preferences are much more important.

20. What are some tips for mastering a character in Mortal Kombat 1?

Play, learn, adapt, study. Becoming better in a game is not a short-term task. Look for more information, practice, and refine your mastery and you will climb up the ranks!


This Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List is created to help the players understand the current state of game balance. While not every character is equally balanced, there are no game-breaking fighters, so everyone has a chance to win.

Listen to your heart when deciding, which character to master, and learn more about the game. Here we listed some of the tips that can be very useful. And, remember to have fun, because video games are about fun in the first place!