Home News Mortal Kombat 2s Biggest Adaptation Challenge Just Got Way More Difficult

Mortal Kombat 2s Biggest Adaptation Challenge Just Got Way More Difficult



  • Mortal Kombat 2 must be better than the 2021 reboot to succeed.
  • Recent video game adaptations set a high bar for Mortal Kombat 2.
  • Mortal Kombat 2 needs to stay faithful to the games while delivering a strong, cohesive story.


Mortal Kombat 2 needs to be better than its predecessors, but the challenge of adapting Mortal Kombat to the big screen just got way more difficult. The cast of Mortal Kombat 2 indicates that the upcoming sequel will be even closer to the source material in terms of characters and locations. Several Mortal Kombat characters from the video games have been confirmed for the sequel, including fan favorites that were missing from the first film such as Johnny Cage. Not much is known about Mortal Kombat 2’s story, but the film is expected to fix the 2021 reboot’s mistakes.

Mortal Kombat (2021) had issues, such as the lack of Scorpion and the complete absence of Johnny Cage. Still, it was a somewhat satisfying first chapter of what can become a long-running live-action Mortal Kombat franchise. However, for that to happen, Mortal Kombat 2 needs to be significantly better than the first movie. Additionally, Mortal Kombat 2 will be compared to recent video game adaptations, particularly the ones that have premiered since 2021.

There Have Been Great Video Game Adaptations Since 2021’s Mortal Kombat

The video game adaptation curse has ended

Mortal Kombat 2, whose release date has yet to be announced, will premiere in a very different context from its predecessor. There have been some great video game movies and TV shows since Mortal Kombat arrived in theaters in 2021, from faithful adaptations of popular stories to expansions of beloved IPs. The 2021 Mortal Kombat reboot was the first theatrical MK project since 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, meaning the bar was quite low for what the new movie should deliver. There were also not many great video game adaptations between Annihilation and Mortal Kombat (2021).

Recent Video Game Movies & TV Shows’ Rotten Tomatoes Score


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score (%)

Knuckles (2024)


Fallout (2024)


Five Nights At Freddy’s (2023)


The Last of Us (2023-present)


Twisted Metal (2023-present)


Castlevania: Nocturne (2023-present)


Halo (2022-present)


Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)


Uncharted (2022)


Arcane (2021-present)


Castlevania (2017-2021)


Within just a few years, however, the video game adaptation landscape changed drastically – and for the better. Between live-action projects and animated ones, both for the big screen and streaming, it seems like Hollywood has finally learned how to properly adapt popular video game IPs to different media. The list of successful, critically acclaimed video game adaptations released after Mortal Kombat (2021) includes shows like Arcane, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, The Last of Us, Castlevania: Nocturne, and Fallout, as well as movies like Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Each of these projects proved that there can be great video game adaptations for any media.

The Bar Is Higher For Mortal Kombat 2 Than It Was For Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat 2 needs to be as good as recent video game adaptations

Custom Image by Yailin Chacon

Before shows like The Last of Us and movies like The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it seemed like video game adaptations would never become critically acclaimed hits or box office titans. The last few years have proven this perception wrong, with great, successful projects based on several different IPs. League of Legends and The Last of Us could not be more different from each other, yet their TV adaptations were both incredible and raised the bar for video game shows. Likewise, the Sonic and Super Mario Bros. movies had opposite approaches to their source material, yet they were both successful.



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Ella Purnell played one of the lead roles in Amazon’s Fallout, meaning she has now delivered two of the best video game adaptations ever made.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners told a brand new story set in the same world as the popular video game, a strategy that Fallout also used. The Last of Us, on the other hand, retold the events of the first game while also adding new characters and storylines. These different approaches prove that there is no right way of doing video game adaptations and that all types of games can receive good movies or shows. Therefore, Mortal Kombat 2 will be expected to be as good as these recent video game adaptations now that they have shown that it can be done.

Mortal Kombat Theatrical Movies

Release Year

Rotten Tomatoes Score

Mortal Kombat



Mortal Kombat: Annihilation



Mortal Kombat



How Mortal Kombat 2 Can Be Better Than The 2021 Reboot

Mortal Kombat 2 needs to improve upon the previous film

Mortal Kombat (2021) has a 55% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is better than the franchise’s previous live-action movies but still quite low compared to what projects like Arcane and The Last of Us achieved. While Mortal Kombat is known for its fights and incredible set of characters, the franchise also made a name for itself due to its storytelling and lore, which is something most fighting games didn’t have before MK. As such, a good adaptation of the Mortal Kombat universe must nail both the fight scenes and the story.


Mortal Kombat 2 Can Fix The Two Iconic Game Characters Failed By The 2021 Movie

Mortal Kombat (2021) failed two of the franchise’s most iconic characters, but hopefully, the upcoming sequel will do both of these champions justice.

The Mortal Kombat reboot was far more accurate in terms of costumes and fatalities than Mortal Kombat (1995) or Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, yet it had a lot of flaws as a movie. Not even the fight scenes, which were expected to be the best thing about the reboot, were satisfying due to a lot of cuts and strange editing. Mortal Kombat 2 needs to faithfully bring the world of video games to the big screen with characters and locations. However, it also needs to be a solid, cohesive movie with a strong script.

Quan Chi almost made his live-action debut in
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
, but the scene was cut from the movie.

There Has Yet To Be A Definitive Mortal Kombat Movie

The best Mortal Kombat movies are still the animated ones

Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat 2021 and Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 1995
Custom Image by Yeider Chacon

More than being on par with recent video game adaptations, Mortal Kombat 2 needs to be a definitive live-action MK movie the franchise is still lacking. Mortal Kombat has been one of the most popular video game IPs in the world for three decades now, leading to multiple other products like movies, TV shows, and action figures. Still, when it comes to theatrical, live-action movies, Mortal Kombat still needs a definitive project that successfully starts its own franchise. Mortal Kombat (1995) may now be a cult classic, but it was far from being a great MK adaptation.

Films like
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge
Mortal Kombat
Legends: Battle of the Realms
have offered faithful, accurate depictions of the

Despite its charm and compelling characters, Mortal Kombat (1995) failed to bring some of the most important aspects of the MK world to the big screen, including the violence and the special powers used by the characters. The first Mortal Kombat does succeed as a fun, tournament-style martial arts movie, yet not as a Mortal Kombat adaptation. Its sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, threw everything good about the first movie and delivered one of the worst films of all time. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which has 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, killed the cinematic MK franchise for decades.

The best Mortal Kombat movies have been the animated ones. Films like Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge and Mortal KombatLegends: Battle of the Realms have offered faithful, accurate depictions of the MK games in fun 90-minute stories released directly to home video. While those films have flaws too, including the pacing and certain aspects of the animation, they are arguably better than any of the live-action Mortal Kombat movies. Hopefully, this will change with Mortal Kombat 2, which can fix the mistakes of the 2021 reboot and be the definitive MK film.

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