Review: 'Mortal Kombat XL'

Should you buy it?

Mortal Kombat XL

BagoGames/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

"Mortal Kombat XL" is the Game of the Year edition of 2015’s "Mortal Kombat X." It includes the core "Mortal Kombat X" game along with all of the extra content added to the game over the last year. We’ll cover everything you need to know right here.

How to Buy 'Mortal Kombat XL'

  1. "Mortal Kombat XL" as a full retail release or download that has the full MKX game plus all of the DLC included.
  2. XL Pack DLC if you already own MKX, but didn’t buy the Kombat Pack 1 DLC (that included new characters Jason, Predator, Goro, Tremor, Tanya as well as new costumes), you can buy the XL Pack that will include all of that plus the new characters / costumes featured in Kombat Pack 2. 
  3. Kombat Pack 2 DLC if you own MKX and already have Kombat Pack 1, you can buy just Kombat Pack 2. Kombat Pack 2 includes new characters Leatherface, Alien, Bo’ Rai Cho, and Triborg, along with new costumes. Triborg is particularly interesting because it is actually four of the classic MK cyborg characters – Cyrax, Sektor, Smoke, Cyber Sub-Zero – wrapped into one.

The MK XL update also brings balance changes and tweaks to the table for the whole cast, of course. It also adds stage fatalities to a handful of stages as well, which is always cool and a Mortal Kombat staple.

Should You Buy 'Mortal Kombat XL'?

So is "Mortal Kombat XL" worth it? Absolutely. If you never bought MKX yet, there is no reason not to jump into MKXL right away. The game already had a ton of content to begin with, but you’ll be getting all of the extra characters and costumes and other goodies right off the bad. If you like fighting games, particularly Mortal Kombat’s style of brutal straightforward gory mayhem, you’ll love MKXL.

If you have already played MKX a lot, the new characters really do freshen things up enough to warrant a purchase of the XL or Kombat Pack 2. Like all MKX characters, each of the new characters has three variants that all play differently from each other. The Alien is actually three distinct species (though one of them is a Xenomorph / Tarkatan (Baraka) hybrid that seems a little forced). Leatherface features three distinct looks/playstyles taken from the various “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movies. We particularly like his Killer variant where his moves are kind of flowing and rhythmical like his dance at the end of the original TCM movie. As mentioned above, Triborg is actually four classic MK cyborgs, and each one has all of the special moves just like you remember them. Tip – Press Up, Up, Y on the variant selection screen to choose Cyber Sub-Zero. Bo’ Rai Cho isn’t as interesting as the others – his most memorable feature is that he’s a drunk, barfing, farting, monk – but his inclusion here is certainly appreciated as it rounds out the fan favorite characters in the game nicely.

We Love The Horror Characters!

All of these new additions make an already solid character lineup that much better. Having all of these sci-fi/horror movie villains in the game is also pretty much a dream come true because they fit into this gameplay style absolutely perfectly. It sort of makes you wish Netherrealm would just make a fighting game focused on that aspect and forget the MK characters for a while. Toss in Michael Myers, Ash from “Evil Dead”, a couple characters from the “Alien” franchise, bring back Freddy Krueger (he was in MK9, after all), maybe some classic movie monsters like vampires or Frankenstein’s monster on top of the cast already present and you’d have a great horror-themed fighter. It’d almost certainly be an expensive licensing and rights nightmare, but we can dream, can’t we? Killer Instinct almost sort of fills that niche currently, anyway.

Bottom Line

In the end, "Mortal Kombat XL" is a beefy content addition at a pretty reasonable price. As expected, waiting for this “Komplete Edition” was the way to go, of course, as you get all of the content for cheaper than if you had bought the game + 2 DLC packs separately, but being able to play it for the last year does balance things out a bit. Either way – whether you’ve been playing it all along or are going to jump in now – "Mortal Kombat X" is a fine fighting game and MK XL is a great addition to it. No reason not to buy it if you’re an MK fan.