Mortal Kombat 11

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Mortal Kombat 11 Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Intensely gory fighting game glamorizes bloody violence.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 51 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The action glamorizes and sensationalizes violence for the sake of entertainment. Scenes of bloody gore are so over-the-top that they're meant to spur both awe and laughter. It also promotes friendly, social, competitive play between two players in the same room.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some characters are portrayed as good and some as evil, but even the so-called good characters trying to protect the world clearly take pleasure in performing acts of gratuitous violence. Male and female characters are portrayed as equally strong and respected, with neither having an inherent advantage.

Ease of Play

Plenty of difficulty options allow even rookie players to experience success without frustration when playing against the computer. But to win online and against other players locally requires plenty of practice and strategy.


Combat is intense, bloody, and shockingly gruesome. Characters use fists, weapons, and magic to beat, wound, and kill each other, with gratuitous slow motion effects showing bones being crushed, organs being ripped from bodies, and fountains of crimson coursing through the air. Scores of detailed animations show such things as brains being speared and eaten, hearts getting ripped from chests, and spinal cords erupting from torsos. It's among the goriest games ever created.


Dialogue contains infrequent instances of strong language, including the words "f--k" and "s--t."


Microtransactions allow players to spend real money on in-game currencies to purchase cosmetic upgrades for characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character takes a swig from a bottle of whisky before using it as a weapon. Another puffs on a large cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mortal Kombat 11 is a fighting game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. Players control a variety of characters who beat each other to death with a mix of fists, magic, and weapons including guns, swords, acid, and dynamite. The most violent moves are presented in slow motion, showing X-ray images of bones being crushed, spines and organs being gorily ripped from bodies, faces being ripped off, and brains getting cleaved in two. Some characters are presented as "good" and some as "bad," but all of them clearly enjoy the extreme violence with which they dispatch their opponents. One character drinks whisky, another smokes, and several use profanity. Unlike some modern fighting games, female characters are not overtly sexualized and are just as strong and capable as their male counterparts. Parents should also be aware that this game supports microtransactions that allow players to spend real world money on virtual currency.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMichaelGonzalez April 26, 2019

Mortal Kombat 11 review

I think Mortal Kombat 11 is a Orval great game some things you might be concerned about is how extreme is this game I’m not going to lie there is gore theres... Continue reading
Parent Written byNolty F. January 12, 2021


Mortal kombat 11 is a great game with great mechanics, but here’s some parental advice.

Ok, parents may be bothered and worried about fatalities, but they are... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCoolpool785 May 6, 2019


I usually wait to play the game to do a review, but there are too many people on here who are saying it's fine for ages 8+ or whatever because you can... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byButterscotch777 May 25, 2019

I recommend you talk to your child/children about MK11 BEFORE buying the game

I know this is probably the longest review you'll ever read in your life but bear with me, you'll want to know the graphic content in this game.

I... Continue reading

What's it about?

MORTAL KOMBAT 11, the latest entry in the decades-old fighting series, once again pits the forces of light and darkness against each other in a series of extraordinarily violent and often stupendously gruesome one-on-one battles that will determine the fate of the universe. The story mode leads players through a series of length CGI scenes pocked with intermittent combat, weaving a time traveling tale that sees older versions of iconic characters like Liu Kang and Johnny Cage meeting their younger selves, who are often surprised by what they have done and become. Outside the story, players have a broad range of play options, including working their way up towers of computer-controlled enemies, fighting human opponents both locally and online, training to learn and practice new moves -- including powerful and spectacular "fatal blows," which come available late in each round to give staggered players a chance to get back in the match -- and exploring an area known as the Krypt filled with loot chests containing cosmetic upgrades, single-use items, new moves, and various currencies. Players can use what they collect to customize their favorite characters, and even send them into AI battles against other players' custom characters.

Is it any good?

Fighting game fans are getting a lot for their money with this one. The range of modes, collectibles, and customization options on offer in Mortal Kombat 11 is simply staggering. The story mode tells an admittedly thin tale, but it delivers a couple hours' worth of mesmerizing, nearly film-quality CGI scenes that set the tone by providing context for each arena and explaining the motivations of the main characters. It also gives players a brief introduction to each character's moves -- of which there are many -- before jumping into the tougher, more competitive realms of tower climbing, tournaments, local, and online play. With the ability to earn money and unlock all sorts of collectible, cosmetic, and usable gear in the Krypt -- much of which can be used to create personalized versions of your preferred fighters -- there's no shortage of stuff to do and objectives to achieve.

Of course, this massive array of content would be useless if the fighting weren't fun. Thankfully, it's a blast, and surprisingly accessible to boot. Fighters are instantly responsive to player inputs, and transition smoothly and satisfying between moves. A "Very Easy" difficulty level and simplified controls for some of the more spectacular moves ensures anyone can start having fun right away, even if they don't know any specific combos. But the intuitive training module and forgiving interface makes it easy for rookies to begin learning and mastering more advanced moves and strategies. That said, the violence may turn off some. It's meant to be so over-the-top as to makes players laugh at its creativity – and it largely succeeds. Seeing a face get ripped off, then the outer flesh and bone get sheared away, then the brain skewered, removed, and finally eaten is the sort of outlandish-to-the-point-of-being-comic gore that has helped make the franchise so popular. But it also occasionally veers into cringe-y territory. Take, for example, Kano's first fatality. He guzzles whisky, smashes the bottle on his opponent, plunges it into their chest, and then waltzes around with the corpse. He uses this move on both men and women, but it can't help but conjure an image of drunken domestic violence when performed on a female character. Mortal Kombat 11 is a polished and laudably accessible fighter, but it's suitable only for older players with a strong stomach who know what they're getting into -- and when and when not to laugh.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Mortal Kombat 11 affected by the fact that the violence is over the top with its blood and gore? Why do you think some of us enjoy over-the-top violence? Is it healthy entertainment?

  • What games have you played in which women are fairly and authentically portrayed as strong and intelligent people?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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