This is especially true of Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, a definitive version optimised for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles which packs in every piece of DLC content so far - including this year’s Aftermath campaign and additional characters like Robocop, Joker and Spawn.
Aside from visual enhancements and reduced loading times, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate offers little for those who already have the base game (although next-gen upgrades are free). If you haven’t tried Mortal Kombat 11 already however, this is the perfect jumping-on point at a very reasonable price.
So what’s the point here? The biggest selling point for Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is the addition of Kombat Pack 2, which adds Mileena, Rain and crossover character Rambo. With these taking centre stage, let’s rundown their merits, obscenities and fatalities.
Rambo has arrived (Picture: NetherRealm)
Voiced by Sylvester Stallone himself (unlike The Terminator T-800, which features an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundalike), Rambo is perhaps the most natural fit into Mortal Kombat from the 80s action hero crossovers; he’s violent, relatively nimble and aesthetically blends in alongside characters like Nightwolf and Fujin.
This works against him in some respects. Crossover characters generally have the most impact when they’re very goofy in execution, with Joker and Robocop standing out among the roster’s current exports as having memorable move sets and distinctive play-styles. Rambo, meanwhile, feels somewhat familiar, armed with bows, daggers and grenades.
Rambo’s most distinctive moves revolve around traps and sneak attacks. He can throw out a spiked trap to sweep opponents or suspend them in the air with ropes. By comically crawling across the floor, you can also land some powerful combos starting at their feet. Generally, he’s best played with some distance - with the ability to recover health by stabbing the ground for meat (as you do) giving him added leverage.
Rambo's jaw is not okay (Picture: NetherRealm)
While there’ll be some players who gravitate towards Rambo’s style, it doesn’t feel memorable enough, or fast enough, to pull people away from others on the roster with similar attributes. His default victory pose is also very troubling - like he’s perpetually screaming with lockjaw.
Rain was named after a Prince song - guess which one? (Picture: NetherRealm)
Originally a joke character inserted by creator Ed Boon as a red herring (named after the Prince song Purple Rain), Rain was gradually brought to life and given his own backstory within the MK universe through fan demand. He was last playable as Mortal Kombat 9 DLC, but he’s equipped with a new weapon and skills for the eleventh entry.
Rain now wields a jamadhar, a three blade katar which also has two hidden retractable blades. This is coupled with his ability to pull water from another dimension, used to block attacks, push away opponents, teleport, summon lightning and deal damage via crashing waves.
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His attacks are initially underwhelming in damage output, but Rain feels flexible and adaptable to many situations. He possesses speedy special moves like trapping opponents inside a water orb which flings them across the screen. Rain can also turn himself into a water silhouette, allowing him to bypass enemy attacks or have opponents move right through him.
His sudden bursts of speed make him surprisingly unpredictable. Of the three new DLC characters, he’s also the flashiest by a considerable margin - meaning for entertainment value alone, Rain will likely become a favourite at competitive tournaments.
Mileena is fierce (Picture: NetherRealm)
The return of Mileena (after much heckling demand on Twitter) feels like Ed Boon giving fans a farewell present before the curtain closes on Mortal Kombat 11. Has it been a worthwhile gift? Or should she stick to cameos in Kitana’s Friendship?
Mileena is the most instantly accessible fighter of the three new additions. She has short, easy to trigger combos and quick speed similar to her sibling Kitana - albeit in more dirtier, aggressive fashion. Instead of spinning flourishes with fan blades like Kitana, Mileena will simply rip out throats with her teeth.
She can even screw into a ball like Sonic the Hedgehog, cascading into opponents to throw them off their feet. This gives Mileena’s quick and scrappy moves extra mobility, allowing for a surprise roll across the floor when opponents are expecting neutral attacks.
While Mileena is enjoyably nasty to use, she feels limited when it comes to stringing together combos. Most of her attacks require close range, so you’re immediately at a disadvantage when you’re flung away from close combat. The Sonic spin-ball and a projectile move does help rectify this to some degree, but they’re not as immediate to execute.
Verdict: Rain wins
Rain's water gun friendship (Picture: YouTube)
Your choice of character depends on your play-style, but Rain feels like the best addition from Kombat Pack 2 in both complexity and finesse. A joke fighter turned formidable water-wielder who makes blowing bubbles a dastardly act.
Crucially, he also has the best outfits. Fashion matters, regardless of realm.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC and Stadia.