Mortal Kombat 1 Tier List: The early access meta

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Mortal Kombat 1 fighters
Credit: NetherRealm Studios

Mortal Kombat 1 is finally out and it's already making waves. If you're looking for the ultimate Mortal Kombat 1 tier list, then we are here to assist you. In this article, we'll present you with the most recent and updated rankings of almost each Mortal Kombat 1 character.

Players are presented with a diverse selection of playable characters to choose from in Mortal Kombat 1. It is not uncommon for them to search for the most optimal option based on the current meta. By using a character that is considered to be high-tier, gamers have a better chance of winning matches.

Before that, you may enjoy learning how to perform all fatalities in Mortal Kombat 1. Additionally, finding out the voice actor behind our iconic character will give you a more interesting insight into the game.

Mortal Kombat 1 tier list based on the early access meta

Based on our initial observations, We have ranked all these characters otherwise to make it easier to understand. Of course, we can see more additions or changes in this tier list as we move further with the game's meta and more observations.

Character Tier Characters
SLiu Kang, Kenshi, Sub-Zero
ARaiden, Shang Tsung, Johnny Cage, Scorpion
BKitana, Mileena, Tanya, Reptile, Li Mei
CKung Lao, Rain, Havik

As a matter of fact, when evaluating the best characters in Mortal Kombat 1, several crucial factors come into play. These factors such as a character's unique abilities, their popularity among players, and how easy or hard to counter while countering their moves.


These characters are considered to be the strongest and most versatile in the game. Also, their popularity plays a big role here. Having said that, we have placed the following characters in the S-tier.

Sub-zero in Mortal Kombat 1
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Credit: Netherrealm Studios


It shouldn't come as a surprise that Subzero belongs in the high tier. He is a top choice among players when it comes to pressuring his opponents. With special moves like freezing and sliding and perfect control of the atmosphere with his ice skills, he can easily keep his opponent on their knees.

Liu Kang

Liu Kang is undoubtedly the most talked-about character in the latest series, and it's not difficult to understand why. He is widely recognized as one of the most formidable characters, mostly due to his exceptional agility, acrobatic skills, and martial arts expertise. Whether your goal is to attack or defend, Liu Kang is more than capable of meeting your expectations with his impressive abilities.


If slashing an opponent with the sword is an art, then Kenshi is Picasso of it. Sound exaggerating? Well, witnessing his lethal sword-slashing combinations reveals the difficulty in countering his long-range attacks. Kenshi's moves can be challenging, particularly for new players. Nonetheless, if you are able to patiently learn to wield his sword with precision, it becomes lethal.


They are undoubtedly skilled and dominant in the arena, but their pick rate places them slightly below the S-tier.

Raiden in Mortal Kombat 1
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Credit: NetherRealm Studios


All the way from the early ages of the Mortal Kombat series, Raiden has been among the top choices due to his versatile attacks. His moves are centred around lightning and thunder, making them quite challenging to evade. Despite his serene monk-like appearance, Raiden is a formidable opponent and should never be taken lightly.

Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung is a character infused with a demonic essence and is often regarded as a villain. He possesses mastery over sorcery and can utilize his shape-shifting abilities to manipulate gameplay to his advantage. His ability to acquire the strengths of other characters makes him lethal. Presently, this character is exclusively accessible to individuals who pre-ordered the game.

Johnny Cage

Our beloved action hero is back in the newest version of Mortal Kombat. This time, he has additional features, including a hype meter that enhances his moves. Johnny Cage's playstyle is quite aggressive, with a perfect balance of punches, kicks, throws, and combos. He is the ideal character to assist you if you enjoy dominating the arena.


Scorpion is a highly favoured fighter among Mortal Kombat enthusiasts, alongside other notable characters like Sub-Zero and Kenshi. A proficient ninja, he relies on his wide array of weapons, including the kunai and spear. Although relatively easy to learn, this can also pose a drawback as it is a frequently selected option among players.


MK1 meta brings Li Mei as a more powerful fighter and once again we have a martial art-loaded female character who has a mix of low and high attacks. She can breathe a stream of fire at her opponents, burning them to a crisp. This is a powerful and versatile attack that can be used to start long-range combos, and even zone them out.


Characters placed in B-Tier can be slightly easier to counter compared to S and A. Their weakness can be easily exploited by a skilled player who can compensate for them with tactics.

Kitana in Mortal Kombat 1
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Credit: NetherRealm Studios


It can be challenging to confront her acrobatic moves and the utilization of her fans as close-range weapons. When facing her directly, her signature move, Fan-Nado, involves generating a whirlwind or Fan Lift to throw her opponent into the air, leaving them defenceless. Interestingly, there is observation of a slight decrease in her fighting skills in comparison to the previous series.


Without giving a second thought, you can't cut out Mileena if you have included Kitana. They both are siblings and possess the almost same prowess. We are not going to talk about the fight of Throne of Edenia here but it is the main reason Mileena has developed herself as a powerful fighter. Not to mention, facing her "Kiss of Death" is the last option you would want to encounter.


What makes Tanya a special fighter is that she can move quickly around the arena and dodge attacks with ease. This makes her difficult to hit and can be frustrating for opponents. Additionally, her proficiency with tonfas as a weapon, coupled with her fireball attacks, enables her to achieve a perfect equilibrium between attack and defence.


Countering an agile and fast character is always a headache but what if he has the ability to be invisible? Well, if you found this intriguing then Reptile is a perfect character which can stand out from others. furthermore, his ability to spit acid at his opponents deals heavy damage along with slowing down opponents. All the time, you can make your enemy guess your next move.


These characters have been listed here because of their low popularity and hard-to-learn mechanics which can come as a disadvantage against upper-tier fighters. However, infusing it with perfect kameo can turn around the table.

Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat 1
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Credit: NetherRealm Studios

Kung Lao

If we evaluate pure physical power, Kung Lao and Liu Kang seem evenly matched but how does Kung Lao end up being in the lower tier? Well, the main reason fans point out is that he continues to nerf his primary ability which was a Razor-rimmed hat. Nonetheless, Kung Lao's teleportation abilities remain formidable and can form the basis of a strategic style of play.


Just like the name suggests, Rain can control water, which he uses to attack his opponents and move around the arena. His water attacks are very fast and difficult to block. Furthermore, he can lift enemies in the air with the help of a water attack making them vulnerable. However, learning and mastering him in a short span can be difficult.

Apart from them, characters such as Havik, Geras, and Rieko have also been put in the lower tiers.

Who are the best kameo fighters?

Mortal Kombat 1 is back with the Kameo Fight mechanisms. In simple, It allows players to call upon another character to assist them in battle. These fighters can be used to extend combos, quick defence, or simply create a distraction for the opponents in the arena

That being said, here are the best kameo fighters to get an advantage in the fight.

  • Sub-Zero
  • Kung Lao
  • Scorpian
  • Sareena
  • Sonya Blade
  • Jax Briggs
  • Frost

Yes, there are common names you have witnessed earlier while ranking the main characters. This implies how these characters are creating an impact on the current MK1 meta. Also, the performance of Kameos also depends on their pair and vice versa creating different results despite picking the best Kameos listed.

Before we end the list, we would like to mention that A tier list doesn't always decide battles in Mortal Kombat 1. Personal choice also matters. For example, experienced players can excel with any character, defying tier expectations.

So, there you have it, a complete guide on the Mortal Kombat 1 tier list based on the early access meta. For more on the game you can check out Is Mortal Kombat 1 crossplay and Mortal Kombat 1 post-credits scene explained.


For more articles like this, take a look at our Mortal Kombat page.