MK brought so much fun to arcades and home consoles with it's gorey,brand of fighting.
MK also has graphics that have real actors posing as the characters,realistic looking backgrounds,and lots of blood would splatter out when you hit your opponent.
But what made MK such a memorable game made is very controversial,because it's fatalities were extremely violent,you could You could rip off someone's head and see the spinal cord dangling below,or burn off all their flesh,rip their heart out,or knock them off a bridge onto a pit of spikes and be impaled.
The game was so popular it sold more Sega Genesis consoles that season than any other game,because Nintendo removed the blood and fatalities in the SNES version while the Sega Genesis version allowed you to do them via a code.
The characters you could select include 2 ninja named Sub Zero(who can freeze his opponent with ice),Scorpion,(who shoots the harpoon out of his hand and I still remember him yelling his legendary phrase ''GET OVER HERE!!'' when he successfully spears an opponent and drags them over to him.Raiden is the thunder God who can fly through the air and smash his opponent into the other side of the screen and fire bolts of lightning and teleport.Lui Kang is a Shao Lin monk and has a flying kick move that allows him to travel through the air so fast and knock his opponent down with a powerful kick.Sonya is a military lady who is searching for a criminal/murderer and she has a move where she can perform a handstand,grab you with her legs and slam you into the ground.Kano is the criminal and murderer who Sonya is chasing,and he throws huge spinning daggers at you that would cause blood to splatter everywhere and he has another attack where he curls into a ball and spins through the air at rapid speed and impacts into his opponent very hard(a copy of Blanka's move from street fighter but great none the less)
The high powered upper-cut was a great move that every character had that would remove a large amount of health.
The main problem the game has is it's AI is quite bad and all your opponents fight in exactly the same way(they just walk up to you and try to punch you and counter what you did)but,the CPU was programmed not to block forward,aerial kicks and would continously walk into foward aerial kicks that you used against it and it made battles become a bit repetitive.
The CPU was programmed to detect and avoid any special moves you used against it if you use that same special move two or three times(which is fair enough to stop people exploiting Sub Zero's freeze or Scorpion's harpoon),but the game feels as if it doesn't have a lot of technical depth.
Like I mentioned before,real life people were used for characters and the environments look realistic and they used a clay model for Goro(the 4 armed half human-dragon)and sized him up to look much bigger than the characters and animated his movements(when he grabbed you,lifted you high in the air and started pounding you with his other 2 free arms it looked quite brutal)and doing this made Goro look tough.
The electric currents flowing through Raiden's body really did make him look like a super natural being,same goes for when Raiden regenerates to full form after ge gets knocked down or teleports.The environments have a nice oriental feel to them,such as fighting in a courtyard and the audience will applaud the winner.There's some more morbid environments too such as fighting on the Pit(a bridge where the background is a dark sky,full moon,and if you look closely you will see witches on broomsticks flying past and at the bottom of the Pit,you'll see all the dead,impaled bodies on the spines below.
Everytime you punched/kicked an opponent in the head you saw blood splatter.So if you hit them many times in the head continuously you would see a lot of blood splatter.
Goro's lair had a skeleton of the prisoner still attached to the wall.
For more originality the final boss was a sorcerer who could morph into any character(including Goro)and perform multiple,powerful fireballs in succession that each one would remove a large amount of health if it hit an opponent.
The sound effects were a great feature too,you would hear characters scream when they were knocked down or make loud splatter sounds when they took punches to the head.
Finally I would like to say Mortal Kombat is a great fighting game with great ideas for gameplay and presentation and is one of the most loved fighing game series of all time.