Mortal Kombat 1

NZ release: 15 September 2023

Graphic violence Rated on: 30 June 2023

Mortal Kombat 1

What’s it about?

Mortal Kombat 1 is the latest release in the popular, if gory, fighting game series. Beyond its dimension-spanning tale of enemies, alliances, and magic, the game’s long-term appeal lies in its competitive one-versus-one play.

The facts

  • Fight with familiar characters like Scorpion and Sub-Zero
  • Wait – Mortal Kombat 1? (The timeline events of Mortal Kombat 11 semi-reset the franchise.)
  • The game is expected to be a regular feature in the competitive fighting game circuit
  • Yes, they still spell everything with a ‘K’. Klassic.

Why did it get this rating?


Violence is the main reason the game is restricted to adults.

While the moment-to-moment martial arts and magic violence is somewhat bloody, the game ramps up the gore with brutal and fatal moves. Fighting is interrupted with cinematics of characters having their limbs broken, bones shattered, and bodies brutalised.

With match-ending fatalities, we are shown truly graphic scenes of grotesque violence. Characters suffer dismemberment, decapitation, bisection, and disembowelment. Hearts are pulled out, brains are eaten, and people are burned, abraded, torn apart, melted, or frozen. Internal organs, muscles and bones are visible with each gory death.

This is extreme violence as entertainment, and is at times quite cruel.


Horror arises from the grotesque and gory ways the characters can die. Some areas in the game also depict body horror in their backgrounds, like a gruesome scene of bodies strung up on hooks. This could be rather confronting for younger audiences.

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