With Midway going under, we could be giving this franchise a tearful goodbye if Warner Bros. doesn't start crankin' out new games. The Mortal Kombat franchise has a long history and alone was responsible for the creation of the ESRB (though some critics claim it was a combination of Mortal Kombat, and Doom). For fans of Mortal Kombat, several characters will remain close to our hearts. This is a list of those characters and why they will remain there.

Known for having quite an "interesting" face, and a blade that comes out of each arm, Baraka chops through to number ten on the list. His most famous move is the Slice and Dice, where he kneels down on the ground and stretches his arms out, and slices an opponent with both blades multiple times.

Some have called this movie cheap, as it is extremely easy to execute and can be done so fairly quickly. If the opponent is at close range when this attack gets pulled off, they will most certainly be hit by it because it's almost too fast to react to. Baraka remains a fan-favorite to this day, and certainly won't be forgotten.

One of the many palette swapped ninjas, Noob Saibot teleports in at number nine. Noob Saibot has one of the cheapest attacks in the franchise, where he shoots out a clouded ball that when it connects, makes the opponent unable to use special moves or block. In addition to that, should the devastated opponent try to attack with punches and kicks, they'll do absolutely nothing until the effects wear off. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this character, is his name. It's not as random as you may think, for those of you unfamiliar with the character.

His name is actually the last names of the co-founders of Mortal Kombat (Ed Boon and John Tobias), spelled backwards! The creators often got creative with names and this wouldn't be the last time that they did either. In fact, fans got to name the next character on the list.

Fans originally thought up the name of this character, and he comes glitching in at number eight on the list. Ermac is a fusion of the words "Error Macro", a message that would often be displayed when one of the Mortal Kombat arcade games crashed. Fans thought "Error Macro" was a secret, unlockable character, though that ended up not being the case. However, to humor the fans, the creators brought to life one of the newest line of palette swapped ninjas, Ermac.

Ermac his known for his telekinetic abilities, which often slam the opponent up and down against the ceiling several times. That move was even extended into his fatality, where he repeatedly slams them against the floor and ceiling and until they explode.

While the palette swapped male and female ninjas proved to be popular, Midway wanted to introduce a new series of palette swapped characters, the cyborgs! Smoke has actually been on both sides of the spectrum. Originally introduced in Mortal Kombat 2 as another palette-swapped ninja, in the third installment, he would become a cyborg. This duality is what gets him his own spot in the list, otherwise I would've lumped Cyrax, Smoke, and Sektor together.

Smoke operates just like Scorpion. He has a harpoon that fires out of him (from the hand in human form, and from a chest cavity in his cyborg form), that ropes the player in for a free shot, as well as having Scorpion's tele-port punch attack. He eventually went on to be paired with Noob Saibot in a tag-team combo, where switching the fighting style switches between characters.

Princess of Edenia and the rightful heir to the throne, Kitana jumps in at number six on the list. While Sonya was a strong female character, Kitana lent the series her own special bland of awesomeness. She's well known for her blue one-piece uniform and matching mask, her weapon of choices being sharp, metal fan blades, the shapes akin to hand held fans in the East.

Kitana definitely has some unique moves in her roster. One of which allows her to spin her fans, pulling in a character closer to her. The other is a flying punch attack where she jumps vertically, then flies across the screen and lands on the other side. Kitana was the first in a series of palette-swapped female ninjas.

Perhaps the strongest of the three female ninjas, Jade gave us all nightmares if we faced her in Mortal Kombat 2. She has lightning speed and once she gets started on a combo, she just won't stop! They didn't really nerf her until recent installments in the series. Thankfully her walking speed was nerfed just a bit in Mortal Kombat 3, making her a little easier.

One of her moves simply grants her a few invincibility frames, making her perhaps one of the cheapest characters in the original trilogy. She's also well known for her javelin weapon which often finds it's way into some pretty gruesome fatalities. Jade is not to be taken lightly.

The first sub-boss in Mortal Kombat history. Goro is from a race of subterranean beings known as Shokan, who are half man, and half dragon. Sporting four arms, Goro is Shang Tsung's Champion of Mortal Kombat who defeated the great Kung Lao. Ever since then, anybody who has made it to Goro has failed miserably. His thick hide makes it impossible for most to do any damage to him, though he can be whittled away.

Goro's battle capabilities are immense. He can grab one character with two of his arms and pummel away at him with the other two, in addition to teleporting through the ceiling and coming back down to stomp on a foe. He wasn't playable until Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and as fans, we were all stoked to finally be able to play as this beast, fatality or not.

The shape-shifting sorcerer, and original host Earthrealm's Mortal Kombat tournament. He works for the might Emperor of Outworld, Shao Khan, who wishes to invade Earthrealm and claim it for himself. Upon Goro's defeat, Shang Tsung himself would face the challenger in a final duel to decide the fate of Earthrealm. Shang Tsung captures and enslaves souls, allowing him to morph into their body at any time he sees fit. He would be a playable starter in Mortal Kombat 2, making him perhaps the most versatile character of all.

In addition to having his own repertoire of attacks such as shooting fireballs from his hands, the player can press a combination of buttons to make him change into any character in the game (except for Shao Khan and Kintaro, though the latter can be achieved with a fatality).

Self-proclaimed Emperor of Outworld, he insults his way to the number two spot on this list. He will be forever remembered for his memorable lines, going so far as to tell the player "You suck!" if you lose. Shao Kahn is fast and hits hard, each one of his physical attacks, things as simple as a punch or kick, will send the opponent flying to the other side of the screen. He also has a warhammer that he will beat you senseless with, effectively paralyzing your character.

Shao Khan's true face is hidden behind a mask made of a skull, and thus no one has ever seen it. Shao Khan made his first appearance in Mortal Kombat 2, and appeared in every MK game until Mortal Kombat 4, though only playable in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat: Trilogy. He had a cameo in Deadly Alliance, and would finally be playable again in Mortal Kombat: Deception and Armageddon.

These two share the number one spot on the list. When most people think of Mortal Kombat, they think of these two characters right off the bat. The first two in the long series of palette-swapped ninjas, these two characters made Mortal Kombat what it is today, practically being flagship characters if there were ever such a thing.

Sub-Zero has the ability to shoot an ice ball out of his hands that freeze an opponent for a pretty good length of time, setting the player up for a free hit. This isn't his only signature move, as every game he's been in has also featured his slide ability, which some have thought difficult to pull off.

Scorpion is most well known for his harpoon attack, a spike attached to a rope coming out of his hand and roping a player in, as well as paralyzing them for a moment. His trademark line, "GET OVER HERE!", has worked it's way into the hearts of fans and haters alike. These two characters also have a very violent history together, but you'll have to play the games to find it out because I won't spoil it here.

Obviously as the most well-known characters in the franchise, these two characters often dominate the gameplay and most people love to pick one or the other. One is just as great as the other, and neither will ever be forgotten.

So there it is, the Top Ten Most Iconic Mortal Kombat characters!

Honorable mentions include Raiden the Thunder God, Major Jackson Briggs (aka Jax), Sonya Blade, Reptile, Cyrax and Sektor, Sindel, and Stryker. These characters will live on in our hearts forever, even if Warner Bros. doesn't pick up the slack and start developing more Mortal Kombat games. We can still go back and play the old games, and relive fond memories of fighting these characters or playing as them. Thank you for reading, and to Midway; good night, sweet prince.

I'd like to thank Shadow. for the screen shots used.

List by Sour (06/01/2010)

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