Gaming Mortal Kombat?

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The older arcade games kick your ass because they needed quarters, and lots of them. I wouldn't even try to fight against the AI in any version of MK3, be it UMK3 or MKT.

MK9 is THE game to play if you're new to MK. Has basically every character from the original trilogy sans Cyber Smoke, and the best characters from after MK1-3. Thankfully, the console versions have a Komplete Edition that has all the DLC unlocked, because unless you already bought the game, you can't buy it on digital storefronts now thanks to one of the DLC characters being Freddy Krueger, and I assume that once the license/agreement's duration expired, Netherrealm and Warner Bros. had no choice but to pull the game from said storefronts, Steam included. If you want...

Silent_Gunner

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The older arcade games kick your ass because they needed quarters, and lots of them. I wouldn't even try to fight against the AI in any version of MK3, be it UMK3 or MKT.

MK9 is THE game to play if you're new to MK. Has basically every character from the original trilogy sans Cyber Smoke, and the best characters from after MK1-3. Thankfully, the console versions have a Komplete Edition that has all the DLC unlocked, because unless you already bought the game, you can't buy it on digital storefronts now thanks to one of the DLC characters being Freddy Krueger, and I assume that once the license/agreement's duration expired, Netherrealm and Warner Bros. had no choice but to pull the game from said storefronts, Steam included. If you want the best of Klassic MK from a long time fan's perspective, this is the one that I think is a good introduction!
 
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HelpTheWretched

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I would agree about MK(9) being a great starting point. Like Silent_Gunner said, it has lots of characters, but the focus is mainly on the original ones and a retelling of the earlier storylines. Though I've got sharp instincts from playing fighting games for 30 years, I'm not an expert at any single one of them, but with a bit of practice against CPU opponents and the challenge tower in MK9, I found myself strategizing on-the-fly and feeling like a real badass player. So in other words, the skill curve is very welcoming.

Looking back at the old arcade games (1 to 4), they were cool at the time and got a lot of attention, but the gameplay itself was extremely shallow. Everyone had the same basic moves and movements, there really weren't any major strategy or combo opportunities, so it mostly boiled down to knowing the special moves and being able to hit the opponent before they hit you.
 

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