Is Mortal Kombat 1 be a reboot or remake? Series timeline explained

Is Mortal Kombat 1 be a reboot or remake? Series timeline explained
Images via Warner Bros. Games

Written by 

Morgan Truder


24th Jul 2023 11:48

As we approach release, many fans will be wondering if Mortal Kombat 1 will be a reboot or a remake, or maybe something different entirely, maybe even all of the above. The main reason why this is bound to confuse is that we've seen a variety of timelines introduced across both games and the movie, making the franchise's lore tough to follow for newcomers. 

Mortal Kombat (2011) was the 9th mainline game in the series, but after Mortal Kombat 11, and the Aftermath DLC, the state of the world has been left in the most interesting place the series has been in years and we all knew we were in for a shakeup with whatever comes next. 

So let’s dive into where Mortal Kombat 1 fits into the timeline and get to the bottom of if it is a reboot or remake. 

Will Mortal Kombat 1 be a reboot or remake? 

Scorpion as he appears in Mortal Kombat 1 being attacked
Click to enlarge

In typical Mortal Kombat fashion, answering whether or not the next game will be a reboot just isn’t that simple, and understanding how Mortal Kombat 11, finished is crucial.

Mortal Kombat 11’s Aftermath DLC (surely it’s DLK, right?) left us with Liu Kang becoming the God of Fire, taking on Raiden’s role in the series, after it turned out Raiden was destined to kill Liu Kang. 

As part of Liu Kang becoming a god, he defeats Kronika the keeper of time so he can rebuild the world the way he wants it to be. The Aftermath DLC ends with Liu Kang travelling back in time to confront the original Kung Lao.

The trailer for Mortal Kombat 1 shows us he has gone back in time and things are different from what we have ever seen before, with Raiden being a regular person and Sub-Zero and Scorpion now being brothers. 

So this is a reboot of the timeline in Mortal Kombat 1, but also a continuation of Liu Kang’s story after the events of Mortal Kombat 11. We still have a lot of questions regarding where the Elder Gods are now, when exactly this is set in the past and whether or not the Mortal Kombat tournament still exists. Hopefully, all of these questions will be answered once we play the game.

Mortal Kombat timeline explained 

Mortal Kombat 1 scorpion and Sub-zero before a fight
Click to enlarge

Before the events of the new game, there are two main timelines in Mortal Kombat: the events before Mortal Kombat (MK9) reset everything, and a separate timeline continuing on from MK9. The latest game looks to introduce a new timeline, so there will in turn be three timelines in total once Mortal Kombat 1 releases. 

The timeline was reset in MK9, after the events of Mortal Kombat Armageddon when all the characters died, excluding Raiden and Shao Kahn, with Raiden sending a message to his younger self prompting him to change history and avoid the events of Armageddon. With Armageddon avoided, the events of Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 are a fresh timeline, although Mortal Kombat 1 looks to reset them once again. 

In the table below you can find the different Mortal Kombat timelines and which games correspond with each timeline. 


Mortal Kombat games 

Timeline 1
  • Mortal Kombat (1992)
  • Mortal Kombat 2
  • Mortal Kombat 3
  • Mortal Kombat 4
  • Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Timeline 2

  • Mortal Kombat (2011)  
  • Mortal Kombat 10
  • Mortal Kombat 11

Timeline 3

  • Mortal Kombat 1 

That’s all there is to know about the multiple Mortal Kombat timelines and where the timeline is going into Mortal Kombat 1. Mortal Kombat 1 will act as a new jumping-on point to the series, but also a continuation of the second timeline after Liu Kang has reset it. 

If you can’t wait for more Mortal Kombat, then be sure to take a look at our Mortal Kombat 1 homepage, so you’re completely up to date before the game launches later this year. 

Morgan Truder
About the author
Morgan Truder
Morgan is one of the Guides Writers at GGRecon. He first started writing about games for fun whilst doing his BA (Hons) in History and Film. Since then he has turned this passion into a career and was previously an Editor at VideoGamer before joining GGRecon. Despite enjoying all sorts of games, he can often be found playing Football Manager, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Sekiro.
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