Having bought yourself a copy of Mortal Kombat 11, the first decision you’ll have to make is figuring out the best character to invest your time into. There are plenty of options, with each Mortal Kombat character having a unique moveset and playstyle.
We’ve gone ahead and made picking your main easier by creating a Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List so that you know what fighters are worth learning.
On this page:
Each Mortal Kombat 11 character fits into one of the three general fighting game archetypes; those being Rushdown (which refers to characters who are in their element in the opponent’s face), Grapplers (who mix up standard offense with grabs) and Zoners (who excel at keeping opponents at a distance with a variety of special moves).
If you’re looking for more guides, our Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities list can help.
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List
We’ve ranked every Mortal Kombat 11 fighter into a single tier list. We looked at a range of factors such as a character’s special moves, the range and speed of their normal moves, how easy their high damage combos were to perform, and so on.
There are two things to bear in mind – one, that this list is subjective, and is based on our own opinion of how good a character is. Two, it’s worth noting is all characters are viable. If you like playing Kung Lao, then play Kung Lao! Just because a character is average in our eyes does not make them unplayable.
When ranking characters, we used two tournament variations as they were specifically balanced for competitive play, and act as a universal point of comparison for all of the characters. If you aren’t a fan of a specific tournament variation, you can make you own – there are an extensive number of special moves for you to try out that can make a character better suit your style of play.
Mortal Kombat 11 is sure to change over time. With DLC characters due to be released post launch alongside continuous patches, the placement of fighters on this list is sure to be shaken up.
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Fighters ranked by Tier)
|Mortal Kombat Tier||Fighters|
|Best||Geras, Sonya, Erron Black|
|Strong||Kabal, Skarlet, Cassie Cage, Liu Kang, Sub Zero, Scorpion, Noob Saibot|
|Good||Cetrion, Kotal Kahn, Jacqui Briggs, Kollector, Jax Briggs, Baraka|
|Average||Frost, Johnny Cage, Kitana, Kung Lao, Raiden, Jade|
|Weak||Shao Kahn, Kano, D’vorah|
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Fighters ranked alphabetically)
|Mortal Kombat Character||Tier Ranking|
How we settled on our Mortal Kombat 11 tier list
Mortal Kombat 11 gives players a plethora of ways to get up close and personal. Teleports and general gap-closers are spread generously across the entire cast, while the presence of stage interactables lets you leap across the stage towards your enemy.
Because of this, Rushdown characters fill the majority of spots in the Best / Strong tiers as it’s not too hard for them to get up in your face and start doing their thing.
Zoning characters have suffered due to this, but not to an extent where you can categorise them as ‘bad’. They generally are still able to keep foes at bay at long distances, but with the existence of so many characters who can bridge the gap between them in a flash, you’re going to have to make sure you aren’t throwing out special moves haphazardly.
Grapplers, being generally slower and having a harder time getting close, have found themselves in a tough spot.
With the exception of Geras – who we look at in depth further in the article – grapplers can spend a lot of time struggling to get an opportunity. Once they do, they fair as well as any other character, just make sure that once you get a chance to slap ’em around a bit you make the most of it.
If you want to play a specific type of character, refer to the following sections:
Best Rushdown Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Rushdown characters are those who are in their element in the opponent’s face. Here’s our choices for the best Rushdown characters:
Sonya’s damage is crazy good. She’s easily able to dish out 300 damage off her Overwatch combo with just a single bar of offensive meter. Not only does the first hit come out fast – catching any slow attacks your opponent throws out – the second hit is an overhead meaning you’ll catch them if they’re blocking low.
She’s also able to mix up her offense, switching between overhead and low attacks to force a reaction to some incredibly fast attacks. If they mess up? Sonya’s basic combos can do a hefty amount of damage, even without using meter!
Not only is Sonya the best aggressive character in the game, but she also has a superb selection of long-range special moves. Her grounded and aerial Energy Rings allow her to beat some Zoners at their own game. Sonya is busted, and if winning’s all you care about she is too good to pass up.
The fiery figurehead of Mortal Kombat himself, Scorpion is a force to be reckoned with in Mortal Kombat 11. His second variation Searing Rage provides him with a handful of special moves that make defending against his attacks a real pain.
Being able to switch up overhead and low attacks means your opponent must be on their toes when blocking, as getting hit can lead to combos dealing up to 40% of their total health.
He’s also exceptional when it comes to getting close to zoning characters. His Hell Port special move allows him to quickly attack from behind, making it a brilliant tool to punish players who’re using ranged attacks too liberally.
Best Grappler Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Grappler characters who are at their best mixing up standard offense with grabs. Here’s our choices for the best Grappler characters:
Geras’ entire kit is outstanding. He’s arguably the #1 character in the game with his high damage output, his ability to apply intense pressure, and his excellent special moves.
His throws are particularly scary, with both the forward and backward throws allowing Geras to set up his next attack while the other player is getting up. There’s also his Titan Tackle that carries the opponent across the stage, allowing Geras to easily get them in the corner.
One of the major weaknesses grapplers often have is long ranged attacks, as it can make getting close for grabs difficult. Luckily for Geras, his Sand Trap allows him to catch fighters at lall distances when they aren’t blocking low and teleport behind them for a devastating neck breaker at the cost of a single bar of meter.
When in comes to Jax it’s all about momentum. For every punch Jax hits his arms get hotter, increasing the damage of all of his punches and adds krushing blows that deal massive damage. He’s equipped with a variety of tools such as a dashing attack called Stiff Armed, which can help close the distance if an opponent lets their guard down.
For players who love grabs, Jax has a bunch of fun ones you can mess around with. There’s his default Gotcha Grab that allows you to build up heat on your arms as well as position the other player wherever you please. If you use Gotcha Grab to throw them into the corner, they are left in a standing position, which means you can immediately start threatening additional attacks without having to worry about a wake-up strike..
Then there’s the Military Bearing variation that adds the Quad Grab and Burning Hammer moves, providing more ways to get your hands on whoever you run into online. Jax may not be quite as good as Geras, but once he gets his hands on you, he’s as strong as any other fighter.
Best Zoning Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Zoners excel at keeping opponents at a distance with a variety of special moves. Here’s our choices for the best Zoner characters:
Erron Black’s Smoking Gun variation takes a bit of work to get good at, but once you do you’ll become a menace to your friends and any online warriors you run into in ranked. His ability to control the stage with his rifle and Zaterrean Spit makes it difficult for your adversary to get close to you without either eating a ton of damage and wasting a lot of time.
If they do manage to get close to you, they might wish they hadn’t. Erron Black has a selection of powerful basic combos that are both safe on block and can be extended for high damage on hit. His On The Shoot combo is particularly good. Not only are the final two hits overheads (which force your opponent to block standing) it can be cancelled into an incredibly fast low slide.
If the string connects unblocked, you can also cancel it into his Rising Stock for a combo extension and 30-40 per cent of their total life.
Skarlet is an exceptional zoning character, able to keep other fighters at bay from mid to long rang with an arsenal of blood based moves. Blood Ball and Blood Shot are standard horizontal projectiles that travel at varying speeds – but add her Blood Tentacle with its fast start-up and massive knock-back alongside her low hitting Blood Trail and she’s got a response to almost anything.
Her great special moves aren’t all Skarlets got, as her normal attacks are both powerful and able to hit from quite the distance. Skarlet players will do well using moves like her blood whip and far reaching sweep to punish enemies that whiff attacks in her direction.
If you’re looking for more guides, our Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities list can help.