Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (Switch) Review

Kevin "Berserker" Hall
In Short
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate offers three new characters and custom variations in ranked mode.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

Player(s): 1
Extra Features: Online Co-op, Online Multiplayer, Leaderboards

Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate is the third release of Mortal Kombat 11 developed and published by Neatherrealm Studios (NRS). Ultimate comes packed with everything available in the Aftermath release along with three new characters. Probably the biggest part of this release is that custom variations are now available in ranked matches! Instead of an expansion, Ultimate is more of an enhanced version of MK11 with all previously released DLC, but it definitely has a great new set of characters.

Final Rating: 75%

First of all, this review is for the Nintendo Switch version, so let’s go over that version a bit in a quick review of Switch version. The Switch version is noticeably a downgrade from the other console versions, but it’s quite amazing that NRS actually got the game to run on the system in an overall smooth framerate. The backgrounds take the biggest hit when it comes to downgrades. The characters are overall close to other versions visually. The main hit with the models is whenever you go to do a fatality, the game will instantly downgrade character models during the fatality sequence and the overall fatality may have tons of slowdown, depending on the action done. During gameplay, the action may slow down a bit depending on the amount of movement on the screen. Overall, the Switch version holds up quite well in the gameplay department however. The developers made sure to keep the overall fighting experience as the main focus and it moves at around 60fps most of the time. So long as you have a good controller or can use the joycons with fighting games really well, this is a decent version to play. Of course, the main highlight of the Switch version is the fact that it is portable, so you can play it on the go unlike any other console version. The online portion of the game is hard to review – since you’re playing on Switch, which is wi-fi focused, it’s hard to say whether the slowdown is from the connection or the actual netcode. I do get some matches that play pretty smoothly and some that have tons of slowdown, so it’s very up and down when it comes to online. I give the Switch version a 75 on its own, but you can consider the game an 80 on other systems.

Now, going back into the enhanced Ultimate release, the biggest inclusion are the custom variations. Before going into an online ranked match, you can now customize your own variation from the available moves for your fighter. There are a few fighter moves that are banned from online since they haven’t been adjusted to make them balanced with other moves. Each character has three slots available for moves and some moves costs 1 slot while others will cost 2 slots. You also get to name each custom variation with whatever name of your choosing. This inclusion of custom variation has opened the door for many different combinations and techniques to explore for months to come. Every character is once again relevant for the moment and none are truly over the others since they are all basically new once again thanks to the mix and match that you can do. The game still allows for you to choose from three default variations, but the variations that are there from the start no longer really matter anymore, however they are good to have when you go in to a match unprepared to deal with certain situations.

The new characters included in Ultimate are from the recently release Kombat Pack 2 and include Rain, Mileena and Rambo. Rain is the first of the long-awaited ninjas to return to battle. He is a ninja dressed in purple with the ability to control the element of water. Rain is easily one of the flashier DLC characters yet. If you’re into juggling, Rain is your man at the moment. He is about as flashy as Fujin. Rain still comes with his signature water ball, lightning strike, and roundhouse and he also brings along newer moves as well. Rain easily has one of the best outros – the old Reptile pose highlighted with a lightning strike is killer!

If you’ve been on Ed Boon’s Twitter page before the release of Ultimate, you’ll know that fans kind of want Mileena back in the game. Well, she has returned and I must say, for a character I didn’t really care about seeing again, NRS really surprised me with her. The Mileena in MK11 has many references to the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3) Mileena, which I was a big fan of. She tosses out two sai blades during her sai shots and her moves are very reminiscent to her UMK3 appearance. Just like in her older MK appearances, Mileena looks extremely similar to Kitana until she removes her face mask and exposes her Tarkatan teeth. She fights with her claws ready and is overall more ravenous and brutal compared to her other appearances so far. Just like in UMK3, she can have some heavy juggle combos with her roll and teleport jump kick.

Rambo is a very surprising character that caught me by surprise upon his announcement, but I must say that he is easily the best guest character yet! I’m a big Rambo fan, so there is some favoritism at work with this character. NRS really hit the nail on the head with the design of this character. From top to bottom, he is extremely accurate in appearance to Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo look. Stallone even voices the character! Rambo is a brawler with a few grabs up his sleeve. He has a prone stance that allows him to low profile under projectiles and get closer to his opponent while doing so. He also has traps and guns that he can use from a distance.

If you haven’t picked up MK11 yet then Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate is the version to buy! If you already have MK11 however, picking up Kombat Pack 2 would be your best bet since the custom variation changes are included in the latest patch. It’s really nice to see that NRS is keeping up with updates for MK11 for longer than their usual fighting game support. Let’s hope that they keep supporting it so that this NRS fighter will have time to marinate in the community more than previous NRS fighters. It seems that every time they release a new character, they get better and better at their overall creations.

The Good:
+ 3 new characters
+ Custom variations are now legal in ranked matches

The Bad:
- Some characters have banned custom moves which limits their customization

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Transmitted: 6/17/2021 1:55:56 AM