Mortal Kombat 11 has seen several significant updates since its release in April 2019, and since then its intricacies have been uncovered and each character has been picked apart and generally figured out by the game's dedicated community.
The latest is the Aftermath DLC, which introduce three new characters - Sheeva, Fujin and Robocop. But how good are these new ferocious fighters? Are they good enough to overthrow the game's top tiers, such as Sonya and Geras?
Therefore, we've updated our Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List so that you new and experienced players alike can discern which are the best characters worth learning.
On this page:
- Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List: Our recommendations for the best Mortal Kombat 11 characters
- How we settled on our Mortal Kombat 11 tier list
- How good is Aftermath character Fujin and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
- How good is Aftermath character Sheeva and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
- How good is Aftermath character Robocop and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
- Best Rushdown Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
- Best Grappler Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
- Best Zoning Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List: Our recommendations for the best Mortal Kombat 11 characters
We've ranked every Mortal Kombat 11 fighter - including every DLC addition - 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 has changed a fair amount since launch, and will continue to do so as more characters and patches are introduced.
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Fighters ranked by Tier)
|Best||Cetrion, Geras, Sonya, Liu Kang, Cassie Cage|
|Great||Johnny Cage, Nightwolf, Shang Tsung, Jax, Erron Black. Baraka, Jacqui Briggs,The Joker, Skarlet, Sheeva, Robocop|
|Good||Terminator, Scorpion, Sub Zero, Kabal, Kung Lao, Kitana, Noob Saibot, Frost, Jade, Shao Kahn, Raiden, Fujin|
|Mediocre||Kano, Kollector, D'vorah, Kotal Kahn|
Between new characters and patches, here's how our Mortal Kombat 11 tier list changed following the Aftermath DLC update in May 2020:
- Fujin (NEW - Good)
- Sheeva (NEW - Great)
- Robocop (NEW - Great)
- D'vorah - (Bad to Mediocre)
- Jade - (Mediocre to Good)
- Kotal Kahn - (Bad to Mediocre)
- Shao Kahn - (Mediocre to Good)
- Skarlet - (Good to Great)
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Characters ranked alphabetically)
|Mortal Kombat 11 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. With the time players have had to figure out the characters, this is even more true now than it was previously.
Zoning characters must be played with even greater care given to how safe you are from your opponent's aggression.
Rushdown characters like Johnny Cage and the recently released Spawn remain generally strong in Mortal Kombat 11, maintaining their dominance over the higher tiers since it's not too hard for them to close the gap on opponents attempt to stay far away.
At this point, skilled players are well-practiced in ducking, dashing, and leaping over anything you can throw at them.
One thing lacking from Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath is the addition of a new rushdown character, and as such the archetype as a whole has seen very little change on the list. They are still largely dominant as a whole, despite how good the three new characters are. So stop worrying, Sonya players!
Now we're at the end of the DLC season, Rushdown characters as a whole have solidified themselves as being the best category overall. While not all of them are particularly great, the more exceptional rushdown characters are among the best in the game if they're able to stay up close and personal.
At the polar opposite of the playstyle spectrum, Zoners like Cetrion and Erron Black are still doing their thing up in the higher echelons of the Mortal Kombat 11 cast. Players still subscribed to the long-distance fighting style at this point are excelling at keeping everyone else at a far distance.
Zoners got a big surge of representation on the higher section of the tier list thanks to the addition of Robocop and Fujin. Both of these characters are serious threats to the pre-existing cast, and has caused the iron grip rushdown has had on the game to seem less dominant.
Zoners have finished this DLC season in a pretty good place, with several characters remaining in the Best and Great sections of our tier list. While some of the cast are exceptionally good at breaching a zoners' oppressive long range attacks, overall they can hold their own quite well.
Grapplers, being typically slower and having a harder time getting close, have found themselves in a tough spot. What has happened over time is the grapplers able to overcome this struggle have landed high up in the tier list, while the rest have found a home near the bottom.
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.
The major change that Grapplers have had with Aftermath is Sheeva, who is a fantastic addition to the most modest of the three fighter archetypes. With her placing high up in our tier list, grapplers are starting to look a little better, but overall they still fall short compared to zoners and those pesky rushdown characters.
At this point in the Mortal Kombat 11's life cycle, we don't believe any character is 'bad'. Sure, some characters are certainly better than others, but even the worst character in the game has the tools required to come out on top in matches.
How good is Aftermath character Fujin and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Fujin is a zoner that likes to keep opponents at roughly a full jump's distance away. Fujin's throws push the other fighter at the other end of the screen from him, where he can safely apply pressure with a variety of long distance attacks.
Fujin has a selection of devastating Kombos like Tailwind,Whirlwind, and Whisked Away that are available regardless of what variation you use, and act as the backbone to Fujins playstyle as tools to punish opponents whiffing attacks at a distance.
Fujin also comes equipped with a handful of special moves that further improve his ranged capabilities. His Krossbow Blast compliments his zoning playstyle excellently, as it's fast speed and different firing arcs allow him to oppress opponents and punish attempts to jump in.
This paired with his Wind Kicks, a combo ender that sends the other player flying across the screen, makes Fujin a tyrannical force from a distance. That's not to say he has no close range tools either, as Tornado acts as an excellent vertical anti-air that stops jumping attacks and cross-up attempts.
Variation one, Downburst, allows Fujin to perform some tricky to pull off offensive mix ups that force opponents to guess how to block your next attack. With this variation comes improvements to Tornado - allowing him to travel further around with the tornado.
This paired with the ability to use Tornado mid air makes it more than just a situational answer to jumping, but an offensive tool in the hands of crafty players.
Divine Winds is quite peculiar. Performing the move has Fujin hover in the air, where he can perform his hopping attacks. While not necessarily an offensive special move, you can cancel multiple kombos into Divine Winds which allows Fujin players to surprise blocking opponents with a quick overhead attack if used correctly.
Variation two, Kloud Walker, transforms Fujin into a close range rushdown character with a variety of new offensive options. Warped Needle is the first of this new special moves, replacing Wind Kicks as a close range combo ender that can be amplified for safe pressure.
Wind Barrier also comes with this variation, and acts as an offensive air parry that can neutralize opponent air attacks and allows Fujin to punish them with a powerful attack of his own.
Finally, variation two gives Fujin Sky Wakka, a fast moving air run in which Fujin sprints towards the opponent through from high up in the stage. This move can cancel into a downward kick,an aerial sword strike, or a safe drop back onto the ground at the cost of one defensive meter.
This move is an excellent tool when you want to close the distance at an angle an opponent might not be ready for.
Variation three, Cyclone, which further boosts his zoning potential with some truly frustrating new special moves. Wind Push is an excellent zoning tool in which Fujin pushes opponents away with an air punch that can be used at short, mid, and long distances depending on input.
This move comes out quickly, and therefore can be a safe move to throw out at long distances, but when used at close range you're susceptible to jumping attacks so Fujin players must be careful not to overuse it.
Thankfully, variation three also comes with Air Slam which catches jumping opponents mid air and slams them back onto the ground. For opponents not experienced at getting close to zoners, Air Slam and Wind Push will make them tear their hair out.
How good is Aftermath character Sheeva and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Sheeva is a fantastic addition to the roster of Mortal Kombat 11 grapplers. The close range pressure is hard to handle - with the threat of her grabs supported by a foundation of fantastic kombo strings.
These kombos, such as Shokan Stomp, are moves you can throw out freely without fear of punishment even if blocked. Combine these strings with her excellent back throw and Sheeva becomes a pain to get away from.
In addition, the special moves available to all of Sheeva's variations help her remain a threat from a variety of distances. Shokan Flame is your standard horizontal projectile that hits high when performed normally, but packs a major punch when enhanced.
While her projectile keeps her dangerous at range, her command grab Untamed Fury makes her a menace up close. A mid hitting attack, Untamed Fury is best used as a combo ender and doesn't typically do a huge amount of damage, but does a huge 30% if you trigger its Krushing blow.
Finally, Sheeva gets Dragon Drop, a Sheeva classic. This move has Sheeva fly up into the air off screen, only to slam down on top of your opponent. This move is unblockable, and is a good way to close the distance on zoning characters or players who are playing overly defensive.
Variation one, Smash and Grab, cements Sheeva as a fantastic grappler with added moves. Shokan Snag is the first special move Sheeva gets and as an anti-air grab it makes Sheeva's close range capabilities even better. Once you've used this move, you drop the opponent right next to Sheeva meaning you the pressure doesn't stop even if you use Shokan Snag as a combo ender.
Next comes Tremor, a fullscreen unblockable attack that sends opponents falling backwards away from Sheeva if it hits. The start up for this move is quite long, so players paying attention can always jump over it if they see it coming, but occasionally could catch them out as long as you don't rely on it too much.
Finally, Sheeva's Dragon Drop gets an additional feature in this variation. While the standard Dragon Drop is scary enough, players on their toes can dodge it by moving quickly. With variation one, you can direct Sheeva's landing spot manually.
What this means is that if you notice the other player backdashing to dodge the attack, you can adjust according to catch them when they don't expect it!
Variation two, Deadly Dragon, turns Sheeva into a better all-rounder with improvements to her ranged and combo game. Shield toss is her first new special move and replaces her Shokan Flame projectile.
While this move is also largely standard like her fireball, when you hold down the input to this move the shield will destroy enemy projectiles it collided with. In essence, this move is Sheeva's way of beating zoners at their own game.
Dragon's Charge is a grounded charge that travels quickly across the ground. The distance this move travels might surprise you, and it's a good way of punishing whiffed attacks when your opponent is at around jumping range.
Finally, Spinning Dragon is a standard combo ender that hits for a decent 14%. It's important that you don't throw this move out haphazardly, as it is easily punished if blocked.
That being said, if you amplify this attack it deals extra damage on hit and pushes back your opponent significantly if blocked, acting as a safety net if you accidentally throw it out at the wrong time.
Variation three, Mean Queen, supercharges Sheeva's mixup potential with new attacks and grabs which keep your opponent guessing what kind of attack will be coming next. In this variation Sheeva gains Death March, a forward walk that can be cancelled into a variety of moves.
Attacks you can cancel into include a huge kick, and overhead stomp, an upwards kick that launches, and nothing at all if you want to grab them!
Then comes Battle Scars, which is an overhead command grab (meaning it can only hit crouching opponents). If you manage to pull off this attack it can be amplified which allows for further combo opportunities. This move is a fantastic way to punish players who are scared of your low-hitting attacks.
Finally, Queen's Punishment is a low-hitting grab that can be used as a combo ender if the other player is comfortable blocking while standing. When used alongside the previously mentioned Battle Scars, opponents won't know what to do whilst they're stuck up close to Sheeva.
How good is Aftermath character Robocop and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Robocop is Mortal Kombat 11's latest quest character and just like the prior quest characters the game has seen he is a force to be reckoned with. In terms of archetypes he's closest to a zoner, but different variations mix things up a little.
Kombo strings like Hand of the Law and I'll Call You An Ambulance grant Robocop some much needed space to apply ranged pressure, although he also has a selection of other strings that are close range and safe on block which is a must if he wants a space high up on the tier list.
As for universal special moves available to all variations, there's Cobra Assault Cannon, which is a horizontal projectile which has Robocop use a gigantic rifle to deal serious damage.
Rather than using it as a primary source of ranged pressure, this move is best used as a combo ender, although due to its slow start up only certain strings can accommodate this.
Robocop always gets a horizontal attack with his auto nine pistol, albeit with some changes to the move occurring in different variations. Even without adding bells and whistles, this simple gun shot with Robocop's trusty sidearm is quick and deals a fair amount of damage for how safe it is, but can be ducked. Treat it like any fireball style special, use it occasionally and look out for jump ins.
The last universal move Robocop gets is the Shoulder Crowd Control Cannon. This move drops a grenade in front of Robocop, dealing a decent amount of damage and opening opponents up to combos.
Since it has a slow start up, this special move excels when used upon knocking down the other fighter, that way you can apply extra distance or gain more distance while they're locked down by the grenade.
Robocop's first variation, OCP's Finest, takes Robocop's zoning game to a whole other level, drastically improving the pressure he can create at long range.
Active Patrol and Reactive Patrol are horizontal projectile attacks that have Robocop either walk towards or away from the opponent.
This replaces his Straight Auto Nine projectile, but the addition of movement to this otherwise standard move is a huge advantage, as clever use can potentially avoid jumping attacks if space correctly.
Then Robocop has Terminal Strip, a mid hitting command grab that deals a small amount of damage but throws the opponent fullscreen. This is a good option when someone is too close for your firearms to handle, and allows you to reset the fight at a range Robocop is comfortable in.
Finally, this variation allows Robocop to enhance his Shoulder Cannon to shoot out a stun grenade. When this hits, Robocop can confirm this special move into a full combo, making it far more dangerous than the standard projectile.
His second variation, Prime Directive, adds a larger variety of ranged attacks to his arsenal for a more "traditional" style of zoning.
Low Auto Nine is exactly what it sounds like, a low-hitting shot with Robocop's pistol that will keep opponents watching their legs. Interchange this with the standard Auto Nine special move to apply a solid amount of safe pressure.
There's also the Arm Control Cannon, which is a fast flying rocket that deals great damage for how safe it is. When amplified, you can hold it down, increasing its damage and delaying its travel. Be careful not to overuse it though, as it can be ducked quite easily.
Finally Robocop gets Flamethrower, a high damaging attack that hits multiple times directly in front of him. This move is unsafe on block and doesn't lead to many combo opportunities, but it's a handy tool for punishing whiffed attacks from your opponent if they're too close for any of Robocop's guns. The Final Variation, Prime Control, flips Robocop's usual playstyle on its head by giving him excellent rushdown tools. This variation is all about using his technology to get in quick and fast, and stick around one you're close.
Robocop gets OCP Charge in this variation, an aerial gap closer in which he dashes across the air and slams into the opponent. Despite what you might assume, this move is a mid-hitting attack rather than an overhead.
What makes this move so special is that its largely safe on block, meaning you can rely on it as your method of attack (granted you aren't uppercut out of the air).
Electrical Shield is also included and acts as a sort of insurance for offensive Robocop players.
When used at the cost of one bar of defensive meter, charges himself with electricity so that when he is hit the shield reflects a portion of that damage back at the attacker. In a sense, with Electric Shield an opponent is punished for fending you off.
Finally Robocop gets Cheval Trap, a projectile move which sets a spike trap on the ground that opponents take damage while standing on. When amplified, this turns into a gas grenade that initially does a small amount of damage before erupting and taking a larger chunk of health.
With this variation focused on offence, this special is brilliant to use after knocking someone down, as they are forced to get away or take extra damage standing on the Cheval Trap.
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, forcing their opponent to guess where you're going to strike from next - with disastrous consequences if they guess wrong.
Both Liu Kang and Sonya claim the top two spots as king and queen of Mortal Kombat 11's range of Rushdown fighters, as they excel above their peers at getting in and dealing loads of damage.
The champion of Earthrealm is a real menace right now - with strings and special moves that are brilliant at opening up an opponent's block. His normal moves are especially oppressive - with Dragon's Breath acting as a safe method of pressuring a defending player due to the ability to cancel the move two kicks in. If they don't block it - you can follow up Dragon's Breath into a full combo.
For special attacks, Liu Kang has a selection of really handy ones with a range of uses. His Flying Dragon Kick is a great tool for getting opponents into the corner from as far as mid screen if you invest two bars of attack meter into it.
Fireball / low fireball are both fast and allow Liu Kang to beat some zoners at their own game. Also allows you to keep the other player dodging your projectiles if you have a health lead or want to wait out the clock. A bit a versatility in a character's move set goes a long way.
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.
Best Grappler Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Grappler characters who are at their best mixing up standard offense with grabs.
Despite his share of nerfs, Geras is still arguably the best grappler in the game despite the multiple nerfs and adjustments aimed at him in balance patches. Alongside him, Jax retains his silver medal spot on our list as he's established himself as a viable grappler in Geras' shadow.
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 Hunker Down 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.
Jax has been holding down the 2nd place spot for grapplers for a while now, but with the release of Sheeva it's clear that four arms are better than two. Sheeva's ability to get right in the face of the opponent is frankly fantastic, thanks to special moves like Dragon Drop.
Once she's in your face, Sheeva is able to cause havoc despite her variation. Whether it's command grabs that hit crouching or jumping opponents, or attacks like Death March that make your next strike ambiguous, she's a nightmare for zoners who think they're safe at full screen.
With not a single lacklustre variation and a great basic kit that acts as a strong foundation for the crazy additions they provide, anyone can become a monster using Sheeva with just a little bit of practice.
Best Zoning Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Zoners excel at keeping opponents at a distance with a variety of special moves and long-ranged normal attacks. When played right, Zoners make it feel like they're the only ones playing, as opponents are trapped under a relentless assault.
Cetrion is still the queen of Zoners,in a league of her own in regards to her ability to keep fighters at bay with her oppressive combination of special moves. However, Spawn has knocked Erron Black off his horse and snatched the runners up spot, as his mid-ranged normal attacks and amazing special moves combined just fall short of Cetrion.
There's nothing quite as frustrating as fighting a Cetrion player who knows what they're doing. The extraordinary effort required to get close is a massive struggle on its own - made only worse by Cetrion's multiple options that push you far away.
Boulder Bash and Hell's Wrath are fantastic when trying to keep the other player as far away from you as possible. The combination of both is incredibly hard to move through safely without taking a few hits in the attempt.
She also has tools like the Tendril Pull that can be used at multiple ranges. This move is a great way to keep opponents on their toes, forcing them to always look out for a low hitting grab. This paired with all the other long-ranged moves Cetrion has just adds to how obnoxious she can be.
Bursting in from hell, Spawn emerges and knocks Erron Black off our top two spot for Zoners in MK 11. From what we've played, Spawns tools for keeping opponents off him are superb, regardless of his variation.
Many of his normal attacks hit at a surprisingly long range, allowing Spawn to throw out moves without fear of getting punished for the attempt. If these hit, Spawn can often convert his normal moves into significant damage at the cost of a bar of offensive meter, meaning you've got to stay on your toes if you want to survive his pressure.
His special moves, especially in his From Hell variation, allow Spawn to keep up this pressure even when further away. Moves like Guns Blazing and Blaze of Glory can make opponents scared of jumping or attacking low - limiting their options when trying to get in close.
Zoners as an archetype in Mortal Kombat 11 is saturated with great characters, all with fantastic move sets that excel at keeping opponents at bay. So it speaks to just how good Robocop is that he's able to take a top two spot on his release.
Robocop has above-average normal attacks and kombos that allow him to hold his own up close. With certain attacks and throws pushing across the screen at a distance where he can really shine.
Whether it's using his pistol, rifle, or variety of explosives, Robocop's special moves are excellent at applying pressure at a variety of ranges. His first variation OCP's Finest takes his aptitude and supercharges it, making him a ferocious threat with tools such as Active and Reactive Patrol.
In the hands of a new player, Robocop is a brilliant character able to hold his own at all times. In the hand of a seasoned player, Robocop is terrifying. Absolutely give him a go.