Performing a fatality on your annoying neighbor or boss may not appear reasonable. But in either of these two legendary franchises, you can blow off some steam by challenging them to the most epic digital showdown of your lives. The only question is – which is better?

Tekken and Mortal Kombat are superstars in the genre, competing with each other since the 1990s. The former is a Japanese console title, while the latter is a common choice for PC users, developed in the United States. These two video games may seem confusingly similar but are entirely different. What makes them so unique? And which is better? Let’s find all the answers in this brief guide!

A piece of history

Both games launched their excellent careers on arcade machines in the 90s. The first was Mortal Kombat – John Tobias and Ed Boon’s sensational answer to the growing popularity of the Street Fighter II series. Soon, the game was released on PC and other platforms to become the legend we know today. Tekken made its way straight to the first PlayStation in 1994. It helped promote this new product, especially after Nintendo’s dramatic breakup with Sony. Soon, the world saw many more installations that became worthy rivals to other titles like Street Fighter.


Both titles focus on dynamic battles in arenas with the participation of selected heroes equipped with unique skills. Players decide who they want to play as and engage in an often brutal fight to discover the following chapter of the story or level up in the online leaderboard. The background features an epic storyline motivating playable characters to fierce competition. During the fight, the heroes can use many spectacular finishers and moves – which are pretty challenging to master. But what makes these video games completely different is the combat style. MK is better if you are more into blood, guts, and gory elimination. Tekken features a slightly lighter atmosphere and a more fun roster of playable heroes.


The games feature similar but considerably different stories. When choosing a Japanese or American title, you will join a tournament to fight for significant ideals and a better future for your world. Prepare for plot twists, epic characters, time manipulation, and confronting ultimate evil. And in the case of Mortal Kombat – all this happens in much better cinematic storytelling that makes the whole experience truly immersive.


Initially, both titles had a similar hero selection, among which players could choose from some tough fighters and hilarious competitors. But later, MK decided to become a more ninja video game with a meaningful story and a rich fighters roster featuring legends like Liu Kang, Scorpion, Kung Lao, Kenshi, and many more. Meanwhile, Tekken has maintained its diverse nature, and in this particular title, you will play as many completely different characters. So if you prefer combat entertainment, including playing as a mighty warrior, robot, panda bear, dinosaur, or wooden training dummy – Tekken is your game!

Difficulty level

While both video games are incredibly fast-paced, Tekken is the harder one. As the most popular 3D fighting title, it requires learning all the controllers’ options assigned to specific limbs and predicting enemies’ moves. Combos are incredibly long and complex and include side movement. In this comparison, Mortal Kombat is more of a noob-friendly recommendation. But if you’re into brutal combat, you’ll love its fatalities involving the monstrous execution of an enemy character!


With MK 11 release, the series became one of the most graphically impressive fighting games. You can expect highly detailed character models, realistic impressions, and satisfying combat animations. Tekken 7 looks almost comparable but focuses less on delivering a refined aesthetic experience.


With its intricate controls, varied character selection, and high difficulty level, Tekken is now one of the most popular esports video games. It features well-balanced gameplay and a selection of heroes anyone can beat if managed appropriately. A great example is the Korean player Rangchu, who won the Tekken World Tour Finals 2018 playing Panda.


As the more popular video game, MK has increasingly better sales. Among all titles in the genre, the highest score belongs to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with over 30 million copies sold. Mortal Kombat 11 ranks fourth, with 15 million games sold. The entire franchise sold an impressive 79 million copies, surpassing even Super Smash Bros. By comparison, the Tekken franchise sold over 54 million copies. What makes such a difference in popularity? More accessible and uncomplicated difficulty level with realistic characters. Tekken is all about competition, mastering skills, and anime-like characters that not everyone adores.

Tekken vs Mortal Kombat – conclusion

So what to choose? We want to help you with that tough decision. In a nutshell, Tekken is more of a competitive title, featuring a higher difficulty level, balanced mechanics, challenging multiplayer, and many powerful or hilarious characters. It is widely popular in esports, has worse sales worldwide, and established its career as the game that hyped PlayStation marketing. MK is a ninja-oriented fighting game featuring similar characters, an immersive storyline, and legendary fatalities. It is more noob-friendly, easier to master, and maintains better sales. Both games provide quite an exciting experience in single and multiplayer. But in the end, it all boils down to the overall impression. So if you want more fun – choose Mortal Kombat. And if you plan to invest time and energy in mastering incredibly satisfying finishers – Tekken is your perfect choice.