For those that don’t know, there is a Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, based in the Strong National Museum of Play. Many of the most influential video games over the past several decades, such as Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII have been inducted there, and now the world famous Mortal Kombat series has joined them, as of last Thursday. It is one of the only four games to be inducted in 2019, the other three being Microsoft Solitaire, Super Mario Kart, and Colossal Cave Adventure.
Honestly, it is a true wonder that it took Mortal Kombat so long to be inducted into this Hall of Fame. Released in 1992 by Midway Games, Mortal Kombat quickly became famous for its pixelated ultra-violence, which led to many controversies and court cases, and most noticeably, the creation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, more commonly referred to as the ESRB. For obvious reasons, being the game that brought about the entire ratings system for video games is pretty monumental.
On top of that, Mortal Kombat has become one of the most well-known fighting game franchises in the world, to such an extent that it has birthed many comics, movies, game sequels, and even a television series. Granted, even today Mortal Kombat is mostly a game series that stands solely on it’s over the top violence, but in some strange way that’s more than enough to elevate it to the status of a cult icon. Perhaps it is simply the manner that it goes all in without any concern for censorship, or maybe it is because Mortal Kombat is one of the only franchises that could get as gory as it does without getting slammed by the media. After all, it dealt with all of that controversy years ago.
There are many qualities a game must have in order to be considered for the Video Game Hall of Fame. They must have longevity, geographical reach, and a massive influence on gaming culture. Naturally, Mortal Kombat has had all of these things; the franchise has been around for over two decades, has become popular in dozens of countries, and helped shape the 2D fighting game genre in it’s early days. The fact that Mortal Kombat wasn’t in the Hall of Fame before now is really selling it short. Why it took until now to be inducted is debatable.
Either way, as Mortal Kombat continues with its eleventh mainline game, it is obvious that the franchise’s longevity isn’t going to end anytime soon. Its place in the Hall of Fame is well-earned, even if the franchise itself probably won’t be sparking any more amusing controversies anytime soon. Considering that every main game ends up being a massive success ninety percent of the time, chances are we’ll be seeing a Mortal Kombat twelve through fifteen over the next couple of years; but hopefully not any more movies we’d like to forget.