As far as modern fighting video games are concerned, there are probably no games that can compare to Mortal Kombat and Tekken. These two franchises have marked the evolution of console-based fighting video games and have, both of them, become extremely popular around the world, both because of the characters, but also because of the overall structure and narrative.
Mortal Kombat and Tekken are tied in terms of success and impact on modern fighting video games. Although essentially different, both of these franchises have achieved global fame and are considered to be among the best fighting game franchises ever, which is why it is impossible to determine a winner, as it is a matter of preference.
The rest of this article is going to be divided into three sections. The first two sections are going to bring you an overview of the two series, respectively, so you know all the necessary information. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two shows to determine which one is the better of the two iterations.
Mortal Kombat: An Overview
Mortal Kombat is a fighting video game franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias in 1992. The first four installments were distributed by Midway Games and released primarily on arcade machines; they were later available on home consoles.
The arcade titles were later purchased by Acclaim Entertainment for home consoles of that time, were acquired by Warner Bros in July 2009, and became a part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The most recent title is Mortal Kombat 11 which was published in April 2019.
Tekken: An Overview
Tekken is a series of 3D fighting video games. Appeared in 1994, it is traditionally developed on an arcade machine and then adapted on PlayStation home consoles, Tekken is thus often associated with Sony consoles.
Portable versions are also emerging: the first for Game Boy Advance, the second for PlayStation Portable and a third for Nintendo 3DS. The latest game, Tekken 7, was released on March 18, 2015 on the arcade.
Mortal Kombat vs Tekken: Which Is the Ultimate Fighting Game?
Now that we’ve given you all the necessary information, we can also give our final verdict. For us, the decision wasn’t all that difficult, as one show has several clear advantages when compared to the other.
Number of Games
The commercial success of a video game is quite important in terms of sequels and franchise development, which is why the number of games in a series is certainly indicative of the games’ success; video games are quite unique in this aspect. This is why we have decided to give you a list of all the games in both franchises, so that we can determine the more successful one in this category, starting with Mortal Kombat:
|Mortal Kombat II||1993||Arcade||Various|
|Mortal Kombat 3||1995||Arcade||Various|
|Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3||1995||Arcade||Various|
|Mortal Kombat Trilogy||1996||PS1, N64||Saturn, Windows, Game.com, R-Zone|
|Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero||1997||PS1, N64||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat 4||1997||Arcade||PS1, N64, Windows|
|Mortal Kombat Gold||1999||Dreamcast||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat: Special Forces||2000||PS1||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat Advance||2001||GBA||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance||2002||PS2, Xbox, GCN||GBA|
|Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition||2003||GBA||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat: Deception||2004||PS2, Xbox, GCN||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks||2005||PS2, Xbox||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat: Armageddon||2006||PS2, Xbox||Wii (2007)|
|Mortal Kombat: Unchained||2006||PSP||N/A|
|Ultimate Mortal Kombat||2007||NDS||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe||2008||PS3, Xbox 360||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat||2011||PS3, Xbox 360||PS Vita (2012), Windows (2013)|
|Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection||2011||PS3, Xbox 360||Windows (2012)|
|Mortal Kombat X||2015||PS4, Xbox One, Windows||Android, iOS|
|Mortal Kombat Mobile||2015||Android, iOS, iPadOS||N/A|
|Mortal Kombat 11||2019||Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Windows||PS5 (2020), Xbox Series X/S (2020)|
And now for Tekken:
|Tekken||1994||Namco System 11||PlayStation|
|Tekken 2||1995||Namco System 11||PlayStation|
|Tekken 3||1996||Namco System 12||PlayStation|
|Tekken Tag Tournament||1999||Namco System 12||PlayStation 2|
|Tekken 4||2001||Namco System 246||PlayStation 2|
|Tekken 5||2004||Namco System 256||PlayStation 2|
|Tekken: Dark Resurrection||2005||Namco System 256||PlayStation Portable|
|Tekken 6||2007||Namco System 357||PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360|
|Tekken Tag Tournament 2||2011||Namco System 369||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U|
|Tekken 7||2015||Namco System ES3||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
As you can see, as of 2019, there are 23 Mortal Kombat games, and a total of 10 Tekken games. This means that the points go to Mortal Kombat, which has a significantly larger number of games in the series.
Ratings aren’t necessarily a big deal in the world of video games, as they are in the world of cinema, for example, but they might be indicative, which is why we have included them in this article. In this section, we are going to give you the known ratings of the games by GameRankings and Metacritic. We’ll start with Mortal Kombat:
|Mortal Kombat||(GEN) 84.17%|
|Mortal Kombat II||(SNES) 85.87%|
|Mortal Kombat 3||(SNES) 80.23%|
|Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero||(PS1) 53.20%|
|Mortal Kombat 4||(N64) 76.07%|
|Mortal Kombat: Special Forces||(PS1) 40.23%||(PS1) 28|
|Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance||(GBA) 84.63%|
|Mortal Kombat: Deception||(PS2) 82.00%|
|Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks||(Xbox) 80.64%|
|Mortal Kombat: Armageddon||(Xbox) 77.39%|
|Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe||(PS3) 77.87%|
|Mortal Kombat (2011)||(Vita) 87.31%|
|Mortal Kombat X||(XONE) 85.97%|
|Mortal Kombat 11||–||(PS4) 82|
And these are the ratings for Tekken:
|Tekken Tag Tournament||85%||85|
|Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection||(PSP) 89%|
|Tekken 6||(PSP) 83%|
|Tekken Tag Tournament 2||(PS3) 82%|
(Wii U) 83%
(Wii U) 83
|Tekken 7||(PC) 83%|
Although the difference is quite small, almost insignificant, we can see that Tekken does have a slightly better average in ratings than Mortal Kombat. This is why Tekken gets this point.
Sales and Revenue
For Mortal Kombat, Ed Boon has confirmed a 26 million games sold in 2007. The figure rose to 35 million sales for the franchise in April 2015, after the release of Mortal Kombat X.
The most popular game is Mortal Kombat II, which beats all records in the video game industry during the week of its release, and which is the first game in history to sell more copies than the films of the time sold admissions. Franchising generated more than $ 4 billion in sales by the end of the 1990s, and $ 5 billion in June 2000.
By May 2021, the Tekken franchise had sold over 53.01 million game units, with a large portion of sales coming exclusively from the PlayStation console series. Tekken 3, the most critically acclaimed in the series, is also the most commercially successful, with 8.3 million copies sold to date, 1.4 million in Japan. Tekken 3 is the third best-selling fighting game of all time, after Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The rough numbers seem to be very similar for these franchises, although Mortal Kombat might have a slight total advantage due to having more games. But, if we disregard that fact, this category is tied.
Both of these games have had an enormous impact on the evolution of fighting games and have, both, equally influenced a whole generation of players. The games came around the same time, and although Tekken had a different background, the franchises were in direct competition as far as their console versions are in question.
This is why their impact is too large and so important, but also why we cannot properly determine the more impactful franchise, meaning that this category is also tied.
And with the numbers in, we can only confirm what has already been said and proven – Mortal Kombat and Tekken are equally close to being the ultimate fighting games, and it is practically impossible to determine the better franchise between them. It all comes down to preferences, as both franchises offer high quality content.