Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe has gained a place as the black sheep of the franchise when it ces to the main series of games. It is by no means perfect, there are only two characters to unlock and due to a lack of support from special features and extra goodies it does feel a bit bare. However, despite its flaws I do believe that it deserves its spot among the main series of games.
In my opinion the main series of Mortal Kombat games can be divided into three eras. The original era starts with Mortal Kombat and ends with Mortal Kombat 4: Gold. This era is characterised by 2D fighting, even in Mortal Kombat 4 (the first 3D entry that wasn’t a spin off). I call the second era the sixth gen era because apart from the Wii port of Armageddon it exists entirely on that generation of consoles, starting with Deadly Alliance and ending with Armageddon. This era has a focus on 3D fighting and characters with multiple combat styles that can be easily changed in combat. This era is also marked by the use of subheadings for game titles rather than numbers. The third era I will call the Renaissance era. Not just out of a vain (and slightly pretentious) attempt to sound clever but because the overall aim of this era has been to move back to the 2D fighting philosophy of the first era. In essence this era moves the series forward by rediscovering what made the past Mortal Kombat titles great (hence the Renaissance analogy).
Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe is the start of the Renaissance area, and as such it laid the building blocks that later games in the franchise would build upon. Mortal Kombat (9) and Mortal Kombat X have both been praised for their fluid, 2D fighting systems. Mortal Kombat Vs Dc Universe was the first game that tried to recincorporate a 2D fighting system back into Mortal Kombat. Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe was also the first in the series to employ the style of story telling that would receive so much acclaim in later games.
Before the 6th generation era the story had only existed in the information relayed in the before game info dump and brief flashes of story gained upon completing arcade mode. The sixth generation era attempted to mix things up with Konguest mode. Kongquest mode was a good start but in Deception game play wise it was little more than a tutorial mode. Armageddon was much better in that regard but the mode still wasn’t where it would be at in Mortal Kombat (9).
Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe used the exact same format for its story that the reboot of the series that followed would go on to. In my opinion Mortal Kombat (9) was as good as it was because of Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe.The game allowed them to practice the elements of they game that subsequent installments would allow them to perfect. I also believe that if Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe hadn’t been made there is a chance that no Mortal Kombat game after it would have been made either.
I admit that this is a bold claim, and one mostly based on conjecture. As fans of the series will know shortly after Mortal Kombat Vs DC universe was released Midway, the company that owned Mortal Kombat was forced to shut down. And as fans will also know Warner Bros, the owner of DC was the company that bought the rights to Mortal Kombat. Now I can’t know for certain that if Warner Bros hadn’t bought it no one else would have, and maybe if the first post Armageddon game hadn’t been a crossover it would have done better, enough so to save Midway (though I doubt it). But I am confident that it Warner bros decided to buy Mortal Kombat because of how it felt that the collaboration with DC had gone. Simply put, Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe may have saved the franchise. We also have it to thank for Injustice: Gods among us but I don’t want to go too off topic.
Mortal Kombat (9) will probably be viewed as the game that set the standard for Mortal Kombat in the time it came out and while it deserves this praise I feel like Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe should receive its share of credit for being the foundation upon which that standard was developed. That is why I am defending Mortal Kombat Vs Dc Universe.