Since 1992, the Mortal Kombat franchise has been delighting audiences with its ultra-violent aesthetic, crowd-pleasing finishers, and bizarre intersection between dark humor and melodramatic lore.

The first Mortal Kombat game was framed around a fictional martial arts tournament and shared much in common with Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon film. But as the series progressed, the writers began adding fantastical elements, like alternate realms, sentient cyborgs, and a convoluted backstory concerning Elder Gods, destiny, and vengeance.

The gameplay of the Mortal Kombat franchise has changed significantly since its heyday. The early video games were unbalanced and glitchy—heavy on flash and shock value, less so on competitive strategy. But starting with Mortal Kombat 9, and continuing into Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm Studios began designing these games with a more serious, competitive intent.

Mortal Kombat 11 continues this trend, incorporating all-new meta-mechanics for the hardcore fighting game community to sink its teeth into. The recent, early access beta provided a positive indication of things to come. Here is everything to know about Mortal Kombat 11 that we've learned thus far.