Taunts have been a big part of Mortal Kombat with the sheer amount of craziness that the characters are capable of. It never gets old seeing Johnny Cage make light of his opponents while playing to the crowd, however imaginary they are. While the taunts in Mortal Kombat 1 aren’t as zany as the past ones, they are very cool when used in the heat of battle. Here’s our list of the best taunts, ranked from worst to best.
Related: Every Mortal Kombat Game in Order
10. Sub Zero
This Icy Warrior is the first to make the list. Before you give us a cold reception, please realize that the actual taunts themselves aren’t bad. It’s just that the ones that are present aren’t that creative. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still awesome to see Sub Zero make ice props out of thin air and make cool kung-fu poses, but that’s something that most of the cast on the list share to some degree.
9. Li Mei
Li Mei at least tries to bring some of the magic back to the taunt matchups. She’s basically a magical lightshow with her conjuring pink-colored lanterns and sparkles. To be honest, she’s received a lot of improvements from her last playable appearance in the Deadly Alliance era. The main improvement is the actual role she has in the story and the fact that her character is a lot more mature and capable.
The blind swordsman is still looking awesome with his telekinetic-based taunts and emphasis on humiliating his opponents by bringing attention to the fact that he’s beating them up with no working eyes. It feels so satisfying to land combos on opponents while cupping your hand next to your ear, which is basically letting them know that their grunts are making too much noise. It’s also nice to see the return of Kenshi’s telekinetic ability while playing with Sento, his sword. It’s unfortunate that Kenshi, the character, couldn’t keep his eyes this time around, but it works just fine for us gamers.
Raiden isn’t quite the same person he was in previous games, but the electric fighter is still very confident in his abilities, especially when it comes to manipulating thunder. His taunts showcase this confidence with him doing his iconic electric finger move, with another one showcasing his Bruce Lee impression with him jumping on his toes. This is a much sprightlier version of the former thunder god than we are used to. We can’t wait to see how his story unfolds in later chapters.
Reptile has undergone more changes than any other Mortal Kombat character throughout its history. From masked ninja, masked lizard, full lizard, lizard hybrid, and now full lizard again with a human illusion, he effectively uses this trick along with his new taunts. This is really too good to use mid-combos, as his attacks also involve you changing back and forth for certain attacks. This may have been a one-off, but we’ve seen his taunt be used after a combo chain, which made the opponent react by putting up their guard.
5. Liu Kang
The new God of Fire is sporting a brand-new look and feel from his past iterations, and his taunts reflect his newfound status. While the nunchaku has disappeared from the toolbelt, the new fire-based magic demonstrations are a great replacement. To add to that, the Bruce Lee mannerisms are also still intact, with the best one being him thumbing his nose at opponents. Hopefully, the next entry will lean more towards his godlike fire abilities.
Kitana has kept most of her classic kit from past titles. Her bladed fans are an iconic part of her character (despite their underutilization in the main story), and the nice, sharp sounds of her flexing them around are music to our ears. It even comes with a gracious bow and the ability to fan her when things get too heated, which happens often. Everything combined with her classic face mask is still nice to see, even after all these years.
Kitana’s evil twin is now her real twin, but the scary face is still here to stay, thankfully. Of course, her taunts play into this by making sure that the players know that the bite is definitely worse than the barking. Keeping her mask is also a great design choice, as it leaves the players in suspense while she shifts back and forth between personalities. Of course, she still plays around with her sai’s in some of her taunts, but that’s not really what makes her special on a top-ten list.
2. Johnny Cage
C’mon, did you really think there would be a top-ranked taunt list without the reigning king of taunts? Johnny Cage is still kicking butt in that arena, with his constant pandering to the crowd and flashy smile. Even his cutscenes are full of taunts, from the awesome story mode to the more traditional tower mode. We missed the old Johnny after the last few games matured him a bit, although, to be fair, Mortal Kombat 11 rectified that by literally bringing back the old Johnny Cage.
1. Johnny Cage?
Dreams do come true, even decades after they’ve been wished for. Jean-Claude Van Damme has finally decided to grace us with his interpretation of the Johnny Cage character. Good news! It’s just as good as we’ve imagined, with his witty one-liners and smooth martial arts. The taunts are just the icing on the cake, despite the fact that it’s the exact same as the regular Johnny Cage, but the skin just makes it all the better.