Even though each Mortal Kombat game is different than the last, there’s one thing that’s been there in every entry in the series: fatalities. Once, Mortal Kombat‘s fatalities were used to prove that violent video games breed violent people, but now it seems society has finally mellowed out about these brutal endings.
One character whose fatalities have always been on the brutal side of things is Sub Zero. He’s been in every Mortal Kombat game to date(not counting Mortal Kombat Special Forces for the Playstation) and because of that has one of the largest rosters of fatalities of any character in the series.
10 Icycle Impalement (Mortal Kombat Trilogy).
Mortal Kombat Trilogy was not necessarily a “compilation album” of the first three Mortal Kombat games. Rather, it integrated them together and added new content to flesh it out. Even though it’s one of the oldest games on this list, the fatality is nonetheless unsettling.
When performing this fatality, Sub Zero will summon a gigantic stalagmite of ice behind his opponent then kick them into the air. Their opponent will fall onto the spike, fully impaled, while Sub Zero declares victory.
9 Freezing Beam (Mortal Kombat 4).
While Mortal Kombat 4 is regarded as one of the worst entries in the series as a whole, the new 3D environment was perfect for upgraded fatalities. Sub Zero has many of his classic moves from the first three games and even gets a visually upgraded version of his freezing beam fatality.
When performing this fatality, Sub Zero summons a wave of freezing air that freezes his opponent solid, through and through. Then, he kicks them, shattering their body into a thousand pieces. This fatality is not exclusive to Mortal Kombat 4, but it was the first time it was used in the 3D space.
8 Icycle Spike Trap (Mortal Kombat X)
Mortal Kombat X is particularly notable for its incredibly graphic fatalities and brutalities that the viewer just can’t pull their eyes away from. In this game, one of Sub Zero’s fatalities involves a traditional spike trap, of course, made out of freezing icycles pointed upwards.
Sub Zero kicks his opponent onto the spikes, immediately impaling them in multiple places, then slowly pushes their head onto a spike as well. It’s brutal, it’s hard to look away from, and it’s a vicious portrayal of Sub Zero’s ruthlessness.
7 The Baseball Fatalities (Mortal Kombat: Deception and Shaolin Monks).
Some fatalities aren’t meant to be taken too seriously – Mortal Kombat can be quite the comical game at parts, especially when it comes to Babalities and Friendships. Sub Zero didn’t spend any time on the Baseball field, but he sure knows how to throw a fastball like he has.
In this fatality, used in both Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Sub Zero freezes his opponent whole. Then, he rips their head off, slides backwards, and hurls the head towards the body, shattering both. It could also, perhaps, aptly be called the Bowling fatality.
6 Take Out the Bottom Half First… (Mortal Kombat: Deception).
Mortal Kombat: Deception was a well-received PlayStation 2 title that further pushed the limits of how the classic fighting game functioned in 3D. This fatality is one of the most brutal of them all, but the dated graphics keep it from taking a higher spot.
Sub Zero will freeze his opponent’s bottom half, then shatter their legs and bottom of their torso utterly. As their opponent is crawling away, Sub Zero slowly walks towards them as they beg for their life. He doesn’t grant them mercy, though, as he crushes their head with his foot.
5 …Then Remove The Torso (Mortal Kombat 2011).
Mortal Kombat 2011 was seen as a sort of renaissance for the series as a whole as it introduced the Mortal Kombat universe to a new generation of gamers and had a much tighter moveset than previous entries. The game, too, debuted the X-Ray system, which is particularly brutal in its own way.
This fatality is a simple but iconic one. Sub Zero will freeze his opponent’s legs, then pull his opponent’s torso off at the waist. Their opponent instantly dies as Sub Zero presents the upper half of their corpse to the camera as a trophy.
4 Decapitation, Execution-Style (Mortal Kombat 11)
The insane graphical quality of Mortal Kombat 11 is truly something to behold and something that makes the game’s fatalities all the more gut-wrenching. One of the most over-the-top is Sub Zero’s medieval execution fatality.
Sub Zero will freeze his opponent’s body solid except for the head, which he ensures sticks out in front of their icy encasement. Then, he creates an executioner’s axe out of ice and lops off their head – a simple one, to be sure, but it’s one that certainly sticks in the player’s mind for being so exaggerated.
3 Taking Out The Entire Skeleton (Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance).
Speaking of exaggeration, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has one of the most physically impossible fatalities in the franchise. Not that Mortal Kombat is at all concerned with real-world physics, but ripping out an entire skeleton at once is just something else.
Sub Zero reaches into his opponent’s back, grabs them near the tailbone, tugs three times, and pulls out their entire skeletal system all at once. While it’s ridiculous, it’s something that can only be done in a video game. Perhaps Sub Zero freezes his opponent’s skeleton and then pulls it out, to keep its shape, but it’s probably something not to think about too much.
2 The Classic Spinal Rip (Just About Every Game).
If Sub Zero is known for anything aside from cheap freeze attacks in fights, it’s his classic spinal rip fatality. This fatality has been Sub Zero’s specialty in just about every game. Sometimes it’s as simple as pulling out his opponent’s spine, head still attached, and sometimes it’s much more complicated.
In Mortal Kombat X, for example, the headless body of his enemy will reach out one last time before keeling over. In Mortal Kombat 2011, he rips it out of the front of his opponent’s body, then freezes their headless body, and uses the spinal column as a mace.
1 The Spinal Rip, Modernized (Mortal Kombat 11)
Mortal Kombat 11 pulled no punches when it comes to the goriness and brutality of its fatalities, and gave Sub Zero’s iconic spinal rip fatality a new look too. Sub Zero creates a clone of himself holding an icy spear pointed upwards, then zooms towards his opponent and launches them towards impalement.
Once impaled, Sub Zero walks over, pulls out their spine with the head still attached, and flings the head onto the spike so that it pierces his opponent’s eye from behind. It’s a lot to look at, and it’s one of those fatalities that just gets worse and worse – just hope that you’re not on the losing side against Sub Zero.