YMMV / Mortal Kombat 4

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Shinnok. He just doesn't have the fear factor other bosses have like Shang Tsung or Shao Kahn, and on lower difficulty levels, he doesn't even use his special moveset changes. Especially jarring since he, as a fallen Elder God, is supposed to be leagues above them both yet comes across as a second rate Shang Tsung. Even Ed Boon admits that Shinnok probably shouldn't have been the Final Boss of 4.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Scorpion's fatality where he turned to a giant scorpion seems to be a saving throw for how in the last game, this kind of move was relegated to Sheeva's Animality since Scorpion missed out the vanilla version and when he got added in Ultimate, he had to settle with a penguin that lays down an exploding egg for his Animality.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Tanya, the only MK4 character that appeared in a sequel that wasn't Armageddon, is very popular; popular enough that she was requested many times as DLC for Mortal Kombat 9. She didn't make the cut, but she does make sporadic cameo appearances in Kahn's Coliseum as one of the chained female prisoners (along with Kitana, Kira, and Skarlet). Discounting Shinnok and Quan Chi, who first appeared in Mythologies, Tanya is the fourth game's sole representative in Mortal Kombat X.
    • Reiko. The speculation his ending caused has a lot to do with it. The creators seem to have caught on to his popularity, as he makes an appearance as one of Shao Kahn's most trusted generals in Armageddon, has cameos in Mortal Kombat: Conquest and 9, and is depicted as a possible suitor to Mileena in the MKX prequel comics.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In his arcade ending, Raiden flies into the sky in the classic Superman pose. Eleven years later, Raiden not only gets to fight Superman himself, but the two are rivals.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: One of the biggest complaints about the game is that despite the jump to 3D, it doesn't do much different from Mortal Kombat 3, which fans had plenty of time to get sick of by that point.
  • Memetic Mutation: Every line Jarek says in the three endings he appears in, particularly "I'M SO GAAAAAAAAAAY!" and his weird humming Un-Evil Laugh.
  • Narm:
    Jarek: Wait! Wait! This is brutality! You can't do it!
  • Nightmare Fuel: Check the page.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • When ported to home consoles, the graphics were greatly reduced, and suffered from Loads and Loads of Loading, which ultimately led to the Updated Re-release being released for the Sega Dreamcast.
    • The Game Boy Color version is a cheap and unplayable bastardization because of technical and graphical limitations. The "music" is a complete nightmare and makes music in pirated bootlegs sound good by comparison. And the fatalities are played out in small, monochrome cutscenes. Prepare yourself.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Jarek was hated by fans who felt that he was nothing but a re-hash of Kano's moves. This is because he was originally supposed to be Kano, but the developers wanted more "new" characters, so they reskinned him.
    • Tanya and Reiko were this, mainly in the eyes of the fans of Kitana and Noob Saibot, respectively, because they wanted the latter to appear instead of the former (although Noob did appear as a secret character regardless; Kitana would only be added in Gold). Surprisingly enough, it didn't last long and they were Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, becoming fan favorites because of their distinct personalities.note 
  • The Scrappy: Meat is this for the fact that he's a essentially a Flat Joke Character. It doesn't help that he's among the most unpopular characters of the entire franchise.
  • So Bad, It's Good:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Kai. Another member of the White Lotus and a Shaolin warrior in training, he has interesting gameplay quirks (his handstand stance and vertical projectiles) and is even given Raiden's blessing and Lightning Staff in his ending, all of which could have potentially led to future appearances starting in Deadly Alliance. He's instead Put on a Bus until Armageddon as he walks the earth in search of enlightenment.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Shinnok.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Coming up after Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. This game was supposed to return to the series' dark atmosphere, having exclusively two Fatalities per character as well as two Stage Fatalities. Sadly, this game lacked the charm of the first three games.