- For those unhappy with how Liu Kang turned out to be embracing evilness in Mortal Kombat X, the game featured an alternate version of Liu Kang before he went evil and Kronika especially warned him that he's taking the wrong path. Additionally, Kung Lao is given the same treatment, and the original good Kung Lao is not pleased with his revenant self. The game also brings back a still living and heroic Jade and Kitana, as well as a benevolent Raiden. Throughout the course of story mode, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kitana, Jade and Raiden all undergo Character Rerailment.
- When the game was first announced, enhanced special moves were said to each have a unique input motion different from their normal version. Following some complaints (some of which came from high-level players) that this would make the mechanical skill barrier too big, it was changed to the "normal motion + enhance button" inputs used in the previous games.
- Major voices in the fighting game community such as Maximilian Dood pointed out game felt a little slow and limiting during its pre-release, with a particularly sluggish dash. Almost immediately after the online stress test, a Kombat Kast showed off faster dash speeds to be used in the final build, and later characters were shown to have greater movement and mix-up options.
- While Jacqui was never as despised as the likes of Hsu Hao when she debuted in MKX, and she certainly has her fans, there were some who thought that she had a somewhat boring design and playstyle. One major criticism was her use of a Power Fist and Arm Cannons when her father already has cybernetic arms and guns, causing some to view her as a "female Jax" rather than her own character, and making her feel redundant with her father's inclusion. In this game, her playstyle has been reworked entirely, giving her cybernetic legs and a wider array of tools, turning her into more of a mixup-centric character, and her outfit has also been redesigned to make her look much more distinct. Her "Future Jacqui" skins have also been very well received.
- Due to the fans perceiving 21 Savage's use for teaser trailer as Narm, the launch trailer instead uses a remix of the original Mortal Kombat theme, specifically Mortal Kombat: The Movie rendition. The fans immediately approved.
- There was a rift between hip-hop fans over 21 Savage because he's considered a "mumble rapper". Keeping in tone with the story, one MK11 trailer uses Ice Cube's "Check Yo Self", a Golden Age hip-hop song, which was well received.
- With the Krypt revealing numerous fan favorite characters such as Kenshi, Ermac, and Goro to be dead, many are relieved that Reptile is still alive and kicking, although the retention of his MKX design may be a de-confirmation for being playable.
- One of the major complaints in Story Mode from MK9 onward was that if a character wasn't playable for that chapter, they would generally lose every fight they were seen in to allow further focus on the viewpoint character of that chapter. Now, not only are the scenes rewritten to include multiple fights going on at once, but you can choose which character to play as, while the other engages in a different fight and typically comes out of it successful.
- The Krypt's mechanics at launch was universally panned due to the currencies being in short supply and requiring absurd amounts of grinding due to low payouts from the Towers, as well as unlockables being mostly-randomized in terms of location, meaning that while everyone will unlock the same things, finding things for your favorite character is a chore. In response, a Kombat Kast was held addressing the issue, and in addition to further tweaks to the Tower rewards, all players will be granted a hefty amount of each major currency used in the Krypt.
- The fandom has long considered the Elder Gods punishing Shang Tsung for the crime of stealing souls to rapidly age unless he steals even more souls to be idiotic. This game reveals Kronika set the situation up to serve as an emergency source of power.
- The reveal of a mole within the Elder Gods actively working against Raiden helps explain why they've been so unhelpful throughout the series.
- The main complaints for Cassie Cage's outfits were that she was all covered up in armor, with very little diversity. To address these complaints, she was given a Harley Quinn skin with the Terminator DLC, and now also has the "Klassic" skin from the MKX comics, which is unzipped jacket with an exposed midriff, and spandex shorts, with the Sindel DLC, showing a bit more skin than before.
- Joker's appearance in the initial Kombat Pack reveal trailer was criticized for looking too smooth and young-looking. Footage from later trailers shows that they adjusted his appearance to look more in line with his classic comic book look.
- A common complaint from fans was that the villains of the franchise are rarely playable in the story mode and thus rarely win against the heroes until the plot demands it. This was recitified in Aftermath that allows players to control Sindel, Shao Kahn, and Shang Tsung towards the latter half of the expansion's story, in which they are frighteningly successful with their plans (Even too successful for some people. See the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy entry below for more details).
- From Aftermath: Shao Kahn gets back a lot of his villain cred as he, alongside Sindel, kills Geras, defeats Sonya, Cassie and Johnny, while also defeating Liu Kang/Kitana on his own, retaking Outworld, decapitating Kotal Kahn offscreen and storming Kronika's fortress. The only reason they lost is because of the treachery of Shang Tsung.
- Shang Tsung suffered the most Villain Decay in the series, going from the Big Bad in the first game to the The Heavy in the second to being a henchman, unable to beat Kung Lao even with Quan Chi's help. Aftermath has him successfully betray and outwit everyone except for Liu Kang and Fujin who anticipated his betrayal, and even the latter must be sacrificed for the plan to succeed. As a result, he gains godlike power and serves as the Final Boss against Fire God Liu Kang, even succeeding in one of the endings.
- Many people disliked the ambiguous Esoteric Happy Ending of the original story mode where Fire God Liu Kang defeats Kronika after she erases the current timeline with Kang promising Raiden that he will build a better timeline. While Aftermath's ends similarly, it does give more closure to the franchise's story as Liu Kang erases Shang Tsung from existence and creates a new timeline where he mentors Kung Lao (implied to be the original Kung Lao, his on-and-off ancestor).
- After Johnny, Past Johnny and Sonya were mysteriously absent from the final battle of the main story, Aftermath shows that the latter two at least were part of the fight, just in a different location.
- Mileena finally getting in as part of Kombat Pack 2 after over a year of teasing from Ed Boon.
- Ronda Rousey as Sonya Blade has been cited as one of the, if not the weakest voice in the game due to her stiff performance and lack of experience voice acting. With the release of the Klassic MK Movie Skins pack a year later, players now have the option to switch Ronda's voice out with Bridgette Wilson, who played Sonya in the Mortal Kombat film. This decision has received praise from fans who were left disappointed with Sonya's original voice.
- There was backlash over not being able to play as Baraka, Sindel or Rain in MKX, despite fighting them in the story mode. Here, they are all playable, with Baraka being in the initial roster, and Sindel and Rain later being added through DLC.
Authors Saving Throw / Mortal Kombat 11