Sub-Zero and Scorpion's introduction. As well as Raiden showing off how powerful he is by easily dispatching them.
Johnny Cage, Sonya and Liu Kang versus a gang of mooks, and what happened afterward:
Raiden: (after a slow, sarcastic clapping) Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. So, why don't you show me what you plan to do about...(points behind the three of them) them?
(Sonya, Johnny and Liu see a small battalion of Mooks behind them, armed, ready, and advancing on them.)
Raiden: Uh-uh! (Mooks stop; lightning sparks on the tip of Raiden's finger) I don't think so. Heh, heh, heh. (Raiden lead the three out, as the Mooks clear a path for them.) I think you'll find that this is the way out.
Johnny Cage: (tosses his bo to another Mook) You guys are lucky he stopped us.
Sonya Blade gets her legs around Kano's head into a scissor lock:
Shang Tsung: Finish him!
Kano: No, Sonya, don't! Please! C'mon, gimme a break!
Johnny Cage vs. Scorpion. First, he kills Scorpion's organic spear by letting it embed itself into the tree behind him, gets sucked into an alternate Hell-like dimension, then battles him on the bridge before being sent down to the bone-filled ground. Then he uses the shield of one of the warriors that met their end below to protect himself when Scorpion tries doing his classic Fatality on him, just before hurling a spear his way, and then using the saw blade of the shield to slash him and take off the top of his skull-like head. Scorpion then fucking explodes.
Johnny Cage proving he's not just the Plucky Comic Relief by defeating the unstoppable Goro: immobilizing the Shokan with a Groin Attack long enough to escape, he forces Goro to chase after him. Goro finally ends up near a cliff, where Johnny ambushes him and knocks him to his doom. Brains 1, Brawn 0.
Cage: Those were $500 sunglasses, asshole!(Cue asskicking of Goro)
Say what you will about the quality of the film overall, but the Liu Kang vs Reptile fight near the end of the first film is pretty much exactly how movie fights should be done, especially the soundtrack.
Right at the very end when the Emperor shows up... but the heroes aren't fazed for even. One. Second.
Shao Kahn: You weak, pathetic fools! I've come for your souls!
Raiden: I don't think so! (Cue the heroes striking fighting poses as the credits roll and the theme song plays. The battle for Earth is on again!)
When Liu Kang and Shang Tsung finally go at it in the climax. While it's brief, seeing both Robin Shou and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa show off their martial arts chops is impressive.
Liu Kang's utter trouncing of Shang Tsung in the climax. "Flawless victory."
The simple fact that this was a video game movie that didn't suck was awesome in and of itself.
One thing worth considering was how this movie compared to other video game movie adaptations at the time of its release, which were very loose with the source material and often deviated heavily from it. The trailer showing off the cast with "Techno Syndrome" playing really built the hype. But not only did this actually feel like a Mortal Kombat movie that didn't deviate too far from its source material, it built upon it in such a way that some of the changes actually carried over to the actual games themselves. While the movie shows its age and might not fare as well when measured against today's standards, upon its release it stood out for being one of the first films to prove that video game adaptations could be done right. How much? It spent three weeks as the number one film at the U.S. box office and the soundtrack album went Platinum in less than two weeks, which holds the Guinness World Record as the most successful video game spin-off soundtrack album.
The actors wound up pretty battered and bruised as part of the filming, but soldiered on anyways. Robin Shou, Liu Kang's actor, fractured two ribs in the fight against Reptile when he was thrown into a pillar, but decided to keep filming anyways (with a polite request to Keith Cooke, who played Reptile, not to kick him on that side).
Another example that doubles as a Heartwarming moment: Reportedly, the movie's budget was so tight that the crew couldn't afford to fly Christopher Lambert all the way to Thailand and provide room and board, which would limit Raiden's appearance to the beginning of the movie, with his scene being filmed after principal photography. Lambert offered to pay for his own trip if it meant the producers could add more scenes with him as they intended. Not only that, but because the budget was so maxed out at the end that the producers couldn't afford a wrap party, Lambert paid for an extravagant one for the cast and crew out of his own pocket.