Here are the references towards every other entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise sans Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Mortal Kombat 9. For entries regarding those two games, check the Continuity Nod page. For entries related to guest fighters check the MK franchise's Shout Out page.
Costumes and character designs
- One of Ermac's update skins is his "Klassic" appearance from 3.
- Frost's cameo appearance is lifted from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
- Jax gets his Klassic appearance from 3 with the Klassic Skin Pack 2.
- A cross-play reward with the Mobile version unlocks Johnny Cage's "Ninja Mime" skin, based on one of the movies he's featured in.
- Kano gets his Klassic appearance from 1 with the Klassic Skin Pack 1.
- Kitana gets her Klassic appearance from 2 as one of the cross-play rewards with the Mobile version.
- Kung Lao gets his Klassic appearance from 3 with the Klassic Skin Pack 2.
- Liu Kang gets his Klassic appearance from 1 with the Klassic Skin Pack 1.
- Mileena's new character design takes inspiration from Mortal Kombat: Legacy, giving her functional human lips with razor-sharp teeth along her cheeks forming a Glasgow Grin.
- One of the cross-play rewards with the Mobile version is her Klassic appearance from 2.
- Quan Chi's attire is quite similar to the one he wore in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Mortal Kombat 4, just without the blue suit under the armor.
- He gets his Klassic appearance from 4 with the Klassic Skin Pack 2.
- Raiden has his MK1 outfit as an alternate costume.
- He also gets his "Dark" self from the Deception/Armageddon era as an unlockable costume.
- Rain's appearance is similar to his Armageddon appearance (minus a shirt).
- Reptile gets his Klassic appearance from 3 as an update skin.
- One of the cross-play rewards with the Mobile version is Scorpion's skin from Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- He also gets his Klassic appearance from 3 as an update skin.
- Sonya gets her Klassic appearance from 1 with the Klassic Skin Pack 1.
- Sub-Zero's "Kuai Liang" skin is inspired by 3.
- He also gets a "Klassic" skin, inspired by 3 as well, as an update skin.
- Shinnok's Corrupted form, though originating from Mythologies, is changed from being a more hunched, beast-like appearance to resembling a being with lava and rock skin much like those of Blaze (in Armageddon) and Dark Kahn. It also likely doubles as a Development Gag in that Corrupted Shinnok incorporates a some elements of a proposed character named "Belokk" who was intended to appear in Mortal Kombat Gold, the Updated Re-release of 4.
- Cassie's second fatality involves her destroying her opponent's lower jaw, then taking a "selfie" with her phone and uploading it to a social network called "Friendships".
- Jason's Sleeping Bag Kill is almost exactly like Hotaru's "Body Slam" from Mortal Kombat: Deception.
- One of Jax's Brutalities, more specifically his Metronomic Man Mashing one, comes from a version of Mortal Kombat II for the Game Gear.
- He gains his "Arm Rip" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 2.
- Johnny Cage gains his "Deadly Uppercut" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 1.
- Kano's "Knife To Meet You" is a rechristened "Knife Toss" from MK vs. DC.
- Kitana gains her "Fan Decapitation" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 2.
- One of the achievements requires Kotal Kahn to kill himself in one round and win the match. It's titled "Hara-Kiri".
- On that note, if he uses Blood Offering when low on health, he basically does a self-brutality onto himself. Hara-Kiris in Deception required the defeated player to input a series of commands in the "FINISH HIM/HER!" part.
- One of Kung Lao's Brutalities is his classic Hat Throw fatality from II.
- He gains his "Hat Split" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 2.
- One of Mileena's Brutalities where she continually stabs her opponent is also taken from II.
- Her "Face Feast" Fatality is another reinterpretation of her "Ferocious Bite" Fatality from Deception.
- Her "Tasty Treat" fatality is basically one of Reptile's Fatalities from Shaolin Monks.
- She gains her "Man Eater" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 2.
- Raiden's "Bug Eyes" Fatality is a modern recreation of his Fatality from 1.
- One of his Brutalities is a recreation of his electric finisher in Trilogy.
- Reptile's "Acid Bath" fatality is a combination of both his Acid Spit Fatality from 3 and his Deadly Alliance fatality.
- Scorpion gains his "Toasty!" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 1.
- Sonya gains her "Kiss of Death" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 1.
- One of Sub-Zero's Brutalities is a repurposed version of his Fatalities from II: first, freezing his opponent, then throwing a large ice shard at their body and shattering them to itty-bitty pieces.
- His "Bed of Ice" is basically Shang Tsung's "Bed of Nails" Fatality from 3.
- He also gains his "Head Rip" Fatality with the Klassic Fatality Pack 1.
- One of Triborg's Brutalities is named "Friendship".
- One of the Brotherhood of Shadows' Faction Kills is a quick recreation of Kenshi's fatality in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, where he uses telekinesis to distort his enemy's body.
- Another of their Faction Kills involve a dark energy getting in the body of the defeated warrior and using a Neck Snap. Sans the snap, this is a recreation of Zombie!Liu Kang's body invasion fatality in Deception.
- One of the Lin Kuei Faction Kills is a shuriken Flechette Storm, with the last one hitting in the head. This was one of Reiko's Fatalities in Mortal Kombat 4, as well as Noob's fatality in Deception, from his time with Smoke as Tag Team partner.
- Kenshi and Takeda basically get involved in the plot of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, by helping Taven to get revenge against Daegon.
- Cassie's ending mirror's Raiden's ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception by murdering Shunjinko. Only this time, she does it before Shujinko could unknowingly revive Onaga.
- Triborg's ending has him starting a robot clan called Tekunin.
- Goro vs. Johnny Cage:Goro: Johnny Cage!
Johnny Cage: Don't you owe me some sunglasses?
Goro: Here is what you are owed!
- Kano vs. Erron Black:
- Scorpion's Mirror Match:
- Shinnok's Mirror MatchShinnok 1: You...
Shinnok 2: You did not kill me at the Pyramid.
Shinnok 1: This time I will.
- Kung Lao vs. Goro:Kung Lao: You killed my ancestor!
Goro: The Great Kung Lao!
Kung Lao: I am even greater!
- Sonya vs. Sonya:Sonya 1: Who are you?Sonya 2: Lt. Sonya Blade, OIA.Sonya 1: I don't think so.
- Sonya vs. Kano:Sonya: ....You.
Kano: Hello baby, miss me?
Sonya: Miss putting my fist in your face.
- Cassie Cage vs. Kano:Cassie: Kano.
Kano: Gonna cut ya, ear to ear!
Cassie: Come on and try it, old man!
- Jax vs. Kano:Kano: Just a second-rate Sonya!
Jax: Just a second-rate Jarek!
Kano: Rack off!
- Sub-Zero vs. Liu Kang:Sub-Zero: Again we meet.
Liu Kang: I will be glad to win again!
Sub Zero: Challenge accepted.
- Reptile vs Bo Rai'Cho:
- Tanya vs Liu KangTanya: Liu Kang.
Liu Kang: Kitana warned me of you.
Tanya: Pity she is not here to protect you!
- Sonya vs Sub-ZeroSonya Blade: Why no female Lin Kuei?
Sub-Zero: There are. Frost chief among them.
Sonya Blade: I'll kick her ass next.
Story mode and comics
- Takeda becoming Scorpion's protege may be referencing Mortal Kombat: Conquest, as that was the name of that Scorpion's master and the founder of the Shirai Ryu.
- When Kuai Liang is torn apart and rebuilt as a revenant slave by Quan Chi, he is completely cast in the shadows with glowing blue eyes, evoking his older brother's select screen icon◊ from Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
- The Kamidogu are back! This time, though, they're daggers.
- Once again, Shujinko gets fooled by a powerful entity in a quest involving the Kamidogu and the whole MK world suffer for it.
- In Chapter 1, Scorpion and Sub-Zero being paired in order to attack the helicopter crew seems to be a reference to them being Shang Tsung's "slaves" in the first MK movie as well as them pairing up in order to take down Catwoman and Lex Luthor in the DC crossover.
- In Chapter 2, Rain arrogantly proclaims his heritage as a son of the Elder God Argus, first revealed in Armageddon.
- In Chapter 4, When Cassie and her team arrive in Outworld, she comments that she thought the skies to be purple. This is in reference to the previous games (and other Mortal Kombat media) which had Outworld's atmosphere as purple.
- The Stinger reflects Raiden's ending on Deception, as he tells the just-crowned Netherrealm emperors Liu Kang and Kitana that he will seek out and destroy/punish those who threaten Earthrealm.
- The character selection screen takes more than one cue from the one from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and from Deception.
- Most of the returning characters' Brutality and Test Your Luck win poses are references to their classic animations. Cassie Cage herself does her mother's original win pose.
- Reptile being the MK1 Premium Tower secret fight.
- The secret fight of the MK2 Premium Tower is Revenant!Kitana in Mournful variation, in reference to Jade.
- Sometimes when performing a kick combo on Goro, Cassie remarks "These are five hundred dollar shoes." A call back to Johnny Cage's sunglasses line in the Mortal Kombat film.
- Should Johnny Cage not perform a finisher, he puts a photo of himself and signs it "To my biggest fan, Cage." a reference to his Friendship in MK2.
- His Stunt Double variation replaces his forceballs with a plain, horizontal one. This is a reference to his forceball from the first MK.
- The first part of Kung Lao's X-Ray is taken from one of his fatalities in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.