Mortal Kombat II (SNES version)
Nintendo finally backpedaled on violence in video games with Mortal Kombat II. Having a longstanding policy for being “family friendly”, Nintendo neutered the original Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo by replacing the blood with “sweat” and changing all of the game’s fatalities.
With MK2, Nintendo left the game alone and didn’t censor any of it. I recall pre-ordering this game and buying it at Hills Department Store!
As with MK1, the SNES version is a lot closer to the arcade version than on the Genesis. (To its credit Sega’s MK2 was more polished than their MK1 version.)
As for gameplay, MK2 was a major update over MK1. The roster of playable characters was expanded, as were the number of finishing moves. However, it wasn’t just the amount of fatalities that could be performed by each character, but the addition of “babalities” and “friendships” which increased the appeal of MK2. Former hidden fighter Reptile became another palette swap playable character as did MK1 boss Shang Tsung (who retained his ability o change into other characters!)
A number of series staples such as “Toasty”, more pit/stage fatalities, and a handful of other secrets bring this to the forefront of fighting games. In my opinion, MK2 was the best of the series and still hasn’t been topped since.