Mortal Kombat II (Genesis version)
While Nintendo finally backpedaled on violence in video games with Mortal Kombat II, Sega maintained the status quo, albeit without the stupid “blood code” from their version of MK1. Unfortunately, as with MK1, the SNES version is a lot closer to the arcade version than on the Genesis.
Yet to its credit, Sega’s MK2 was more polished than their MK1 version with better visuals and upgraded sound. Some of the translations in gameplay and style were more authentic to the arcade version on the Genesis. Therefore, I don’t loathe it nearly as much as MK1. (Which I honestly don’t care for at all on any of the consoles.)
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.