Screengrab from the video game Mortal Kombat X (Warner Bros.)

Screengrab from the video game Mortal Kombat X (Warner Bros.) Credit: Warner Bros.

Mortal Kombat X continues the series' tradition of excellent 2-D fighting mechanics mixed with its signature gore. Taking place 25 years after the events of the previous entry, the roster features a good selection of classic fighters and new additions. Whether you're dead-set on playing as Scorpion or Sub-Zero, or you're looking to find someone new, the 24-character lineup is a diverse group, including terrific additions Cassie Cage, Erron Black and Kotal Kahn. Each possesses three fighting styles, adding further depth to the roster.

The Living Towers mode is another big twist that provides challenges that rotate at different frequencies. One tower had reduced gravity with each fight, which makes it easier to juggle opponents. With three separate Living Towers -- one that changes hourly, one that changes daily and a key one that updates with event-driven objectives -- the replay value is high. Players can also choose more traditional towers that include Survivor, Test Your Might, Klassic and, best of all, Test Your Luck. That one adds random modifiers like super-speed and player-freezing ice balls crashing down on a match. Also new is the community-driven Faction Wars system. Every day brings new challenges, and every task you complete earns points for the faction you've joined.

The series continues the strong storytelling of 2011's Mortal Kombat, with action movie cut scenes breaking up the onslaught of fights. The movie-like feel carries into other modes thanks to the gorgeous graphics and excellent sound design.

Mortal Kombat X is fantastic in every sense, with many new modes and features. It's one of the best fighting games in years.

RATING M for Mature

PLOT Everyone wants a fight to the finish.

DETAILS PlayStation4, Xbox One, PC, $59.99

BOTTOM LINE Gory glory.

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