Mortal Kombat is a fighting game from Midway and published by Acclaim. First coming to arcades, then released on home consoles and handhelds, Mortal Kombat is notable as being the first game in the once-controversial Mortal Kombat series.
Along with Night Trap and Lethal Enforcers, Mortal Kombat was one of many violent video games that came into prominence in the United States in the early-1990s, generating controversy among parents and public officials and helped bring hearings on videogame violence and the corruption of society, headed by Senator Joseph Lieberman and Herb Kohl in late 1992 to 1993. The result of the hearings was that the entertainment software industry was given one year to form a working rating system or the federal government would intervene and create its own system. Eventually, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was conceived, requiring all video games to be rated and for these ratings to be placed on the games' packaging. Mortal Kombat was the first game to receive a "M for mature" ESRB rating.1