It's a debate as old as the dinosaurs: who's stronger, X or Y? Insert your characters there, because that argument has been had before. Who’s stronger: Batman or Superman? Goku or Vegeta? Ike or Tina? Mortal Kombat has characters people fight tooth and nail for and there are a lot of characters in Mortal Kombat with fantastical powers. Reptile has his acid and force balls and newcomer D’Vorah is a bug woman with a stinger coming out of her back. Characters have metal arms to crush opponents or a vampire mistress who can spit blood. The list goes on and the roster can only gets stronger with the newer characters.
Sub Zero has been a fan favorite and a face for the Mortal Kombat franchise. He’s a cool ninja with ice powers and enemies are instantly frozen in front of the Lin Kuei warrior. But, sometimes, you have to wonder how strong Sub Zero really is. With a roster as big as Mortal Kombat’s, there are bound to be character stronger than Sub Zero. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon had all the series characters up to that point at 64. Four new characters were added in Mortal Kombat 9 and 17 more fighters were added to the family in Mortal Kombat X. So now, Mortal Kombat has had 85 character to grace its games. So, who’s stronger than Sub Zero? Who can overcome the cold and best the Lin Kuei warrior? Below are the 15 Mortal Kombat Characters Stronger Than Sub Zero.
15 Johnny Cage
We’re starting off the list with an unlikely entry by including Johnny Cage, but from the current timeline. In the original MK timeline, Johnny Cage becomes one of the Earthrealm defenders, but he never does anything spectacular. Liu Kang becomes Champion of Mortal Kombat and saves the realms from Shao Kahn and Shinnok. Cage helps out, sure, but he isn't the main star and is relegated to a supporting role. However, in the new current timeline, Johnny Cage has taken a much bigger role in the story, especially in Mortal Kombat X. It’s explained that Cage was a descendant of a Mediterranean cult and has “shadow powers.” With his "shadow powers," Johnny Cage becomes strong enough to defeat the evil god Shinnok in hand to hand combat. Cage was also part of the team that saved Sub Zero and others from Quan Chi's control. So if he saved Sub-Zero, surely he's stronger than him, right?
14 Noob Saibot/Bi-Han
Some fans might not know that Sub-Zero is not the first Sub Zero. His original name was Tundra and his older brother, Bi Han, was the original Sub Zero. Bi-Han is murdered by Scorpion and later resurrected as Noob Saibot. Bi-Han loses his humanity and revels in his new wraith form. And in this new form, Bi Han has gained the power over darkness. Noob can use his dark powress to nullify his opponent’s powers and turn invisible. In Mortal Kombat 9, Noob took his powers a step further and gained control over his own shadow by using it in combat. Bi-Han lost his life, but gained a new one and some kickass powers with it.
Ermac is a weird character. He's made up of a large collection of warrior souls fused together by Shao Kahn. And a weird character is gonna have some weird powers, as seen with his telekinesis. Combined with the kombat experience his souls have and the telekinesis, Ermac is a frightening force in Mortal Kombat. Which also makes you wonder why Ermac seems to always be someone's servant, but I digress. Ermac has gone through a interesting transformation in the series, going from a ninja to a sorcerer of sorts. And as shown in the Mortal Kombat X story, Ermac is immune to the powers of telepathy. Takeda Takahashi attempts to read his mind and is quickly overwhelmed by the amount of voices within Ermac’s mind, so the ninja literally cannot read his moves. Simply, Sub-Zero has nothing on Ermac.
Tremor is one of the newer characters in the Mortal Kombat family, making his debut in Mortal Kombat X. Like his name suggests, Tremor has power over the earth and you see the extent of his powers in MKX. Tremor summons boulders to incapacitate his opponents and can set off intense earthquakes. And like everyone else, Tremor has kombat variations. Tremor’s ability to cause earthquakes come from his Aftershock variation. His Metallic variation allows his skin to be made of literal gold or covered in lava. And besides looking pretty badass, the gold and lava skin enhance his abilities. Tremor’s Crystalline variation gives him the ability to grows crystal on his body, which then serve as armor for the ninja. Sub-Zero has three variations too, but all centered on ice. Tremor’s creative skills overpower Sub Zero’s simple ice blasts.
Rain is interesting as both a character and a concept. Rain’s ability to control water and lightning is pretty bad-ass, but there's more to the purple ninja than just the lightning. What a lot of people don’t know is his back story. Rain is a demigod, as he is son of the Edenian god, Argus, which is why the ninja has the crazy powers that he has. Argus’ family is considered royalty in Edenia, but unfortunately for Rain, the young prince was exiled since he was seen as an embarrassment for Argus. The god cheated on his wife with a mortal woman, so Rain had to be removed and grew up not knowing about his royal blood. That is until Quan Chi tells him the truth. In Mortal Kombat: Armaggeddon, Rain is on a quest to regain his lost status and gain godhood.
Unfortunately, Rain isn't fully expanded upon as a character, which sucks because he's a somewhat interesting villain. Rain has been under-utilized in the franchise, but what little we know still makes him more interesting and stronger than Sub Zero.
10 Kotal Kahn
Kotal Kahn usurped the throne from Mileena and became Emperor of Outworld, but his strength isn't shown to its full force in MKX. He is the last of his kind, the Osh’Tekk, and as a member of the Osh'Tekk he has great strength. By himself, Kotal Kahn is already powerful and, while we see portions of his strength in MKX, the comics show the extent of Kotal Kahn's strength. For example, Kotal Kahn is at war with Goro for killing his father. As revenge, he rips Goro's arms off and humiliates him by letting him live. Acts of kindness are forbidden by the Shokan and showing mercy to one after being beaten is humiliating. Kotal Kahn can also harness the power of the sun and annihilate large ships out at sea. He was worshiped as a God by the Aztec people who feared and respected his strength. So, with all that craziness, Kotal Kahn suppresses Sub Zero.
Fujin, God of the wind, is the first (full) deity on the list. And as a God, Fujin is already stronger than Sub Zero, but let's go over why exactly? Sub-Zero fires ice and freezes his enemies. He can make ice clones, but Sub Zero doesn't have complete control over ice. However, Fujin has complete control over wind. He creates tornadoes to levitate enemies and then slam them on the ground or levitate his opponents and throw them to the other side of the arena. In MKX, Fujin was instrumental to stopping Shinnok's first invasion. Honestly, ou can even say Fujin is the wind. In Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero, Fujin is defeated by Sub-Zero and, in a last ditch effort, he creates a tornado strong enough to rip him apart. The immortal Fujin survives his death, while the Sub Zero of that game is reborn as Noob Saibot.
The first God of Mortal Kombat, Raiden is the rightful defender of Earthrealm. Raiden controls lightning and uses it as a projectile in concentrated blasts. The thunder God harnesses lightning to teleport anywhere around the world and, as the God of thunder, Raiden also utilizes his lightning against opponents. In the opening movie of Mortal Kombat: Deception, Raiden was able to hold his own against Shang Tsung and Quan Chi before being overwhelmed and hit with a fire cobra. The thunder God can fly at speeds that sends enemies through walls or even bridges, as seen when he dives into Motaro in the Mortal Kombat 9 story. And not limited to violence, Raiden has the ability to heal. Look, as far as I know, Sub Zero can't fly.
7 Shang Tsung
The original villain of the Mortal Kombat series, Shang Tsung is a powerful force. The sorcerer has two iconic abilities. The first is his most famous ability the power to steal souls to add to his own. Adding souls to his own prolongs his life and keeps Shang Tsung young, allowing him to live forever. His second ability allows Shang Tsung to shapeshift into anybody he knows. Shang Tsung, for example, can transform into Scorpion and know all his moves without needing his soul. With that, his power seem endless. On his own, the sorcerer is scary enough, but Shang Tsung can become any other fighter. Plus, Shang Tsung can create life like Mileena and Meat (yes, Meat is an actual character), so we're gonna say he's definitely stronger than Sub-Zero.
6 Quan Chi
The powerful sorcerer Quan Chi hails from the Netherrealm and he's been a consistent adversary for Earthrealm. Quan Chi lead the demon assault on Earthrealm during the events of Mortal Kombat X and controls the revenant forms of past heroes. Quan Chi’s signature power is necromancy and this dark magic allows Quan Chi to mess with souls in a different manner than Shang Tsung. Quan Chi can resurrect warriors to be his servants, like Liu Kang. Liu Kang was once the hero-warrior of Earthrealm, then he became Quan Chi's faithful servant. Many characters exist because of Quan Chi. Scorpion used to be Hanzo Hasashi before he was murdered by Bi-Han. Quan Chi resurrected Hasashi and transformed him into Scorpion to do his bidding and the sorcerer does the same with Bi-Han and births Noob Saibot. The reach of Quan Chi's power extends far beyond Sub Zero’s.
5 Onaga, The Dragon King
For those of you unfamiliar with Onaga, here’s a quick run through. Onaga made his debut in Mortal Kombat: Deception and was the emperor before Shao Kahn. The Dragon King had an undefeatable army under his control, as the army was made immortal by Onaga through constant resurrection. The army became legendary as Onaga conquered Outworld. However, his reign ended when Shao Kahn poisoned The Dragon King and usurped the throne. Onaga later came back and was just as powerful. As seen in the introduction to Mortal Kombat: Deception, Onaga charged at Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, and Raiden while getting hit by their blasts. The Dragon King marched through with little resistance. Even when Raiden sacrificed himself and self destructed, which absolutely leveled the palace they were in, Onaga stood tall on the rubble.
4 Shao Kahn
Shao Kahn is the premiere villain of the series and with good reason, as his strength is Godlike. Shao Kahn rivals, if not outright succeeds, Raiden himself. And Raiden is the God of thunder and orotector of Earthrealm, so it’s crazy to imagine how powerful the emperor is. The only way Raiden was able to defeat Shao Kahn at the end of Mortal Kombat 9 was through the help of The Elder Gods. So, yeah, Shao Kahn is stronger than a God of thunder. The emperor also has powers similar to Shang Tsung, as Shao Kahn has power over souls: to manipulate them and even create life, as seen with his creation Ermac. His strength and tenacity has allowed him to conquer realms like Edenia and Osh’Tekk and fuse them to Outworld. And Shao Kahn was the winner of Armageddon in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon bringing an end to the realms. Honestly, Raiden got lucky when he defeated Shao Kahn and Sub-Zero wouldn't stand a chance.
Blaze is going to be one of those characters who you either know or have no idea who he is. Blaze is the main villain of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon; the last game in the original timeline. According to the story of Armageddon, Blaze was created to prevent the destruction of the realms by killing the MK fighters when they became too strong. If they became too strong, Blaze would start Armageddon and annihilate everything. But if someone manages to defeat Blaze, they will gain Godlike power and the ability to grant any wish they want. But, until someone defeats Blaze, he will harness the Godly power himself. And as long as Blaze is atop of the pyramid and alive, Armageddon starts and will continue until someone defeats him.. The realms would fall apart and the only way to prevent total destruction is to kill Blaze and gain his power. Easier said than done.
In the Mortal Kombat mythos, there are the Elder Gods, Gods high above normal Gods like Raiden and Fujin. They were the ones responsible for creating the realms, even creating the Mortal Kombat tournament as a way to take over the realms for people like Shao Kahn. Shinnok is a fallen Elder God, cast out of the pantheon. While Shao Kahn is the most famous villain, Shinnok is the ultimate villain. His descent leads him to the Netherrealm, where he kills the devil and takes over the realm. Now, the Fallen God controls armies of demons and waits for the perfect time to attack Earthrealm. Shinnok’s powers are like Quan Chi's powers, but far stronger. After all, Shinnok gave Quan Chi his powers. Shinnok’s power revolve around the Netherrealm, utilizing skeleton hands to crush his enemies and summoning demons to fight for him. Shinnok is like Raiden and Fujin. He is his element; he is the darkness.
Yes, even though it seems that both of these characters are equal, they are not on the same level, as Scorpion is stronger than Sub-Zero. Sub-Zero has the awesome power of controlling ice, while Scorpion has power over fire. But, there's more to Scorpion than fire. In his Inferno variation, Scorpion can summon his minion to aid him, so the Shirai Ryu ninja has summoning powers like Quan Chi. Speaking of powers, Scorpion can teleport at will, as the hellspawn ninja has the ability to travel to the Netherrealm freely. And speaking of the Netherrealm, Scorpion cannot die. If he does get killed, he’ll go back to the Netherrealm the realm of his rebirth. In fact, Scorpion gets stronger in the Netherrealm. In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Quan Chi's magic is nullified while Scorpion becomes stronger. Scorpion wins. Flawless Victory.