The Mortal Kombat series has a large roster of complicated and diverse characters that have their own reasons for participating in the tournaments or seeking ultimate power. Some do so out of a need to protect their realm, others to find personal glory, and those behind the tournament use it to manipulate others for their personal benefit.
In fact, it’s possible to get further insight on the main characters after determining which Myers Briggs personality type they fall under. Knowing this you can get a better understanding of what motivates the character and how important this motivation is to who they are.
Shang Tsung is a powerful villain throughout the series that uses his sorcery and cunning to achieve his ends. He is the prime example of the INTP personality type as he understands how the world works and makes adjustments accordingly.
He seeks to understand the world better through his twisted experiments, like the flesh pits, and tackles intellectual problems head-on. His motivation is long life and vast power and he knows the right societal levers to pull and the weaknesses of his enemies to exploit in order to achieve it.
Initially, Kuai Liang sought solely to destroy Scorpion for killing his brother, but this goal has tempered to turn him into a selfless warrior more concerned with the safety of Earthrealm.
Like an ISFP this deep loyalty to Earthrealm has motivated him to do things that act against his own self-interest for moral reasons, such as turning on his brothers and sisters in arms, the Lin Kuei when they sided with Shao Kahn.
Sonya Blade is incredibly dedicated to her role as a leader in the Special Forces of Earthrealm. In ESTJ fashion she has placed the needs of the Earthrealm above her own, to the point where her marriage with Johnny Cage suffered and ultimately ended because she was so devoted to her work.
She continually motivates and encourages others to grow and work together as a team. Her daughter Cassie Cage is essentially seen as someone to replace herself and Sonya works tirelessly to mold her into that role. This devotion to the lives of others and leadership qualities are so strong she was willing to sacrifice herself to ensure the destruction of Shinnok’s Bone Temple.
Hero for much of the series, Liu Kang seeks to better himself and others in order to combat the threats facing Earthrealm. He’s as likely to rise to the challenge as support the one who rises to the challenge and isn’t afraid to tackle impossible tasks like facing evil sorcerers or corrupt gods.
In ENFP fashion he thrives on tackling problems that he knows threatens the safety of the world and people he cares about. Unlike other combatants, he does these things specifically for the benefit of those he cares about and not out of personal self-serving interest.
Probably the most iconic character of the entire series, Scorpion is a deeply conflicted and complicated character. But as he evolved in this new timeline, he has become a true INFP. In INFP fashion he keeps to himself and keeps his true ambitions close to his chest, only revealing his goal to bring his wife and son back to life no matter the cost.
This motivation drives every action Scorpion does and though he can be very aggressive and brutal when he need to be, he’s still a dad deep down and shows that caring side on occasion. A good example was when he raised Takeda Takahashi as his own. If he ever brings his family back you better believe he’ll give up fighting forever.
As the Keeper of Time Kronika is obsessed with creating a perfect timeline that maintains a steady equilibrium between good and evil. As an ENTJ she is devoted to finding ways to organize and structure various moving parts of the realms to ensure this balance is maintained.
Whenever a timeline fails she sees it as a learning opportunity to try something new and resets the timeline to try again, thus continually improving her systems of control. Those who serve her are among the most powerful beings in the universe and she requires that competence to achieve her goals.
Raiden possesses some similarities to Kronika in that the brokenness of the realms puts Earthrealm in constant danger and it requires order and strength to keep it safe. Unlike Kronika however he will not resort to absolute power or tyranny to impose his will, making him more of an ESTJ rather than an ENTJ.
As an ESTJ he recognizes the benefit of structure and power and will rally Earthrealm’s mightiest heroes to fight threats or personally gain power to slay evil beings like Shinnok. His method is to introduce systems of control that people want to be part of and support.
As the ruler of Outworld Shao Kahn is obsessed with expanding his power and controlling the six realms. As an INTJ he has a vision of utopia that he wishes to create and rule over and has a good idea for how to achieve that goal.
Given the grandeur and terrifying prospect of that goal he often makes enemies and is betrayed by those with lesser ambitions. His high intelligence and craftiness have allowed him to pursue these goals even as those around him fail to understand what it is he’s trying to do. It’s lonely on Shao Kahn’s throne and the vision he has for dominion is one only he can truly envision.
Noob Saibot is a complex and deeply layered character. His end goal is to control the Netherrealm and only trusts himself to accomplish that, regardless of who he serves or what they've promised him. Noob Saibot is an ESTP in that he will not entrust others to do what must be done, but instead gets his own hands dirty and revels in the violence.
Being at the center of chaos or a crisis is where he thrives and he takes pleasure utilizing his skills of deception, control of shadows, and teleportation to accomplish that task. Though he can be cunning he’s more likely to resort to embedding a sickle in someone’s face if it serves his motivations.
Shinnok is a powerful force in the Mortal Kombat series and remains a terrifying enemy until Mortal Kombat 11. He has spent ages obtaining vast knowledge and power to achieve his ends of causing chaos and discord to serve his mother Kronika’s ends.
As an ISTJ he has very clear goals regarding what he is expected to do and sees them through with every ounce of power he has. He is also a master scholar, continually learning and growing mentally in order to find new ways to achieve his goals, like when he corrupted the Jinsei in Mortal Kombat X.