Released in 1992 by Midway Games, Mortal Kombat took the arcade fighting scene by storm with its strong and colorful graphics and its brutal gameplay. The franchise consists of nine video games, two major motion pictures, a television series, a collectible card game and several comic books. It is one of the most popular video game series, selling over 26 million copies.
Mortal Kombat is best known for its graphic and bloody nature. With a special combination of buttons, the player can execute a fatality or finishing move at the end of a battle, which leads to an especially gruesome death. Examples of these fatalities include ripping out an opponent's spine, lodging an ice grenade in an opponent's chest so they explode from within, and electrocuting an opponent's arms and legs.
The intense violence depicted in this game led to the creation of the Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB), which is a voluntary, self-regulating institution. Every video game produced in the United States receives a rating from the ESRB, which describes the ideal age of the intended player and lists any instances of violence, crude language or sexuality.