The Mortal Kombat series has had its ups and downs in terms of gameplay quality throughout the years, but it has always maintained its reputation for ludicrous, over-the-top violence. Even non-gamers know the phrases "Finish Him," "Get over here," and "Fatality," along with the franchise's history of violence and controversy.

Standard bouts contained their fair share of blood, but it was in the match-ending Fatalities that the severed limbs, disembowelment, and exploding heads came into play. As time went on, they evolved from the now-simple "punch his head off" finishers to some truly cartoonish sequences later on in the series. Here's our look at the best, worst, and downright confusing Fatalities in MK history.

The Best

Liu Kang - Dragon (MK II)

Liu transforms into a dragon at least twice his size and eats the torso of his enemy. It begs the question "if he can turn into a dragon, why doesn't he just do that the whole time?", but there's no denying how cool it is.

Sub-Zero - Spine Rip (MK)

Perhaps the most gruesome finisher from the first game in the series. Sub Zero grabs his victim's head and rips it off his body, with the spinal cord still attached.

Reptile - Head Snack (MK II)

Scorpion removed his mask to reveal a skull in the first game, but Reptile revealed - surprise - a reptilian head in MK II. He then proceeds to extend his tongue and use it to remove and devour his opponent's head. Not content with simply eating your head, he actually turns to the camera and rubs his stomach afterward.

Jade - Head Gymnastics (MK: Deception)

Jade plunges her spear directly through her opponent's head, presumably being enough to kill any human. Not satisfied with this, she then does a gymnast flip over their body while still holding the spear. With one throw motion, the head becomes severed from the body.

Sektor - Compactor (MK 3)

As evidenced by his homing missiles and flamethrower, Sektor has quite the bag of tricks within his robot body. His most formidable weapon, however, has to he the giant trash compactor he uses to crush his opponents.

Jax - Arm Pull (MK II)

In probably one of the only Fatalities that wouldn't immediately kill you, Jax simply yanks his opponent's arms clean off their body. As they scream with blood gushing out of their arm-holes, Jax just stands there like a jerk and flexes his still fully intact (but not yet metallic) biceps.

Dairou - Ribs To The Eyes (MK: Deception)

He may not be a classic character like Sub-Zero or Liu Kang, but Dairou seems perfectly adept at creative Fatalities. In this one, he plunges both hands into his opponent's chest, rips out two ribs, and promptly lodges them directly in their eyes.

Sindel - Scream (MK 3)

This campy-looking character finishes her opponents with nothing but the sound of her shrill voice. She shrieks in her opponent's direction, causing all of their skin to fly off their body, leaving nothing but a dripping, meaty skeleton.

So there's a taste of some of the more creative, violent, and hilarious finishers in the series. Continue on for a look at some of the worst.