If your game series has been harshly criticized for being hyperviolent and excessively-bloody, what do you do about the sequel? The answer is, obviously, include a terrifying demon-guy with blade arms who has some of the bloodiest fatalities in the entire series. He's basically a nightmare-version of Wolverine, but with the additional benefit of having a name VERY close to that of the President of the United States, which allowed everyone to make that same joke on Twitter at some point in their lives.
Beginning his life as an abbreviation of 'Error Macro' and a graphically-messed up version of Scorpion, Ermac was eventually made a legit character when the makers of the game were like "Hey, have we done a red ninja yet? Let's spend 2 minutes doing that." All joking aside, Ermac's a pretty cool character - supposedly composed of a bunch of dead souls, Ermac uses a bunch of telekinetic moves to offend the sensibilities of parents everywhere. Not bad for a guy who started life as a glitch.
Remember the robot ninjas from before? Cyrax is the yellow one. He shoots green nets from his chest.
13. Johnny Cage
Let this be said for ol' Johnny Cage - he really goes the distance. Hard to imagine Vin Diesel or Keanu Reeves signing up for a tournament that would decide the fate of Earth just to earn a little cred. Yet the perpetually shirtless, constantly testicle-punching Johnny Cage did just that. And although he's spent a few games, uh, actually dead, he always manages to pop on his shades and come back. That's just how Johnny C. do.