We're getting used to hearing about Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The action-adventure brawler has built a strong cult following among MK fans, including series co-creator Ed Boon, who is prompted to reference the game with increasing routine. His most recent firestarter is a social media poll asking fans how they'd prefer to see the 2005 game return. Read on for detail:

Shaolin Monks has become an annual fixture of interviews with Ed Boon, and the NetherRealm Studios Chief Creative Officer even triggered a viral trend when he included the game in a 2021 poll about prospective remastered versions of klassic Mortal Kombat titles.

This time Shaolin Monks was competing with itself -- or at least a hypothetical sequel. Boon asked fans to pick their preference between a modern HD remaster or a sequel of some undetermined type. The Twitter poll recorded 90,165 voters who narrowly decided a straight Remaster of the klassic was the preferable choice.

To date the Mortal Kombat franchise has resisted resting entirely on past glory, generating regular new installments in the franchise that revisit klassic characters and content, rather than indulging in the increasingly common industry trend of remastered games. A HD remake of the original trilogy has been a notoriously difficult project to get going., despite various attempts

Despite this drive forward -- it seems a narrow majority of 55.4% would rather return to the PlayStation 2 & Xbox game with modern hi-definition convenience, rather than indulge in an all-new, or spiritual sequel.

MK has generated three action-oriented genre spin-offs with mixed results. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Special Forces attempted to leverage the rich mythology and cast of characters to generate unique titles with original experiences, but it was Shaolin Monks' three-dimensional retelling of Mortal Kombat II that found the most success from its ambitious format.

With an engine originally conceived by X-Men: Mutant Academy developer Paradox Entertainment -- who became Midway Studios Los Angeles in the process; Shaolin Monks was described by Midway President David F Zucker at the time as: ".. our first step toward delivering something that Mortal Kombat fans have been calling for: a new game set in the Mortal Kombat universe every year".

As Creative Director, Ed Boon, and Mortal Kombat team regulars, became involved in shaping the spin-off title, which could've been a game starring Raiden, as revealed in a concept screenshot released by Boon. Instead the eponymous Shaolin Monks were chosen to lead a retelling of MKII popular with all developers concerned, creating memorable mechanics like Kung Lao's arena hat ricochet. The rest is history!

[Related Article: Ed Boon Talks Game Announcement, DLC & Characters in Q&A]

The original arcade Mortal Kombat is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary and a new fighting game installment is coming this year! Will we ever see another genre spin-off - new or old? Share your thoughts & wishes in the comments below and keep the conversation going in the Future Mortal Kombat Games forum!