NetherRealm pulled it off, Mortal Kombat is an unqualified return to form for the series. By shedding extraneous gameplay elements while keeping and updating the game's core mechanics, the newest MK feels like it used to, a fighting game that non-hardcore fighter players can sit down and enjoy without having to memorize interminably long lists of infinite combos.
It's too bad the bosses still cheat. I know it's a minor complaint, and perhaps there just wasn't available development time, but to be honest, the boss fights are just flat out not fun, and it's because the bosses can ignore stun from hits, interrupt combos without spending any meter, and have X-Rays that do at minimum 20% more damage than any other character. It's a good thing I don't have to play Story Mode more than once, because after that experience I don't think I'd ever want to.