Raiden (also known as Lord Raiden, and sometimes spelled Rayden) is a video game character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series by Midway Games. Making his official debut as one of the original seven playable characters in 1992's Mortal Kombat, he is one of the central characters of the franchise. Based on the Japanese thunder god Raijin, and portrayed in the series canon as the thunder god and appointed protector of Earth, Raiden defends the planet from myriad otherworldly threats alongside his handpicked warriors. He commands many supernatural abilities such as teleportation, flight, and control of the elements.
A mainstay of the Mortal Kombat cast, Raiden is one of the series' most recognizable characters. He has appeared as a playable in every fighting installment with the exception of Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and was among the eleven characters to represent the franchise in the crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He has featured extensively in other Mortal Kombat media such as the two feature films, the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, the television series Mortal Kombat: Konquest, and the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series, in addition to appearing on official series merchandise. General and critical reception to the character in regards to his design and gameplay has been positive, but mixed in terms of his alternate-media appearances.