- Mortal Kombat (2011): "Orphaned at a very young age, Liu Kang was raised by Shaolin monks, who taught him the way of the spiritual warrior. They soon recognized his potential as a contender for the Mortal Kombat tournament and rigorously trained him for this task. Raiden, too, understood that Liu Kang was Earthrealm's best hope for freedom and introduced him to Master Bo' Rai Cho to further his development. Once fully trained, Liu Kang bested all challengers and earned the high honor of representing the Shaolin in the Mortal Kombat tournament. He and Raiden then embarked on their fateful journey to Shang Tsung's island to compete in this pivotal kontest."
- Mortal Kombat X: "Liu Kang was Earthrealm's champion, winner of two straight Mortal Kombat tournaments. Under Raiden's tutelage, Liu Kang defeated both Shang Tsung and Shao Kahn, becoming a legend throughout the realms. But when Shao Kahn's Outworld forces invaded Earthrealm, Liu Kang split with Raiden over how to respond. During a disagreement between them, Liu Kang was accidentally killed. His soul was collected by Quan Chi, who used it to create an evil "revenant" version of Liu Kang. He now serves Quan Chi and the Netherrealm."
Liu Kang is first seen interacting with Raiden, as he is preparing for the first Mortal Kombat tournament. He is alongside Raiden when they approach Johnny Cage, and is notably upset when Johnny Cage shows disrespect to Raiden. Liu Kang appears once again when Raiden explains the situation regarding the Mortal Kombat tournament to Sonya and Jax. He is shocked when he finds that Kung Lao has snuck into the tournament. Kung Lao loses to Scorpion and Liu Kang helps him up.
Liu Kang's first appearance fighting is when Ermac is revealed as "the latest creation of Shao Kahn". Even though Liu Kang was never shown to have fought in the tournament, Shang Tsung states that Liu Kang is the final Earthrealm warrior remaining. Liu Kang defeats Ermac, and is later shown training with Raiden. Raiden receives another message from his future self, and states that the "He must win" must be Liu Kang. After Raiden leaves, Liu Kang is approached by Kitana, who tries to kill him. Liu Kang manages to defeat her. When Kitana tells Liu Kang to kill her for her failure to assassinate him, he refuses, stating that their encounter never happened.
Liu Kang then faces Scorpion and Quan Chi in a two-on-one battle, and defeats them both. He is then led to face Goro in Goro's Lair. After defeating Goro, Liu Kang returns to Shang Tsung's Throne Room, where he faces Shang Tsung. After defeating Shang Tsung, Liu Kang is regarded as Earthrealm's savior, although Raiden notices his amulet has cracked even more.
A ceremony at the Wu Shi Academy is held in honor of Liu Kang's Mortal Kombat tournament victory. As night falls, a revitalized Shang Tsung and an army of Tarkatans assault the academy. Jax is knocked unconscious, and when he awakens, Liu Kang is among the Earthrealm warriors who explain the latest situation to him along with Sonya's capture. As Johnny Cage, Jax, and Raiden appear to continue the new Mortal Kombat tournament, it is revealed that Liu Kang along with Kung Lao has been sent to free their Shaolin masters.
Liu Kang later appears with Raiden, Johnny Cage, Smoke, and Kung Lao when they are approached by Jade. It is during the conversation that Liu Kang learns of Kitana's capture and imprisonment. After a brief argument with Raiden over what to do, Liu Kang and Kung Lao head to the Tower to try to find Kitana. There they discover Kitana has been moved, and are suddenly attacked by Sheeva and Noob Saibot. Liu Kang faces Sheeva, while Kung Lao faces Noob Saibot, and eventually Goro, who - after being defeated by Kung Lao - informs the two of them that Kitana has likely been executed in the coliseum. Furious, Liu Kang knocks Goro out. Kung Lao, however, believes that Kitana may still be alive, and they hurry to the coliseum.
Discovering that Kitana is indeed still alive, Liu Kang goes to release Kitana from her imprisonment. Meanwhile, Kung Lao steps up and takes on the role of "he must win". After Kung Lao defeats Shang Tsung and Quan Chi in a two-on-one battle, and Kintaro shortly after, Shao Kahn kills Kung Lao in cold blood, enraging Liu Kang. As a result, Liu Kang faces, defeats, and seemingly kills Shao Kahn with a fiery punch. Kahn, however, survives thanks to the help of Quan Chi's magic. Quan Chi later resurrects Kahn's dead wife Sindel on Earth, allowing Kahn to invade Earthrealm.
Liu Kang accompanies Raiden to see the Elder Gods. They try to convince the Elder Gods to stop Shao Kahn, but the Elder Gods refuse to intervene. Shortly after they return to Earthrealm, they find almost all of the Earthrealm warriors dead, and Nightwolf sacrificing himself to kill Queen Sindel. Liu Kang rushes to a mortally wounded Kitana's side, as she eventually dies from her wounds , dying wiling holding Liu Kangs hand. Liu Kang is visibly upset with Raiden following the deaths of the Earthrealm warriors. After Raiden's latest suggestion to ask Quan Chi for help, Liu Kang believes Raiden to have become mad and refuses to go with him to the Netherrealm.
When Raiden returns from the Netherrealm and reveals to Liu Kang that "He must win" actually refers to Shao Kahn, Liu Kang refuses to let Shao Kahn win. He fights with Raiden, but is defeated. Shortly afterward, Shao Kahn enters Earthrealm, and Liu Kang once more tries to stop him. Again, Raiden forbids him to do so by sending electricity bolts in front of him. Infuriated, Liu Kang throws a fiery punch at Raiden, who defends himself with a blast of lightning. The combination of Raiden's electricity and Liu Kang's own fire severely burn Liu Kang's body, causing him fatal injuries. A horrified Raiden begs the mortally wounded Liu Kang to forgive him. The final words spoken by Liu Kang are to Raiden: "You....have killed us....all." before he closes his eyes and passes on.
The revenant of Liu Kang appears in Netherrealm alongside his fallen Shaolin brother Kung Lao and the undead princess Kitana, questioning Quan Chi of their next course of action after Havik's failure to deliver them Shinnok's amulet. Ultimately, it is decided to use Shinnok's newest acolyte D'Vorah to wait for an opportune moment to claim the amulet to release the fallen Elder God.
Liu Kang's earliest appearance in the story mode chronologically takes place in Raiden's flashback to twenty-five years earlier during the time both he and Kung Lao were alive before Shao Kahn's tournament in Outworld. After the Wu Shi Academy was invaded, several monks were kidnapped by Baraka and his Tarkatan horde. Liu Kang sets off with both Raiden and Kung Lao to free the monks. The trio eventually discover the monks being loaded onto a ship under the command of D'Vorah. He engages the Tarkatan Horde alongside Kung Lao, while Raiden deals with both Baraka and D'Vorah. After defeating their enemies, they proceed to free the monks on the first ship. Raiden then tells Liu Kang that he must return for the tournament, leaving Liu Kang and Kung Lao to seek out and free the remaining monks on the second ship that has already departed. Liu Kang promises Raiden that he will not fail, to which Raiden replies that he knows with a smile.
In the present, Liu Kang is first seen in the Netherrealm, now an undead revenant servant of Quan Chi. He along with the undead revenant versions of Kung Lao, Kitana, and Sindel ride to Quan Chi's fortress to await D'Vorah's arrival with Shinnok's amulet. As they approach the fortress, Quan Chi and company are ambushed by the Special Forces led by Jax and Kenshi along with the aid of Sareena. As the other revenants are fighting off the Special Forces, Liu Kang fights his way out and escorts Quan Chi to safety. As they arrive at the fortress, they are followed by Jax who intends to take Quan Chi back to Earthrealm. Liu Kang tries to stop Jax, expressing his disdain at him for rejoining Raiden's side. Jax replies that Raiden did his best and that he saved Earthrealm, but Liu Kang retorts that Raiden murdered him and stole everything from him. The two fight, and Liu Kang is defeated, resulting in Quan Chi being captured.
Liu Kang later appears along with Kung Lao, Kitana, Sindel, and Smoke on Earthrealm after Shinnok is freed. He along with the other revenants pledge their allegiance to him. Liu Kang then informs Shinnok of the human presence in the Netherrealm, but Shinnok is unworried and says they will be neutralized later. Liu Kang and the other revenants then accompany Shinnok and D'Vorah, along with the captive Johnny Cage, to the Sky Temple, where Shinnok attacks Bo' Rai Cho with his amulet. Raiden soon arrives to stop Shinnok only to be surrounded by the revenants. Liu Kang asks if they can kill Raiden, but Shinnok orders them to let him live so that he could seal Raiden himself. As Shinnok leaves for the Jinsei, Liu Kang, along with the other revenants, taunt Raiden before the latter proceeds to engage them. Raiden successfully knocks out Sindel, Kitana, and Smoke with electricity, then defeats Kung Lao in kombat. He is then confronted by Liu Kang. Before their fight, Raiden tries to reach out to his former student by telling him that this is not his destiny. Liu Kang retorts by sarcastically asking Raiden if he still has visions of the future. He then reminds Raiden of his death at the latter's hands. Raiden claims it was an accident, but Liu Kang thanks Raiden for "freeing" him and declares that he will help Shinnok overthrow the Elder Gods. The two fight, and Liu Kang is defeated by his former mentor.
After Cassie Cage, Jacqueline Briggs, Takeda Takahashi, and Kung Jin arrive at the Sky Temple, they overhear Liu Kang, D'Vorah, Kitana, and Sindel discussing Shinnok's plans to conquer Earthrealm and invade the Heavens. Liu Kang leaves with Kung Lao and Smoke in order to find a way to access Raiden's portal to the Heavens. He then comes back with Kung Lao and Smoke after Cassie has defeated Sindel and Kitana. Takeda and Jacqui hold off Liu Kang and his undead comrades long enough for Cassie to defeat Shinnok. After Shinnok is defeated and the Jinsei restored, Liu Kang retreats back to the Netherrealm with the other revenants.
In the post-credit scene, Liu Kang and Kitana are now the rulers of the Netherrealm. Both he and Kitana are threatened by Raiden who throws them the severed, yet still living head of Shinnok. Raiden, who has become corrupted after cleansing the Jinsei, declares that he will no longer stand by and simply defend Earthrealm, and goes on to state that any who threaten Earthrealm will suffer "fates worse than death." Raiden then departs, leaving Liu Kang and Kitana to stare at Shinnok's head.
- Mortal Kombat (2011) (Non-Canonical) : "Having defeated Shao Kahn, Liu Kang believed he was the only one capable of defending Earthrealm against outside threats. During the invasion Raiden had been more burden than ally. Brazenly he demanded the Elder Gods grant him the thunder god's status. In a one-match Mortal Kombat tournament, Liu Kang defeated his former friend and mentor. Liu Kang's request was granted. He was made a god, the new Protector of Earthrealm."
- Mortal Kombat X (Semi-Canonical) : "With Shinnok defeated, Liu Kang explored the Netherrealm--a world that, without Shinnok's controlling power, had descended into chaos. Liu Kang was no sorcerer or Elder God, but his fighting skill was more than enough to beat Netherrealm's demons into submission. Liu Kang realized that Netherrealm was his for the taking--and that ruling appealed to him. He would assume Shinnok's throne--and ponder the konquering of other realms."