Back when the original MK team was putting the finishing touches on the very first Mortal Kombat, they had no idea what to call it. Some ideas that got kicked around included terrible, generic titles that weren't nearly as good as what we got. As Ed Boon told OXM Magazine:
Probably six out of the eight months [we worked on Mortal Kombat], we didn't have a name and I had a greaseboard in my office where we were just writing down things. For the longest time, it was called "Kumite," it was called "Dragon Attack," it was called "Death Blow." It was called, I think, "Fatality" at one point.