—Shinnok in Mortal Kombat X.
- Mortal Kombat X: "Millennia ago, a battle raged in Earthrealm between Raiden, God of Thunder and Earthrealm's Protector, and Shinnok, a renegade Elder God who sought to konquer all of reality. Raiden was victorious, and he and Shinnok's fellow Elder Gods imprisoned him in the Netherrealm. Twenty-five years ago, Shinnok escaped his bonds and attacked an Earthrealm weakened from war with Outworld. Raiden and his fellow Earthrealm god Fujin were able to imprison Shinnok in his own Amulet. But there are other forces who seek to possess Shinnok's makeshift prison and use it as a source of power. Forces less than friendly to Earthrealm..."
Shinnok is revealed to be the ultimate mastermind behind the events of the game's story mode, having used his acolyte Quan Chi to manipulate Shao Kahn into invading Earthrealm and merging the realm without victory in Mortal Kombat. Shao Kahn was killed by an Elder God-empowered Raiden, who afterwards departed with the few surviving Earthrealm warriors; Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade. Quan Chi and an astral projection of Shinnok discussed their plan's success and Raiden's survival. Shinnok was unconcerned and declared that he would be free soon and that both Earthrealm and Outworld would not survive the coming onslaught from the Netherrealm.
Shinnok's imprisonment in his amulet was strengthened when the amulet is banished to a dark dimension, the lock being the Kamidogu bound in Raiden's blood. Havik, the cleric of chaos, seeks to claim all the Kamidogu to gain possession of Shinnok's amulet.
Shinnok is briefly seen in a flashback from Reiko's perspective reveals he witnessed Shinnok and Quan Chi discussing their manipulations of Shao Kahn after the konqueror's death at the Elder Gods hands.
Two years after Shao Kahn's invasion of Earthrealm, Shinnok launches an invasion of his own with Netherrealm forces and the Brotherhood of Shadow. Shinnok personally goes to the Jinsei Chamber in order to taint Earthrealm's life force with death. He defeated and nearly imprisoned Raiden and Fujin within his amulet, only to be struck down by Johnny Cage. As an outraged Shinnok incapacitates Johnny's companions, the Earthrealm warrior holds him off and passes the amulet over to Raiden, who imprisons the fallen Elder God within his own amulet.
Later, due to Quan Chi's and D'Vorah's machinations, Shinnok is freed from his amulet within the Special Forces base and easily swats aside the already weakened Earthrealm warriors. Not wanting to take any chances for more surprises, he personally takes Johnny Cage with him and departs with the revenants to the Sky Temple in order to finish what he started years ago: to claim the power of the Jinsei. Once there, he is confronted by Bo' Rai Cho, but easily defeats him while a recently revitalized Raiden looks on helplessly as Shinnok makes his friend suffer in front of him.
He then heads for the chamber and leaves his servants to deal with him, promising to imprison Raiden within the amulet once his work is complete. With D'Vorah at his side, he has her hold Cage in place with her adhesives while her insects begin to devour his innards. As Shinnok approaches the Jinsei, a battered Raiden tries to take on the Elder God, but Shinnok holds him in place with a giant skeletal hand, grievously wounding him.
Finally unimpeded, Shinnok steps into the Jinsei and corrupts it, blanketing Earthrealm in a crimson red sky that taints the entire planet. As his powers grow, his form changes into a much more demonic visage. Now powered by the Jinsei, Shinnok seems unstoppable.
However, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade's daughter Cassie Cage shows up along with Kung Jin to stop him. Shinnok steps out of the chamber, fully empowered by the Jinsei and easily knocks Cassie aside. Poised to kill Johnny himself in front of Cassie, he slowly burns his body with repeated energy blasts, enraging Cassie and prompting her to jump in front of his finishing attack. A repeat of twenty-five years ago occurs as Cassie blocks the attack with her body, now empowered by the same energy that her own father used.
In spite of his newfound power, the fallen Elder God is once again soundly defeated in battle by yet another member of the Cage family. With Raiden freed from his grasp, the Thunder God tells the Earthrealm warriors to put him in the Jinsei chamber, where he absorbs Shinnok's power into himself in order to purify the Jinsei and return Earthrealm to normal. Shinnok and D'Vorah are then taken into custody by Sonya and the Special Forces.
In the post credits scene, a corrupted Raiden arrives in the Netherrealm and warns Liu Kang and Kitana, now the de facto leaders of the Netherrealm, not to threaten Earthrealm lest they face fates worse than death. As a final warning, he shows them the severed, albeit still living head of Shinnok. As he couldn't die due to his Elder God nature, Shinnok is now condemned to a catatonic state.
The prologue shows what happened to Shinnok after his defeat but before Mortal Kombat X's epilogue.
The new Dark Raiden is shown torturing Shinnok in the Jinsei Chamber with his lightning, but despite his agony, Shinnok taunts Raiden, saying their battle changed him for the better and states Raiden sees the "truth" of what the Elder Gods denied before casting him out by wearing his amulet. Raiden, claiming that the only "truth" he embraces, tells Shinnok he will not allow anyone else to harm Earthrealm, and that the thunder god will go on preemptive strikes against those who attack by destroying them first, starting with Shinnok. While Shinnok again taunts Raiden that he can't kill an Elder God, Raiden replies back with "There are fates worse than death" and creates an energy blade with his lightning.
The fallen Elder God realizes to his horror Raiden's plan but is helpless to protect himself as Raiden decapitates Shinnok and prepares to send his head back to the Netherrealm to serve as a warning against those who would attempt to attack Earthrealm.
After Raiden leaves the Jinsei Chamber, a mysterious woman named Kronika approaches Shinnok and states that Raiden has upset the balance of history. Kronika is later revealed to be Shinnok's mother, who sired him and his sibling Elder God Cetrion as a means of representing and upholding her view of balance, with Shinnok representing death and corruption, while Cetrion represents life and virtue.
Shinnok is last physically seen in the heart of his Cathedral in the Netherrealm, his severed head contained inside a spiked altar, arcs of energy infusing into him. When the cathedral is destroyed and then restored by his mother Kronika, Shinnok is not seen again, leaving his ultimate fate unclear.
- Mortal Kombat X (Non-Canonical): "Earthrealm belonged to Shinnok. It became the staging area from which he would finish his war on the Elder Gods, which began eons ago. The Elder Gods lied to the denizens of the realms: They were not individual beings, but merely parts of a greater collective known as the One Being. Shinnok would merge the realms and awaken him. Whole once more, the One Being devoured the Elder Gods. Shinnok watched with satisfaction. This reality had finally come to an end."