Kitana's first appearance, in the second Mortal Kombat tournament, was mysterious. She was introduced as Shao Kahn's daughter and personal assassin, but it was hard to guess her true feelings or alignment, which were revealed to the Earthrealm warriors during the tournament. She was not really the daughter of Shao Kahn, but in fact his stepdaughter; she was adopted by Kahn, as an infant, to strengthen his claims to the Edenian throne after he killed its king, Jerrod, and married Jerrod's wife, Queen Sindel, who were Kitana's parents. Suspecting she would someday learn the truth, however, Kahn instructed Shang Tsung to create a twin for Kitana, a monstrous person named Mileena, who was actually a grotesque and evil clone of Kitana.
Kitana grew up dutifully loyal to Shao Kahn, whom she believed was her real father. She grew up to be one of Shao Kahn's personal assassins, alongside her good friend Jade and her evil "sister" Mileena. At some point in Kitana's life, she finally discovered the truth about her real father, Mileena's origins, and how Shao Kahn conquered her realm through constant visions in her dreams.
Appalled, disgusted, and devastated that her whole life had been a lie, Kitana vowed to do all in her power to overthrow Shao Kahn and restore Edenia to its former beauty. And also perhaps by doing so, redeem herself for all the evil she committed while she served Shao Kahn. At first Kitana continued to feign loyalty to Kahn, planning and waiting for the right time to turn against him openly.
Kitana's chance finally came during Mortal Kombat II, when Shao Kahn and Shang Tsung lured Earth's heroes into Outworld. Kitana entered the tournament, but secretly began to contact one of Earth's heroes (most likely Liu Kang) trying to help them defeat Kahn. However, Kitana's efforts were discovered by her clone Mileena. Mileena attacked her traitorous "sister", forcing Kitana to defend herself. She defeated and killed Mileena but this act revealed that she was no longer loyal to Shao Kahn.
The Earthrealm warriors escaped from Outworld, but Kitana was imprisoned and sentenced to death for killing Mileena. However, after Sindel's resurrection and Shao Kahn's subsequent invasion of Earthrealm, she managed to escape and rejoin her friends from Earth. Her only purpose was to convert the resurrected Sindel and remove the evil taint in her soul.
Kitana also had to contend with her friend Jade, who was sent by Kahn to capture her. But Kitana managed to convince her to turn against Kahn and join the forces of good. Jade then helped the Princess defeat Reptile, another assassin sent by Kahn to capture Kitana. Eventually, Kitana pushed through to her mother and freed her from Kahn's grasp. Shao Kahn's reign over Earthrealm was short-lived, as he and his elite forces were ultimately defeated. In the wake of these events, Kitana and Sindel freed Edenia as well. Before leaving Earthrealm, Kitana thanked Liu Kang for all he had done.
Earthrealm had barely recovered from its violent merger with Outworld, however, as a new threat presented itself in the form of Shinnok. He and his grand vizier Quan Chi invaded Edenia from the forbidden Netherealm and imprisoned its legitimate rulers.
Still not a novice at escaping from prisons, the Princess broke loose once more, only to encounter a resurrected Mileena, now in the service of Shinnok. However, soon the forces of darkness were defeated by Raiden and his comrades, and Edenia was free once more. It is after these events that Kitana finally proposed to Liu Kang and offered to rule Edenia together as King and Queen. Liu Kang reluctantly denied her offer, saying his place was as Champion of Earth.
After Shinnok's defeat, Kitana learned that Shao Kahn had survived his defeat on Earthrealm and was trying to regain his strength in Outworld. Realizing the vulnerable position of her realm, however, Kitana hastily formed an alliance with the Shokan, a powerful and ancient race that had fallen in disgrace with the weakened Emperor, and possibly with the equally powerful and disgraced Centaur race as well, having mediated a peace accord between the two mortal enemies after Shinnok's defeat.
The combined armies, led by Prince Goro and Kitana herself, marched against Outworld's armies a few years later, with much success at first. However, in the decisive moments, Goro was mortally wounded by the mysterious Noob Saibot, ending the battle with a draw.
Shortly thereafter, Kitana learned that Shao Kahn had been slain by unknown assassins. Thinking her fight was finally over, Kitana began to journey back to Edenia, hoping she could finally live in peace. However, she then encountered her old ally Kung Lao and he told her of a new threat: the "Deadly Alliance" of Quan Chi and Shang Tsung. Kung Lao told Kitana of the Deadly Alliance's plans to revive the Undead Army of the legendary Dragon King and how they had already managed to kill Shao Kahn and Liu Kang.
Despite Kitana's grief upon learning of Liu Kang's death at the hands of the Deadly Alliance, she joined with her old Earthrealm allies against the new threat. Unfortunately, the Deadly Alliance was victorious, defeating the heroes with Kitana herself (despite her new and improved skills gained from training with Bo' Rai Cho) killed in a one on one battle with Quan Chi. However, shortly after, Kitana and her allies were resurrected by Onaga, the legendary Dragon King himself. Onaga then put a powerful spell on them, turning them into his loyal servants. Now loyal to the Dragon King, Kitana assisted in Onaga's invasion of her own realm of Edenia.
Onaga used Kitana to imprison her mother Sindel, knowing the queen would not fight her daughter. However, Sindel was freed by Jade, and together they fled to Outworld where they attempted to find a way to defeat Onaga and free Kitana from his evil influence. Unknown to Kitana, Liu Kang's spirit returned from beyond death and had found himself a new ally and friend Ermac, and the two as well embarked on a mission to save their allies
True to Ermac's Deception ending, which shows him and Liu Kang's spirit being successful in rescuing the slaved Earthrealm warriors, Kitana is released from Onaga's control. At that time, while she made her way back to Edenia, she encountered Blaze, who told her of a coming new danger that will threaten all the realms and that she must gather her forces to face it. Weary of constant battle, Kitana felt disheartened, wondering if the fighting would ever end. However, Blaze assured her that the wars would soon be over. Following this warning, Kitana returns in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, fighting alongside Edenia.
In her Armageddon ending, Kitana defeats Blaze and becomes the champion of the Elder Gods. She goes on to form an all-female fighting force consisting of herself, Sindel, Jade, Sonya and Li Mei. They set out to defeat the forces of Darkness and trap them in the Netherrealm forever.