Necrosis, a type of unwanted and passive cell demise, usually occurs under the excessive external stress and is considered to be unregulated. However, under some special conditions such as caspase inhibition, necrosis is regulable in a well-orchestrated way. The term ‘regulated necrosis’ has been proposed to describe such programed necrosis. Recently, several forms of necrosis, including necroptosis, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, parthanatos, oxytosis, NETosis, and Na+/K+-ATPase-mediated necrosis, have been identified, and some crucial regulators governing regulated necrosis have also been discovered. Mixed lineage kinase domain-like pseudokinase (MLKL), a core regulator in necroptosis, acts as an executioner in response to ligands of death receptor family. Its activation requires the receptor-interacting protein kinases, RIP1 and RIP3. However, MLKL is only involved in necroptosis, i.e. MLKL is dispensable for necrosis. Therefore, this review is aimed at summarizing the molecular mechanisms of MLKL-dependent and MLKL-independent necrosis.