What is essentially a Wii U game has become the most successful entry ever in the Mario Kart franchise and one of Nintendo’s biggest ever.
When Mario Kart 8 was first released on the Wii U in 2014 it did so to critical acclaim but little expectation that it would be a big seller, since the Wii U format itself was, by that point, clearly a flop.
The game still managed to sell over 8 million copies, which is a lot for even multiformat titles, but it was miles behind the 37.38 million of Mario Kart Wii.
However, when it was re-released as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch, together with all its DLC and a few new features, it got a second chance, with sales now sitting at 38.74 million.
That makes Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the best-selling game on the Switch, just ahead of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but also the third most successful Nintendo game of all time.
The only Nintendo games that have outsold it are Super Mario Bros. on over 50 million and Wii Sports at over 82 million, although both those titles were in many cases bundled together with consoles and often bought whether the person wanted them or not.
What is the best-selling video game of all-time?
The question of what is the best-selling video game of all-time is a vexed one, not only because publishers rarely release sales numbers but because the top sellers are live service kids titles like Minecraft and Roblox.
The number one selling traditional game is Grand Theft Auto 5, which Take-Two also announced an updated sales total for today (it’s financial report season at the moment) of a staggering 155 million – and that’s before it launches on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 next year.
After that it gets vague again though with EA’s mobile version of Tetris on around 100 million, then Wii Sports, PUBG on 70 million, and then Super Mario Bros.
The Switch has also been given an updated sales total, of 92.87 million, making it the seventh most successful console of all-time and almost certain to beat the Wii and PlayStation 1, and possibly the PlayStation 4 and Game Boy as well.
It’s unlikely to ever pass the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 though, both of which are on around 150 million lifetime sales. That’s especially true given sales of the Switch finally starting to slow, although how much of that is purely due to the pandemic and chip shortages in unclear.
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