Since 1983, Nintendo has been a welcome part of our video gaming lives. Ushering in a new era when it comes to video game consoles, the NES was merely the beginning. Since then many Nintendo video game consoles have come and gone, some being huge successes, and others not so much. Let’s take a journey through the best and worst Nintendo has had to offer us.
Top Selling Nintendo Consoles and Games
Units Sold: 770,000
Top Game: Mario Tennis
For anyone that remembers this complete flop of 1995, it's not a surprise to find it at the bottom of Nintendo's best-selling list. Maybe it was ahead of its time, maybe it was rushed, maybe it was just a half-baked idea. Whatever the issue, Virtual Boy just never clicked. Only having 14 titles to its name, Mario Tennis wins out by default as it was included when buying the console.
Nintendo Mini\SNES Mini
Units Sold: 9 Million Combined
Not really consoles, but the frenzy they caused merits them being on the list. Providing a bit of nostalgia, the two mini consoles were only available for a limited time(at least for now) and sold out faster than hotcakes. Maybe one day Nintendo will bring them back, but for now, for those of you out there lucky enough to get your hands on them, hopefully, you are playing the heck out of them and not leaving them in the box as a collector's item.
Units Sold:13.56 million
Top Game: Mario Kart 8
Around since 2012, Wii U hasn't enjoyed the same astronomic success as its predecessor. Only beating the total failure of Virtual Boy, Wii U sales have so far been underwhelming. However, Mario Kart 8 did enjoy strong sales, with over 8 million copies sold, meaning more than half of Wii U owners purchased it.
Units Sold: 21.74 million
Top Game: Super Smash Bros Melee
Another one of Nintendo's weaker projects, GameCube, fills out the bottom three of the list. With PlayStation 2 being released the year before, maybe gamers' wallets were tapped out, or the audience was getting older and looking for a different gaming experience. With roughly 21 million copies sold and a top game of Super Smash Bros Melee selling 7 million copies, GameCube had a rough go.
Units Sold: 32 million
Top Game: Super Mario 64
Maybe not the smash hit some of us may think it was, but still a classic system for any Nintendo fan. N64 brought Nintendo into the polygon-filled 3D world, and it was magical. Tons of classic games, but Mario reigned supreme with almost 12 million copies of Mario 64 being sold.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Units Sold: 49 million
Top Game: Super Mario World
Following the original NES footsteps can be a tough act to follow, but the SNES held its own with 49 million units sold. Jumping from 8 to 16-bit was a big deal, but not enough to quite equal the NES. RPGs made some real progress on this system, but none could top the big man himself as Super Mario World was the top game with over 20 million copies sold.
Nintendo Entertainment System
Units Sold: 61.91 Million
Top Game: Super Mario Bros
Do you ever forget your first love? Many gamers will say the NES was a life-changing experience, really bringing the world of video games mainstream for them. A huge success, by all means, the NES burst onto the scene with almost 62 million consoles sold. Sticking with an original, of course, Super Mario Bros takes home the top game with over 40 million cartridges being sold.
Game Boy Advance
Units Sold: 81.51 Milion
Top Game: Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire
Another example of new isn't necessarily better; the Gameboy Advanced failed to have the same popularity as its predecessors. That doesn't mean it didn't have its own success. 81.5 million people thought the travel console was good enough to plunk down $100 in 2001. Riding on the popularity of the never-ending Pokemon wave, over 16 million Ruby\Sapphire cartridges flew off the shelves.
Units Sold: 85 million
Top Game: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Only on the market since early 2017, Nintendo Switch has had solid sales and continues to be a fan favorite. With the ability to play on the big screen and be taken on the go, Nintendo Switch does it all. The console already sports six games with over 20 million copies sold with smash hits like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and others. But the top spot with over 35 million copies sold is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which still proves you try to take the throne, but Mario is still king.
Units Sold: 101.63 million
Top Game: Wii Sports
Upon its release in 2006, the Nintendo Wii brought video games to a whole new audience. With a groundbreaking motion controller and family-friendly lineup, this console wasn't just for gamers. With so many other uses(like workouts) and just getting you moving, the Wii saw great success with over 101 million units sold. Taking home the top spot here with its easy learning curve with tennis, bowling, and other fun games is Wii Sports, with close to 83 million copies sold.
Game Boy/ Game Boy Color
Units Sold:118.69 million
Top Game: Tetris
Released almost ten years apart, these consoles are as close to console cousins as you can get. Even with its flaws, the original Gameboy was our first real glimpse of what gaming on the go could be. Almost ten years later, GameBoy Color took the experience up a notch. Selling a combined 118+ total units, these two come in at number two on the list. One of the few consoles where the top game does not include Mario in any way, the ever-popular Tetris takes the cake with over 35 million games sold.
Units Sold: 154.02 million
Top Game: New Super Mario Bros.
Taking the prize as the top Nintendo Console is the Nintendo DS, with over 154 million consoles sold. It's actually the second best-selling console of any kind, only trailing the Playstation 2, and just barely. Yet again, taking gaming anywhere mentality, Nintendo stepped it up again with the Nintendo DS. Nintendo DS added a second screen, with one being a touch screen, allowing for some very interactive gaming. Nintendo's usual cast of characters can be found with plenty of Zelda, Pokemon, and other familiar faces having their titles, but as usual, Mario takes the top spot. New Super Mario Bros has sold almost 31 million copies.
Nintendo isn't known for sitting on its successes(or failures). Firmly entrenched as a leader and innovator in the video game industry, Nintendo will undoubtedly have a few more tricks up their sleeves, keeping current fans and future generations entertained for years to come.