One Million Copies Switch Games
Image: Nintendo Life

Updated with sales figures from Nintendo's full FY2024 financial report - enjoy!

At the time of writing, the Switch has the highest number of software sales of any Nintendo console, ever, with over one billion games sold on the platform since March 2017. What's more, its lead is so commanding that it will likely hold this pole position for a good few years to come (unless there is a sudden surge in sales for DS games around the corner that nobody saw coming).

Of all of the games available on the Switch, a select few have been able to make it into the elite club of surpassing one million units sold. This is a feat that has only been achieved by 71 first-party games as of March 2024, with titles ranging across the breadth of the Switch's lifespan.

With the release of the latest Nintendo financial report, we have collected together all of the Nintendo-published games (including ones that were only published by the Big N in certain regions — hi, Octopath Traveler!) to have reached the big 'one milly' — with many of them hitting multiple 'millys' [Stop saying 'milly' - Ed.] — and laid them out below in order of lifetime sales. We've also added our summary of each game to jog your memory if, you know, perhaps you need a reminder about what little-known curios like Mario Kart or Animal Crossing are about.

Many of the games' total lifetime sales figures have come from the latest financial report, though we have had to look to previous reports for some games that haven't sold as well in recent years. The data in the following list comes solely from Nintendo's official figures, so it's worth bearing in mind that while we have used the most recent data available to us, some of the following totals may differ slightly today.

This ranking is guaranteed to change somewhat with the next financial report, so we will be keeping the standings updated whenever we get another look at the official sales data.

Until then, you can find all of the first-party Switch games to have sold at least one million copies below...

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 61.97 million

Mario Kart 8 delivered a huge amount of racing goodness right out of the box on Wii U and was only a proper Battle Mode away from being top of class. The big twist this time around was the introduction of 'anti-gravity' sections which allow tracks to bend and twist on themselves in surprising ways. This doesn't impact the gameplay all that much but during anti-grav sections it's possible to collide with other racers and gain a small speed boost, adding a welcome layer of tactical play. It's a game that continually raises a smile and, occasionally, induces that trademark Mario Kart rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It's addictive, unifying, unfiltered fun that draws in anyone daring enough to take up the wheel.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe repackaged the original for the hybrid handheld for all of the millions of people who didn't play on Wii U and added in that excellent (and sorely missed) Battle Mode for good measure. This is the pinnacle of the entire series; a fast, attractive, sublimely playable romp which has to rank as one of the best racing games of all time. It's the definitive Mario Kart experience, content-rich and a delightful feast of comedic, cartoonish karting action. Essential.

And the addition of 48 more courses with the awkwardly named Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass DLC? Well, that's just more icing on an already-grand cake, isn't it?

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2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 45.36 million

Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes the series and not only drags it back onto home consoles, but improves upon every single facet imaginable. There's more to do, more to see, more to change, more to mould, and more to love; fans and first-time players are going to find themselves losing hours at a time gathering materials, creating new furniture, and making their island undeniably theirs. Every moment is unashamedly blissful, with excellently-written characters that truly feel alive and an island paradise that gives back infinitely more than you put in. Back when Animal Crossing: New Leaf hit the shelves all those years ago and created a whole new generation of fans, many people were wondering how Nintendo could possibly top it, but here we have our answer. This is a masterpiece that it's worth buying a Switch (or two) to play.

3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 34.22 million

How does this 'ultimate' version of Smash stack up against the rest? Vocal concerns about past games were actively addressed. Every single fighter from the series is present (even Pichu) and joined by a colossal roster of DLC characters from the annals of gaming (let's not forget that this is the game responsible for bringing Banjo and Kazooie back home to a Nintendo console). The customisability is overwhelmingly vast, and it’s all topped off with super-solid single-player modes to boot.

We’re not sure how you could make a more robust or pleasing Smash game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly is the ultimate instalment in the series, and it makes you wonder where Masahiro Sakurai can possibly take this franchise next.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 31.85 million

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a landmark release, both for its franchise and Nintendo. It was the first time that Nintendo truly took on the open-world genre, and by arriving late to the party it embraced the strengths from top-of-the-class games while also forging its own unique identity. This game was a revolution for the series, but the Legend of Zelda essence is still there — its soul remains, and the end result is captivating. After years of following the same old template, Nintendo bravely took Zelda in a new direction, and delivered an absolute triumph which still has us regularly revisiting its iteration of Hyrule.

Breath of the Wild forged a new and exciting path ahead and we cannot wait to see where it takes the series.

5. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 27.96 million

There's an argument to be made that Mario 64 never got a 'true' sequel until this game: Sunshine's FLUDD muddied the waters with its feature set; the Galaxy games cleverly eschewed large open worlds for impeccably crafted planetoids designed around specific gameplay elements; 3D Land and 3D World were deliberately constrained with linear design to attract players of 2D Mario into the third dimension.

Super Mario Odyssey was a return for the 'sandbox' style of Mario adventure players had been pining for since 1996, and it delivers everything you could want and more. Cappy's capture abilities keep things fresh in a game which blends all sorts of ideas and art styles into an improbably coherent, compelling whole. It really shouldn't work, but New Donk City's human inhabitants are able to co-exist with the anthropomorphic cutlery of the Luncheon Kingdom and the big-eyed cute characters of the Mushroom Kingdom clan thanks solely to the developers' impeccable execution. The mechanical mastery on display here is breathtaking; there's a joyful abandon to the game which carries through every kingdom you visit, with so many distractions and things to discover. We don't envy the designers who have to come up with Mario's next game, but if Mario Odyssey's anything to go by, absolutely anything is possible.

An utterly remarkable entry in this most celebrated of series, then, and an essential purchase whether you like Mario or not.

6. Pokémon Sword and Shield (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 26.27 million

Pokémon Sword and Shield succeed in bringing some new ideas to the table, although there are areas where it could be pushed further. What’s done right is done right, but there are also elements that feel like they've come from a decade-old design document. There are moments contained within that are the best the series has ever been, but this joy is occasionally spoiled by contrasting moments that left us disappointed. It's an experience full of highs and lows, from the unadulterated wonder and joy of seeing a brand-new Pokémon in a stadium full of cheering crowds, to the monotonous and dragged-out dialogue we just wanted to skip. The wonders of exploring the Wild Area feel like the true evolution of the series.

On the whole, Pokémon Sword and Shield were a very solid start to the HD generation of Pokémon games, although there's room for improvement.

7. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 24.92 million

There are still plenty more ways we’d like to see the Pokémon franchise evolve but despite some glaring technical hiccups, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has us excited about the series' future. We really hope Game Freak can figure out how to smooth out the series’ ongoing performance issues on Switch because they’re going to become a serious detriment over time.

Scarlet & Violet is most fun and exciting when you're just exploring the world, and while there are many small new details and improvements to the Pokémon formula, it still plays it safe in a few areas. Regardless, things point toward a promising future for Gen 9 and beyond. It’s a smaller step than many may have hoped for, especially considering what Pokémon Legends: Arceus did, but it's definitely one in the right direction.

8. Super Mario Party (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 20.66 million

Recent Mario Party games have had a somewhat sterile feel to them, but with Super Mario Party (the Switch's first Mario Party outing), that simply isn’t the case. This isn’t a cash grab with Mario's face on the front; this is a well-constructed and beautifully realised Mario Party game which takes the series right back to its roots, but without being a straightforward rehash.

There are a few interesting ideas that feel a little bit underdeveloped — such as the overhyped Challenge mode — but on the whole Super Mario Party is a true return to form after it felt like the series was sagging on the Wii, Wii U, and DS consoles.

9. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 20.61 million

It’s impossible to talk about everything that makes The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom so incredible, and making many of those discoveries yourselves is part of the magic. It’s also impossible to overstate just how much there is to do in Hyrule this time around. Much like its predecessor, this is your playground for the next however many years to come, with a little sprinkling of that older Zelda fairy dust mixed into Breath of the Wild’s formula. It’s a glorious, triumphant sequel to one of the best video games of all time; absolute unfiltered bliss to lose yourself in for hundreds of hours. We can’t wait to see what the world will do with the game.

10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2024): 17.45 million

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is an impressive package, offering the best of modern-era 2D Mario, madcap multiplayer and glimpses of the outrageous invention that was to come in Super Mario Odyssey. It's a top-drawer Mario game and arguably the best of the 'New' branch whether you play on Wii U or Switch, although ageing visuals and the irritation of being kicked back to the world map after every death stand out as things that could have been finessed in this Deluxe version. Still, with New Super Luigi U included, this is a very fine 2D Mario (and Luigi) package.

11. Ring Fit Adventure (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of March 2023): 15.38 million

If you're a gym addict you probably shouldn't throw out your membership card just yet, but for everyone else looking to get fitter, Ring Fit Adventure is a fantastic way to do it that won't bore you senseless. Play it properly and you'll definitely feel it the next morning – a sure sign that it's at least doing you some good – while the compelling adventure mode with its RPG elements will ensure that you'll keep coming back for more.

12. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! (Switch)

Lifetime sales (as of December 2022): 15.07 million

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are beautiful reimaginings of a video game classic, updating a 20-year-old game in ways which make it infinitely more accessible and user-friendly for a modern audience, while keeping the magic first discovered all those years ago. On the downside, the motion control mechanic is fun but flawed, forcing you to shift from one play style to another to get the best experience. Still, the game does a superb job of striking a balance between being an easy route of entry for newcomers and offering just enough post-game challenge and competitive play elements (and nostalgia, of course) to please series veterans; as a result, these new titles really do offer something for everyone, which can't always be said of the mainline Pokémon entries. They might not be an absolute masterpiece, but we’d urge any Poké-fans out there to give these ones a go.