Mario Kart 8

Having published its latest quarterly financial results, it appears Nintendo is doing all right — if you define selling software by the truckload as Switch outperforms 3DS lifetime sales less than four years into its lifespan 'all right'.

One of the secrets to Nintendo's success is the evergreen appeal of its catalogue, with early 2017 releases such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe both featuring in the first-party best-sellers list, with sales of over 4 million and 8.6 million respectively in the April-December 2020 period.

As noted on by Resetera member Ryng, if you add together sales of the non-Deluxe original version of Mario Kart 8 on Wii U (that system's best-selling game with 8.45 million sales) to the lifetime total of the Switch version (33.41 million to date — currently the best-selling Switch game, although Animal Crossing: New Horizons is in its rear-view mirror at the time of writing), the eighth game in the series has overtaken sales of the world-conquering series juggernaut, Mario Kart Wii.

Yep, the Wii's best-selling standalone game (Wii Sports came bundled with the system, of course) and the highest-selling entry in the Mario Kart series ever has sold 37.38 million copies, but the combined total of MK8 sales now sits at a whopping 41.86 million, according to Nintendo's sales figures. It won't be long until the Deluxe Switch version takes pole position from the Wii instalment without the help of the original, and it's yet another sign of just how well Switch is doing.

Of course, seeing as Switch is a hybrid of handheld and home-based hardware, perhaps we should be adding together the sales of Mario Kart Wii with its handheld DS counterpart from the same era. Mario Kart DS sold 23.6 million copies — that system's third best-selling game — so adding that to the Wii entry's numbers would raise the total to over 60 million.

It looks like Mario Kart 8 still has some work to do, then, but it's setting an impressive pace and we wouldn't be at all surprised to see it zoom ahead of that combined figure from the halcyon Wii/DS days after a few more laps.

Mario Kart Live Home Circuit Mario and Luigi karts
Image: Nintendo Life

Elsewhere, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit broke the million barrier with 1.08 million units sold — a rather impressive feat considering its high price-point and the challenges presented by the pandemic for its mixed-reality gameplay. We're sure developers Velan Studios will be happy that there's over a million little Mario and Luigi karts out in the wild.

MK8 might have sold more copies, but is it better than MK Wii? Well, we think so, but let us know your thoughts below.