Home Gaming The best-selling exclusive games since software tracking began are all…Nintendo games

The best-selling exclusive games since software tracking began are all…Nintendo games

1 min read


There are some people who’ll tell you that exclusive games – the sorts of games you can only find on one console – don’t really matter. They assert that since most people will be playing third-party games, that the exclusives are secondary. These people tend to own Xbox Ones.

I jest of course, but it’s becoming evidently clear that exclusives do matter. God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man happen to be two of the best exclusives this year, and they’ve both sold incredibly well – not just selling games, but selling the consoles to go along with them. The PlayStation 4, bursting at the seams with exclusives, has now sold just over 86.1 million consoles, while the Xbox One – which has notably fewer exclusives – is sitting at an estimated sell-through of under 40 million units.

And then there’s Nintendo. While the Switch seems to be turning things around, people have largely bought Nintendo consoles purely for their exclusives. And that’s something that’s evident from just how many of the top 10 best-selling exclusives of all time (or at least, of all the time that the US NPD has been tracking physical game sales) are on Nintendo’s consoles. Spoiler: It’s all of them. Here’s the list, from NPD’s Mat Piscatela, and it doesn’t include bundled games, as those get counted with hardware sales.

  1. Wii Fit
  2. Wii Play
  3. Mario Kart Wii
  4. Wii Fit Plus
  5. New Super Mario Bros Wii
  6. New Super Mario Bros DS
  7. Mario Kart DS
  8. Super Mario 64
  9. Super Smash Bros Brawl
  10. Wii Sports Resort

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that these games are largely for the Wii, a juggernaut of a console that – for a time – convinced everybody and their mum to buy the thing to play games with waggle in them with the promise of getting fit. The incredible thing here to me is that Super Mario 64 is even on the list, which just shows how well that thing sold. Still, there’s the idea that Nintendo consoles only really sell by virtue of their exclusives. That could be right on the money,

Last Updated: November 20, 2018


  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 20, 2018 at 12:49

    I didn’t realise kid’s games were that popular.


    • RinceThis

      November 20, 2018 at 12:57

      You take that back! The Wii was a console for real gamers, and not just for casuals. I mean they had at least 1 game that was an EIGHTEEN, see!


      • Dr Webster

        November 20, 2018 at 14:19

        Was the wii popular because it was for gamers or because the marketing was aimed at non gamers and casual gamers?


  2. RinceThis

    November 20, 2018 at 12:53

    The young ones will be delighted.


  3. Nikola

    November 20, 2018 at 13:28

    PS4 sold over 40 million units more than Xbox where is Pieter now to tell us how Xbox is the more superior console and how exclusive games don’t matter….


    • Dr Webster

      November 20, 2018 at 14:20

      Why would anyone own an xbox one if the switch, pc and ps4 exists?


  4. Dr Webster

    November 20, 2018 at 14:18

    But how many of those sales were from gamers and not just grandparents tricked into buying for their grandchildren? The wii was popular with non gamers but that “fandom” didn’t carry on over to the wii u.


  5. CrAiGiSh

    November 21, 2018 at 10:07

    Wish Nintendo would open their games to other consoles, but I know this would not work 🙁


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