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Top 10 Best-Selling NES Games - VGChartz
Top 10 Best-Selling NES Games

Top 10 Best-Selling NES Games - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 21 November 2015 / 33,395 Views

Today we take a look at the top 10 best-selling games for yet another platform. Up to this point we have looked at the original PlayStation, the Nintendo 64, the PlayStation 2, the original Xbox, the GameCube, the Nintendo DS, the PSP, the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, and the SNES. This week it's the turn of Nintendo's first home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as the NES (and Famicom in Japan).

The NES is the 10th best-selling video game platform in history and the sixth best-selling home console. It is also Nintendo's second best-selling home console, behind only the Wii, and sold 61.91 million units lifetime.

 

The NES proved most successful in North America, but also sold exceedingly well in Japan and decently in Europe. It sold 33.49 million units in North America, 19.35 million units in Japan, and 8.30 million units in Europe. It has also sold a combined 0.77 million units across the rest of the world.

74 games for the console managed to sell over one million units and six games sold more than five million units. Below we've compiled the 10 best-selling NES games:

10th. Excitebike - 4.16 Million

 

9th. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 4.17 Million

 

8th. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - 4.38 Million

 

7th. Dr. Mario - 4.85 Million

 

6th. Tetris - 5.58 Million

 

5th. The Legend of Zelda - 6.51 Million

 

4th. Super Mario Bros. 2 - 7.46 Million

 

3rd. Super Mario Bros. 3 - 17.28 Million

 

2nd. Duck Hunt - 28.31 Million

 

1st. Super Mario Bros. -  40.24 Million

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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19 Comments

jason1637 (on 21 November 2015)

Such a beast of a system for its time.


Skullwaker (on 22 November 2015)

Truly an iconic system. A defining moment in gaming.


Shadow1980 (on 21 November 2015)

SMB3 was the first game not originally bundled with a system to sell over 10 million copies (though some estimates have SMB2 right at 10M). It was the best-selling game not originally bundled for many years, and wasn't dethroned until GTA: San Andreas came along. That's how huge Mario was in the 80s & 90s. SMB3 was the first game to have a really huge hype machine behind it. It was covered heavily by Nintendo Power, featured prominently in the climax of The Wizard, and had one of the most memorable game commercials ever shown in heavy rotation on TV. As a huge Nintendo fan, I of course had to have it, and I got it some time in 1990 or early 1991. To this day, it remains my all-time favorite video game.


COKTOE (on 22 November 2015)

That "The Wizard" climax! The way he came back to win after he got his leg sweeped....and it was already injured to boot.


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AlfredoTurkey (on 22 November 2015)

Agreed. It drives me crazy when I hear people say SMW>SMB3.


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hershel_layton (on 21 November 2015)

I don't have any words that can explain my appreciation for this system. :)


AlfredoTurkey (on 22 November 2015)

I own every one of these carts apart from TMNT. I owned that game in 1990 when I was 11 and man, were the controls ass. It's one of those games that we look back on and think they were great, but in reality, they weren't.


AAA300 (on 22 November 2015)

Tmnt arcade/Manhattan are the games we look back on and love! I think most know tmnt the original was complete shit. Surprised it sold the most out of the 3 though.


  • +1
S.Peelman (on 23 November 2015)

The first TMNT was bundled heavily in Europe, so that will have helped for sure.


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AlfredoTurkey (on 23 November 2015)

Agreed on the arcade game. It was great back then and is still a fun beat 'em up. Most importantly though, it stayed true to the cartoon and really gave you a feeling like you were apart of the mythos.


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Miguel_Zorro (on 22 November 2015)

I owned all 10 of these games and loved all of them. But my favourites were Tetris and TMNT.


AZWification (on 23 November 2015)

I'm actually a bit surprised to see Excitebike on this list!


Skratchy (on 22 November 2015)

No wonder Nintendo dominated. Look at these numbers. You don't get numbers like this for exclusive games anymore.


Miguel_Zorro (on 22 November 2015)

Well, the top 2 were heavily bundled. The bundle I got at the time had both Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers. So they'd be comparable to Wii Sports.


  • +2
Mandalore76 (on 23 November 2015)

@Miguel_Zorro - my bundle came with "The Official Nintendo Player's Guide". It was actually a pretty neat book with maps and tips of the early NES games (85'-87'). It taught me how to KO Von Kaiser in under 1:30 in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! among other things. I rebought it off ebay recently for nostalgia purposes.


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Sixteenvolt420 (on 22 November 2015)

Owned every single one of those back in the day. Picked up a few of them again in my 3DS Virtual Console.


malistix1985 (on 22 November 2015)

I played most of them when I was a child, I remember playing duck hunt with the gun 1cm from the tv, I was a master sharpshooter :D


Miguel_Zorro (on 22 November 2015)

All you really had to do was turn the brightness on the TV way up. You'd hit your shot every time even if you weren't aiming at the TV.


  • +1
Miguel_Zorro (on 22 November 2015)

All you really had to do was turn the brightness on the TV way up. You'd hit your shot every time even if you weren't aiming at the TV.


  • 0
Miguel_Zorro (on 22 November 2015)

All you really had to do was turn the brightness on the TV way up. You'd hit your shot every time even if you weren't aiming at the TV.


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Cloudman (on 21 November 2015)

No surprise the Mario games made it there. He was so hot at the time x ) Tho I am shocked Dr. Mario is on there...


armodillo17 (on 23 November 2015)

I'm surprised, too. Glad to see it, though, since it's one my favorites. The level of competition that the multiplayer brings out in people is awesome.


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S.Peelman (on 22 November 2015)

Almost 19.5m in Japan. Nice.


Mike321 (on 21 November 2015)

No metroid, doesn´t surprise me but it´s such a shame that a great franchise has trouble selling


V-r0cK (on 23 November 2015)

Yay Ninja Turtles! My first NES game (aside from the Mario/Duck Hunt that came with it)


Mbolibombo (on 22 November 2015)

Top 10 in Sweden: 1. Super Mario Bros - 269.387 units 2. Super Mario Bros 3 - 190.774 3. Super Mario Bros 2 - 116.629 4. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles - 85.322 5. Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers - 70.575 6. Duck Tales - 64.322 7. Track & Field II - 60.056 8. Legend of Zelda - 57.442 9. Adventure of Link - 55.194 10. Blades of Steel - 43.886 Some notes worth mentioning: Super Mario Bros sold 69.387 units without the bundle Ice Climbers should probably be on this list, it is listed as #11 with 43.329 units sold but those numbers are strictly 1986-1987 and I dont really see a reason why the game wouldnt have sold at least 500 units for the reminder of its lifetime.


Luke888 (on 22 November 2015)

So Iceclimbers placed 11th in Sweden ? :''''D Makes me wonder how well Mafia sells here in Italy...


  • +2
Mandalore76 (on 23 November 2015)

Blades of Steel was my go-to hockey game probably until NHL '94


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mountaindewslave (on 21 November 2015)

what's the point of counting Mario Bros when it was included with every system ever sold practically :O


padib (on 21 November 2015)

It comes down to the million-dollar question. Was it the NES that sold Marios, or was it Mario that sold NESes? I would argue that it's the latter, given how popular Mario has been over the years.

Otherwise, the alternative is not acceptable: to ignore Mario from the list. It's not acceptable at all.


  • +4
Mandalore76 (on 23 November 2015)

NES Control Deck released with no game. Future variations would later include either Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Star Wars, or Low G Man. Deluxe Set featured R.O.B. with Gyromite and Duck Hunt. NES Basic Set came with "Official Nintendo Player's Guide" with no game (this is the bundle I got). Action Set came with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt multicart. NES Power Set came with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet multicart. NES Sports Set came with Super Spike VBall/Nintendo World Cup multicart. Challenge Set came with Super Mario Bros. 3. So no, Super Mario Bros was not "included with every system ever sold practically".


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Comments below voting threshold

Yato_2000 (on 22 November 2015)

PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,826,060 the October 31, 2015 because sales fell???? the November 14, 2015 PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,507,114 ??????' CORRECTED LOWER SALES OCTUBER 12.8 M NOVEMBER 12.6 M ?????????????


  • -10
Yato_2000 (on 22 November 2015)

PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,826,060 the October 31, 2015 because sales fell???? the November 14, 2015 PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,507,114 ??????' CORRECTED LOWER SALES OCTUBER 12.8 M NOVEMBER 12.6 M ?????????????


  • -10
Yato_2000 (on 22 November 2015)

PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,826,060 the October 31, 2015 because sales fell???? the November 14, 2015 PlayStation Vita Total Sales: 12,507,114 ??????' CORRECTED LOWER SALES OCTUBER 12.8 M NOVEMBER 12.6 M ?????????????


  • -11