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Game Boy Turns 32 - Top 10 Best-Selling Game Boy Games

Game Boy Turns 32 - Top 10 Best-Selling Game Boy Games - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 August 2021 / 2,481 Views

Nintendo's 8-bit handheld game console, the Game Boy, is celebrating its 32nd anniversary in North America. The Game Boy released in Japan on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and didn't release in Europe until 1990.

Nintendo had discontinued the Game Boy in 2003 and managed to sell 118.69 million units of the handheld during its lifetime. This figure combines the sales of the original Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light, and Game Boy Color. It is currently the third best-selling video game platform of all time, behind the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS.

The Game Boy had strong sales worldwide with 43.18 million units sold in North America. It also sold 40.05 million units in Europe, 32.47 million units in Japan, and 2.99 million units in the rest of the world. 

Game Boy Turns 32 - Top 10 Best-Selling Game Boy Games

49 games for the Game Boy managed to sell over one million units, 23 games sold more than two million units, 10 sold over five million units, and six sold over 10 million units. Two games managed to sell over 30 million units. 

Pokémon Red / Blue / Green is the biggest hit on the platform with 31.38 million units sold. Tetris, which was a launch title for the handheld, comes in a close second with 30.26 million units sold. Pokémon Gold / Silver was the third best-selling Game Boy game with sales of 23.10 million units. Super Mario Land, the second launch title to make the top 10 list, comes in fourth place with sales of 18.14 million units.

The third Pokémon game in the top 10, Pokémon Yellow, was the fifth best-selling game on the Game Boy with sales of 14.64 million units. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins comes in sixth place with sales of 11.18 million, followed by Dr. Mario with 5.34 million units sold.

Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land comes in at eighth place with 5.19 million units sold, followed by Kirby's Dream Land in ninth with 5.13 million units sold. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe rounds out the top 10 with 5.07 million units sold.

Game Boy Turns 32 - Top 10 Best-Selling Game Boy Games

Here is a list of the top 10 best-selling Game Boy games:

  1. Pokémon Red / Blue / Green - 31.38 million
  2. Tetris - 30.26 million
  3. Pokémon Gold / Silver - 23.10 million
  4. Super Mario Land - 18.14 million
  5. Pokémon Yellow - 14.64 million
  6. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins - 11.18 million
  7. Dr. Mario - 5.34 million
  8. Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land - 5.19 million
  9. Kirby's Dream Land - 5.13 million
  10. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe - 5.07 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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14 Comments
Kakadu18 (on 31 July 2021)

Kirby's Dream Land is still the best selling Kirby game.

  • +3
Jumpin Kakadu18 (on 01 August 2021)

And those Kirby’s Dreamland games on Gameboy were better than the Mario games, IMO. I’m hoping Nintendo does some kind of Kirby collection like Square did with the Final Fantasy Saga/Legend games. Keeping everything intact.

  • -1
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Torpoleon (on 31 July 2021)

Shouldn't Pokemon Crystal be on the list if GBC games like Gold/Silver & SMB Deluxe are included? Pretty sure Crystal reached 6 million or so in sales.

Also, I thought Tetris on GB outsold RGB?

  • +2
Kakadu18 Torpoleon (on 31 July 2021)

Yes, on Wikipedia it says Tetris sold 35 million copies on GB.

  • 0
Machina Kakadu18 (on 01 August 2021)

CESA, which collected data from Nintendo, says 30.26 million.

  • +1
Kakadu18 Machina (on 01 August 2021)

Huh, weird.

  • 0
Ljink96 (on 03 August 2021)

Just occurred to me that Link's Awakening Switch remake easily outsold the original GB version. The Switch effect is insane for Nintendo Software.

  • +1
CaptainExplosion (on 02 August 2021)

And yet we still don't have GameBoy, or any new systems, for Switch Online since 2019. -_-

  • +1
ireadtabloids (on 04 August 2021)

I enjoy it when Nintendo updates their financials to show their top selling games.
Looking forward to the update tomorrow where we see Mario Kart 8+DX inch even closer to Pokémon RGB+Y sales.

  • 0
SanAndreasX (on 03 August 2021)

I got my first Game Boy when I was 12, the year the Game Boy released in the United States. I got Tetris and Super Mario Land. For me, the Game Boy was one of the greatest inventions ever. Screw the moon landing and the smallpox vaccine, science peaked when you could play Mario on a four-tone off-green screen powered by 4 AA batteries.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 03 August 2021)

Pokemon was so appropriate for the Gameboy!
It was destined for greatness!

  • 0
Mr Puggsly (on 01 August 2021)

The Mario Bros games on GB are dank. They need remakes using UE4, like Link's Awakening.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 31 July 2021)

This brings back so many memories. Seeing Pokemon Red/Blue and Yellow makes me feel very old.

  • 0