The Mario Kart series is one of the most played racing games on the planet and is enjoyed by every age group alike. According to the retail analysis firm The NPD Group, Mario Kart 8 is officially the best selling racing game in the United States. The data was collected from both digital and physical sources.
We should note that the number includes the sales figures from the games original release in 2014 as well as the release on Nintendo’s Wii U. It also includes the 2017 re-release of the game on the Switch as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. NPD also states that the Nintendo Switch was the best selling console in the month of March 2021, even though it was released 4 years ago. In the few final months of 2020, Nintendo was able to sell 11.5 million units, which is quite impressive considering its release date.
The situation would have been completely different if the processors for the PlayStation 5 and the new Xbox series weren’t experiencing shortages worldwide. The Switch uses a much older processor that isn’t in much demand anymore. This surely helps them lower the cost of the console compared to Sony and Microsoft’s offering.
When Mario Kart 8 was released alongside the Wii U, it received huge criticism. But it was because of the failure of the Nintendo Wii U itself and not the game. The Wii U went on to become Nintendo’s fastest-selling console ever, with almost three million units sold in the first month itself. However, the craze faded out soon with Wii U turning out to be the company’s biggest commercial failure. During its entire lifespan, the Wii U sold just 13 million units.
Coming to the Nintendo Switch, the Mario Kart 8 quickly became one of the titles that every parent bought for their child. According to reports, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more than 33.41 million copies since it was released in 2017. Whereas on the Wii U, the game sold only 8.4 million copies in the last 6 years.
If we combine the statistics from both consoles, Mario Kart 8 becomes one of the most successful racing games ever, beating even the likes of Forza Horizon and Gran Turismo. The fact that the game is easy to play and enjoyable for all ages is what contributed to the success of the game.