The top 5 selling NES games of all time.
Before we run through the top 5 selling NES games heres a little bit of background knowledge on the console itself. The Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES, is an 8-bit video games console that was released by Nintendo during 1985/1986/1987, depending on where in the world you were back then. If you resided in Japan though, you would of been lucky and got to see the console way before the rest of the world in 1983. The NES gained a huge reputation around the world and became the best-selling console of its time, selling almost 62 million units worlwide.
If you’re reading this, then I’m pretty sure you will, at some point in your life, had the pleasure of playing on the NES. We have had a little look round and thought you might like to now what the top 5 selling Nes games of all time are.
5. The Legend of Zelda – 6.51 million.
Surprisingly at number 5. The Legend of Zelda was first released on February 21st 1986. It was created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, and then developed and published by Nintendo. You play as a boy named LINK, a protagonist, and your aim is to collect the 8 fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom, and rescue the beloved Princess Zelda from the antagonist Ganon. Throughout your journey you will have to get Link through various different stages including the over-world and several dungeons. You will also come up against enemies that must be defeated, and many puzzles that need solving in order to progress further. The game is played from top down, overhead view. Zelda can be completed with minimal exploration, but if you choose to participate in the side quests you will be frequently rewarded with helpful items and/or increased abilities.
To date the Zelda franchise is still going strong with the latest release in 2011, “The Legend of Zelda – Skyward Sword” on the Nintendo Wii. Reoports also indicate a Wii U release for sometime this year.
4. Tetris – 8 million
Number 4 in the best selling Nes games is Tetris. This tile-matching puzzle game was first released on June 6th, 1984, and took the world by storm. Originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union the game takes its title from the greek prefix tetra. The aim is to get all the pieces to match up and form a solid line or block of 10 cubes. Once lines are created they disappear and all blocks above that line fall down, creating more gameplay space. As you work your way through the levels of the speed the block drop increase in speed, giving you less and less time to react and place the blocks. A simple but very addictive title. Tetris has since been released on just about every games console and now mobile devices too.
3. Super Mario Bros. 2 – 10 million
Number 3 brings us to Super Mario Bros 2. Mario is a household name still to this day so its no surprise that he dominates this countdown from here on in. Developed and published by Nintendo, Super Mario Bros 2 was first released in 1988, and was the sequel to Super Mario Bros also released for the NES earlier in 1985. It features vertical and horizontal side scrolling levels, and features a 2 player co-op element. Set in the dream-land known as Subcon, Mario’s task is to free Subcon from Wart, the game’s final boss. At the beginning of each stage the player has a choice of multiple characters, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool. Each character has their own different various strengths and weaknesses, such as Mario runs the fastest, and Luigi can jump the highest. Strangely in this Mario title, enemies cannot be defeated by simply jumping on them, players must throw objects in order to do any harm to them. Another additional feature to Super Mario Bros 2 was the introduction of a life meter. Players were given 2 points of health at the start of each level, which could be increased by collecting mushrooms or replenished by floating heats.
The game was later released on the SNES (Super Nintendo) in 1993 on the Title, “Super Mario Allstars”, and then on the Gameboy Advance as “Super Mario Advance” in 2001.
2. Super Mario Bros. 3 – 18 million
Yep another Mario title at number 2, who would have thought it hey? This time it’s Super Mario Bros 3. First released in 1988 to Japan, and then later in 1990 to the United States, and finally 1991 in Europe. Developed and published by Nintendo this classic side scrolling plat former was another addition to the ever growing Mario franchise. Again Mario and Luigi must recover Princess Peach, this time from the rulers of 7 kingdoms, Bowser and his children (the Koopalings). There’s 8 regions to get through bringing new challenges and features to the loveable duo. Each visually themed region is split into stage levels, which can be viewed on the overworld map between stages. Gaining depth from the previous games in the series, Super Mario Bros 3 brought new power-ups and character abilities, such as the “Tanooki” suit, which was gained from receiving the ”super leaf”, which enabled Mario to fly for a short period of time. Also the “Frog suit” and the “Hammer suit” were introduced.
The title was highly anticipated after gameplay footage appeared in the film “The Wizard. The game was an instant commercial success outselling SEGA‘s rival “Sonic the Hedgehog” titles by far. Due to the sheer popularity of Super Mario Bros 3 an animated TV series was produced called Although short lived it also got a huge reception from fans and I can still remember getting up early on a saturday morning to watch it.
Slated as one of the “greatest games of all time” Super Mario Bros 3 was later released as part of “Super Mario All-Stars” on the SNES in 1993, and on the Gameboy Advance as “Super Mario Advance 4″ in 2003.
1. Super Mario Bros – 40.24 million
Inevitably Super Mario Bros takes the number 1 spot, with a massive, 40 million sales worldwide. Even in todays standards thats ridiculous. Its takes 2nd place to another Nintendo title “Wii Sports” in the best selling games of all time on any console. This means its sold more than “Kinect adventures” on the Xbox 360 (its current highest selling title at 24 million), and “Gran Turismo 5″ on the PS3 (its current highest selling title at 9 million) put together. So how has such an old release been able to stay on top of the charts so long. Well even though this game is so very simple and linear, with limited graphics, for me it has to be one of the best gaming memories and experiences I have ever had. It all sums down to one word. GAMEPLAY.
For many people, like me, Super Mario Bros was probably the first at home gaming experience they ever had. From getting that cartridge out the box, lifting the lid and inserting it into the NES, nothing gets better. The comes the music. I still to this day love the Mario theme tune, some 20 years later I find myself humming along, yeah call me a geek, but who cares this game rocks. So 100 coins equals an extra life, jump on enemies to kill them, collect a mushroom and grow and take an extra hit, and pick up a flower and you can shoot fireballs! Jump down “warp” pipes, find secret areas and boxes, collect a star, and be invincible. Amazing.
Developed and published by Nintendo, Super Mario Bros was first released in 1985. It’s a side scrolling platform game where the player can move left and right, but you cannot back track through a level. The player takes on the mission of rescuing Princess Toadstool from Bowser. You must travel through eight worlds, each with 4 stages. On the final stage of each world you must find your way to Bowser, or as you find out, one of his many decoys. Once you have defeated them you move onto the next world. If you do find some of the secret areas in the game, you can advance to later worlds whilst skipping the ones in-between.
With the success of Super Mario Bros, Nintendo have ported it to almost everyone of their consoles. Special edition red Wii’s and Nintendo DSi XL consoles packaged in Mario themed limited edition bundles were released in 2010 as part of the 25th anniversary of the original release of Super Mario Bros.
In 2005, IGN‘s poll named it as The Greatest Game Of All Time, which I fully agree with.
Well thats it for the countdown of the top 5 selling NES games of all time. Altogether the sales figures amount to around an astonishing 82 million. Let us know what you think, and if you thought that there was any other titles that deserved to be in there. This has gone on solely sales figures, so I’m sure there is bound to be some disagreements out there.
If you didn’t catch our Top 5 selling Sega Megadrive/Genesis games, you can see it here.
As always. Happy Gaming!