Top Selling Best Nintendo Consoles

When you ask people to think of their favourite Nintendo game console, you'll no doubt get a handful of different answers. From the NES console released back in 1983 to the latest Nintendo Switch OLED, Nintendo consoles are still a big hit. But which is the best selling Nintendo console?

We'll be looking back through all Nintendo consoles and ranking them based on their selling rate, to find out which is the official best selling Nintendo console of all time. Keep reading to see where your favourite console lands on our list!

In this blog:

10. GameCube (2001)

The first console on our list of best Nintendo consoles is the GameCube, with Nintendo selling over 21 million units.

With its comfortably large controller and bulky cube design, it's safe to say that the GameCube is like no other console around. Released in 2001 to rival the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, the GameCube was a major hit for some, and a major flop for others.

Unlike any Playstation and Xbox console, the GameCube lacks an internal hard drive, opting for memory cards instead. One thing that makes the GameCube stand out though is Nintendo's array of game franchises, such as Super Mario Brothers, Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda. Plus, a few other classics have made their way onto the Nintendo game console too, like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot.

9. Nintendo 64 (1996)


Released back in 1996, this old Nintendo console ranks at 9th place in our list of best selling Nintendo consoles. Since its release in the 90s, Nintendo has sold over 32 million units of this console to date.

The Nintendo 64 has a classic style, using retro cartriges that sit in the top of the console. The controllers lot somewhat like spaceships, with a handle at either side of the controller and another spike in the middle of the controller.

Nintendo broke ground with the N64 console, as it was the first console to feature both 3D graphics and a controller with an analogue stick. The N64 also offered a variety of games, coming in at almost 400 in total.

8. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1990)

Commonly known as the Super Nintendo or SNES, this console is the successor to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which kicked off Nintendo's journey to success.

Released first in Japan in 1990, Nintendo then released the SNES in North America in 1991 and in Europe and Australia in 1992, finishing with South America in 1993. While not as successful as its predecessor, the SNES took first place within the 16-bit era of consoles selling over 49 million units worldwide.

The SNES was host to numerous classic video games such as Super Mario Kart, Street Fighter II, Final Fantasy VI and Donkey Kong Country, making it a fantastic Nintendo game console for gamers and families alike.

7. Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)

A fan favourite for many that grew up in the 80s, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the first proper Nintendo console to hit the market. Shortened to NES, this Nintendo game console sold over 61 million units.

While manufacturing of this console stopped many years ago, Nintendo kicked up a storm when they released the NES mini in 2016, only for it to be discontinued again 5 months later.

The controller is essentially a horizontal slab of plastic fitted with a cross-shaped directional control pad and two small round buttons for your thumb. The NES offered gamers the chance to play classics like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Excitebike, all of which were miles ahead of other home systems' games.

While the NES is an old Nintendo console, it has over 500 titles to choose from and is arguably one of the best Nintendo consoles of all time.

6. Nintendo 3DS (2011)

The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the Nintendo DS line of handheld gaming systems and was built with the idea of bringing 3D graphics to life without the aid of 3D glasses.

Compared to the original DS console, the Nintendo 3DS fell short despite its excellent graphics and 3D-like effects, selling around 75 million consoles. An upside to the 3DS however are the games, with Nintendo producing Pokemon Sun and Moon, Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

While 75 million units sold may seem like a lot, compared to the 150 million Nintendo DS consoles sold, this Nintendo console doesn't seem quite as impressive anymore.

5. Game Boy Advance (2001)


It seems as though the successor models never seem to do as well as the original models, and the Game Boy Advance is just another example of how sometimes the original will always be better.

The Game Boy Advance is the successor to the Game Boy, offering over 1500 games to play on the go. This handheld sold over 81 million units in total, becoming a must-have for most kids in the early 2000s.

The Game Boy Advance had an incredible battery life for its time, although many complained about the darkness of the LCD screen – a complaint that was also pointed out on the original Game Boy model.

As far as handheld Nintendo consoles go, the Game Boy Advance was still a worthy console. Nintendo kept its cross-shaped directional control pad and two circular thumb buttons, popping a screen in the centre of the handheld.

4. Wii (2006)

Back in 2006, the Nintendo Wii took the world by storm, and every child wanted this new crazy motion-controlled Nintendo game console. At the time, the Nintendo Wii was like nothing else out there and sold over 101 million units.

The Wii has sleek rectangular controllers that you hold vertically in your hand to use like a baton. The controllers have wrist straps to avoid your controller becoming a flying hazard if it slips out of your grip while playing an active game.

Being one of the first-ever motion-controlled consoles, the Wii offered a different gaming experience than other consoles at the time. On the Wii, you could play games such as Just Dance and Wii Sports – games which were meant to get you up and moving around.

3. Game Boy (1989)


Even with its dated LCD screen and bulky design, the Game Boy ranks 3rd on our list of best Nintendo consoles. It sold over 118 million units worldwide, including the Game Boy Color, which was later released in 1998.

This old Nintendo console was the company's first handheld and essentially started the ball rolling for future handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS and Switch Lite. The Game Boy came in a variety of models, including the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light, and Game Boy Color.

Using 4 AA batteries, you just need to pop a ROM games cartridge and turn the console on to start playing. As it was made in 1989, the model comes with a green screen which gamers either love or hate. Until the Game Boy Color was released in 1998, you had to deal with a green-tinted screen and colour-less games – but that's all part of the nostalgia!

2. Nintendo Switch (2017)

Surprised to see a newer console make it so high up our list of best Nintendo consoles? The Nintendo Switch was released fairly recently in 2017, yet it has sold over 122 million units and is still going strong, just missing out on the best selling Nintendo console spot for now.

The Nintendo Switch broke barriers within the gaming industry, becoming Nintendo's first-ever hybrid console offering handheld, motion-controlled and classic TV gaming. You can choose to hook your Switch up to the TV and play classic games like Mario Kart and Just Dance, or if you don't have a big screen to connect to, you can pop the Switch up using the kickstand instead.

The Switch can also be used as a handheld too as long as the game you want to play offers handheld mode. If you don't have a Switch and are struggling to understand the concept, it's essentially a hybrid between a Nintendo DS and the Wii!

Thanks to the new Switch OLED, handheld mode and gaming using the Switch's screen have been improved to offer an even better experience.

1. Nintendo DS (2004)

The Nintendo DS is officially the best selling Nintendo console to date, having sold over 150 million consoles! While there's still time for the Switch to claim first place within the next few years, it's only right that the Nintendo DS gets its time in the spotlight.

So what makes the Nintendo DS one of the best Nintendo consoles? This console has two screens, one of which is a touch screen, and offered a new experience of gaming to both younger and older audiences.

Nintendo shepherded a wide array of games onto the DS to appeal to adults and non-traditional players including Professor Layton, Brain Training and Nintendogs as well as classics for a younger audience to enjoy.

The Nintendo DS got an upgrade when the DS Lite and DSi models were released in 2006 and 2008. The DS Lite took to the original DS and tweaked the design to make it smaller and sleeker, as well as improving the screen brightness and providing a bigger stylus. The DSi model then went one further, adding front and rear-facing cameras along with making the console even thinner.

While nothing quite beats the original, the Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi were both great adaptations of the Nintendo DS.

Now that we've been through all Nintendo consoles to find out which is the best selling Nintendo console to date, do you have any lying around you no longer use? Why not sell your unwanted Nintendo consoles with musicMagpie to get cash for your console! 

Feeling nostalgic and want a trip down memory lane? We sell plenty of Nintendo consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, Wii, Nintendo DS Lite and more! You can buy secondhand games from us for less too, including Wii games, Nintendo DS games, Switch games, and Nintendo 3DS games.

We even sell a huge range of tech, including refurbished iPhone models, refurbished phones and so much more at the musicMagpie Store.