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10 Best Mario Kart Games of All Time Ranked by Salesby@hackernoongaming
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4,914 reads

10 Best Mario Kart Games of All Time Ranked by Sales

by Hacker Noon GamingFebruary 12th, 2023
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Mario Kart is possibly one of the most lucrative franchises out there. Even a popular series like Animal Crossing can’t compare when it comes to overall sales. These simple, fun kart-driving games have placed millions of families in unending joy and emotional turmoil as they battle in races for first place. It’s especially interesting to look at all Mario Kart games ranked by how many copies each one sold, since there are many different aspects that might determine just why each title reached its own level of success.
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Mario Kart is possibly one of the most lucrative franchises out there. Even a popular series like Animal Crossing can’t compare when it comes to overall sales. These simple, fun kart-driving games have placed millions of families in unending joy and emotional turmoil as they battle in races for first place. It’s especially interesting to look at all Mario Kart games ranked by how many copies each one sold, since there are many different aspects that might determine just why each title reached its own level of success.

All information was taken from VGSales. All Mario Kart games are included with the exception of Tour and the arcade titles as those aren’t available for purchase. Mario Kart 8 and its Switch port will also be included as separate items on this list due to the many differences between them.

Note: The links in this article include affiliate links to Amazon and eBay. You won’t be charged anything extra for clicking on these links, but you will be supporting HackerNoon if you do choose to purchase something through one of these links.

The 10 Best Games in the Mario Kart Series Ranked by Copies Sold

  • 10. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
  • 9. Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • 8. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
  • 7. Mario Kart 8
  • 6. Super Mario Kart
  • 5. Mario Kart 64
  • 4. Mario Kart 7
  • 3. Mario Kart DS
  • 2. Mario Kart Wii
  • 1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe


10. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit — ~1.27 Million Copies Sold

Uniquely, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit isn’t quite a video game. It’s played using real-life RC cars and physical objects, making it the only game in the series to technically let players create their own track. It offers a pretty bare-bones experience as a result, but it’s quite understandable considering its gimmick. Mario Kart Live is like no other game before it, and hardcore fans are sure to enjoy themselves with it for quite some time.

Buy now on Amazon or the Nintendo eShop

9. Mario Kart: Super Circuit — ~5.91 Million Copies Sold

Mario Kart: Super Circuit isn’t very different from the games before it. In many ways, it can feel more like a port of the SNES release with extra verticality. Tracks are simplistic, there are multiple versions of certain courses, and coins can be obtained to increase your top speed. The most unique part of Super Circuit is its inclusion of small bumps around roads that players can use to jump over gaps. It was the first Mario Kart game on a portable system, so it still sold quite a lot, but a lack of originality might have contributed to its relatively poor performance.

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8. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! — ~6.88 Million Copies Sold

Though it might not be as successful as other titles, Double Dash is a cult classic among many Mario Kart fans. Its unique style of gameplay involves two drivers at once, forcing players to be more tactical with their use of items. It also includes an expanded battle mode, more intricate and detailed courses, and even unique karts for every character! Though fans might still need to wait for another Mario Kart featuring two drivers at once, Double Dash influenced the rest of the series in ways that many players might not even realize.

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7. Mario Kart 8 — ~8.46 Million Copies Sold

The original release of Mario Kart 8 added a lot of interesting new features. From course-specific gimmicks like antigravity to new items like the Super Horn, both long-time fans and first-time players had a lot to enjoy. It’s no wonder how this game managed to become the best-selling title on Wii U, even if it didn’t quite reach the numbers of previous games. Perhaps this is why Nintendo decided to port what they made rather than just create an entirely new game for the Switch. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken, after all!

Buy now on Amazon or Walmart

6. Super Mario Kart — ~8.76 Million Copies Sold

Though it might be somewhat outdated by modern standards, Super Mario Kart was the game that started this franchise in the first place. It introduced the concept of using items during races to a large audience, and it provided the templates for courses that would be staples of future entries. To this day, it even includes unique items that only CPUs could use, making the player’s choice of character surprisingly meaningful. Super Mario Kart is worth looking back on even today simply to see how the roots of modern-day Mario Kart have grown since its release.

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5. Mario Kart 64 — ~9.87 Million Copies Sold

In terms of a game coming right after its SNES predecessor, Mario Kart 64 was a technical marvel. It moved away from stylistic pixels in favor of full 3D environments, designing massive tracks with ramps and shortcuts to fit with this change. It also introduced unique battle courses and the infamous Blue Shell, providing its own staples to the franchise in many ways. Add some fun exploration elements like Peach’s Castle in Royal Raceway and the train tunnel of Kalimari Desert, and you have a game that offers plenty of fun even when you aren’t competing for first.

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4. Mario Kart 7 — ~18.95 Million Copies Sold

Mario Kart 7 took racers off of the road and put them in the sky and sea for many of its tracks. Despite its removal of features like a single-player versus mode and characters like Waluigi, the 3DS title still had quite a few features to offer. On top of the portions where players would fly over obstacles, there was the addition of interchangeable kart parts, letting racers choose their ride as well as their wheels and gliders. It’s not hard to see why this game rose in popularity and almost achieved double the sales of Mario Kart 64.

This game is available as a Virtual Console title on the 3DS eShop. Note that the eShop will close on March 27th, 2023, so check it out while you still can!

Buy now on Amazon or the Nintendo eShop

3. Mario Kart DS — ~23.6 Million Copies Sold

Mario Kart DS was the first Mario Kart game to feature online play. That alone could account for its massive sales numbers, but it also included plenty of its own special offerings for long-time fans. Retro courses, swappable karts, and its own unique Missions still make it a game worth returning to today. There’s no question as to how it became the first Mario Kart title to break 20 million sales, and surprisingly enough, it wouldn’t be the last.

Buy now on Amazon or GameStop

2. Mario Kart Wii — ~37.38 Million Copies Sold

Mario Kart Wii expanded the connectivity offered by DS through the addition of an entire channel dedicated to new events. It also added multiple new playable characters and provided an entirely new vehicle in the form of bikes. The courses were more intricate than ever, strategy during races was incredibly present, and even the menu layout was stylish with its dynamic music and control options. If it wasn’t for Nintendo porting their Wii U release to the Switch, Mario Kart Wii would have absolutely stayed as the top-selling game of the series.

Buy now on Amazon or GameStop

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — ~52 Million Copies Sold

Unsurprisingly, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best-selling Mario Kart to date. Most of its changes from the original were simply additions, making the DLC characters and tracks part of the base game while replacing its barebones battle mode with one more like older titles. That was really all it needed, but Nintendo made the decision to double the game’s number of courses through further DLC released in waves. This decision has surely cemented Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s position not just as the best-selling game of the series but also as the best-selling Switch game of all time.

Buy now on Amazon or the Nintendo eShop

Final Thoughts

It’s a wonder to see how the series has grown over the years, with almost all entries following Double Dash breaking over 10 million copies sold. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the next new Mario Kart simply followed the format of older titles and added some new tracks alongside a new gimmick. However, the future of Mario Kart is more uncertain than ever thanks to the surprise DLC added to the Switch port. Fans can only wait and see to find out where new games will go from here — and if they’ll ever manage to surpass the sheer size of their predecessors now.