Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Already Outsold Zelda on Amazon

Already a bestseller on Wii U, Mario Kart 8 seems destined to find an even larger audience on Switch.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch has been available less than 24 hours as of this writing, but it's already Amazon's bestselling game of 2017 so far (via Polygon).

Although the retail juggernaut has not released sales figures, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe currently occupies the #3 spot on the "Amazon Best Sellers of 2017 (So Far)" page. The first- and second-place spots are PlayStation Store gift cards, making Mario Kart the de facto champ in games software. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild holds fourth place, while Horizon: Zero Dawn sits in sixth—the fifth position belonging to the Nintendo Switch console.

Even without numbers, other data at our fingertips allows us to make educated guesses with which to frame Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's high sales. Just yesterday, Nintendo announced that it sold over 2.74 million Switch units for the month of March, well over its initial forecast of two million by the end of the month.

In the same sales report, Nintendo shared that Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 2.76 million copies, the Switch title with the highest attach rate to the hardware until today's release of Mario Kart at 12 am PT this morning. Polygon points out that Amazon updates its sales positions daily. That leads us to believe that Mario Kart's auspicious start is due almost entirely to pre-orders. By this time tomorrow, its position could be even higher (or hold steady, depending on how many people are still buying PSN gift cards).

This is doubly impressive considering that, when you get down to it, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a re-release of a Wii U game released in the spring of 2014 (padded out with a proper battle mode, all of Mario Kart 8's DLC, and a few extra characters and kart parts). Shacknews editor-in-chief Steve Watts enjoyed the game when he reviewed Mario Kart 8 for Wii U; his enthusiasm has not waned, as evident in his review of the Deluxe version. "Mario Kart 8 was already one of the best in the series. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even better," he wrote.

I'll go one further than Steve: casting my editorial objectivity aside, Mario Kart 8 is the best version of the game. Its HD graphics (a first for the series) and 60 frames per second with one or two players made it the smoothest and most striking of any title in the franchise, and its selection of new and classic courses ooze creativity and Nintendo's trademark charm.

That's saying something, since there hasn't been a poor or even subpar entry in the franchise through eight iterations. Despite critical praise, though, Mario Kart 8 struggled to find its footing on the Wii U. It's sold 8.31 million copies as of March 31 (via Polygon), but that's small potatoes when you stack that number against Mario Kart Wii, which sold 36.95 million.

The Wii U died on the vine, the determining factor in Mario Kart 8's considerably lower sales number. Now that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is off to the races on Switch, and given the continued demand for Switch hardware, the game should find a home with a larger audience on Nintendo's portable console.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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    April 28, 2017 12:30 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Amazon's Highest-Selling Game of 2017 So Far

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      April 28, 2017 12:34 PM

      Wow, that's pretty crazy considering it's both A) A re-release and B) Zelda sold more copies than Switches.

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        April 28, 2017 12:35 PM

        Zelda isn't really as big compared to Mario or Mario Kart really.

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          April 28, 2017 12:37 PM

          Yeah, but Zelda is available on two platforms as the same title, this is only available on the Switch, I guess other retailers either aren't selling as many or more people are buying this game that don't have a Switch yet.

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            April 28, 2017 1:37 PM

            But this is an old game that's available on the WiiU so technically this is also available on two platforms as well that many people already have. This is just the game that will really showcase the Switch to their friends and can really take an advantage of the Switch's capabilities. This should've been the release game for the Switch not LoZ:BOTW.

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              April 28, 2017 1:39 PM

              Separating it by 3 years doesn't, exploit fixes, battle mode changes, and other tweaks makes it more like souped up DLC for the Wii U version that requires another console at best. It's an HD remake when the original was already HD.

              I digress though, it still seems crazy.

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        April 28, 2017 1:02 PM

        Mario Kart Wii sold 37 million copies, more than CoD series combined through MW2.

        Its a massive series, this is going to blow away Zelda's numbers.

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          April 28, 2017 1:05 PM

          Oh I believe it could hit second highest lifetime sales for the series it's just an issue of the number sales being that good with the limited inventory of Switches at the moment.

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      April 28, 2017 1:31 PM

      I guess people like being cheated (damn the AI).

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