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The 20 Most Popular Nintendo Games of All Time

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The Most Popular Nintendo Games of All Time

What are the most popular Nintendo games of all time?!

Well, some might not agree entirely with our choices below, however, we think that the following Nintendo games are the most popular of all time, based on sales and longevity.

So, if you’re looking for a fun Nintendo game to play that’s a proven hit, and been vetted by millions of people around the world, then look no further, as this list of the 20 most popular Nintendo games of all time has got you covered!

 

The 20 Most Popular Nintendo Games of All Time

The list of popular Nintendo games and figures mentioned below have been compiled from various sources around the web, such as  TVOM & The Gamer.

These are the 20 most popular Nintendo games of all time:

 

20. Brain Age

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Brain Age

Kicking off our list of the most popular Nintendo games of all time is Brain Age.

The game is also known as Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training and was based on the work of Ryuta Kawashima.

The game was developed and published by Nintendo in May 2005 for the Nintendo DS, later becoming available on the Nintendo 3DS and Switch.

Brain Age is a series of games that are designed to help improve your mental abilities and stimulate multiple parts of your brain. They’re supposedly meant to help combat some of the most common aging effects on the brain.

The first two Brain Age games in the series ended up selling a combined total of 33 million copies worldwide!

 

19. Pinball 

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Pinball

Pinball is the next most popular Nintendo game of all time.

The game was developed and released by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983 and was based on a Game & Watch Unit of the same name.

As you would expect from a game of Pinball, players control the paddles of a virtual pinball machine and launch a ball, with a plunger, around the table, trying to accomplish bonus modes where possible.

This popular Nintendo video game can be played in single-player or a multiplayer mode.

 

18. Ice Hockey

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Ice Hockey

Coming in at number eighteen is Ice Hockey.

The game was developed and published by Nintendo in 1988 and was originally developed for the Famicom Disk System (FDS).

Based on the sport of the same name, the aim of the game is to beat your opponent by scoring points.

This is achieved by strategically passing the puck between teammates until you have an opportunity to score a goal.

Ice Hockey received positive praise from critics and has been cited as one of the best games on the Nintendo NES of all time.

 

17. Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow & Green

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Pokemon Red:Blue:Yellow:Green

The seventeenth most popular Nintendo game is a combination of all the original Pokémon games for the Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Color.

In our opinion, the originals were always the best Pokémon games, and always will be.

The role-playing games were developed by Game Freak, published by Nintendo and were the first installments in the behemoth of the Pokémon series.

Players control a lead character from an overhead perspective and navigate them through a series of maps, battles and missions, with the ultimate goal of defeating all Gym Leaders and the Elite Four.

The first two games, Red & Blue, paved the way for a multibillion-dollar franchise and became one of the most popular video games of all time.

 

16. Kung Fu

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Kung Fu

Kung-Fu is a beat ’em up video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The game was released in 1985 and went on to gross over $3.5 million.

During the late 1980s, martial arts became popular and martial arts movies were highly successful. Nintendo decided to hold onto those coattails and therefore created Kung Fu. 

Players control a Kung Fu Master as he works his way through the Devil’s Temple, on a mission to rescue his girlfriend from an evil crime boss.

Kung Fu is available to play in single-player or multiplayer and was originally based on the 1972 movie of the same name by Bruce Lee.

 

15. Duck Hunt

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt was developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and is a light gun shooter.

The game was released by Nintendo is 1984 and was the official launch game for the NES in North America the following year.

It’s a simple game in comparison to others on the list, as players use the NES Zapper in combination with a CRT television to shoot ducks that pop up on their screen.

The more ducks you shoot, the more points you’ll gain and you’ll advance into the next round.

Duck Hunt received some mild praise upon release and is pretty easy to be fair.

Like water off a duck’s back!

 

14. Wii Sports Resort

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Wii Sports Resort

Wii Sports Resort is a sports game developed and published by Nintendo.

The game was released on the Nintendo Wii and is the sequel to Wii Sports.

Like its predecessor, players have the option to play twelve different sports, each using the Wii Remote in a way that’s similar to the actual sport in real life.

Players get to work their way through different tournaments or compete against one of their friends in a multiplayer battle.

Wii Sports Resort was well received by critics and went on to become the third best-selling game on the Nintendo Wii, selling over 33.11 million copies worldwide.

 

13. Dragon Quest III

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Dragon Quest III

Next up is Dragon Quest III.

It’s a role-playing video game developed by Chunsofy and published by Enix.

It’s the third installment in the Dragon Quest series and was first released on the Famicom or, Family Computer, and then on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The game is set years before the original Dragon Warrior when a monster called Baramos threatens to destroy the world.

As the playable hero, you’re tasked with finding and destroying Baramos, however, there are many challenges and battles to be won along the way.

Dragon Quest III was a commercial success, selling over one million copies on its first day of release.

 

12. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a video game that’s based on the 1987 TV series of the same name.

It’s the twelfth most popular Nintendo video game, making Nintendo over $4 million in total.

The game is pretty simple and what you might expect to see.

You’re able to control a group of mutant turtles who are tasked with completing a series of missions and objectives. The ultimate goal is to find and take down their arch-nemesis, Shredder!

 

11. Super Mario World 

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Super Mario World

Super Mario World is a side-scrolling platform game, developed and published by Nintendo.

The game was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1990 and follows Mario’s quest to save Dinosaur Land and Princess Toadstool from Bowser and his servants.

Players get to control Mario or Luigi as they work their way through various levels.

Also, Super Mario World saw the introduction of everyone’s favorite green dinosaur, Yoshi. In the game, he’s capable of eating all different types of enemies, which provides him with new abilities.

To date, Super Mario World is considered one of the greatest video games of all time, selling over 20 million copies worldwide!

See: The Most Popular Super Mario Games

 

10. Zelda II – The Adventure of Link

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Zelda 2 The Adventures of Link

Kicking off our top ten, Zelda II – The Adventures of Link is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Nintendo.

It’s the second installment in The Legend of Zelda series and was released on January 14, 1987.

Being the direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda, the game follows the usual protagonist, Link, on his quest to track down and save Princess Zelda, who has unfortunately fallen under a sleeping spell.

Zelda II was both a critical and commercial success, selling over 4.38 million copies worldwide.

 

9. Excitebike 

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Excitebike

Excitebike is a motocross racing game franchise by Nintendo, originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It’s the first game in the series and players get the choice of five tracks in which to race.

Each race has a time limit and players can either choose to race solo or against the computer.

The aim of the game is to qualify for the Excitebike championship race, but you must place in the top three in order to qualify.

The game received positive reviews overall and was ranked as the 12th best game on the NES Classic Edition by GamesRadar.

 

8. Dr Mario

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Dr. Mario

Dr Mario is a 1990 action puzzle video game developed and published by Nintendo.

The game was published on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy consoles.

The aim of the game is to destroy all the viruses that appear on-screen by using colored capsules, thrown into the field by Dr Mario, to do so.

You’re then able to align the capsules according to color, which will remove all the viruses.

Upon release, Dr Mario was met with positive reviews and went on to spawn several follow-up titles, like Dr Mario 64.

 

7. Super Mario Bros 3

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Super Mario Bros 3

Coming in at number seven is Mario Bros 3.

Super Mario Bros 3 is a platform game that was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988.

As a player, you’ll control either Mario or Luigi as they try to save Princess Toadstool and the rulers of the seven kingdoms from Bowser.

Similar to previous Mario games, players are able to defeat enemies by stomping them or using magical items.

However, this time around some new abilities have been added, including sliding down slopes and the ability to fly.

Super Mario Bros 3 is the third-best-selling NES game of all time and viewed by many as being one of the greatest video games of all time.

 

6. Super Mario Bros 2

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Super Mario Bros 2

Super Mario Bros 2 is the predecessor to the previous entry on our list and was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) by Nintendo in 1988.

As a player, you have to navigate your chosen playable character through the dream world Subcon and take out the big boss, Wart.

You’re able to play as either Mario, Luigi, Toad or Princess Toadstool, and must complete 20 different levels across seven worlds in order to complete the game.

Super Mario Bros 2 was the fourth highest-selling game ever released on the Nintendo Entertainment System and sold over seven million copies upon release.

 

5. Super Mario Kart

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart is the 1992 kart racing video game developed and published by Nintendo.

The game was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and was the first-ever game in the Mario Kart series.

As a player, you get to control one of eight Mario series characters and race against either, computer-controlled characters in single-player mode, or race against a friend using multiplayer mode.

Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins the game!

Super Mario Kart was a commercial success and received critical acclaim upon release.

It became the fourth best selling game ever on the SNES, selling over 8.76 million copies worldwide.

 

4. Tetris

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Tetris

The fourth most popular Nintendo game of all time is Tetris.

It’s a simple tile-matching puzzle video game that was released by Nintendo for the Game Boy in 1989.

It’s the portable version of the original, by Alexey Pajitnov, and was the first Nintendo game to be able to use the Game Link Cable, allowing two Game Boys to link together for multiplayer compatibility.

Since its release, Tetris has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and is one of the most popular Nintendo games of all time.

 

3. The legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Most Popular Nintendo Games - The Legend of Zelda- Ocarina of Time

Coming in at number three is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

This action-adventure game was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64, and, was officially released in November 1998.

Players control, Link, a playable character that’s working his way through the fantasy land of Hyrule on a mission to stop King Ganondorf.

During the game, you’ll travel through time, traverse through dungeons and wander around the overworld.

Ocarina of Time was well received by critics upon release and picked up several industry awards and accolades.

It’s sold over seven million copies worldwide and is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time.

See: The Most Popular Zelda Games

 

2. Super Mario Bros

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Super Mario Bros

The second most popular Nintendo game of all time is Super Mario Bros.

Developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, the game follows two playable characters, Mario and Luigi, as they embark on a journey through the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser.

Along the way, you’ll need to work through side-scrolling stages and avoid enemies and pits with the help of useful power-ups, like Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman.

As you might expect, Super Mario Bros received a lot of positive attention upon release and is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. It’s also one of the best-selling games of all time, with a total of 40 million copies sold worldwide.

 

1. Wii Sports

Most Popular Nintendo Games - Wii Sports

Taking the top spot on our list of the most popular Nintendo games of all time is Wii Sports.

This sports video game was developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Wii in 2006.

It’s a collection of different sports simulation games that allows players the opportunity to play some of their favorite sports in the comfort of their own home. The main sports included are tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing.

Using the Wii remote, players are able to mimic the actions of real-life sporting events.

The game was a massive commercial success for Nintendo and became the bestselling single-platform game of all time, with over 82 million copies sold worldwide by the end of 2017!

 

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our list of the 20 most popular Nintendo games of all time.

Ahh, Nintendo… how much we love you!

Who doesn’t love Nintendo?! They’ve made some of the most enjoyable games on the planet.

We’ve played just about all of them on this list, and, Wii Sports, Tetris and Super Mario Kart are the most popular Nintendo games in our house!

Here’s a quick recap of the 20 most popular Nintendo games of all time.

  1. Wii Sports
  2. Super Mario Bros
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  4. Tetris
  5. Super Mario Kart
  6. Super Mario Bros 2
  7. Super Mario Bros 3.
  8. Dr Mario
  9. Excitebike
  10. Zelda II – Adventures of link
  11. Super Mario World
  12. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
  13. Dragon Quest III
  14. Wii Sports Resort
  15. Duck Hunt
  16. Kung Fu
  17. Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow and Green
  18. Ice Hockey
  19. Pinball
  20. Brain Age

What’s your favourite most popular Nintendo game? Leave a comment below.