We recently reported on the March 2021 NPD Report, with the PlayStation 5 becoming the fastest-selling console in U.S. History for unit and dollar sales being the biggest highlight. That list was jam-packed with some insane statistics, but there was another massive milestone that was mentioned in this report. Mario Kart 8, yes that game is still wildly popular, was places 6th on the list of best-selling titles for the month of March 2021. According to NPD Group’s Matt Piscatella, this means Mario Kart 8 is now the best-selling racing game in U.S. history, usurping the previous king and another Mario Kart title, Mario Kart Wii.
US NPD SW – Mario Kart 8 placed 6th on the March 2021 best-sellers chart. Mario Kart 8 is the best-selling racing genre video game in U.S. history.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 16, 2021
While Mario Kart 8 originally launched on the Nintendo Wii in 2014, this continuing sales dominance is most likely attributed to the second iteration of the title. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which launched on the Nintendo Switch in 2017, immediately became a massive hit and has since become one of the best-selling Switch titles of all time with over 33 million copies sold. The Nintendo Wii version by comparison has sold a measly 8.4 million copies, which was ironically one of the best-selling titles for that system before Nintendo moved onto the Switch.
Mario Kart 8’s string of excellent sales each month is due to a couple of key factors. The first and foremost is being that it’s been almost exclusively associated with the Nintendo Switch, a console that has given Nintendo a whole new lease on life in the gaming industry, as it was the fastest-selling home console in U.S. history before the PlayStation 5 came along. Another major point is the fact that since the second entry has so many upgrades and improvements from the original, it’s almost viewed as a brand new title. This helped it immensely when it launched for the just released Switch, which was also flying off of store shelves physically and online.
There is however, a flip side to this story. Since the sales numbers for four year old Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are still very high each month, Nintendo might not see any reason to make a 9th entry in the beloved franchise. For those looking forward for newer titles in the series, that would be very unfortunate, especially since it’s been four years since the aforementioned Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launched, and seven years since the original Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. Hopefully Nintendo has something for us later this year, especially since E3 2021 isn’t too far away.