These are the best-selling Nintendo consoles and games of all time

These are the classic video games and systems that defined your childhood.

Fox Van Allen
Fox Van Allen is a Los Angeles-based writer for CBS Interactive covering technology, tech lifestyle and gaming topics for GameSpot, CNET, ZDNet and TechRepublic. He has previously worked as a news and feature writer for a number of other sites, including Techlicious, Tecca, WoW Insider (Joystiq) and Blizzard Watch. In his spare time, Fox is an amateur skydiver, retro gaming and arcade enthusiast, 8-bit pixel artist, podcaster and Twitch live streamer.
Fox Van Allen
1 of 25 Nintendo

How does the Switch rank? Let's find out.

Early sales of Nintendo's new Switch console -- and its best launch title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild -- have broken plenty of sales records so far. But how does it compare with the great Nintendo consoles of the past?

To celebrate the Switch launch, we've ranked the last 31 years of Nintendo consoles and their games based on total worldwide sales so far. And Nintendo's top console is ...

2 of 25 GamesMaster Magazine

Nintendo DS (2004)

First released in 2004, the Nintendo DS proved to be a massive hit with the public, thanks to its 64-bit graphics, touchscreen functionality and backward-compatibility with Game Boy Advance games.

As of March 31, 2016, the DS has sold 154.02 million units, making it Nintendo's best-selling console to date.

3 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling DS game: New Super Mario Bros.

The best-selling game for the Nintendo DS is New Super Mario Bros. (2006). It was the first Mario platformer to mix three-dimensional character models with traditional side-scrolling gameplay.

Nintendo reports that New Super Mario Bros. has sold 30.8 million copies as of March 31, 2016.

4 of 25 Ralf-Finn Hestoft, Corbis / Getty Images

Game Boy (1989)

The 8-bit Nintendo Game Boy was a smash success for Nintendo, establishing the company as the dominant player in the handheld gaming market.

Its 160x144 monochrome screen looks dated today, but in 1989, gamers just couldn't get enough. Nintendo sold 118.69 million units of the handheld.

5 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling Game Boy game: Tetris

Game Boy launch title Tetris -- the first piece of USSR-developed software to be released in the US -- was so addictive that the Chicago Tribune joked in 1988 that the game could be "part of a diabolical plot hatched in the Evil Empire to lower worker productivity in the United States."

6 of 25 Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images

Wii (2006)

Can Nintendo ever recapture the magic of the Wii?

Diehard Nintendo fans, such as this man, camped out in front of stores for days -- literally -- just to be the first to get their hands on the console. It remains the company's most successful home console to date, selling 101.63 million units since its November 2006 launch.

7 of 25 Gilles BASSIGNAC, Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

Top-selling Wii game: Wii Sports

The Wii console was a smash success for Nintendo, in part because it appealed to many outside the traditional gaming mainstream. Wii Sports found surprising success in senior living communities and retirement homes, offering low-impact, motion-based simulations of bowling, tennis and other popular pastimes.

Wii Sports has sold 82.78 million copies since its 2006 release, making it Nintendo's best-selling game of all time across all consoles.

8 of 25 Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

Game Boy Advance (2001)

The 32-bit successor to its original handheld, Game Boy Advance was a big hit for Nintendo, and has sold 81.51 million units worldwide since its introduction in 2001.

9 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling GBA game: Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire

You can't have a list of top-selling Nintendo games without the Pokemon series making an appearance.

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire may not have been as popular as Pokemon Red/Blue, but with 16.22 million copies sold, it was easily the most popular game for the GBA handheld.

10 of 25 GamesMaster Magazine

Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)

Nintendo took a big risk when it released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to the American public in 1985, when the industry was still reeling from the video game crash of 1983.

That risk paid off big, of course: The NES sold 61.91 million units and made both Mario and Zelda household names.

11 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling NES game: Super Mario Bros.

Though Mario made earlier appearances in both Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., this is the game that made the Nintendo character a true star. Roughly 40.22 million cartridges have been sold since its 1985 release.

12 of 25 Jason Merritt / Getty Images for Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS (2011)

Nintendo's most recent handheld may not be racking up the same kind of sales figures that the Nintendo DS did, but the system continues to hold its own.

As of March 31, 2016, the Nintendo 3DS has sold 58.85 million units.

13 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling 3DS game: Pokemon X/Y

The top-selling Nintendo 3DS game -- for now, at least -- is Pokemon X/Y. According to Nintendo, the title has sold 14.7 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2016.

14 of 25 Fox Van Allen

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1991)

Though the 16-bit Sega Genesis had a one-year head start on the 16-bit Super NES, a steady stream of gaming hits (Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Final Fantasy II and III, Super Metroid, etc.) pushed Nintendo's console over the top in terms of sales.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System sold 49.1 million units, about 18 million more than Sega Genesis.

15 of 25 Ralf-Finn Hestoft, Corbis / Getty Images

Top-selling SNES game: Super Mario World

Here, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto plays Super Mario World (1991), the fourth game in the incredibly popular series.

Mario's 16-bit debut was an absolute hit, selling 20.6 million copies (thanks, in part, to new system bundling).

16 of 25 Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

Nintendo 64 (1996)

Though you could hardly call it a failure, the nostalgia-steeped Nintendo 64 was absolutely trounced, sales-wise, by the competing Sony PlayStation.

The N64 sold 32.93 million units compared with 102.49 million Sony PlayStations sold.

17 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling N64 game: Super Mario 64

OK, sure, Mario looks a little bit rough around the edges in this game. But back in the day -- 1996, to be exact -- being able to play as Mario in the third dimension was a huge deal.

A big enough deal, anyway, to sell 11.8 million copies.

18 of 25 Mario Tama / Getty Images

GameCube (2001)

Though there were a handful of memorable games released for the Nintendo GameCube (such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker), the console sold a far-lower-than-expected 21.74 million units.

Indeed, the post-GameCube/pre-Nintendo DS days were some of the company's darkest: In November 2003, the company posted a $26.2 million deficit, its first six-month loss since 1962.

19 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling GameCube game: Super Smash Bros. Melee

According to Nintendo, Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) sold 7.09 million copies worldwide as of 2008, making it the top-selling GameCube game of all time.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, with roughly 7 million copies sold, is a close second.

20 of 25 Joe Klamar / AFP / Getty Images

Wii U (2012)

Nintendo's Wii U, sadly, has been a massive sales disappointment. One of the company's sales representatives projected before launch that the Wii U would sell 100 million units. But as of March 31, 2016, only 12.8 million have been sold.

21 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling Wii U game: Mario Kart 8

The best selling game for the Wii U is the spectacularly fun Mario Kart 8.

It has sold 7.09 million copies, suggesting that roughly 60 percent of Wii U owners bought the game.

22 of 25 Nintendo

Switch (2017)

It's a bit early to be ranking the Nintendo Switch here, we'll admit. But the early numbers look very promising.

According to Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime, Switch had the strongest two-day launch in Nintendo history, even outselling the Wii. Nintendo is forecasting sales of 2 million units through March; IDC analyst Lewis Ward says the Switch is on pace to sell 8 million units through Q1 2018.

23 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling Switch game: Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been getting tremendous reviews since its March 3, 2017 launch. Critics are largely divided into two camps: Those who think it's the best Zelda game in decades, and those who think it's the best Zelda game ever. (The game currently has a 98 rating on Metacritic.)

Nintendo isn't releasing specific sales figures for the game yet. Fils-Aime did share this bit of info, though: Breath of the Wild the best-selling stand-alone launch title in Nintendo history, beating Super Mario 64.

24 of 25 Evan Amos

Virtual Boy (1995)

Virtual-reality gaming is the new hotness, but for Nintendo, it's nothing new -- the company came out with its first VR console in 1995.

Unfortunately, the tech was not ready for prime time then. The 32-bit Virtual Boy was so heavy, it couldn't be worn on your head. And the red monochrome images projected on its screens were notorious for causing severe headaches.

The console was a huge flop for Nintendo, selling just 770,000 units. It was discontinued less than a year after its launch.

25 of 25 Nintendo

Top-selling Virtual Boy game: Mario Tennis

Only 14 games were released for the system in North America, the best selling of the bunch being Mario Tennis. That shouldn't come as a surprise, though: The game was bundled with every $179.95 Virtual Boy console sold.

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