Now, we all know that VGChartz is not the definitive source for sales figures, though their figures are generally really close to the actual numbers. For many years we have talked about how Twilight Princess‘s combined sales were still behind Ocarina of Time, which is considered to be possibly the greatest game ever made. Well folks, it’s time for Nintendo to take a few notes. Twilight Princess is now the best selling Zelda game ever crafted.
In the chart above, the Legend of Zelda franchise for consoles has sold 38.90 million units. Looking at the release dates the majority of the games were released in the 2000’s, four. With one released in the 1980’s, two in the 1990’s, and one in the 2010’s. There was one main game released on the NES ( VGChartz does not have any sales figures for The Adventure of Link), one for the SNES, two for the Nintendo 64, three on the game GameCube and two on the Wii. Twilight Princess is the only mainline console game to be released on two consoles.
Twilight Princess with both versions combined is the bestselling Zelda game, but if you separate the two than Ocarina of Time is the bestselling. Twilight Princess has sold 6.51 million units on the Wii and 1.59 million units on the GameCube. Four Swords is the clear outlier, not even selling a million units.
Looking at the bar graph above it is easy to see that The Legend of Zelda franchise has not had consistent sales over its lifetimes. One thing that does stick out that on the platforms with more than one Zelda game is that the first game is always the bestselling. Ocarina of Time outsold Majora’s Mask, The Wind Waker outsold Four Swords and the GameCube version of Twilight Princess, and the Wii version of Twilight Princess outsold Skyward Sword.
Looking at the sales for each console in a pie chart (Twilight Princess sales have been split up), the NES sold 6.51 million units, the SNES 4.61 million units, N64 10.96 million units, GameCube 7.00 million units, and the Wii 9.82 million units. The average sales per game on each console is 6.51 million on the NES, 4.61 million on the SNES, 5.48 million on the N64, 2.33 million on the GameCube, and 4.91 million on the Wii.
Do you think these figures for console Zelda will have any effect on the future of the franchise? One thing I gather from this is something we have stated before: The lack of consistency in Zelda has lead to a lack of consistency in sales.