The Nintendo Switch is the hottest piece of gaming hardware on the market right now, but if latest sales figures for the Legend of Zelda franchise are anything to go by, the hybrid console still has a ways to go to catch up to the Wii. In fact, the Wii was such cultural phenomenon that one surprising title has managed to find its way into the top 5 best-selling Legend of Zelda games of all time, Link's Crossbow Training.
Released in 2007, Link’s Crossbow Training felt more like a collection of shooting mini-games rather than a typical Legend of Zelda title. The mid-to-late 2000s were the height of the motion control gaming craze, and the Nintendo Wii was leading the charge. Packaged with the Wii Zapper – a peripheral that turned the Wii Remote and Nunchuk into a light gun successor – Link's Crossbow Training became a retro throwback of sorts set in the universe of the extremely popular Twilight Princess universe. So, perhaps uniqueness and nostalgia have something to do with its record sales.
US Video Game Industry Analyst with the NPD Group, Mat Piscatella, took to Twitter yesterday to share some interesting sales figures. According to Piscatella and the NPD, Link’s Crossbow Training is the fifth best-selling Legend of Zelda game in the U.S. Also included on the list are more expected main series games like Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild.
Not sure how I missed it, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild became the best-selling Zelda game some time ago. Here are the top 5 best-selling Zelda property games in the U.S. life to date. pic.twitter.com/FBVozDoPxB— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) August 16, 2019
Piscatella claims that Breath of the Wild took the number one spot "some time ago." With the game’s incredibly high attach rate, it should probably come as no surprise that it’s already topping the charts, but what’s even more impressive is the fact that these numbers don’t include digital sales. It’s also impressive to note that, for games like Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, 3DS remakes are not included in these sales figures.
However, maybe it shouldn’t come as such a shock that Link’s Crossbow Training has cracked the top 5. After all, the Wii was simply a phenomenon, selling over 100 million units worldwide. The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console last year, and it still has to nearly triple its current lifetime sales in order to catch up.
Link's Crossbow Training is more of a side entry, rather than a core series title, however. So, it is still somewhat surprising to see it in a list like this. And – on the flip side – as well as the Wii sold, it’s honestly a bit surprising that Breath of the Wild has already knocked off Twilight Princess as the best-selling Legend of Zelda game to date. And with lofty sales predictions for the Switch, it's possible that Breath of the Wild (or its upcoming sequel) could continue to dominate this list for years to come.