Best fitness video games

Electronic Toys

Atari and Nintendo experimented with floor mat peripherals in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until “Dance Dance Revolution” was released for the first PlayStation in 1998 that fitness video games became mainstream. “DDR” sold over 3 million units.

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Which fitness video games are best?

There’s a commonly held notion that video games are a sedentary pursuit, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Video games long ago expanded beyond their arcade roots and today include a number of immersive, active options, some of which you can incorporate into your daily fitness regimen. 

The best fitness video game out right now is “Ring Fit Adventure” for the Nintendo Switch. This game will have you squatting, running and sweating through an RPG-like experience while enjoying every second of it.

What to know before you buy a fitness video game

Fitness results will differ from person to person

Remember that every person has their own body shape and size, along with their own medical history and dietary needs. With each fitness video game, your mileage may vary. Don’t expect to replicate someone else’s success story or results. Try it out for yourself and see whether the game works for your own needs.

You may need to purchase additional hardware

Most games are designed for standard console controllers or mouse and keyboard, but fitness video games will require additional accessories to be able to track and measure your movements. This may come as a VR headset, a motion controller or a camera. Sometimes they will come as a bundle with the video game, other times you will need to buy them separately. 

You should supplement these exercises with healthy eating

While frequent exercise is important, so too is a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t expect to lose weight or gain muscles playing “Just Dance 2021” while bingeing on cheese crackers and energy drinks. Have a light snack before a workout session, and remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after. 

What to look for in a quality fitness video game

Fun

Video games have one objective: fun! If a game isn’t fun, it’s not likely you’ll play it for very long. The whole point of gamifying exercise is to make the experience more engaging to the point that you will want to keep doing it. When trying out a fitness video game, ask yourself: Am I enjoying myself?

Intensity

Exercise should be, to a certain extent, tiring. If you’re not a little bit out of breath or breaking a sweat, you’re not really working out. The fitness video games we’ve reviewed vary in their levels of intensity, so it’s best to do your research and find one that best suits your abilities.

Accessibility

Just as exercise should be for everyone, so too should fitness video games. Whether you’re looking for something for a young child, or you’re an adult looking to stay active, a fitness video game should be easy to pick up. That way, you don’t have any excuses for getting a quick workout in. 

How much you can expect to spend on a fitness video game

The cheapest fitness video game will go for roughly $20, not including the hardware. The most expensive title will run you up to $80 but comes with the necessary equipment.

Fitness video game FAQ

Can I lose weight playing video games?

A. It’s definitely possible; it just depends on your drive, persistence, mindset and other health habits. Don’t expect to play a fitness game for a few hours and magically lose a few pounds. It will require hard work and repetition, much like regular exercise, combined with healthy eating habits. 

Are fitness video games suitable for seniors with limited mobility?

A. It completely depends on the title. “Ring Fit Adventure,” for example, will have settings that adjust to your particular needs, and in that case would work for elderly people. Other titles have less flexibility, and you will need to watch videos of people doing the exercises to truly judge for yourself.

What’s the best fitness video game to buy?

Top fitness video game 

Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo Switch)

Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo Switch)

What you need to know: Nintendo’s flagship fitness video game incorporates the motion joy-con controllers into a fantasy RPG that will have you running, jumping, squatting and stretching to progress through the levels.

What you’ll love: With a simple yet engaging concept and accessory, the whole family can get in on the fun and exercise.

What you should consider: The game is pretty pricey at $80, considering you only get a plastic ring and a leg strap for your joy-con controllers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top fitness video game for the money

Boxvr (PSVR/PS4)

Boxvr (PSVR/PS4)

What you need to know: Using virtual reality and motion controls, Boxvr has you boxing through a series of workouts tuned to over 100 music tracks.

What you’ll love: Featuring rock, dance and hip hop music, there’s a variety of songs for you to find your groove to.

What you should consider: You will need to have a PlayStation VR, Move controllers and a PlayStation camera, which will total up to more than a new console.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Just Dance 2021 (Xbox One, XSX, PS4, PS5, Switch)

Just Dance 2021 (Xbox One, XSX, PS4, PS5, Switch)

What you need to know: The popular dance video game returns this year with over 600 songs for wholesome family fun.

What you’ll love: Play with friends and family using the co-op mode. Up to six players can play at the same time.

What you should consider: The songs are locked behind a new “Just Dance” subscription, which gives you a one-month free trial.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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