The Best Exercise Video Games For Breaking A Sweat

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The Best Exercise Video Games For Breaking A Sweat
September 12, 2020

Gaming can be an incredible way to get fit as long as you are playing the right titles. While there is no denying that virtual reality has helped take fitness gaming to a new level, you don’t have to have a headset to break a sweat while playing video games. Since there are so many different options available, VR Fitness Insider has come up with a list of the 20 best exercise video games for breaking a sweat. These include both virtual reality and traditional gaming titles, so it will show exactly what you can enjoy if you pick up a headset or just make the best of your consoles.

 

If you do have a virtual reality headset and want to check out even more fitness games, check out our lists of the top 25 VR fitness games, and our headset specific lists for HTC ViveValve IndexPlayStation VROculus GoOculus RiftOculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality.

 

20 Great Exercise Games for Breaking a Sweat

Note: This list was limited to video games for PC, consoles and virtual reality headsets. Please know that there are many mobile phone games that encourage an active lifestyle as well such as Pokemon GO and Zombies, Run! Many of these can be found in our list of the 20 Best AR Fitness Apps and Games, so make sure to check that out if you want some great apps to download.

 

Exercise Games

Dance Central

Credit to: Harmonix/Oculus

 

Few developers are better known for making great rhythm games than Harmonix, who created both Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Their dancing series is also excellent and is on both traditional gaming systems and virtual reality. The VR version, Dance Central VR, is an Oculus exclusive that will keep you fit as you attempt to match dance choreography. The VR version has some memorable songs such as Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” and “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. There are also non-VR versions of the game, and all of them feature multiple difficulty settings so even those with two left feet can enjoy it.

 

Dance Central VR is exclusive to Oculus Rift and Quest. The game is currently available on the Oculus Store for $29.99. Non-VR versions are available on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

 

Fitness Boxing

The Nintendo Switch is home to several of the best exercise video games, one of which is Fitness Boxing. This boxing workout has you punching and squatting to instrumentals of popular songs. It’s a full body workout and can easily be done anywhere thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s portability. Daily training ranges from 10 to 40 minutes, and the game tracks your progreess via estimated calories and your approximate body mass index. There’s even multiplayer if you have two sets of Joy-Con controllers.

 

Fitness Boxing is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch for $49.99.

 

Just Dance

The longest running entry of the best exercise video games is Ubisoft’s extremely popular Just Dance series. The rhythm game challenges players to match on-screen choreography and measures your motion via your smartphone or motion controller. Each edition has dozens of popular songs, for example Just Dance 2020 features “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” and “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco.

 

The latest game in the series, Just Dance 2020, is available on Wii, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Google Stadia. Past entries can be purchased for cheap and Just Dance 2020 can be purchased for $19.99 right now. It’s worth noting that Ubisoft announced back in 2016 that there would be a virtual reality version of Just Dance but it hasn’t been released yet.

 

Ring Fit Adventure

Credit to: Nintendo

 

Nintendo made the Switch a must-own console for gaming fitness enthusiasts after it released Ring Fit Adventure. The unique role-playing game has players using a custom pilates ring to do damage to enemies and players move throughout levels by jogging in place. It’s an incredible workout and a rhythm game mode was even added as a free update that includes songs from both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s easily one of the best exercise video games currently available.

 

Ring Fit Adventure is available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch and can be purchased for $79.99. Due to its popularity, there are often shortages, but Nintendo is working on meeting demand for the title.

 

Wii Fit U

Credit to: Nintendo

 

The original Wii Fit was a great way to exercise from home and its sequel builds upon the successful formula. Returning players will be glad to know that all their save data will transfer over to Wii Fit U and there are new exercises that use the Wii U’s GamePad. It also comes with a pedometer called the Fit Meter that will transfer any non-gaming activity (such as jogging) to the game. It includes nearly all of the exercises from Wii Fit Plus and adds dancing, seven balance games, and four aerobic exercises.

 

Wii Fit U is available now exclusively on Nintendo Wii U. If you own a Wii Fit Balance Board, it can be purchased for less than $20 with the Fit Meter.

 

Wii Sports Club

Credit to: Nintendo

 

Wii Sports was a phenomenon when it first came out on Nintendo Wii and was many people’s first introduction to using video games for fitness. An updated version of the original released on Nintendo Wii U called Wii Sports Club. Every game gets a nice high definition facelift and all five original sports (bowling, golf, baseball, tennis, and boxing) are still a blast to play. If you have a Wii U, then this is a great low impact way the whole family can stay fit together. Due to the simple motion controls, it is perfect for both kids and the elderly.

 

Wii Sports Club is available as a free download on the Nintendo eShop on Wii U. There is a 24-hour free trial, individual sports can be purchased for $9.99 or a day pass that gives you access to all of the sports for 24 hours can be bought for $1.99. It’s also available physically, which will give you access to all five sports.

 

Zumba Burn It Up!

Credit to: 505 Games

 

Wrapping up the non-VR portion of VR Fitness Insider’s list of the 20 best exercise video games for breaking a sweat is Zumba Burn It Up! This Nintendo Switch title is based upon the popular exercise fitness program that was created by dancer Alberto Perez. Zumba has helped people get in shape for over two decades and the aerobics come straight to your television with the game. You’ll get to dance to salsa, reggaeton, merengue, and cumbia music. You’ll burn plenty of calories during a single glass and it’s a fantastic fun way to stay in shape.

 

Zumba Burn It Up! is available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch and can be purchased for $29.99. Other Zumba games that are similar are also available on other consoles.

 

VR Fitness Games

Audio Trip

Credit to: Kinemotik Studios

 

Kicking off our list of the best exercise video games in virtual reality is Audio Trip. This dancing game will have players constantly moving in order to get out of the way of barriers while also making sure they use their arms to bang on drums. It’s a full body workout, and those that decide to squat under barriers rather than just duck will burn plenty of calories. It features music by many popular artists including Lady Gaga, Skrillex, Zedd, deadmau5, and Tiesto.

 

Audio Trip has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 7.9 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing. It is currently available on Steam for $19.99 and is playable on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality.

 

Beat Saber

Credit to: Beat Games

 

One of the VR fitness games that have become a must own is Beat Saber. The rhythm game is a blast as it has players wielding two beam swords to cut through oncoming notes in specific directions. Beat Games has fleshed it out with multiple difficulty options and gameplay variants that range from 360-degree gameplay to ways to play in a limited amount of space. With a great soundtrack and DLC that features Green Day and Panic! at the Disco, this will be fun for anyone.

 

Beat Saber has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 7.9 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing. Beat Saber was awarded our VR Fitness Game of the Year in 2018 and won our Best Arm Workout VR Fitness Game of the Year in 2019. It is currently compatible with Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets and costs $29.99.

 

FitXR

Credit to: FitXR

 

Easily one of the best exercise video games, FitXR brings the best of boxercise courses to the virtual realm. Every workout in the game has been put together by personal trainers, so you know that you are getting toned the right way. While one might think it’s just an arm workout, it also successfully targets your legs and core. The game has also improved over time as it has received multiplayer classes, hours of new music and a bunch of workouts. There are also two paid DLC packs if you have exhausted everything that it comes with.

 

FitXR has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 7.5 caloris per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing. It won VR Fitness Insider’s Best VR Cardio Fitness Game of the Year in 2018 and our Best VR Fitness Game of the Year in 2019. It is currently compatible with Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets and is available for $29.99.

 

Creed: Rise to Glory

Credit to: Survios

 

Who doesn’t love the “Rocky” movies? With Creed: Rise to Glory you will get to carry on the legacy of Adonis Creed as he faces foes from the films and other boxers. This is a fantastic arm workout as you will have to out-punch your foes. It’s not the most realistic depiction of boxing, but you will still have to try to dodge punches while being offensive. It’s a great title and there is even online play so you can test your skills against others.

 

Creed: Rise to Glory has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise. It won our Best VR Boxing Fitness Game of the Year in 2018 and is currently available on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Quest for $29.99.

 

Hot Squat 1 & 2

Credit to: Bean Boy Games

 

One of the best exercise video games won’t cost you a dime as you can download the original Hot Squat for free. It also has the distinction of being one of the few VR fitness games that focus purely on a leg workout. It manages to make the act of doing squats bearable as you have to do it to get past barriers and attempt to set a high score. If you dig the free title, there is an enhanced sequel called Hot Squat 2: New Glory that you can buy. Featuring improved graphics and several exercises, New Glory is definitely worth the upgrade as Steam profits go to charity.

 

Hot Squat and its sequel have a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise. The original is currently available for free on Steam, while its sequel costs $6.99. It’s compatible with Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.

 

OhShape

Credit to: Odders Lab

 

Based upon a popular Japanese television show called “Hole in the Wall,” OhShape has players attempting to get through moving walls by matching their body shape with the hole. It’s pretty simple but becomes challenging as it speeds up. You will also have to punch and dodge obstacles, so it winds up being a great workout. It also supports custom songs, so you can play to whatever music you like to workout to.

 

OhShape has a 6.9 calories per minute rating by Yur.fit that is comparable to rowing. It is available now on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality for $14.99. It is coming soon to PlayStation VR.

 

Pistol Whip

Credit to: Cloudhead Games

 

One of the newest mainstays in fitness gaming is Pistol Whip. This excellent shooter came out in late 2019 and is a blast as players shoot enemies to the rhythm of songs and dodge out of the way of bullets. There’s no other shooter quite like it and it makes you feel like a total badass while playing. This will definitely leave you sweating and is worth picking up if you have a virtual reality headset.

 

Pistol Whip has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and a 6.7 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing. It is currently available for Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality for $24.99. It is coming soon to PlayStation VR. It won our Best New VR Fitness Game of the Year and Best Action VR Fitness Game of the Year in 2019.

 

PowerBeats VR

Credit to: Five Mind Creations

 

Another great full-body workout, PowerBeats VR has gamers squatting to avoid objects and punching objects to continue on their path. It was designed with fitness specifically in mind and even comes with an in-game calorie tracker so you know the quality of your workout. If you want something intense that will challenge you then this is your best bet.

 

PowerBeats VR is available now on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality for $19.99. It has been given a fitness rating comparable to tennis by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise.

 

Superhot VR

 

Credit: SUPERHOT Team

 

Note: While an excellent game in its own right, the regular non-VR version of Superhot on consoles and PC isn’t a fitness title as all movement is done via a controller.

 

While it isn’t the type of game you might traditionally think of as a fitness title, Superhot VR is a low intensity workout as it has the player slowly moving around in order to dodge bullets and gain an advantage against enemies. The game is centered around the concept of enemies only moving when the player is in motion, so the shooter becomes more of a test of your wit and movement than your reaction time. It’s one of the coolest experiences in virtual reality and really makes you feel as if you were in an action flick as you take full advantage of the range of movement.

 

Superhot VR has a fitness rating comparable to walking by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise. It won our Best VR Shooting Fitness Game of the Year in 2017 and is playable on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, and PlayStation VR. The game is currently available on Steam for $24.99.

 

Supernatural

Supernatural is a connected fitness app that will help take your home workout to the next level. New owrkouts are added to your library daily and there are varying difficulties so everyone can get fit. You’ll also get advice from coaches, get to experience incredible locations in virtual reality, and enjoy custom choreography built around music. Built specifically for serious fitness users, it also features plenty of statistics on how your weight loss journey is going.

 

Supernatural is available on Oculus Quest and is free to download, although it requires a subscription.

 

Synth Riders

Credit to: Kluge Interactive

 

If you love the heavy synths in The Weeknd’s latest album “After Hours,” then you will definitely want to check out Synth Riders. This rhythm game keeps players active by having them block and punch targets. The synth-heavy soundtrack is a joy for fans of the genre and helps provide a great atmospheric experience with its neon aesthetic. A free update added in multiplayer, so it keeps on improving over time.

 

Synth Riders is available now on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality for $19.99. It has been given a fitness rating comparable to an elliptical by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 6.8 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing.

 

The Thrill of the Fight

Credit to: Ian Fitz

 

Another one of the best exercise video games is The Thrill of the Fight, which is the most realistic simulation of boxing available in virtual reality. While it won’t fully compare to going to a boxing gym, you will still get to learn actual boxing technique and get a taste of the intense training that boxers do to stay sharp and in fighting weight. You will learn how to jab, use your defensive guard, and how to control distance while boxing. Who knows, it might even lead to you joining a boxing school and taking up some fights down the line.

 

The Thrill of the Fight has been given a fitness rating comparable to rowing by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 9.6 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to biking. It won our Best VR Sport SIM Fitness Game of the Year in 2017 and our Best Boxing VR Fitness Game of the Year in 2019. It’s currently available on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, and Oculus Quest for just $9.99.

 

Until You Fall

Wrapping up the VR portion of our list is Until You Fall. Schell Games’ excellent roguelite is still in Early Access, but it provides a great arm workout as you constantly take on enemies and attempt to parry attacks. It’s not much of a leg workout, but it will also work your core and test your reflexes. What really makes it a great title is the amount of replayability as the levels change each time you play, so you will never get bored.

 

Until You Fall has been given a fitness rating comparable to using an elliptical by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise and has a 6.8 calories per minute Yur.fit rating that is comparable to rowing. It’s available now on Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift for $19.99. The game is coming to both PlayStation VR and Oculus Quest later this year.

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