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The best fitness games

Let’s be honest — working out isn’t that fun. Most people aren’t thrilled to run on a treadmill or lift weights for multiple hours each week, let alone sign up for a gym membership. Game developers have taken notice, and over the past few years, we’ve seen the launch of several excellent fitness-based games.

Gym rats and fitness newcomers alike will be able to work up a sweat with these pulse-quickening titles. Here are the best fitness games to make your next workout session a little more enjoyable.

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Ring Fit Adventure

On paper, Ring Fit Adventure sounds like a bizarre idea. Merging the adventure genre with the fitness genre seems like a recipe for disaster, yet Nintendo pulled it off with flying colors. Players use a new peripheral — called the Ring-Con — to perform various workout routines that also double as a way to attack enemies and bosses. It’s by far the most innovative fitness game on the market and one that will have you working up a sweat within 15 minutes of playing. There are also several mini-games available for when you get tired of all the adventuring.

Beat Saber

Beat Saber in Steam Top Sellers 2019

Not only is Beat Saber a great introduction to the world of VR, but it’ll also get your heart pumping on the higher difficulties. Wielding a lightsaber in each hand, players swing at multicolored blocks as they come flying toward them — all to the beat of the music. Dozens of energetic songs are featured on the soundtrack, making it easy to find something to your liking. Whether you’re playing on the lowest difficulty or the highest, Beat Saber makes working out the highlight of your day.

Pokémon Go

pokemon go
David Grandmougin on Unsplash

If you’re looking for something to get you out of the house, nothing beats Pokémon Go. You won’t need to run around and raise your heart rate, but for anyone looking to make their evening strolls more enjoyable, it’s the perfect companion. Pokémon Go does an excellent job of introducing players to its core mechanics and rewards Trainers for every step they take. Anyone who needs a bit of motivation for their workouts will love incorporating this mobile game into their walking routine.

Zombies, Run!

Zombies Run

Want to get out of the house, but need more action than is offered by Pokémon Go? In Zombies, Run!, you’re going to need a nice pair of shoes if you hope to escape the zombie horde breathing down your neck. You can also tackle 200 missions if you’d rather have a tangible goal beyond surviving the apocalypse. The popular game continues to see updates in 2020 and is the perfect way to add a bit of excitement to your next run.

Just Dance 2020

Dancing is one of the more enjoyable forms of exercise, and Just Dance 2020 is perfectly able to capture that feeling. Mechanics vary by system, but you’ll essentially be mimicking real dance moves while listening to more than 40 of today’s hits, including Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy and Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. Up to six people can play at the same time, making it great for parties or group workout sessions.

Wii Sports

This is the title that put movement-based games on the map. Often included with the purchase of a Wii, Wii Sports let players participate in various sports such as tennis, baseball, bowling, and golf. They all utilize the motion sensor technology inside the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, meaning gamers have to get up and put in some effort if they want to be crowned champion. Local co-op is a blast, and the friendly competition almost always results in a better workout.

Wii Fit

Given the success of Wii Sports, Nintendo went ahead and created a game with the sole purpose was helping people get into shape. Wii Fit uses its own peripheral, called the Balance Board, that helps improve gamers’ posture, track their weight, and increase their strength. Yoga and strength training are the bread and butter of Wii Fit, but there’s also a bunch of mini-games you can play whenever you need a break.

Knockout League

Get all the benefits of boxing without the threat of getting knocked out! Knockout League is a VR game that takes a light-hearted approach to the brutal world of boxing. Fighters will challenge a wild assortment of enemies in fast-paced rounds as they get a rigorous aerobic workout. The game uses 1:1 tracking for your head and hands, meaning expect to do a lot of ducking and dodging if you hope to make it past the first round.


BoxVR PlayStation VR

If you’d rather not hit a virtual opponent, but still want a boxing-themed workout, BoxVR might be the perfect fit. As a cross between Knockout League and Beat Saber, this VR game has you throwing uppercuts and jabs to the beat of the music. You’ll also have to bob and weave as obstacles come your way — remaining stationary isn’t an option. BoxVR also tracks your progress, allowing you to look back on your journey and see how much you’ve improved.

Dance Dance Revolution

Anyone with downstairs neighbors might want to pass on this title, as Dance Dance Revolution will have you moving your feet in an absolute frenzy. Players will “dance” to the beat by using a specialized dance pad and stomping on directional arrows as they appear on the screen. Several versions of the game are available, and you can also find it in arcades around the world. You’ll have a variety of techno, pop, and EDM songs to choose from, but they’re all upbeat and sure to make you break a sweat.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance journalist whose gaming addiction began with the SEGA Genesis. His work has been published on…
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