In this time of isolation and limited movement, even those who’re happiest when relaxing at home will be starting to feel the urge to move a little. Thankfully, the video game community has long been refining the stay-at-home home workout with titles that seek to improve a player’s strength, flexibility, coordination and cardio endurance.
Here’s a selection of the best fitness and exercise video games available today.
We may receive commission for purchases made through our links.
Please note: Some titles may require specific peripherals and controller configurations.
1 of 5
Effectively the spiritual descendent of Dance Dance Revolution, the Just Dance series is now synonymous with fitness gaming. You don’t have to know how to dance, you don’t need to know that songs – you just need to shake what your mother gave you. Your heart will be pounding, you’ll be sweating, and you won’t even care. Even for the most reserved players, Just Dance is incredibly addictive. There are 40 songs included as standard, but if you subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited you’ll have streaming access to over 400 additional songs.
2 of 5
Ring Fit Adventure
Nintendo has done it again. By combining a mix of goal focussed adventure gameplay (i.e. beating a dragon) with well-executed and accurately tracked exercises, they’ve succeeded in bringing out one of the best fitness games of all time. The player takes part in cardio, strengthening and yoga exercises in order to progress through the game, which includes some fun battles, where the player attacks and defends using various exercises. For those looking for a more traditional workout, the Ring Fit Adventure also offers routines designed for specific fitness goals. The Switch’s JoyCons are clipped into a leg strap and Nintendo Ring in order to capture the player’s real-life movements accurately.
3 of 5
Satisfying, exciting, addictive and physically exhausting, Beat Saber sees the player wield two virtual sabres which are used to swipe-smash oncoming blocks to the relentless and thumping tunes. When the swipes, dodges and blocks are chained together, it feels nothing short of epic, plus there’s a battle mode to spice things up with a little competition. This is a good one for earning a decent workout without actually feeling like you’re exercising.
Bonus: There’s a tonne of extra music packs available, giving players access to music catalogues from Panic! At The Disco, Imagine Dragons, Green Day and more.
4 of 5
It’s time to hit the club in the best way possible – without actually having to go to the club. Dance Central transports the player into the virtual dance club scene, allowing them to throw some choreographed shapes to chart-topping ‘bangers’ from the likes of The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake and Carbi B. While the player is busy absolutely nailing the ‘Shoulder Shuffle’ into ‘Flexing’ transition, the game will be counting up the calories burnt so when the party’s over, they can see the results of their efforts. A real fun one.
5 of 5
Superhot VR isn’t a fitness game, per se, but if you play it right it can certainly be a workout. The game is primarily an FPS where the player’s movement controls time. As the player attempts to manoeuvre around levels, dodge bullets and karate chop bad dudes in the face, they’ll be switching between flurries of movements and sudden position holds. This is effectively a home, gamer version of high-intensity interval training.
Boxing games are a popular method of combining fitness principles with the gaming experience, mainly since the sport translates perfectly to the small screen. Here’s our selection of the best:
Boxing Fitness Games
1 of 5
In Arms, punches are thrown at the player’s opponent across rings on stretchy, Slinky-like appendages that mixes the typical melee brawl of boxing with shooter sensibilities to create a whacky and cartoonish boxing game like no other. If you’re looking to get moving and flexing with a light workout, then the joys of Arms might just be for you.
2 of 5
Boxvr takes on the boxing fitness genre by focusing less on competition and more on timed, rhythmic routines to music. The routines are designed by professional health instructors, and vary in intensity and duration, with some even surpassing the one hour mark. The boxing routines are really effective and well put together, but where Boxvr shines is in the ability to customise your playlists, allowing you to handpick the songs that’ll keep you punching on through.
3 of 5
Knockout League VR
Knockout League, aka totally bonkers boxing, is a VR game that has the player go toe-to-toe with some of the toughest, maddest and most OTT foes in the boxing circuit to climb the league. It’s heaps of fun, and will have you ducking, diving and madly flailing to stave off the endless jabs of your opponent can work up quite the sweat. If you’re lagging, you can always take a bit of time out and hit the speed bag or the mini-games on Reflex Alley to get your skills up to par.
4 of 5
Fitness Boxing is a, unsurprisingly, a boxing fitness game. Starting with your basic boxing moves like jabs, cross strokes, hooks and uppercuts, the game slowly builds the intensity and complexity of the player’s actions before moving on to defensive and evasive movements. Fitness Boxing has a variable intensity setting, offers focussed and general fitness routines and provides an estimated calories burnt count. It’s a simple premise, but it works really well and sure gets the blood pumping.
5 of 5
Creed: Rise To Glory VR
In this boxing title, players take on the role of Adonis Creed as he trains and fights his way to the heavyweight championship. The game’s progression is inspired by the Creed movies, and players will train and spar against some recognisable faces, including Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa. You’re sure to sink hours into the online PvP mode too. You’ll never want to throw in the towel with this title.
If you’re looking to stay up-to-date with all that the gaming world has to offer, make sure check in on Empire’s video game release schedule, which will guide you through the next two months of unmissable content.
READ MORE: The Best Life Sim Games
READ MORE: Lose Yourself In The Best Open World Games