Home Game Reviews The 12 best Nintendo Switch fitness games in 2024

The 12 best Nintendo Switch fitness games in 2024

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The $300 Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile video game consoles ever, and that includes offering a variety of ways to burn calories. Even the other Switch consoles — the cheaper Switch Lite ($205) and premium Switch OLED ($349) — are compatible with Joy-Con controllers, allowing them to double as portable gyms as well.

Between cardio workouts, more traditional sports like tennis, rhythm games featuring the latest chart-topping hits and traditional turn-based role-playing games, there’s a little something for everyone when it comes to exercise games on the Switch. Most importantly, these titles will cost you far less than an expensive monthly gym membership. Be sure to check out the games below for Nintendo Switch experiences that’ll put that body to work.

Nintendo pushes the limits of motion control gameplay with Ring Fit Adventure, a 20-plus-hour role-playing game. Players connect their Joy-Cons to a Pilates-inspired Ring-Con and leg strap to control a man or woman who can be best described as the cooler evolution of the Wii Fit Trainer. As players move along a fixed path by jogging in place, they’ll encounter everything from monsters to obstacles that challenge them to move in a variety of ways for a full-body workout.

Ubisoft’s ongoing dance-based Just Dance series has been a mainstay since debuting on the Wii in 2009. The gameplay remains pretty simple: Players imitate the on-screen choreography with scoring based on everything from motion to rhythm. Those who have played previous iterations should know exactly what to expect, alongside some new features like Challenge Mode, which lets players compete against one another asynchronously.

Arms is a futuristic motion-controlled boxing game with a wild amount of depth. Those more interested in competitive play will find that Arms works best either when using a controller or in handheld mode; however, there’s an incredible feeling with using the motion control option. Boxing on Wii Sports was definitely a workout, but Arms adds a cerebral layer to the fighting aspect and becomes a different fitness experience altogether.

While the peak of Covid-19 in 2020 had the gaming industry scrambling to figure out how to work from home, it also led some genius coders at Nintendo to create Jump Rope Challenge. The free-to-play game simply requires you to make the motion of jumping rope with the Joy-Con controllers, and it does a great job of tracking your improvements over time. Sure, it won’t make our list of best Nintendo Switch games, but it’s great for what it is: an accessible, free fitness title.

More than any game on this list, Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise really feels like a semi-substitute for the gym. You can adjust everything from the length of workouts to intensity. And once the workout begins, players will find a fairly straightforward fitness game in which they’ll punch, duck and weave to reach a high score.

1-2-Switch features 28 minigames that serve as a showcase for the Joy-Cons’ capabilities, though many don’t necessarily hit. Some games like Milk, in which players have to milk cows as rapidly as possible, aren’t particularly high-intensity workouts, whereas others, such as Boxing Gym, will definitely leave some players feeling tired.

Gamers who have played Wii Sports or the Wii port of Mario Tennis: Power Tour should know exactly what to expect from Mario Tennis Aces’ Swing Mode, which challenges you to swing your Joy-Con as if it were an actual tennis racket. Like many Mario sports games, there’s more to the core gameplay, with features like zone shots and speed zones that add a bit more depth. It’s even more entertaining with friends in multiplayer, which you can enjoy both locally and online.

Before the more strenuous regimen of CrossFit became the current fitness obsession, the biggest workout craze in the world at one time was Zumba. Of course, this craze eventually made its way to gaming. Stylistically, one of the coolest aspects of Zumba: Burn It Up on Switch is that the visuals feature live-action Zumba instructors. Beyond that, it’s a creative cardio workout that’s definitely in line with many other rhythm-based games.

Gamers looking for a light workout might be interested in Ubisoft’s Sports Party. Though the minigames in the compilation utilize various motion controls, the intensity levels are pretty tame. Fitness-wise, this might be great for older individuals who can’t play more strenuous exercise games like Ring Fit Adventure or Jump Rope Challenge; minigames like Frisbee, Golf and Beach Tennis, though, could provide a sweat-filled workout.

Individuals looking for a title that has that budget-quality throwback feel of many late-2000s Wii motion control games should look no further than Instant Sports: Summer Games. The sequel to Instant Sports, this release from Breakfirst offers 11 minigames that are great for short exercises. Some of the more fitness-focused ones include tennis, hurdle race, bowling and baseball.

While WarioWare: Move It! is more of a party game than a fitness title, its gameplay is so fast-paced that it’ll get your heart pumping. At each stage, the game throws rapid-fire minigames at players. In one moment, you’ll have to swing your arms as quickly as you can to shine a turtle’s shell, and in the next, you’ll need to unclog a toilet using a virtual plunger. It may not be a replacement for a daily workout at the gym, but it will get you and your friends moving (and laughing).

If you were a gamer in the 2000s, then you’ve undoubtedly played Wii Sports. Nintendo Switch Sports is that popular game’s spiritual successor, and in many ways, it’s much the same. Locally and online, you can play six different sports (soccer, tennis, volleyball, badminton, bowling and sword fighting), all of which will get you moving. But like WarioWare: Move It!, this is more of a family-friendly party game than a serious fitness title.

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