Nintendo is the pioneer of bringing fitness into the gaming industry, with its invention of the Nintendo Wii in 2006 and Wii Fit in 2008 spawning an entire new genre of video games. These fitness video games involved you actively participating in order to play the game, turning the notion of gaming as a sedentary activity on its head.
“Exergaming” or “gamercising” is now an accepted way to get physically active, burn calories, and get your heart rate up, all while having fun from the comfort of your own home.
While the Playstation and Xbox have fitness games of their own after following in Nintendo’s footsteps, Nintendo continues to be at the forefront of the exergaming movement. They have the most popular fitness game titles and the best hardware support, making the Nintendo Switch the best game console for exercise.
If you’re looking to get your move on while gaming, we’ll be going over the best fitness games on Nintendo Switch in this article.
To play fitness games on the Nintendo Switch, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper motion control equipment along with the console.
Best Fitness Games for Nintendo Switch
Starting the list off is Ring Fit Adventure, the flagship exercise game for the Switch console. This game is arguably the best fitness game on the Nintendo Switch right now, with nearly 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. As someone who also owns the game and plays it regularly still, I can confirm it’s a ton of fun and highly worth it.
As its name implies, Ring Fit Adventure is an adventure game that doubles as a fitness workout. Think of it like Pokemon or an RPG, where you set off to explore a fantasy world. Along the way, you’ll encounter enemies and obstacles you’ll have to overcome using real life exercise. Exercises involve jogging, sprinting, high knees in place, shoulder presses, yoga poses, and squats, to name a few.
The adventure mode is a lengthy campaign that keeps you engaged. There’s a story and plot to follow along with, and it takes 3-4 months to complete if you play one hour a day. There’s also 12 mini-games that work great as party games, as well as a customizable workout routine creator.
Overall, if you’re looking to make a lifestyle change but struggle to find the motivation to do so, or want a fun exercise game for friends and family to play at home, you can’t go wrong with Ring Fit Adventure.
- An adventure game that’s also a workout
- Explore a huge fantasy world and defeat enemies using real-life exercise
Just Dance 2020 is the newest title in the Just Dance series of dance games. The game features 40 new songs from Top 40 artists as well as popular kids’ songs from movies like Disney’s Frozen 2.
Similar to previous Just Dance games, you play by physically moving your body to dance along to your avatar on screen, following the beat. The 2020 version seems to recapture the essence of what made these games so great – the choreography is fun, routines are memorable, and the motion tracking on the Switch is at its best. The game’s graphics are also stylized and animated well, keeping things exciting.
If you’re looking for a fun dance party game to help you lose some weight or just a goofy game to play once in a while with friends or family, Just Dance 2020 can serve all those purposes.
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One of the most popular games in Wii Sports is tennis. Mario Tennis Aces builds upon that and brings tennis to life in your home. You may be surprised at just how similar it plays to standard tennis.
The game incorporates various types of shots, from slices, lobs, smashes, and various spins. There’s also an energy bar and special moves you can do, like destroying an enemy’s racket if timed correctly. Trick shots let you dash from one side of the court to the other.
Mario Tennis has a single player adventure mode and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is where most of the fun is, as you can play with friends or even online versus strangers by participating in online tournaments. The more you win, the higher your rank will be and the more prizes you can earn.
Overall, this game is definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for a fun arcade tennis game. You’ll work up a sweat while honing your fast twitch reflexes and decision making skills.
- New gameplay elements
- Full-blown tennis battles
If you enjoy boxing, cardio, and rhythmic exercises, you’ll love playing Fitness Boxing. The game is kind of like Dance Dance Revolution, just for boxing. You’ll follow along the game’s instructions to uppercut, jab, hook, or a combination of those, while also dodging and weaving.
Like DDR, you’ll be rewarded points for how accurate you are. The game isn’t perfect in registering movements, so there is a way to cheat the system if you really wanted to. But if you’re looking to challenge yourself – which you probably should be if you’re playing a fitness game – then you’ll love seeing yourself progress in rhythm and accuracy over time.
The game contains 20+ songs and you can unlock more songs, workouts, outfits, and accessories the more you play. With a second set of controllers you can also play 2-player boxing matches, which is a ton of fun. All in all, Fitness Boxing is a great gamification of a boxing cardio workout.
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- You can personalize your workouts by selecting from different fitness goals
Zumba: Burn It Up is a Zumba-focused dance exercise game for the Switch. Follow along and learn popular Colombian dance moves while getting a cardio workout in.
The game features high-energy routines with popular Latin hits like “I Like It” by J Balvin as well as original songs. You might be concerned that doing Zumba at home isn’t the same as in a class, but this game does a good job bringing the motivational party atmosphere to your living room.
Up to four players can play at once, making it a great hit among family game night as well.
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Sports Party attempts to emulate Wii Sports. You won’t be burning a lot of calories playing this, but it’s still a fun little fitness game on Switch for children who want to play sports at home and learn some movement patterns.
The game features unique sports like frisbee, skateboarding, golf, basketball, jet skiing, and beach tennis. It’s easy to setup and learn, so you’ll be playing immediately. Players can customize their avatars and their appearances, which tends to be a hit among kids.
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If you’ve ever watched American Ninja Warrior on TV and thought that you could do those obstacles – well, you can try to emulate it with this game. With the American Ninja Warrior game on Switch, you bring the race to you by jumping, swinging, sprinting, and balancing your way to victory.
The game features actual obstacle courses from the the TV show, like the rope swing, glass wall balance, and staircase pull-up. The game requires a lot of precision with your movements. For that reason, you don’t actually work up that much of a sweat compared to the other fitness games listed.
Overall, this fitness game might be worth picking up if you’re a fan of the series, but if you’re looking for a true workout try one of the other games here.
- Custom course creator
- 15 real challenging obstacles
If you’re looking to get some exercise in while having fun doing so, give these Nintendo Switch fitness video games a try! There’s something for everyone, whether you enjoy sports, dancing, cardio, strength training, or just moving about.
The great thing is you get good bang for your buck, as you can potentially save on gym memberships, personal trainers, and class fees. You can also get your friends and family involved to up the stakes and motivate each other.