8 of the best games to give you a workout

Beats leg day

As anyone who's busted a move in Dance Dance Revolution or flailed their limbs in front of an Xbox Kinect will attest, attempting to achieve fitness goals by playing video games isn't a fresh concept.

That said, the evolution of the medium – especially in the virtual reality space – has not only made the pursuit lots more engaging, but also legitimately effective.

Best of all, the fitness benefits of these titles are typically a positive byproduct of experiences that are, first and foremost, video games; they're not marketed as exercise alternatives, but rather action, sports, music, and fighting games that just happen to whip you into shape while you're playing them.

Whether you're looking to obliterate fat from beneath a VR headset, break a sweat in front of your Nintendo Switch, or even decimate calories while defeating the Dark Side, the following games are just begging to become your best workout buddies.

Additional words by Matt Tate

Ring Fit Adventure

Almost certainly the best fitness game out there, Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure combines genuinely knackering exercise with its included (and very well-made) accessories, with a proper RPG adventure, in which you're tasked with taking down a weightlifting dragon. The game is designed to be played daily in small, manageable sessions, but you can ramp up the difficulty to really feel the burn if that's your thing. But it's the effort Nintendo has put into the game's presentation and the variety of the story levels that makes Ring Fit Adventure so impressive. It's a great game that also happens to give you a full-body workout - that's rare. 

Just Dance 2020

Just Dance 2020 can't promise to turn you in a good dancer, but it'll guarantee burned calories to the soundtrack of just about every chart-topper you can think of, with new songs added to the Just Dance Unlimited subscription service all year round. Turn on Sweat Mode and the game can track your progress via a smartphone companion app, as well as pit you against friends. And thanks to its availability on Google Stadia, you don't even need a traditional console to play.