The Switch is arguably known for its wide selection of exclusives—none of which are really all that fitness-based. But that isn't to say the handheld kit isn't short on such games. It's just that, well, the popular ones are a little harder to come by. Though, when they do pop up from out of the blue, they do tend to make quite the splash. And thanks to the Joy-Con motion controls, workouts can go well beyond twiddling thumbs from the comfort of our own pillow forts.
The fact is, fitness games did play quite a large role during the early phases of the pandemic. And to be fair, we'd be lying if we said Switch sales didn't skyrocket after news surfaced about public gyms being shut down for lengthy periods of time. From there, a craze was born—and everybody had to tuck into a new, ever-changing trend. But as far as 2022 goes, these are perhaps the best follow-up games money can currently buy.
Don't let the bubblegum-looking, popping-candy style fool you. Arms is, without a doubt, one of Switch's better performing 3D fighting games on the market right now. Despite being a few years old, it's still carving up just as many challenges and sweat-inducing routines than it was in 2017. And the best part is—it's relatively cheap.
The goal behind Arms is pretty simple: enrol in the Grand Prix, and, you know—win. Over the course of 10 battles, you'll have to use your stretchy arms to knock out a cast of wild personalities in a bid for the belt. And if that goes well, then you can transfer your skills over to the online multiplayer world, where even more amped up battles take place from all parts of the globe.
4. Mario Tennis Aces
Of course, no Switch list would ideally be complete without an entry revolving around Mario. And so, for fitness purposes, including something like Mario Tennis Aces seems like a rather fitting addition. Though, if tennis isn't your thing, then a worthy alternative that provides an equal amount of sweaty tasks is Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
But let's talk about tennis. Specifically, Mario Tennis Aces. As one of the best-selling Switch games of 2019, as well as one of the best examples of how to incorporate the motion controls from the Joy-Con, it makes for one monster of a torchbearer for the fitness world. Although slightly reminiscent of Wii Sports‘ tennis, it's still a fun little gem to play alongside friends. And hey, enough games will definitely get the blood pumping, providing you're willing to pull off one or two trick shots along the way.
3. Knockout Fitness
Granted, there are plenty of all-in-one fitness packages on the market. Switch, being one console, has its fair share, all of which encompass the motion control mechanics from the trusty Joy-Con. But as far as genuinely enjoyable fitness games go, there are really only a select few. Knockout Fitness, of course, being one of them.
The idea behind it is pretty straightforward: select a target zone that you want to work on, and basically follow up with a stream of fighting-style routines. Log your progress, and then rinse and repeat until you start seeing results. It's as simple as that, and while it definitely doesn't reinvent the wheel, it does do a pretty swell job at showing it off, with the motion controls playing a crucial part in its display.
2. Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure is a game that never fails to find the spotlight. Even after two years, it still holds a permanent residency on most, if not all Switch consoles around the world. But in spite of our best efforts to give it the cold shoulder, the fact is, it still finds a way to shuffle on back to the forefront of our fitness-based lectures. Though, at this point, it's welcome to plant roots and live in our minds rent free.
Ring Fit Adventure is, believe it or not, a fitness role-playing game. A game that, weirdly enough, employs what can only be described as a steering wheel for a controller. Using it, along with every muscle in your body, you will embark on a lengthy quest of trials and tribulations. And while fitness is, of course, the key to success—storytelling does also play its minor role in the overall gameplay. So, two birds with one stone, you could say.
1. Just Dance 2022
Dancing is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest forms of exercise in the world. And while we'd be willing to put the likes of any Zumba game front and center, we do have to give the lion's share of the credit to Just Dance 2022. As a series that has been actively employing new branches into its tree of fitness games for years, we do have to give it a good old nod—if only to respect its lengthy tenure.
Just Dance 2022 asks that you do exactly what it says on the tin—which is dance. With that, you can expect a whole bunch of hyperactive routines and freestyle moments, all synched up to some chart songs from the past few years. But believe us when we say—one track is more than enough to get your heart pounding. Any more and you'll be gasping for air between backflips, for sure.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.