Rhythm games are those that involve moving to the beat of music and typically involve striking or hitting targets, which gives you an upper-body workout with intensity that varies based on how fast you move and how hard you hit the targets. Some games may include obstacles that you need to dodge, which adds a little bit of lower-body workout. As you increase in intensity, you’ll also work your brain as you figure out how to hit each target the correct way. You probably won’t work up a good sweat in most of these unless you’re playing at more advanced levels, but all will get your body moving, and if you get to those higher levels you can get a great cardio workout.
Here are some of the best. Click on the game’s title to go to the purchase page or click “Read more” for a more in-depth discussion of the game’s fitness capabilities.
The most popular rhythm game to date that has you wielding lighted sabers and slicing through oncoming blocks while avoiding bombs and dodging oncoming obstacles. The standard music is all electronic, but music add-ons from well-known current artists bring familiar music to the game. If you’re tech savvy you can upload even more songs. Read more
Takes rhythm games one step further with the addition of cutouts in oncoming walls that require specific poses to pass through successfully. This makes for an even better brain workout in addition to the body workout. The scoring is a little wonky at this time, but we’re watching for updates and if you don’t focus so much on the score, you’ll have a great time. You’re unlikely to recognize any of the high-energy music, but if you’re tech savvy you can upload additional music. Read more
Synth Riders and Audio Trip
Two very similar dancing games that differ primarily in the music that’s available and the level of customization allowed. In both games you hit lighted orbs on your hands to colored targets in synch with the beat of the music while dodging oncoming obstacles.
Both are heavy on electronic and dance music, with Synth Riders having a bigger music selection as well as music add-on options. Read more
UPDATE: Audio Trip has added a Cardio mode to each song that gives you more of a full-body workout.
A bare-bones rhythm game that distinguishes itself by allowing you to add your own music. It won’t give as good a workout as the others listed here but is great for those with limited mobility, those who are just starting out, or those who strongly prefer to work out to your favorite music. You’ll need to connect your headset to your computer to upload your own music, but we explain how to do that in the expanded description of this game that you can read by clicking on the game name. Read more
A great way to play rhythm games for free! Not quite as polished as paid games, but you’ll get the same kind of basic movements as you would in Audio Trip and Synth Riders. You access Moon Rider through any VR browser: just type moonrider.xyz in the address bar, then click the goggles in the lower right to enter VR mode (you can get a preview of it from any computer browser as well). You’ll find a HUGE library of music you recognize here, with a nice feature that lets you search by genre. Read more
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