In my previous article, I wrote about games consoles and what they bring. I found that they can offer a household a lot of value. However, the problem arises when we try to choose the right one for us. For example, I recently bought an Xbox One for my family.
My wife isn’t a gaming fan, and my kids have never owned a console, however, after discussing and researching the potential purchase, we decided to go for it. I have always been a PlayStation man, but I had heard great things about the Xbox One, so I decided to take the bull by the horns and make the purchase.
The Xbox is a great console but it wasn’t for us. I just preferred the PlayStation interface. So we returned the Xbox One. However, this is to take nothing away from the console, as it offers a lot for the money you pay, and there are some great titles offered.
Let’s get to the bit you have been waiting for. I will review 3 of the best games consoles and the best wellbeing games you can buy. We will be looking at all aspects of fitness, not just physical.
The Xbox One
The Xbox One is a lovely looking console. It is very good value for money and there are plenty of games that will improve your wellbeing. The console itself is easy to set up and very user-friendly. Let’s have a look at the fitness games that it has to offer…
Shape Up is a fun way to get fit. It is a game that the whole family can use. From bench pressing elephants to punching elephants, you won’t even realise your fitness is improving, as you will be having way too much fun. The game mimics what you do, so if you have run out of steam, your character will share the same fate.
- The whole family can participate
- A lot of fun
- In game motivation
- Multiple fitness modes (4 week plan, goal orientated quest mode, online option)
- 90 second challenges.
This is a good game and will go a long way to helping you towards getting fit. If you find the gym a chore, playing this game in the comfort of your home will be right up your alley.
My Rating: If you are an Xbox One owner, this is probably the best (non-dance) fitness game on the market.
Zumba World Party
Those of you that have been to a Zumba class, know exactly what a Zumba workout entails. A lot of hip movement and plenty of sweat. This dance craze is probably the best calorie burner, when it comes to the dance genre. Not only that, it is a core blaster.
So, can the Xbox version deliver the same results? Very rarely will a game deliver the same results as the real class, however this one gets very close. It is great for the whole family and will definitely leave you wanting more!
- Over 40 routines
- Over 30 dance styles including Salsa, Bollywood, Tahitian, etc.
- Chart topping music
- Track your progress with progress tracker plus
- Set your own personal fitness goals.
My Rating: Zumba world Party is a very good dance workout game. However, there are some issues with the game play. If you show patience and persistence, you will get to grips with it and have a great workout.
Just Dance 2020
Just dance has always been a great franchise. The array of songs you can choose from just makes it a great option. It differs from Zumba, as there are many genres of music you can choose from. It also has a kids option, which is great to entertain the little ones, while you grab yourself a well-earned rest.
Is it as good as Zumba? The short answer is, Just dance is different. It is more of an all round dance game. The better you get, the more up-tempo the songs get. My daughters loved this game. They first time they played it, they wouldn’t get off! They are 3 and 6, so this really is a game for all ages.
- Amazing selection of songs and albums
- Great for all ages
- Can really elevate your fitness
- Track your progress.
My Rating: You can’t go wrong with Just Dance. It is a timeless game that gets better than better. You will not only burn calories with Just Dance, but you will have some awesome fun along the way.
The Switch is an ideal console for children. It’s aesthetically pleasing essence entices you towards it. It offers the exciting Mario series of games and it “switches” to a hand held console. But what does it do for fitness, I hear you ask? Let’s check it out…
Ring Fit Adventure
The ring is a new concept for the Switch. I have to say that it is a brilliant and innovative concept. Nintendo have done it again! This game involves playing an RPG whilst getting fit. It enables you to fulfill your nerdy inhibitions, whilst getting into great shape.
I can’t unequivocally say that you can use it as a substitute for a “traditional” workout, but if you are sitting around doing nothing, this is a great way to get your fitness journey started. If you are an avid exerciser, this can be added to your workout.
On the flip side, the heart rate reading can be inaccurate. However, wearing a smart watch will eliminate the problem. Personally, I believe that monitoring heart rate whilst training is very important, just to ensure you do not over exert yourself. This is especially true if you are a beginner.
- Makes fitness fun, for those who are not fitness fans
- The whole family can get involved
- Advises you when to take a break
- The fitness aspect is based around a game
- Is very addictive but in a positive way.
- Heart rate can be inaccurate
- Some movements are not recognised.
My Rating: Definitely a thumbs up on this one. It gets the heart pumping and makes you think too. An all round fantastic game for the whole family. Just remember to wear your smart watch.
This is a great game to raise the heart rate. You will also feel the burn, especially in your upper body as you will be punching your way to fitness. There is a great tutorial which helps you with your technique. The voice can be quite off-putting but not enough to stop you playing.
The game monitors your progress and provides daily fitness routines. If you are a fan of boxing but do not want to go to a boxing gym, then you may have found what you are looking for.
One of the great things about this game is the fun factor. The time seems to fly, due to how much fun you are having.
- Mimics a boxing workout
- Burns a lot of calories
- Workouts are fun
- Tutorial improves boxing technique.
- Annoying voiceover
- Music isn’t great.
My Rating: A great game that will get the pulse racing. As well as increasing your all round fitness, your boxing skills will improve. Just remember to stay committed and dedicated.
Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training
This is one to get the brain juices flowing! You will be tested with a variety of brain teasers, ranging from finger calculations to rock, paper, scissors. There is so much to do with this long standing title. Let’s have a look at some of the tasks we have at our disposal…
- Finger calculations
- Rock, paper, scissors
- Word scramble
- Photographic memory
- Dual task.
These are just a few of the games available within Brain Training. Once you have played a round of these challenging games, your brain score will be calculated. From there, you will be told about the areas you need to improve. It is exciting when you see your brain age improving.
Again, as with all these types of games, consistency is the key. If you play it once a month you are very unlikely to see any kind of improvement. Play it on a regular basis, you will definitely notice the improvements in sharpness, memory, etc.
- Improves memory
- Improves sharpness
- Helps with coordination
- Fun for all ages
- Addictive in a positive way
- Real sense of achievement when you feel the improvements.
My Rating: Nothing negative to say about this game. Even the kids will see an improvement in all round brain function. Physical fitness is important, however with mental strength, anything is possible.
I have always been a PlayStation fan. Sony never disappoint when it comes to the quality of the console and games. There is something for everyone with a PlayStation. From Pro Evolution Soccer to Assasins Creed, the PS4 is arguably the best console on the market.
For many of its interactive games, the VR set is needed. This is a virtual reality headset that takes gaming to a whole new level. Lets see how this powerhouse fares, when it comes to fitness games…
The classes in this game were developed by world-class fitness professionals. This game will annihilate calories from the very beginning of your workout! The amount of sweat that runs from your pores is ridiculously impressive. One of the great things about this game is the custom workout section. You can build your own workout sessions and save them. You are able to choose the intensity levels, which means as you get fitter the intensity increases.
If you are a fan of boxing and want a game that challenges you, as well as improves your technique, then this is a game for you. You can box your way to fitness from the comfort of your own home.
- Build custom workouts
- Improve boxing technique
- Burn an impressive amount of calories
- Over 100 different music tracks
- An actual fitness workout, rather than a fitness game.
- Have to have the VR headset and the Move controllers, which costs extra
- Only for those 12 years of age and up.
My Rating: Great concept, that helps you to improve boxing technique, as well as increasing fitness. Obviously, there is no substitute for the real thing, but this gets you close to the real action. Remember, you have to buy the VR headset at a separate cost, however, it is a worthwhile investment, if you intend to get fit at home.
Just Dance 2020
I know this was reviewed for the Xbox, but it is so good, I had to add it twice! The PlayStation version is just as good as the other consoles. Again, you can not go wrong with this wonderful game.
You have the option to use the PS Move controllers, which is something that does set this version apart from the Xbox.
- Amazing selection of songs and albums
- Great for all ages
- Can really elevate your fitness
- Track your progress
My Rating: Awesome game, across all platforms but the fact that you can use the Move controllers, makes it much more appealing on the PS4.
Which Console is Right For Me?
So, you have read the reviews and checked out the games. But you are still wondering which one will best suit your fitness needs. If you have a family, you may want them to get involved. If you have a large group of friends, then you may want to have them over for a multi-player dance off.
Picking the best games console requires a number of factors. All the consoles have their advantages and disadvantages, however, when it comes to fitness, I think the one that stands out for me has got to be the Nintendo Switch. This console offers options for both the mind and the body. This is imperative for all round fitness.
The other consoles are great for other game genres, but as we are solely looking for the console with the best fitness games, the Nintendo Switch blows it’s competitors out of the water. Another bonus, is you can sneak in a cheeky game of Mario Kart inbetween fitness sessions. I hope this review has given you some guidance.
Thank you for reading my article. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, it has been a pleasure to have you here. Stay well and keep safe.