We can’t always get outside or to the gym to meet our exercise quota for the day. But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to get your workout done from home, and if you’ve got a VR headset lying around, it can actually open the door to some great workout options.
When selecting games for this list, we only cared about one thing: that these games got your heart beating and blood pumping. Of course, stuff like nice presentation and fun gameplay also go a long way to make your workout more enjoyable.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get moving.
Slice Through the Rhythm: BeatSaber (PC/Quest/PSVR)
If you’ve heard of any of the titles on this list it was probably BeatSaber. This game took over the VR world with its simple but alluring premise: “What if Guitar Hero, but lightsabers?”
You’ll need to cut through colored blocks at high speeds, and with hundreds of developer and community-made levels, there’s a nearly endless amount of content for you to work through. When you first start, the fast movement harder songs require might feel impossible, but as you continue playing you’ll improve and trounce songs that once gave you a hard time.
Mario Kart Track Meet: Sprint Vector (PC/PSVR)
If you don’t have a treadmill available to you and don’t want to go outside in the heat, running can be one of the more difficult exercises to do. Sprint Vector solves that problem though. Here you’ll run through fantastical courses throwing items at your enemies to try to win the race. You’ll run in place and move your arms to use various items. This is a competitive online game (there is also singleplayer against bots), so your desire to defeat your opponents can motivate you to actually get better.
Plenty of Punching: BOXVR (PC/Quest/PSVR)
Another rhythm game, except this time you’ll be using your fists to move along to the beat. Similar to BeatSaber, you’ll be punching in various directions to match the blocks flying towards your face. BOXVR is more focused on being a workout tool than BeatSaber though—it even has a tracker for how many calories you’ve burned.
Some More Realistic Punching: Creed: Rise to Glory (PC/PSVR)
Maybe you’d prefer something more realistic than the colorful BOXVR, if so, Creed: Rise to Glory should cover that need. In Creed, you’ll be facing off against real-life icons of the boxing ring. Dodge, strike blows, and come out as a champion, all while working up a sweat.
Move to the Beat: Synth Riders (PC/Quest)
Synth Riders may just look like another rhythm game in the vein of BeatSaber, but this one puts more emphasis on the actual music—it’s a dancing game. You’ll move your hands according to the rail-based markers and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a few moves along the way. And, just like BeatSaber, you can download user-created songs to boost your playtime even further.
Hole in the Wall: OhShape (PC/Quest)
Most of the games we’ve covered here have a focus on moving your arms and hands, which makes sense because that’s what VR is best at (currently). OhShape manages to find a way to get your whole body in motion though. Colorful walls will fly at you, and you’ll have to move your whole body to fit the shape in the wall. While on lower difficulties this isn’t very intense, on higher speeds you’ll definitely be getting a good workout in.
Racquetball Breakout: Racket NX (PC/Quest)
Racquetball is already a pretty good workout in real life, but Racket NX sneaks in some more arcade-like elements for a fun twist. You’ll have to precisely aim your shots to hit tiles for points. A competitive multiplayer mode even enables you to face off against a friend or stranger to encourage you to go at it even harder.
You Are a Pirate: Space Pirate Trainer (PC/Quest)
Space Pirate Trainer is just a simple wave shooter with a sci-fi setting, but that doesn’t dampen how cool you feel playing it. Robot drones will attack you in increasing numbers, and you’ll have to dodge their attacks, block their shots, and fire back with your own shots—all while listening to some great techno music.
Master of Time: SUPERHOT (PC/Quest/PSVR)
SUPERHOT has managed to become one of the more iconic VR games, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it have a clean unique art style, but it also has one of the greatest gameplay twists in the FPS genre. Time only moves when you do in SUPERHOT, which means you can slowly step out of the way of frozen bullets, catch shurikens from midair to throw at your enemies, or straight-up steal your enemies’ weapons for your own benefit.
Comparatively speaking, SUPERHOT isn’t as physically demanding as the other games we’ve listed, but you’ll still definitely get your heartbeat up with this one.
Comedic Shooting Range: Dick Wilde 1 and 2 (PC/PSVR)
Out of all the games here, the Dick Wilde games probably have some of the more complete-feeling atmospheres. Your job is to protect your land from invading swamp critters, and a surprising amount of variety exists in both enemies and weapons available. The game uses some nice cel-shaded visuals, and the tone stays upbeat and comedic throughout both games.
While Dick Wilde 2 improved on the formula with better visuals, more content, and even co-op, Dick Wilde 1 is still worth playing if you’re interested in the genre.