Are the best fitness games worth playing? When I first slipped on my Meta Quest 2 headset and melted into the fitness Metaverse, I didn’t expect to enjoy working out with VR. In fact, my editor would attest to some resistance on my part.
I know it sounds bizarre. After all, testing fitness apps is part of my job. But as a personal trainer, VR just feels less, well — personal. I concede that it’s likely the future of fitness could go in that direction — albeit wearing much smaller headsets than the clunky Meta Quest 2 design. And as I huffed and puffed through various fitness apps on my Meta Quest 2, I started to get it.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near replacing gyms or regular workout classes just yet, and I haven’t yet been able to work up a sweat as I would at my local CrossFit or gym — these fitness apps play more like fitness games than out-and-out workouts. The headsets feel restrictive, and few apps offer capabilities that allow you to exercise with weights or check your form (but they do exist).
Formerly Liteboxer, Litesport is a trainer-led VR fitness brand that rebranded from boxing to total bodyweight workouts in March, 2023. The new and improved version is the first of its kind to harness strength training using dumbbells or weights and trainer guidance throughout.
It’ll set you back $18.99/ month for the app subscription, but I argue this will save you some dollars on a gym membership. Litesport says the modality ‘puts users in front of world-class trainers to experience tried-and-true exercises, ensuring correct form while lifting weights.’
You can access over 1,000 boxing, boot camp, and strength training workouts with the ability to use weight-based sessions from home. Each program even includes a unique muscle map to feedback on which muscles are active during exercise.
I lapped up the brand’s shadowboxing workout-gaming experience, using two handheld controllers to punch my way through combos in a 360-degree boxing ring, complete with a 1:1 trainer. Previously coined ‘the Peloton of boxing,’ the rebrand now holds wider appeal, using VR features like passthrough, hand-tracking, and mixed-reality to bring trainers into your space and allow you to smash out dumbbell workouts.
After spending hours dancing and boxing through FitXR testing, I could see why this app would be a firm favorite, but I’m dubious about branding it “the most intense VR workout.”
Still, FitXR offers you a diverse home workout whether you enjoy boxing, combat, sculpt, HIIT, or dancing. The visuals are basic, but you can partner with the smartphone app to track progress against hundreds of workouts spanning five immersive studios. Besides, there’s multiplayer voice chat if you’re feeling sociable.
The addition of Pilates and Barre is clever, offering users a low-impact and high-burn workout alternative, which diversifies this app from some competitors. These classes also pair well with the best ankle weights to add intensity.
You can access a seven-day free trial, but the app subscription will set you back just $9.99 a month.
Gym Class Basketball VR
Gym Class Basketball VR is one of the most popular fitness games for basketball lovers. The fitness game has taken Meta Quest 2 by storm and is backed by NBA players, propelling itself to the #4 most-rated experience in the Quest store.
I worked up a sweat playing, it doesn’t require skill, and it’s probably the most fun I’ve had testing VR fitness games. It was a breakout hit on Meta Quest, hitting one million downloads pre-launch, and even topped the charts as the #1 VR basketball app.
The game transports you to a basketball court where you can practice skills on a solo court, compete against others on a social court, or hit some shot practice against a timer and AI avatar. You can access free-to-play Gym Class Basketball VR and Gym Class Pro, which costs $14.99 a month and gives you access to a private court and full-body avatar.
I nearly destroyed my living room getting carried away during this game, so here’s a warning from me to you — don’t actually run around, and remember to draw out your playing boundaries before starting.
Although it’s not a fitness game, Tripp is a top-tier health and fitness VR meditation app revolutionizing how we view meditation and self-therapy.
Having bagged coveted awards like “Best Inventions of 2022” by TIME Magazine, the Lumiere Award for “Best Use of VR for Health and Wellbeing,” and a CES 2022 Innovation Award for “Best of Innovation in Health and Wellness,” Tripp is leading the way for VR meditation practices.
The app uses immersive VR gaming and engaging worldscapes to transport you into a kaleidoscopic universe of mythical adventures. I meditate regularly, and Tripp has become a household favorite since I first tested it. Backed by research, the app hosts over 100 immersive mindfulness experiences, including breathwork, guided visualization, and interactive gameplay, all personalized to your needs and moods.
The demo is free, but the subscription is just $7.99. That includes ever-changing content and a two-part daily mindfulness practice called Focus+Calm. Fancy floating above the ocean, hanging out in space, or flying around a giant glowing flower? All of that is possible and suits pro-meditators and beginners alike.
Plus, the VR meditation app has expanded to include the immersive Ram Dass tribute, JOURNEY, and Galactic Connection, which allows you to meditate with images captured by the Hubble and James Webb telescopes.
We'll be adding more workout apps and fitness games to this round-up of the best fitness games for Meta Quest 2, as and when we test them. So keep an eye out for new additions soon.
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