Have an old Playstation 3 lying around? Why not take it and an old LCD TV you’re not using anymore and transform it into a personal video game workout system for your home gym?
The world seems to have moved past video game fitness games, but the good news is, an old game from 2010 will still get your heart pumping just as effectively as any new game they could put out today–and for a lot lower of a price too.
From the reviews I wrote on PS3Fitness.com (which are available to you on this site now), here are my personal choices for top 10 PS3 Fitness games.
- Playstation Move Fitness – This was a game that had been hyped up for years and years, almost from the time Playstation introduced the Move controllers in response to the runaway success of the Wii’s motion controllers. Sadly, by the time the game finally came to market, the Move (despite impressive technology) simply hadn’t been embraced by the marketplace. So instead of releasing it as a normal $59.99 retail package, they ended up releasing it online on the Playstation Store only, and even there it didn’t fare all too well. But as you can read in my review, it turned out to be an excellent workout game which made full use of the Move’s superior precision, something the Wiimotes and Kinect couldn’t touch. At its current price of $9.99 you can’t go wrong.
- The Fight: Lights Out – Okay, the video of the tough guy holding two lit-up fairy wands while boxing was a little ridiculous, as is the image of you holding those same things. But the cardio workout is incredibly intense, the motion controls more precise than on any other video game system, and the game does a great job of stoking your competitive drive. It’s about $14 on Amazon and between $5 and $10 on eBay.
- EA Sports Active 2 – EA Sports dipped its toes into the fitness gaming craze with EA Sports Active, which took off on the Wii. What made this system unique is that it didn’t rely on the console’s motion tracking system, but bundled its own controllers that you strapped onto your wrists. The game had a great built-in training system that could track your progress over weeks and help you set different goals. The workouts themselves were excellent cardio and aerobic exercises that in many cases were fun. new copies on Amazon are actually kind of pricey, but you can snag an used version on Amazon or eBay for a song and on eBay for even less.
- Dance Dance Revolution – Before there was Just Dance there was DDR. Konami pretty much squeezed every last moo out of this cash cow since the days when kids were playing the giant DDR machines in arcades (what are those?) in the mall (what’s that?). The PS3 version of DDR was the pinnacle as far as the quality of graphics and performance on a home console. The current price on Amazon represents a bit of price gouging given the rarity of the mat these days, but you may have good luck finding a decent price on eBay.
- Just Dance Series – Ubisoft pretty much perfected the art of squeezing cash cows. Just Dance is literally the only motion gaming title that is marketed anymore. When it launched on the Wii it was the first game that let you dance “real dance moves” and their motion controls have gotten better; of course the PS3 Move controllers are much more precise than anything you’ll find on any other platform. The last version I reviewed for the PS3 was 2014, but since then they’ve released new versions for 2015 and 2016
- Sports Champions 2 and Sports Champions – Both these games were Sony’s attempts to beat Wii Sports with photo-realistic graphics and incredibly precise motion tracking with the Move controllers. There were certainly sports on both titles that could get your heart pumping, such as Gladiator Duel and Volleyball on the original and Boxing and Tennis on the sequel. Sports Champions and Sports Champions 2 are both currently selling for about $12 on Amazon, a far cry from the $120 you would have paid for both back in the day, and of course you can get a great deal by bidding on eBay.
- Adidas MiCoach – I’m not sure why more people didn’t like MiCoach. It was a great concept–built in routines by real athletic trainers which simulated the kind of training that professional athletes got. The “training games” were very well done and the closest thing to real “virtual reality” I’d seen in a video game. Its flop can you your gain–you can find it for under $9 at Amazon and the same price at eBay.
- Kung Fu Live – The guys at Virtual Air Guitar were way, way ahead of their time with this one. They’ve since gone on to the Xbox One to continue their innovative put-yourself-in-the-game development, but this was the one that started it all, and for my money it’s still one of the best and most fun video game workouts you can get, as long as you can get beyond the graphics which are understandably glitchy given what they were trying to accomplish. You can still download the game for $14.99 at the Playstation Store.
So there are the top seven. If you thought the concept of video game exercise was passe, try firing up your old PS3 and trying some of these, and you’ll find out again how fun exercise can be.
Of course, to play these you’ll need a Playstation 3. If you shop around Amazon and eBay you’ll still be able to find a good deal on a new or used unit. What I love about the PS3, which a lot of people don’t realize, is that in addition to playing games, it can serve as your primary Blu-Ray player (with the ability to play 3D Blu-Rays on a 3D TV), which is what I use my old PS3 for most these days.