Motion Controls became a fad after the Wii launched in 2006. Due to the console's monstrous success, this prompted Sony and Microsoft to copy Nintendo. The PS3 got the Move controllers, which still work on PS4 and on their PSVR headset. The Xbox 360’s Kinect was good and was a big launching point for the Xbox One before they abandoned it almost immediately.
Would games be better off without the surge in motion controls? For most of these games, the answer is probably yes. Now Sony and Nintendo are the only two console companies still in the motion gaming business. Besides who did and who is doing what, we have had over a decade of motion supported games. So this begs the question, what are the ten best motion games? Let’s get to the ranking!
10 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Would Skyward Sword have been better without the motion controls? Yes, of course. We already alluded to that in the intro. However, we have to applaud Nintendo for attempting to create a complete one to one motion-based Zelda game.
The Wii Motion Plus add-on helped a lot, but it wasn’t enough to make the game perfect. It can be clunky and frustrating at times, which is why it is dead last; that said, it is still a worthy note in the annals of motion gaming history.
9 Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party is the latest release in a long line of mini-game collections with the jumping plumber. Most of the ones after the Nintendo 64 original are rather bland, especially during the Wii era. So color us surprised when this game came out and was a genuine delight.
The classic board game structure is faster, it has a good roster of characters, and all of the mini-games, which use motion controls, are a blast. We especially love the rhythm-based ones.
8 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
Remember when Microsoft was 100% behind the Kinect for Xbox One? Yeah, we do too. We also remember how they burnt that bridge faster than one could say, ‘‘Skittles!” That reference is a deep cut, but hopefully, someone gets a laugh out of it.
Anyway, D4 from the curious mind of Swery65, who also made Deadly Premonition, can be controlled normally, but it is easier to navigate with one’s hands. Even though Microsoft and Access Games discontinued their partnership, thus canceling the rest of the chapters of the game, D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die's strangeness is still well worth a look.
7 Punch-Out (2009)
The 2009 reboot of Punch-Out on Wii can be played in a myriad of ways. First of all, yes, tilting the Wii Remote sideways will work like playing the classic game on NES.
One can also attach the Nunchuck for motion controls, or go a step further and really get a workout with the Wii Fit Balance Board. That last choice is exhausting, but still fun in its own punishing way.
6 The World Ends With You
The World Ends With You straddles the line of what constitutes a motion game, as the original DS release was completely controlled with the Stylus. We would then argue since players had to flip and scratch moves into the screen, it counts. To make it fairer, the recent Switch port did add motion controls when docked.
They aren’t great though so we still recommend touch controls on Switch. No matter how one plays it, the game deserves to be on this list for being a fantastic RPG with a unique gameplay twist and amazing beats.
Moss is a PSVR game that stars a small mouse, Quill, on an adventure to save her kingdom. Players are basically a god that Quill can interact with. While the majority of the game is played via the PS4 DualShock, players can also use movements to alter the world.
Moving rocks in order for Quill to pass is one example. It’s a genius blend of classic action-adventure games with more quirky motion stuff. It is a sight to see.
4 Beat Saber
Beat Saber is another great, albeit different, VR experience that is supported by most compatible platforms. It mixes the fantasy of becoming a Jedi with the rhythmic action of Guitar Hero.
Songs generate blocks and in order to keep the beat, one has to swipe at the different colored blocks with the correctly colored Beat Saber. It’s not the most impressive VR game graphically, but it sure does sound good and is hypnotically entrancing.
3 Ring Fit Adventure
Why did Nintendo make another exercise game with a giant ring for a controller? While Ring Fit Adventure's price can be off-putting, it might be the company’s best game this year. That statement is without hyperbole. The way it tracks movement is near perfect.
Ring Fit Adventure is a crazy blend of a fitness game and an RPG. Who knew those two genres could mix so well? We’ve played for thirty-six days straight and are feeling the burn, but we’re still excited to continue.
2 Dance Central
For a more intense and engaging music experience, we recommend the Dance Central series. It may be a bit harder to play nowadays compared to other dance games like Just Dance, but of the two, it is a more thorough workout.
This should come as no surprise as Harmonix developed it, the creators of Rock Band. Dancing is a natural fit for motion gaming and remains just as strong a genre.
1 Wii Sports
The Wii would not have been such a hit without its pack-in game, Wii Sports. It was the perfect showcase to demonstrate how motion controls could be used by everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest grandparent.
Boxing, bowling, Tennis, and everything in-between were a conversation starter. It is simple compared to a lot of these other experiences, but motion gaming would not be where it currently is today without Wii Sports.