5. Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) exists at the intersection of Motion Controls, Arcade Games and late 90’s and early 2000’s culture. The first arcade machines of DDR appeared in Japan in 1998 and crossed the Pacific about a year later. DDR immediately made a splash with its unique blend of rhythm game mechanics and foot based motion control. This was a time when US arcades were reaching a nadir in terms of popularity. At that time if you weren’t into the burgeoning competitive fighting game scene there wasn’t much reason to visit the local Arcade. While DDR didn’t single-handedly revitalize the arcade scene but those machines definitely kept the doors open at more than a few local spots. DDR was so popular that it was one of those rare Arcade machines with a specialised controler to make the jump to console complete with a dedicated control pad. Many of the games on this list ultimately owe a lot to the success of DDR.

~ Stephen Krusel

4. Just Dance

Rhythm games usually come in two variants-the kind that involve tapping a screen or clicking a button to the beat of a song, or the ones in arcades that cost a lot of cash and expect you to be able to move your feet at lightning speeds. Just Dance came along at a time when the market was ripe for a reinvention, and the Kinect motion controls were a perfect match. While it still asked you to move your full body, like DDR or other arcade games, it was never overly intensive. You could groove to something slow like Eye of the Tiger or get really active with a high-energy tune like Surfin’ Bird. As the years went on, the Just Dance series got more and more music and a lot more refined, finding new and creative ways to use the Kinect’s camera for more elaborate dances (and later on, various other consoles’ attempts at motion controls). A good rhythm game with even better motion controls? That’s a beat anyone can enjoy.

~ Donovan Bertch

3. Super Mario Galaxy

Mario games have always been about movement. Whether it’s running as far right across the screen as possible, jumping in every which way on top of endless platforms, or even trying to dodge an obstacle in a Mario Party game, it’s always been about finding new ways to move. Super Mario Galaxy takes that idea and runs with it. When you’re bouncing off and around various planets and interstellar locales, it really feels like the sky’s the limit. The game’s motion controls enhanced this-while plenty of it was simple, with a flick being able to send Mario spinning like a corkscrew or toss items, it added to the sense of weightlessness and immersion that the game’s space setting allowed for. There’s also something just so satisfying about being able to shake the remote and knock out (or, at least, stun) anything that stands in your way. With its motion controls and open setting, Super Mario Galaxy was fun on a galactic scale.

~ Donovan Bertch

2. Wii Sports

 One of the first launch titles for the Nintendo Wii, and the killer game included alongside the new system. The game itself is simple family fun. After creating various Mii characters to use as avatars, you can play through the different games offered: tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. You could wind up playing against the computer, with a family member, or on your own with the training arcade systems. The controls are fun and active. You swing your arm physically to swing the bat or racket in-game, and you press a button before throwing the bowling ball down the lane. You can even use the Wii Remote to make a putt in golf. Just remember to strap on the control before hitting a home-run through the television.

~ Melissa Buranen

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