Best Kinect Games for Xbox One

The Kinect was initially bundled as standard with the Xbox One, but Microsoft split them up to lower the console's cost of entry. Kinect can transform your media experience with voice commands for changing television channels, navigating your console, and even asking Cortana for weather reports.

Kinect is also an excellent addition for light-hearted gaming, often ideal for younger audiences, families, and party scenarios. And hey, it's a great way to exercise! The threat of burning actual calories as you read this list of great games you're missing out on is minimal, however.

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Update December 24th, 2016: Removed Xbox Fitness and Project Spark due to the closure of those services. Added Fruit Ninja Kinect 2!

Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey

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You're already looking at the screen with an incredulous, squinty eye, and I GET IT. Have you seen this game?! It's crazy! Use your body to create platforms and bridges, while you use the controller to move Commander Cherry. I defy you to not fall in love with the rosy-red fleshed, handsomely mustachioed berry! Ok, so it's not the yoga-tastic workout you may anticipate, but it's a cool idea for a platformer and it's presentation is wild.

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D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die

D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is an episodic game about a time-traveling detective who needs to solve his wife's murder in order to stop it from even occurring. It has distinctive cel-shaded art, which lends it a cool noir-style. The Kinect aspect isn't anything hardcore; voice commands and simple gestures are about as taxing as it gets. The Quick Time Event fight scenes make the Kinect a fun alternative to using a controller and if you don't want to control it using Kinect, you can turn it off.

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Your shadow is the portal between two worlds. Strategically place your body in order to form connections between the worlds, but don't let looks deceive you. In this misty temple land are surprisingly difficult puzzles, to be solved by using your body in innovate ways. Expect to be stretched and splayed while still controlling your character through the temple. Elegent and incredibly unique, Fru will firmly become one of your favorite Kinect games ever.

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If the Kinect is great for anything it's rhythm games. Beatsplosion will have you literally jumping around the room, hopping from side to side and kicking and punching. It also has decent music to bop along to, while you're trying to smash the 'quarks' and other sub-atomic particles in time to the beat. It has two difficulty settings, easy and expert, and a number of belts to collect. This is definitely an exercise-dance game, so be prepared to be on your feet. Great for parties to see who can get the highest score in the most ostentatious manner.

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Fantasia: Music Evolved

Genuinely hailed as one of the best Kinect games ever made, there is more than meets the eye with Fantasia: Music Evolved. Developed by Harmonix, who bought us the Rock Band games, this game fuses dance in a way that will still make you tremble in nostalgic fantasy, regardless of your age. It's really easy to play and has modern and classic songs to dance to. If you ever wanted to get a feel for the frantic orchestral conducting we watched Mickey perform in Fantasia, this would be the perfect game for it. A colorful distraction for kids on a rainy afternoon. DLC is available to add extra tracks.

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Kinect Sports Rivals

To be honest, I'm of the opinion that the Kinect Sports games are some of the best Kinect games there have ever been. Period. They've always utilized the floor space really well, and have interesting ways to make someone exercise without it being mind-numbingly boring. Bowling and jet-ski races may be fairly obvious fare in a third installment for the Kinect Sports series, but how will you get on with the target shooting, or rock-climbing that is featured in Kinect Sports Rivals? Capture your likeness into the game, and participate!

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Blue Estate

One for older audiences, this dark comedy game is a shooter on rails, and based on the comic books from Viktor Kalvachev. Intuitive gameplay designs made specifically for Kinect's motion detection offers an immersive dip into the Los Angeles mafia underworld. It doesn't get much easier than sitting on your couch and literally making a finger gun and shooting at the tv. That's it! You might think that an on rails shooter without any kind of controller wouldn't work, but the tailored-for-Kinect finger gun method works, and works well.

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Draw A Stickman: Epic

You may already be familiar with the Stickman, having been a popular mobile game for some time now. In Draw A Stickman: Epic, you can use the Kinect to draw with a variety of brushes and colors to aid Stickman on his grand adventure. Another one-of-a-kind experience, Draw a Stickman is an RPG with the unlikeliest of heroes. Sketch and scribble your way through a unique storybook journey, as you save a Stickman Buddy of your own creation from the evil Zarp. Different pencils have different properties, and there are many combinations to try so get drawing to create the answers yourself and get saving your friend!

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Dance Central Spotlight

Okay, so you may not personally be the target demographic for this kind of game. In my case, dancing is best left to people who don't have two left feet made of over-cooked spaghetti. But flawless motion detection captures your every movement, and Harmonix prove yet again that they're one of the masters of interactive music games. Boasting more routines per song, and an improved Fitness Mode, the expandable library will see you shimmying to Pharrell and jiving to The B-52's. You can also play with a friend and see who has the best moves.

Bonus: if an interest in dancing strikes the little ones in your life, or your bad Dad dancing in public is becoming a national embarrassment, it could be a great way to expand your repertoire. Won't someone please think of the children?!

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Squid Hero for Kinect

A new Ice Age approaches, and the only hope for the planet is Squid Hero! Use both hands to move Squid around, and to control his tentacles as you flick icebergs out of the way, race down obstacle laden river rapids while moving your body, and even challenge your accuracy in timed rhythm stages. Save small animals stuck in dangerous situations, take on huge bosses and clear the screen for bonuses. With a gracious learning curve, some parts do get tricky but if you get stuck the game gives you the option to skip to the next stage. Would Squid Hero bail on the helpless animals? No. -judging you-

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Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show

If you have kids and they watch Nickleodeon, then you'll probably already know that there is an animated tv show called Rabbids Invasion. Once they were cheeky and silly with an adorable amount of toilet humor, now you probably gaze upon them with the same dead-eyed stare that you may give Minion memes on Facebook. But the kids love it, and that's all that matters, right? In Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV show, has 20 interactive episodes, and over 400 full motion activities to get involved in. Whether you're throwing eggs or pulling faces or walking like a deranged animal there's something for all the little ones to take part in, in Rabbids Invasion.

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Fruit Ninja Kinect 2

The hit fruit-slashing mobile game appeared on Kinect back on the Xbox 360, and Half Brick studios have returned to make use of the beefed up Kinect 2.0 on Xbox One.

Gameplay largely revolves around slashing bouncing fruit with your hands, complete with crazy physics, satisfying sound effects, and all sorts of addictive power-ups.

Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 features several fruit-murdering game modes, and is playable co-operatively or competitively for up to four players, making it one of the best party games for Kinect on the store.

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Over to you!

What are your favorite Kinect for Xbox One titles? Let us know in the comments and we may include them in the next update!

Huge thanks to coip for his suggestions!

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Lauren Relph

Lauren Relph is a games writer, focusing on Xbox. She doesn't like piña coladas but loves getting caught in the rain. Follow her on Twitter!

  • Omg yes, FRU is awesome (terrible name, but whatever, it's the game that matters). Excellent balance of simplicity and challenging puzzles, combined with holding your body in hilarious positions. Seriously, if you have Kinect, buy this game!
  • but Kinect is already dead, right?
  • With the risk of wasting my time, I am trying to give you a proper response ;) I agree that there is a shocking lack of games, also from MS studio's that use the Kinect really. The party games on the 360 were very fun for the kids to play. So yes its suffering from a lack of interest. But with the UAP coming to the XBox One and the USB adapter that can be used for both your PC as your XBox One S (and assuming Scorpio) there is a change that it will inspire some home developer to make cool and fun and original new content for the Kinect, working on both the PC and the XBox. But we will have to wait and see. I for one still use it as killer Skype camera, voice control with Cortana and a rare Kung Fu for Kinect session.  
  • Yes it is dead. Not just because of lack of content. Unity dropped Kinect support for voice recognition. Microsoft stopped providing Kinect support to developers. New Xbox one S getting rid of kinect port and instead requiring an expensive adapter to support Kinect. Xbox Fitness shutdown.. How many more signs do you need?
  • I have always enjoyed playing Sports Rivals and Fantasia. I need to purchase FRU sometime to try out.
  • It's interesting that I find most sports games tedious and boring, but when you're involved and using Kinect with them, they become really fun and engaging haha
  • Kinect is awesome. And the people saying it's dead...i feel like are just wishing that for no apparent reason. If u don't want one then don't buy one. Stop complaining end of story. For those of us that love our Kinect and it's Alexa and Wii like capabilities thanks for this article. Well done. Now let's have a WP game feed with one of the bad boys.
  • Kinect is awesome. And the people saying it's dead...i feel like are just wishing that for no apparent reason. If u don't want one then don't buy one. Stop complaining end of story. For those of us that love our Kinect and it's Alexa and Wii like capabilities thanks for this article. Well done. Now let's have a WP game feed with one of the bad boys.
  • Kinect is awesome. And the people saying it's dead...i feel like are just wishing that for no apparent reason. If u don't want one then don't buy one. Stop complaining end of story. For those of us that love our Kinect and it's Alexa and Wii like capabilities thanks for this article. Well done. Now let's have a WP game feed with one of the bad boys.
  • Just Dance Kick asses, anyway i enjoyed much more the 360 kinect games, when the kinect 2 was announced i wished lots of games using its improvements but few titles arrived finally, i didnt sell my 360 only because kinect 1 games
  • You sound like a real Kinect Advocate, just like us! :)
  • D​ont forget Kung Fu for Kinect. It has been one of the better Kinect games. It comes close to just plain moving fun.
  • Kung Fu for Kinect is one of the more original and practical ideas I have seen come from the Kinect. I only wish I had the space to really play it.
  • It doesn't really need that much space: 6' depth, 4' width.
  • I Just want a golf game. :(
  • I'd certainly give a golf game on Kinect a go!
  • You overlooked Fruit Ninja Kinect 2? For shame!
  • Not overlooked, per say, just had to make room for some other less obvious titles ;)
  • As fun as the Kinect Sports games are, for me they represent the knuckle headed decision to stop Rare making joyous games such as Viva Piñata and Banjo Kazooie to concentrate on Wii Sports knock offs.
  • I can certainly understand your feelings in regards to Rare, but why shouldn't they branch out at the same time? Developers are people too, and just like you and I, don't like to get bogged down in their jobs doing the same things :)
  • Just Dance and Fruit Ninja are our goto Kinect games. I wish they would make a Punch Out style boxing game for Kinect, that would be awesome. Maybe those guys that were working on a TJ Combo game for the McLaren phone could repurpose it to a kinect game
  • I could definitely swing some punches as Mac! Punch Out on the Wii was REALLY fun.
  • Pretty good list, but I'd drop Commander Cherry and add in Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 or Kung-Fu for Kinect. My Top 10:
    1. Fantasia
    2. Dance Central Spotlight
    3. Dark Dreams Don't Die
    4. Fru
    5. Kinect Sports Rivals
    6. Fruit Ninja Kinect 2
    7. Kung-Fu for Kinect
    8. Blue Estate
    9. Shape Up
    10. Peggle 2 ​Games that used to be on this list but now aren't because Microsoft killed them: Xbox Fitness and Project Spark      
  • I would have liked to have included Xbox Fitness in the list, it was instrumental in my fitness goals at the time, and worked like a darn dream.
  • Always amazed me that Kinect Fitness never gained more traction. Was actually a superb thing. Some of those workouts were killer. I'd like to try Fantasia, they had it for £17 in Asda tonight. Would rather buy it digitally though.
  • You should try Fantasia. It's probably the best Kinect game ever made, and it's definitely the best music / rhythmn game ever made.
  • Peachy, I noticed on the Xbox App store yesterday, there is a Les Mills fitness app, which brings out all their regular releases. It's similar in style to the Mossa workouts on Xbox Fitness, though I don't think it works with Kinect. There's always that to fall back on and have a look at :)
  • Just Dance, Zumba Fitness, and Xbox Fitness were the best 3 Imo.
  • Just Dance and Xbox Fitness were awesome. When I play Zumba games, I resemble a pineapple wobbling on the spot uncertainly, perhaps it's best if I leave that one for people without two left feet haha
  • I was just hoping for a new Kinectimals and a Kinect Adventures 2 when I bought my Xbox One Day One édition. So disappointed that it will never come. Those 2 were the best Kinect games on 360 and sequels should have been day one to make people buy into the new Kinect power.
  • The Kinect is an amazing peripheral, I wish more companies were willing to go beyond the true and tried formulas that they use over and over again to fill their pockets and made more games like these, which bring original gameplay mechanics, and they keep people moving, to boot. I guess that VR can integrate these technologies into a seamless experience.
  • I'm interested to see where they take the Hololens experience, after seeing the Minecraft Hololens demo at E3 last year! :)
  • Dance Central Spotlight for me..
  • I might be the only person who bought and kinda enjoyed Fighter Within.
  • Haha probably Rhody! I had it myself and I felt like a cat swatting at a fly just trying to get it to accurately pick up my movements :(
  • I'd like to think that the true successor of Kinect is the current Windows Hello technology that exists on phones and PCs. Also gave Cortana a place to be tested before coming mainstream. Just wish they came out with a real extension cord so I could put my XB1 back in the audio closet (or have made it wireless without lag).
  • I just got Boom Ball 2 for Kinect. It is really well made and works great sitting on the couch. Basically it is Breakout with the Kinect, it has a 2-player mode, and it costs less than $10.
  • KUNG FU for Kinect. Frickin fantastic.
  • With the death of Kinect Fitness, someone should really market a stand alone fitness game, or even a port of one of the Kinect 1 fitness games.
  • im surprised how many titels there are now. its a shame there are no work out titles and kinect fitness was shut down. even after people purchesased content.
  • Never heard of the Rabbids game. I may have to pick up a Kinect for this, my son would love it. Hard to find games he can play, let alone interact with physically
  • I just wish they would bring Kinect Party to the XBOX One...
  • Couldn't imagine playing a Kinect focussed game BUT I highly enjoyed playing Alien Isolation which added some great Kinect added functionality by having your Character mimic your movements while in a hiding position ( instead of using the controller ) It would also pick up ambient noise and alarm the Alien if it was near so remaining silent was your best bet for survival =)