Everything used to be dance video games. In the early 2000s, it wasn’t unusual to walk into an arcade and see a dance pad with flashing lights and a crowd watching as someone moved on the arrows to fast-paced techno music.
This was Dance Dance Revolution, a game that not only paved the way for other dancing games but also changed the way people thought about action games in general.
Instead of sitting on a couch with a controller, players were asked to stand and try to move their feet to a large and memorable soundtrack with J-Pop, trance, Euro pop, famous remixes, and more.
This not only changed how games were played, but it also gave people a new way to get in shape. In Norway, it was even made an official sport.
Since then, games like DDR have led to younger games like Just Dance and Dance Central, which let players move their whole bodies in front of a motion sensor.
Even though the DDR series had the best dancing games, it has become much less popular on home consoles, forcing players to look for newer versions and songs in arcades.
Here is a list of home versions of well-known dancing games that are still fun to play today. You can play the games below at home with a dance pad and a computer.
This list does not have any other music games or dance games that use motion sensors.
We should dance!
- 18. Dance Factory
- 17. In the Groove
- 16. Stepmania
- 15. Dance Party Club Hits
- 14. Now That’s What I Call Music: Dance & Sing
- 13. Beat Saber
- 12. ABBA: You Can Dance
- 11. Michael Jackson: The Experience
- 10. Space Channel 5
- 9. Unison: Rebels Of Rhythm
- 8. Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
- 7. Pump It Up Exceed SE
- 6. Dance Central
- 5. Step Mania
- 4. Just Dance 2022
- 3. DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 1+2
- 2. Metronomicon: Slay The Dance Floor
- 1. Dance Dance Revolution
18. Dance Factory
Critics and writers like to pick on Dance Factory, but this small game is different from all the others in the genre. You can burn or buy a CD, put it in your PS2, and wait a few minutes.
Then, based on your dance steps and moves, you’ll have a whole playlist of songs to dance to. This means that there are no limits on what songs can be played.
This is a great alternative to Stepmania for console gamers who want to play a quick game without having to open a program and look for specific songs.
Dance Factory is a very hard way to work out because the songs last as long as the track does, not just one minute and thirty seconds like DDR.
The only problems are that the front two lines are switched from other dance games, which can be confusing for new players, and some of the steps don’t match up with the beat.
But this book is currently available online for less than a dollar (new), so it’s definitely worth it.
17. In the Groove
In the Groove is an American version of the DDR series, and it turns out to be another great dancing game. ITG became popular in arcades around 2005.
It gave dance fans who wanted something harder than DDR’s four or five basic difficulty levels a new way to play.
This led to more steps, songs that went faster, and levels of difficulty that would take years to learn.
The music is different from that of Dance Dance Revolution. There are a lot of dance songs that you probably haven’t heard before this game, but that’s not a bad thing.
Fans were looking for something new when this game came out, so Roxur Games made In the Groove to meet this need. But there are definitely some legal problems with this game.
Konami sued for copyright infringement because this game is too close to the original dancing series. This led to Konami buying the company and registering it as Intellectual Property.
Will there be more music from In the Groove?
It’s hard to say for sure, but this niche game is worth getting for your PS2.
Think of Dance Dance Revolution as a game where you can make your own songs and dance moves and share them with a busy online community.
When it came out in 2001 as a free open source program, Stepmania gave dance fans another chance to practice their moves.
It is a copy of Dance Dance Revolution’s arrow-based gameplay, and it has become more famous as it has been updated over the years.
The cool thing about Stepmania is that it is free and has a lot of different songs to choose from, all of which were made by users.
Copyright problems mean that Stepmania will never leave the computer screen and make it into arcades.
This doesn’t matter too much because Stepmania is still going strong and is the best way to dance for the least amount of money and with the most choices.
15. Dance Party Club Hits
Want to try out some cool dance moves?
Dance Party Club Hits is all you need. With the famous 8-step dance mat, players can show off their moves to 16 different songs.
There are more than 40 dance steps to learn, and each one gets harder as you go.
You shouldn’t miss this Dance Party! Players can dance alone or with up to eight other people in the Tournament game.
In the Dance Creator mode, players can even make up their own dance moves if they want a real challenge.
14. Now That’s What I Call Music: Dance & Sing
Karaoke and dancing go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Now That’s What I Call Music: Dance & Sing lets you do both.
This Wii game has more than 30 of the best songs from hip-hop to modern pop, and the properly choreographed dance routines are sure to take players down memory lane.
With a look like the famous Just Dance games, players can sing along to their favorite songs by plugging in a USB microphone.
For some disco-fever fun, they can either sing solo in the campaign mode or participate in an epic dance-off against two or three other players.
13. Beat Saber
The world of virtual reality has taken games to a whole new level by making them more immersive. For example, players can feel like they are dancing on a real dance floor.
Beat Saber is a popular VR rhythm game made by Beat Gamers. Players cut through incoming blocks in time with the music against a strange sci-fi background.
Even though players aren’t required to dance while playing Beat Saber, it would be rude not to move to the beat of the music as they destroy blocks.
Beat Saber has a library of original music, but if you don’t like it, you can sync up your own songs and dance to your heart’s content!
12. ABBA: You Can Dance
ABBA: You Can Dance is a bit like The Beatles: Rock Band. It was made by the same people who made the highly popular Just Dance series.
Instead of playing, though, players were expected to dance to some of the best and most famous pop songs from the 1970s and 1980s.
The game has a total of 25 ABBA songs, such as the hits “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Waterloo.”
The game can be played by up to four people at once, and it also has a singing mode for two people. This makes it one of the most unique and feature-packed dance games ever made.
11. Michael Jackson: The Experience
Even though the main Just Dance games usually have a good range of songs and dance styles, they aren’t great for people who want to focus on one thing.
That’s where the Experience series comes in. Michael Jackson: The Experience is the first of three good spin-offs.
Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, and Thriller are all on the game’s huge score, which has almost all of the Prince of Pop’s best-known songs.
Its success led to the release of more specialized games, like ABBA: You Can Dance and a couple of Disney-themed dance games as well.
10. Space Channel 5
This one might be a little bit of a cheat, but it’s too good to leave out! Space Channel 5 is a rhythm game for the Sega Dreamcast that came out in 1999.
The player controls Ulala, a reporter who travels through space.
Throughout the game, they have to help Ulala move and sing like her opponents. This leads to some amazing dance routines.
It’s a game that people often forget about, even though it’s so good that they shouldn’t.
9. Unison: Rebels Of Rhythm
Even though Unison: Rebels of Rhythm is officially a rhythm game, the gameplay is much more like dancing than something like Space Channel 5.
Players “dance” with their thumbs by moving and shaking the joystick to match the arm movements on the screen.
Unison: Both the art style and the themes of Rebels of Rhythm are heavily influenced by J-pop, anime, and singing girl groups.
All of this gives the game a unique taste and a story that will keep players interested while they’re dancing.
8. Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Nintendo games are known for having great music, so the chance to dance to their songs might be too good to pass up.
Players can go through the game as Mario or Luigi and dance to great songs from the Mario series.
This game is so popular that people have even come up with ways to play it quickly.
Plus, Waluigi is the main bad guy in this game, which makes it a great one for people who like the plumber who wears purple. If only he could dance like in the movie Smash…
7. Pump It Up Exceed SE
When you think of dance games, it’s easy to think of up, down, left, and right as the four basic movements. But in the Korean dance game Pump It Up, there are five arrows: four on the side and one in the middle.
PIU is different from other dancing games because it has its own style and way of playing. It’s not easy to learn how to play with five shots, but it’s definitely worth it for people who want to try something new.
There are several music channels in PIU, and songs range in how hard they are to play. Pump It Up is probably one of the hardest dancing games you can play, and you need a special dance pad to play it.
Fans of DDR who have learned Light or Standard mode shouldn’t have any trouble getting used to the five steps. However, only serious dancers should try anything beyond Hard mode on PIU.
6. Dance Central
When it comes to games that use the Kinect, the Dance Central series is one of the very best.
The first game in the series has a Metacritic score of 82, and the list of songs on the soundtrack is full of real bangers.
You can dance to Poker Face by Lady Gaga, Crank That by Soulja Boy, and even Funky Town by Lipps Inc.
It’s nice to have one good dance game where you don’t have to hold or step on the keyboard, but it’s even better to have several.
5. Step Mania
Imagine a moving game where anyone can add and change any song, including Despacito and Kirin J. Callinan’s Big Enough.
Step Mania is a dancing game that everyone can play for free. It looks like a dance fever dream.
The game’s only real flaw is that it can be hard to play with a gamepad.
Still, not many games have as many different things to do as Step Mania, and it doesn’t take long to learn how to use the gamepad to play.
4. Just Dance 2022
It would be wrong not to talk about the Just Dance series. Critics liked most of the games in the Just Dance series, but they liked Just Dance 2022 the most.
The game is just so good at tracking movement, and the music is even better than some of the older games in this long-running series.
There’s no doubt that the Just Dance series is the most popular and well-known dancing game right now.
Also, Just Dance Unlimited added more songs to the game after it came out, so Just Dance 2022 will only get better.
3. DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution 1+2
It’s hard to choose between these two Dance Dance Revolution games because they are both great.
In 2002, these games were the best dancing games that could be played on the PlayStation 2 and in arcades.
Newer dance games can’t bring on the beats like these old DDR classics, and their tunes aren’t even in the same league.
Some of the songs from the turn of the century in the names are full of nostalgia and will probably appeal to people who grew up during that time.
2. Metronomicon: Slay The Dance Floor
This dance game has the gameplay that dance gamers are used to, but it also has story and strategy parts.
Slay the Dance Floor adds even more content to the first game, but it still has the same fun and RPG features that made the first game popular.
This dance game has a lot to offer people who play it. It has new characters, passive skills, and cooperative choices for all game modes.
It’s also a very beautiful game to look at. The 2D sprites and clever enemy designs are right up there with the best.
1. Dance Dance Revolution
The original Dance Dance Revolution for the PlayStation One is without a doubt one of the best games for that system.
The game was called Dancing Stage when it first came out in Europe, and it was the first of its kind in many places around the world.
Every game that came after the first one was based on it in some way. Even now, it’s still a fun phrase.
Fans of dancing games who still have the disk with the dance mat or can play this one in an arcade should definitely do so, because this is one of the best.