World's ageing population, prevalence of chronic diseases, and shortage of healthcare resources have increased interest in home-based physical therapy and rehabilitation. However, the standard equipment is often too bulky and unsuited for home use. This paper presents the design, development, and evaluation of a set of wearable orthoses for home-based physical therapy. Originatively utilising miniature electromagnetic brakes, the system can deliver a low to moderate range of resistive torques suitable for isotonic, isometric, and open-chain resistance exercises. In human tests with the orthoses, low-level muscle activation and low- to moderate-level energy expenditure were achieved. This suggests the system's potential for use in a wide range of applications, including postoperative treatments for muscle injury and the early stages of rehabilitation, and tele-rehabilitation. The orthoses were integrated with a video game console to form a new research platform that can be used to study the effects of force haptics on muscle activation and energy expenditure in exergames. The data obtained aid the future development of exergame prescription standards. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. IET Science, Measurement & Technology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Institution of Engineering and Technology.