Launched in 2000, The Sims is now an iconic franchise that has outperformed and outperformed many of its contemporary peers. It’s odd to think that the franchise hardly ever took off, as the publishers weren’t sold on whether it was actually going to be a hit.

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However, nearly 18 years later, the series is one of the most recognizable and best-selling in the gaming industry, thanks in large part to gamer-minded features like the ability to create and add Sims 4 mods .

But how has it changed over time? Does the franchise still attract the hype and glory it had in the early 2000s? Here we offer a comparison of Sims games , along with their highlights and low points.

The Sims (2000)

The Sims ( TS1 ) was the first installment of the franchise that changed the sector 10 Video Games that Changed the World 10 Video Games that Changed the World These are the games that changed everything, that marked the next step in the evolution of video games , and that had to exist for the video game industry as we know it today … Read more. There was some doubt that Will Wright’s designer would see success. However, soon after its launch, it became a bestseller. In fact, the game has even held the title of the best-selling PC video games in history for some time.

So what were the main aspects of the game?


World and Neighborhoods

In The Sims , houses are located in lots within a neighborhood. These neighborhoods are relatively simple, consisting of around 10 lots each. In the base game, there is only one neighborhood and it is exclusively residential. Community lots for businesses appeared in a later expansion.

Each batch acts as its own separate instance – you can’t move between them without having to wait for a loading screen. Despite more neighborhoods appearing in later expansions, your Sims cannot travel between these neighborhoods.

Stages of life

The Sims came with the three main stages of life seen throughout the series: toddler, toddler, and adult. The game only set the first stage of life, which means that a baby would age into a baby in three days of play. However, the other two stages of life do not age. As a result, your Sims remain as children or adults indefinitely, depending on how you introduced them to your family (through birth, adoption, marriage, or Create-A-Sim).

Due to the lack of aging, adult Sims may only die from accidents (or player murder plots). Meanwhile, the children were inspired by Peter Pan and remained eternally young.

Sim Complexity

While incredibly complex for their time, the Sims seen in the original game lack the emotional and graphic complexity of their counterparts in later games. By today’s standards, they are simple and not much to look at. Although at the time, they were considered fantastic.

The gameplay was driven by a Sim’s needs, such as hunger, entertainment, and sleep. They had no wishes or aspirations, which meant your goals were more to meet immediate needs than long-term plans.


The original Sims game has the fewest expansions in the series, as well as no Stuff packs (content that mostly includes extra items, rather than new game mechanics). Despite this, these seven expansions have placed much of the agenda for future expansion themes.

Each expansion has significantly expanded the gameplay, adding new regions, game mechanics and interactions. The seven expansions for The Sims were: Livin ‘Large, House Party, Hot Date, Vacation, Unleashed, Superstar, and Makin’ Magic .


At the time of its release, The Sims was unlike anything else on the market. It has taken the fanfare around other simulation games and provided users with an unprecedented and extremely personal level of control not seen in others. The Sims became the first true life simulation game.

Despite initial doubts, it has become an industry-changing game. Its inclusion of same-sex relationships was also groundbreaking at the time, as it was long before diversity and representation took center stage in the gaming industry.


Most of the criticisms you could throw at The Sims have more to do with hindsight, rather than the product at the time of its release. The graphics haven’t aged well when you compare them to modern games, but they were considered quite impressive at the time.

The main criticism the game faces when considering its time frame is the path-finding of the characters. Sometimes characters got stuck behind objects, which meant players had to move them. Sometimes, you should use cheat codes to move the Sim itself, as you can’t interact with objects in use.

It also had the big problem that almost all Sims games suffer from: increased loading times as more content arrives for the game. The more expansions you installed, the longer you had to wait for the game to load. This problem continues throughout the franchise.

In addition to these two problems, the TS1 was excellent for its time.

The Sims 2 (2004)

The second installment of the Sims series, The Sims 2 ( TS2 ), was well received by most fans. The base game was significantly more advanced than its predecessor.

TS2 continued the developer’s adventure towards more unusual ideas. One of the main features of The Sims 2 was the introduction of aliens as a playable type of Sim. Although considered a life simulator, these strange inclusions have become part of the franchise’s core identity over time. Players can not only simulate a life, but can now simulate an imaginative dream life not limited by what is realistic.

World and Neighborhoods

TS2 ‘s neighborhoods expanded slightly on the foundation set by the original game. An important difference, however, is that TS2 has several neighborhoods and there is a mix of community and residential lots.

More lots have been introduced in the expansions, but they tend to fall into the general categories of community as opposed to residential properties. You also have the option to create completely new neighborhoods from scratch.

The concept of “sub-neighborhoods” was also introduced in the expansions, which laid the foundation for the open world concept introduced in The Sims 3 .

Stages of life

The Sims 2 significantly enriched the life stages seen in the original game. It also introduced the aging mechanism of the series. This resulted in a total of six life stages in the base game, while the Life University expansion introduced a seventh.

Sims move through the stages of baby, toddler, toddler, teen, adult, and finally senior. If you had college expansion, you might as well experience the young adult stage.

Your Sims will now also die of old age, with a limit to the length of each stage of life.

Sim Complexity

TS2 has seen a significant step forward in Sim complexity, thanks to the introduction of aspirations, desires and fears. Aspirations are “big” goals – what your Sim wants to achieve at that specific stage in life. Meanwhile, wishes and fears are your Sims’ daily goals and dislikes.

Desires and fears are determined by the Sim’s aspiration or specific events (such as dates). For example, a Sim with the aspiration of Knowledge will want to develop certain skills and fear being kicked out of college. Achieving goals guarantees aspiration points, while fears will reduce these points.

You earn rewards when you reach higher aspiration levels and a full aspiration bar puts your Sim in a good mood. In terms of graphics quality, the Sims in TS2 have been significantly upgraded by TS1 . They are less pixelated, have more natural features, and their faces show a lot more expressions.

Along with this, there is an increase in the quality of the animations for the different interactions between the Sims.

The extent of your characters’ increased graphical complexity can be seen especially in Create-A-Sim. Rather than scrolling through a limited number of head and body types, you have a much greater level of control over your Sim’s appearance. There are many more hairstyles, controls for adjusting facial features and specific makeup settings. You can also generate a child Sim’s appearance based on their parents’ “genetics”.


TS2 had a total of eight expansions, with similar themes to the previous game’s expansions. Expansions include: University, Nightlife, Open for Business, Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, Leisure, and Apartment Living .

TS2 also marked the introduction of “Stuff Packs”, game content such as decorative elements and styles built around a specific theme. The 10 Stuff Packs for The Sims 2 include: Festive Party Pack, Family Fun Stuff, Glamor Life Items, Stuff Celebration, Happy Holiday Stuff, H & M Fashion Stuff, Teen Style Stuff, Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff, IKEA Home Stuff , and Mansion and garden things .


The best part of TS2 is the sheer breadth with which it is built on the basis of the original game. It’s the symbol of a time when game sequels were usually much better than their predecessors, as opposed to failed reboots and overwhelming sequels that are part of the trends ruining modern games 6 Ways Modern Gaming has ruined the fun (and how to fix them. ) 6 Modern Game Ways Ruined The Fun (And How To Fix Them) Modern games have a lot of positives, but some of the current trends worry us. Here are six ways today’s game has lost the magic of the past and how to deal with them. Read more .

The introduction of aging and life aspirations has also raised the stakes, giving greater urgency to accomplishments. Managing your Sim’s life wasn’t just about making sure they didn’t starve, get wet, or die in a fire (although these still matter).


At the peak of the game’s popularity, there wasn’t much criticism of TS2 or its expansions. However, long loading times became an issue as more expansions were released. Even on a modern PC How to Buy a Cheap Gaming PC with an Nvidia Graphics Card How to Buy a Cheap Gaming PC with an Nvidia Graphics Card Looking to build a low cost gaming PC? Dann Albright built a cheap Nvidia-based gaming machine. And it’ll show you how it’s done for under $ 600. To learn more, loading The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection (which includes the base game and all its expansions) can take a while, especially when starting a neighborhood for the first time. .

Sims fans are all familiar with the shared experience of starting the game and then letting it load while having a snack or spending time with another activity. This was no different for TS2 .

The Sims 3 (2009)

The Sims 3 has seen a continuous increase in the quality of the franchise and continues to prove to be a fan favorite game of the series. It was also one of the more ambitious installments, with a substantial base game and many full expansions.

World and Neighborhoods

TS3 is the first and only Sims game to introduce an open world. The world is not unlimited, but within the same instance there are several residential and community lots. This is a significant departure from the previous separate lot instances.

Other Sims around the world are also more in tune with your family, as they age at the same rate. However, the gameplay focuses on a specific “active family”. This means that if you have created multiple families but have continued to play the same active family, the other families you have created will continue to age and eventually die.

Stages of life

TS3 has a total of seven life stages: infant, toddler, toddler, teenager, young adult, adult and senior. It is the only Sim game to make all of these life stages available at the time the base game launches.

Previous games required expansions for some life stages, while The Sims 4 only featured some life stages months after launch.

Sim Complexity

With the introduction of TS3 came a further evolution of the Sims formula . This included a significant leap in graphics quality, but also more emotionally complex Sims.

Create-A-Sim has introduced more customization options for your character, more feature editing features (like jaw width, nose length, etc.), and a better system for personality and aspirations. You can also adjust muscle tone and body fat for your character, instead of choosing between the “thin” and “fat” presets.

The game also moved away from the horoscope presets and points system for personality traits. You can now create more nuanced Sim character profiles. Previously, personality points were awarded along a simple spectrum of polar traits, which included Sloppy / Neat, Shy / Outgoing, Lazy / Active, Mean / Nice, and Serious / Playful.

But in TS3 , there are a total of 63 traits in the base game. These include traits such as flirtatious, greedy, wicked, childish, and even vegetarian. Sim kids get more traits as they grow up and these traits are often based on their upbringing and genetics.

TS2 ‘s system of aspirations, desires and fears developed into a more advanced Wished and Lifetime Rewards system in TS3 . While the fears still exist, they are now of very little importance.

Sims continue to have short term wishes (similar to wishes) and life wishes (long term aspirations). Achieving these gives you reward points that you can spend on unique and rare items and permanent traits new to your Sim.


Developer TS3 saw Maxis pump out most of the expansions for any Sims installment , reducing the number of Stuff Packs. The third Sims game saw the release of 11 expansions: World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night, Generations, Pets, Entertainment, Supernatural, Seasons, College Life, Island Paradise, and Into the Future .

Solo nove Stuff Pack sono stati rilasciati per TS3 . Si trattava di High-End Loft Stuff, Fast Lane Stuff, Outdoor Living Stuff, Town Life Stuff, Master Suite Stuff, Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats, Diesel Stuff, 70s, 80s & 90s Stuff e Movie Stuff .


TS3 was a high point for The Sims franchise . It has some of the most complete expansions, more control for players, and more complex Sims. The game works well in terms of both graphics and gameplay considering the year of its release. Although its appearance has aged somewhat, it still has some longevity. In fact, some fans still spend time in Sims 3 over Sims 4 due to the lower cost and higher amount of content.

A highlight of the game is also the Create-A-Style feature, which gives users a deep level of control over the design and coloring of specific objects. It also allows you to fine-tune the creation of Sims hair colors.

the differences between simulation games

The TS3 launcher integration with the online community also means that installing custom content for your Sims games has become a popular activity for fans.

In addition, the open world significantly increases immersion. Transitions between buildings feel natural, the weather feels less disjointed when your Sim leaves for specific events, and seeing other Sims wandering around gives neighborhoods a livelier feel.

At the time of its launch it became EA’s best-selling game, which is impressive considering EA has had other popular franchises like Battlefield and FIFA .


The criticisms of The Sims 3 mainly include bugs and performance issues. Players also loved the game’s loading time increase when more expansions came out.

Since TS3 has an open world, most of the time spent waiting for screens to load is when players start the game. There were also issues with optimization, which meant that some players with underperforming PCs couldn’t get the level of performance they needed to truly enjoy the game.

These Load Times and Performance Issues How to Fix Low Game FPS in Windows How to Fix Low Game FPS in Windows Frames per second (FPS) are for playing what power is to run. We show you some changes that will save you from low-game FPS. Unleash the true power of your rig and watch the FPS soar! Further information was cited as one of the reasons TS4 demolished the open-world system.

The Sims 4 (2014)

The Sims 4 ( TS4 ) is the latest but most controversial installment in the franchise. The game has seen a serious overhaul of TS3 ‘s features . EA has canceled some popular features, which have drawn the ire of fans.

However, it also introduced an extremely complex Sim creation system and a different, yet eye-catching, graphic style.

World and Neighborhoods

The most obvious change in the world of TS4 is the removal of an open-world system in favor of separate instances for different batches. Confusingly, the new system refers to batch groups as “worlds”, but they are not as open as in TS3 .

The “world” in TS4 refers to a neighborhood area, consisting of approximately 16 lots. However, this world is segmented into small pieces or districts – simply called “neighborhoods” in TS4 . Each of these neighborhoods, which usually only has four or five lots, is a separate instance. Sims can walk around this small area, but if they travel to other districts or lots, a loading screen will appear.

the differences between simulation games

Additionally, visiting lots within your district also brings up a loading screen. This means that if you want to go visit the family next door, you have to wait for their house to load. When you get home, you have to go through a loading screen again.

Stages of life

TS4 technically has seven life stages: baby, toddler, toddler, teenager, young adult, adult and senior. However, at the time of its launch in 2014, babies were not available. This stage of life was only introduced in a patch in early 2017.

Babies technically count as a stage in life, but they don’t function as one. They are actually just interactive objects in a spacecraft – the same format as TS1 .

Sim Complexity

Two of the biggest marketing points for The Sims 4 are its new Sim creation system and the new Emotion system. EA even uses the slogan “Smart Sims. Weird Stories.”

The game has adopted a different artistic style from the previous ones, one more cartoonish than realistic. While you might consider it a simplification of Sims’ appearances, it actually helps them look less out of place. This abandonment of the attempt at realism actually makes the Sims look better.

Much of the pre-launch hype for the game stemmed from the new Create-A-Sim mode. Players have a much higher level of control over their Sim’s creation.

When it comes to your Sim’s personality, the trait system still exists in TS4 . However, the Emotion system is one of the most influential when it comes to your Sim’s daily actions and mood.

Emotions affect your Sims’ interactions with objects and other characters. They take the form of a buff that affects your Sim’s mood, just like the moodlets in TS3 . Emotions also have three levels of intensity: an early stage (eg Angry), a more intense stage (eg Very angry), and an extreme stage that can result in death from that emotion. The third stage applies only to certain emotions.

the differences between simulation games

Emotions also unlock new interactions with objects and Sims. Some of these interactions heighten emotion (e.g., romantic interactions increase flirting), while others breed them (e.g. confessing embarrassment to another Sim can help relieve Embarrassed emotion).

Interactions between Sims are also slightly more complex, but easier to track. In TS3 , you may sometimes look away only to go back and find your Sims arguing and getting mad at each other. If you didn’t know the cause, it was difficult to determine how to get your Sims to interact neutrally again.

However, in TS4 , you can see the tone of a conversation and whether it’s going well. If one of your Sims makes a mistake, you will see the conversation classified as “Awkward Interaction”. Just like an emotional state, the state of a conversation can escalate. This adds an extra layer of complexity to Sim’s social interactions while giving you a clearer picture of the situation.


TS4 has the fewest expansion packs of The Sims games , despite being just months away from its four-year anniversary. There are currently four expansions: get to work, get together, live in the city and cats and dogs .

The Sims 4 also introduced “Game Packs,” which are essentially mini-expansions. These packs have significantly less content than an expansion, but include more gameplay elements than the Stuff packs. There are currently five game packs available for TS4 : Outdoor Retreat, Spa Day, Dine Out, Vampires and Parenthood .

When it comes to Stuff Packs, however, the TS4 developers have been particularly prolific. EA has already released 12 Stuff Packs and at least one more is on the way. This means TS4 will have the most Stuff Packs of any Sims game .


The Sims 4 definitely has the most advanced Build Mode of all games, giving users an unprecedented amount of control over the design of their Sims’ homes. While Create-A-Style no longer exists, the level of nuance of the new construction system is evident. You can adjust the heights of the walls, the heights of the doors, the placements of the windows and even the shape of the structures.

Whereas the franchise grew out of 10 city building games Indie City and Base Builders To Try Right Now! 10 indie cities and base builders to try now! There are a number of indie developers working on a number of great city and base builder based games. We take a look at some of the best independent base builders and cities you can play … Read More It’s nice to see the construction system become more precise and intricate.

the differences between simulation games

The Create-A-Sim system is also the best in the franchise, with extraordinarily precise control. The click-and-drag feature to change features makes a Sim’s appearance a more intuitive experience. The only drawback is that there seems to be less variety of hairstyles. I tried to make a Sim with medium or long curly hair and couldn’t do it despite being able to do it in previous installments.

the differences between simulation games

TS4 is also one of the most carefree Sim games. Its tone is similar to some modern silly simulation games 8 of the weirdest simulation games you can play now 8 of the weirdest simulation games you can play now People are weird; really like it, really weird. Some of these weirdos become game developers, and that beautiful marriage of madness and digital potential creates the most casual simulation games you’ll ever find …. Read More. You can see this most often in emotion-related actions, such as taking an “angry poop”.

Despite the humor built into the game 10 Most Funniest Video Games Ever Made 10 Most Funniest Video Games Ever Created Trying to laugh when you play video games? We’ve rounded up ten funniest titles that will keep you in awe. There is something for every sense of humor here! To learn more, he is also surprisingly socially aware. Patches over time have given players more control than ever over their Sim’s creation and identity. The game has taken a less restrictive gender view and allows players to select any outfit and hairstyle regardless of gender. You can also specify whether your Sim is able to get pregnant or impregnate others and whether they stand or sit when they go to the bathroom.

This is in keeping with the franchise’s history of trying to be inclusive of all members of its player base, even if these moves are sometimes considered controversial. Regardless of your take on the moral debate surrounding this, there’s no denying that the game’s developers have given players the tools to actually simulate their dream lives at the tee.

While removing the open-world system is a major drawback for many fans, the TS4 actually has better load times. You won’t run the game on a USB drive 7+ Great games you can play from a USB stick 7+ Great games you can play from a USB stick In minutes, you can load a stick with many great games to keep in your pocket AND you can play them on any PC, anytime – here’s how. Read More However, this could also be due to a lack of content, fewer expansions, and a different game engine. Some may see the time saved as not enough to justify the loss of neighborhood mobility.


There was a lot of criticism of The Sims 4 before the game even launched. But years after its launch date and subsequent patches, a lot of criticism of the game still lingers.

TS4 is a game that embodies the increasingly sour relationship between EA and its player base. Over the years, gamers have accused the publisher of clipping content so that it can sell more DLC DLC: The Three Most Expensive Letters in the Game DLC: The Story of Gaming’s Most Expensive Letters (DLC) downloadable content is a key part of modern video games. But where does it come from, and how has it influenced the video game industry? Let’s find out. Read more . The Sims 4 is one of the greatest examples of this. At launch, many gamers noticed TS4 ‘s lack of content .

In addition, the game has taken a few steps back from the progress made with The Sims 3 . They demolished the open world and reduced children to interactive objects. Additionally, the baby’s life span was absent and even swimming pools were not included at the time of launch.

The developers have patched some of these problems. Pools reappeared shortly after launch, while kids returned with free DLC in 2017. However, there’s still less content than fans, and frequent expansions aren’t helping the situation. Expansion packs are few and far between, and they lack the depth of content of their TS3 counterparts .

TS3 has seen 11 expansions released in the four years between 2009 and 2013. However, since its 2014 release, TS4 has only had four expansion packs. These expansions aren’t chock-full of content, as the recent version of The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs demonstrates . The corresponding expansion of TS3 Animals included animals such as horses, creatures such as deer, as well as smaller animals such as turtles and snakes. However, TS4: Cats & Dogshas only two types of pets, those mentioned in the title. You can technically make a raccoon or a fox, but these are classified as dog and cat breeds. Also, you can’t control these animals directly, as players are able to in TS3 .

Meanwhile, the game has seen a handful of Game Packs. This fosters the feeling of limited content at high prices. For example, rather than a Supernatural expansion pack , EA has released a Vampires game pack . This essentially provides players with a quarter of the content of an expansion pack, but at half the price of an expansion. The expansions, when not for sale, are equal to or higher than the price of the base game, despite their limited content.

If you buy all the expansions and game packs, you will have a lot more content to enjoy. But the price of these securities is a serious deterrent when considering their limited scope. Thus, many gamers have turned to mods for further enjoyment.

Lazy Game Reviews summed up these criticisms in a 2016 monologue on The Sims 4 . YouTuber is an avid supporter of the franchise and a prolific reviewer of the various game and expansion packages, but has often criticized the latest installment for how overwhelming it was. You can see the critique of him in the video below:

The Sims 4 is a fun game, but it wastes a lot of its potential. The franchise has taken several steps backwards with this rumor. You will still spend many hours in the game, but not as many as in TS2 or TS3 .

Will we ever see another Sims game?

The lack of love for TS4 compared to previous rumors has put the future of the franchise into question. Many players want more action with Sims , but remain disillusioned.

Rumors about The Sims 5 surfaced last year, but EA hasn’t confirmed any of them. They are also mostly based on the development program of the previous entries in the franchise. But the current profit-centered culture contained in TS4 ‘s content could be the death knell for the series, especially in light of the controversy over EA’s bad practices.

At the same time, despite the continued popularity of the god simulator and management games, The Sims series has not yet found a competitor of similar scope and quality. This could mean that the franchise has some hope left.

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