The best Sims game
Have you ever met someone hooked on The Sims? They'll tell you there's not a dull moment in the game, especially with expansion packs and add-on content galore. There's no better time than now to dive into the excitement yourself.
When you play The Sims, you can enjoy everyday activities like managing a household, or get thrown into wild challenges such as searching for paranormal activity. Lighthearted and totally engaging, you can be engrossed in the game to the point of near obsession. After all, there are a lot of simoleons on the line, so the stakes are high.
If you're ready to try The Sims, give our buying guide a read first. Our favorite expansion pack is The Sims 4: Island Living. Dive into this paradise where you adapt to Sulani society through snorkeling, barbecuing, and luau planning.
Considerations when choosing Sims games
Gamers of all ages can enjoy The Sims. It's rated Teen for some crude (potty) humor, though it's usually enjoyed by kids ages eight and older. Since you're probably wondering, yes, many adults play this as their game of choice, too.
When you play The Sims, you're playing in an open world and creating your own experiences. You don't necessarily have timed challenges, and there's technically no "winning" or final stage of the game. Rather, you can explore and play at your leisure. Play as little as 20 minutes a day, or dive into weekend-long sessions of full-fledged immersion.
If you can do it in real life, you can probably do it in The Sims -- dog walking, attending parties, and even using the bathroom. On the other hand, you can also enjoy plenty of unique out-of-this-world experiences in the game, such as engaging with mermaids or living with vampires.
Types of Sims games
Main game: The Sims 4 is the main game, which you need in order to play all expansion, game, and stuff packs. You get to enjoy building your little corner of the world by decorating your home, holding a job, and making friends.
Expansion packs: Expansion packs have themed content and new worlds outside of your regular residence. In the Cats and Dogs expansion pack, for example, you get to live the glamorous life of a veterinarian -- or explore the trials and tribulations of cleaning litter boxes.
Game packs: Game packs introduce you to experiences, careers, or lifestyles to play in themed ways. In the Spa Day game pack, you can become a pro at running a spa. You also learn how to stay calm and centered when dealing with high-maintenance clients.
Stuff packs: As the name implies, stuff packs give you new in-game items. If you're totally fashion-forward, you'll love the Moschino pack, as your Sims get haute-couture wardrobes that are truly Instagram-worthy (or at least worth of a screenshot).
The Sims main game costs $40, and all other packs cost anywhere between $10 and $40. Newer packs tend to cost more, whereas older titles often go on sale. Digital copies of games and packs are usually less expensive than their physical copies as well.
Q. On which systems and consoles can I play The Sims games?
A. Most people play them on PC or Mac, though they're also available on PS4 and Xbox One. If you need to get your Sims fix on the go, you can always play their mobile version of the game.
Q. How often are new games and packs released for The Sims?
A. Pretty often. EA does a great job at releasing games and packs with relevant or trending themes. For example, the Strangerville game pack has paranormal themes in a small town -- which is oddly reminiscent of a popular Netflix show.
Sims games we recommend
Our take: Impressive expansion with a whole new exotic world to explore.
What we like: Island-themed careers are engaging and boards are appealing. Make friends or hang out with the mermaids.
What we dislike: Sims can get sunburned, and content can be a bit adventurous for some players.
Our take: Main (required) game from which all other expansion and stuff packs piggyback.
What we like: Available on PC and consoles. Easy to get the ropes of the game. Helpful tutorials along the way.
What we dislike: Bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but it's easy to push through.
Our take: Sims can enjoy the great outdoors and all the misadventures that come with the elements and patio fiascos.
What we like: Add over 40 new objects to your residence, including bird feeders. Brand-new clothing.
What we dislike: Some items can get pricey, so Sims need to work overtime.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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