Comparisons are part of our daily lives, and we always ” weigh” what is better and what isn’t. Gamers do it all the time, especially if a new game or title of the franchise comes out. The Sims franchise is one of the more notable games we have had the pleasure to play in the last two decades, and with every new release, new discussions awaken. Sims 3 and Sims 4 changed the life simulator genre with their releases, and some fans are still debating which game is better. Well, this article will try to determine this debate objectively.
Sims 3 is a better game than Sims 4, and most of the Sims fans will agree. The reason why Sims 3 is better is pure because of its gameplay. Overall, players value building and customization in Sims 4 with more fluid performances, but the gameplay gets stale faster than in Sims 3. I genuinely enjoyed playing Sims 3 and building relationships with other Sims, while Sims 4 got me excited about customization, but the gameplay got boring really fast. At the end of the day, gameplay is the most important aspect of any game, and Sims games aren’t different.
We will discuss this topic more by comparing the most important technical aspects of the game, like graphics and game performances, and conclude the article with an objective explanation of why is one Sims game better than another. We are doing the usual best-of-seven scoring metric, which means the first game that gets four points will be “the winner” of this discussion.
This section will determine if Sims 3 and Sims 4 are running smoothly on their gaming platforms. Let’s start with Sims 3. This Sims game was revolutionary when it first came out in 2009, and the open-world feature truly “opened many doors” for players to progress their Sims’ storylines and other aspects of their life.
Smooth transition from one place to another is what Sims 3 did amazingly well, but one thing was always an issue for older Sims in this discussion – long loading screens and lags. Maxis added so many new features to Sims 3 that game performance lacked in various ways, but the biggest one was the long loading screens between transitions.
When it comes to Sims 4, Maxis improved that aspect massively, and the game’s performance is so much better. Yes, Sims 4 didn’t hold on to the open-world aspect of Sims 3 that every fan liked, but at least the polished game performance issues were happening. For that, The Sims 4 gets points in this section.
The Sims 3 0 : (1) The Sims 4
Now, gameplay in Sims games is close to other sections in this article that we will discuss later, but for now, we will focus on the content and things a player can do with their Sims. The third Sims has a plethora of content one can do in the game. With the introduction of an open world, more flexible properties and lots were made available for the players. There were no limitations on where players could build their properties, and Sims had much more to do in Sims City.
The gameplay in Sims 3 is extremely fun, and players have many options and paths – players can visit comic stores, tattoo shops, and other cool places. In Sims 4, this aspect of the game isn’t smooth as its predecessor. One would say Maxis and EA Games decided to remove some of the features to improve the game’s performance, but that is not the case here. Sims 4 feels more “boring,” and the gameplay is much staler. This notion is shared among most Sims fans (including me), who said they got bored in Sims 4 after spending hours building houses and customizing their character.
There are many expansions and packs one can add to the Sims 4, but Sims 3 seemed to have more “content-heavy” aspects, which meant more additions to the game. Yes, building and customization are important parts of the Sims games, but ultimately, Sims is a life-simulator game, and Sims 3 does a much better job than its “younger sibling.”
Point for The Sims 3.
The Sims 3 (1): 1 The Sims 4
Looking back to 2009, Sims 3 was already a great game, to begin with, but when Maxis started adding more content and features, Sims 3 became even more fun. Special fantasy expansion packs that are filled with great content and so many things to do with your Sims are something fans welcome with open arms.
Into the Future, Movie Stuff, Island Paradise, and other cool expansion packs brought many possibilities to players, and unfortunately for Sims 4, that part just lacked. There are over twenty expansion packs available for Sims 4, but they still lack the number of content Sims 3 had in its own DLCs. Besides bloated prices, fans criticized this aspect a lot, even today.
We know EA Games love pricing its content, which is a disadvantage for both games, but when it comes to content, Sims 3 is superior, and for that reason, it gets the point in this section.
The Sims 3 (2): 1 The Sims 4
The environment and open world
Another great aspect of every Sims game is exploring neighbors and neighborhoods and interacting with the many features available. We already mentioned the famous open world introduced in Sims 3, and today is still discussed as one of the best additions to the game ever.
The feature where your Sims can go around the city without any loading screens or breaks is immersive and amazing for story progression. The open world brought many great lots, beautiful gardens, and places Sims could relax or exercise.
Unfortunately, Sims 4 does not have this feature. Some fans will say that “veteran” Sims players are overreacting when they mention that the open-world feature in Sims 3 is superior to most of the things Sims 4 did, and mostly, they are not wrong. Loading screens are back; this time, the world is smaller, and added vehicles are useless. Now, the next section will “fix” the state of Sims 4, but for now, Sims 3 is once again superior.
The Sims 3 (3): 1 The Sims 4
The Sims 3 is a game released in 2009 and automatically should have worse graphics, which doesn’t have to be necessarily true. Some older games are still better looking than most of the newer projects (I’m looking at you, Shadow of Colossus), and Sims 3 still holds up alright. However, its counterpart looks much better, which is emphasized in character customization. Sims 3 characters can be a little hard to create, and Sims 4 has much better tools and options when optimizing a new Sims.
Of course, the graphics of the game environment is also really important, and Sims 4 again has the upper hand in this section. Yes, there are great mods for the Sims 3 graphics upgrade, which is fine, but the base game sometimes looks outdated. Sims 4 gets the point in this section.
The Sims 3 3 : (2) The Sims 4
Building, customizing, and overall creation are staples of Sims games. However, most players, especially new ones, forget the progression of the Sims and their lives.
Sims games were always life-simulator games first, and the progression of the characters was always significant. From the first Sims game, this aspect of the game was a mantra, and many people wanted to recreate lives in the virtual world and see the progress their characters are going through on their life journey.
Sims 3 does this amazingly well and still holds up incredibly fourteen years later – the way it offers the players to have their Sims go the career or family route or go a complicated way of having both. The continuity of the gameplay is always on point in Sims 3, and your Sims always have the option for progression in their lives until their elder days.
Sims 4 is more complicated than that, and fans never fully appreciated how Maxis and EA Games developed the progression aspect of Sims. The stale gameplay and shallow awards can be too much for some players; unfortunately, I agree with that notion.
Less remarkable life achievements and other aspects of Sims’ lives are truly harming the Sims 4 progression and the lives of its characters. Also, the removal of toddlers in Sims 4 is proving to be an issue for family lives and the role-play potential of the game, and that’s not good at all.
For that, the final point goes to Sims 3 and ultimately, ends this debate.
The Sims 3 (4): 2 The Sims 4
The Sims 3 vs. The Sims 4 – which game is better?
After a thorough analysis of both games, I got to say it was really hard since both Sims 3 and Sims 4 have great features. The technical aspects of Sims 4, better game performances, and customization settings are probably the best in the franchise, but the gameplay seems to be abandoned by Maxis and EA Games.
Not saying that Sims 4 doesn’t have any good gameplay features and story progression for its Sims, but players make a good point of getting quickly bored of playing the game after a few hours. As someone who spent unhealthy amounts of time on Sims games, Sims 3 seemed like a much better experience, even fourteen years later. Sims 3 offers inclusive gameplay, organic progression of Sims and their lives, and, most importantly, it’s extremely fun.
In conclusion, if you are a fan of the building and customization, definitely check out Sims 4 since it has the best building mode and Create-a-Sim aspect of the franchise. Sims 3 is for players who want to play with their Sims and reenact various lives, and in the end, create role-play scenarios which can be really fun. Sims 3 has its problems (mostly monetary, like Sims 4), but that’s an issue of the company.
Hopefully, with a new Sims game coming up, we will see aspects and features that made the franchise great and, once again, relive the hype around Sims games that we had when Sims 2 first came out.