The Sims series has been one of the most popular video games since 2000. It is the frequently chosen life simulator, constantly evolving and encouraging players to experiment with their virtual Doppelgangers. But the most recognized video games from Maxis are The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, today fighting for the title of the best life simulator ever.

The essential differences between Sims 3 and Sims 4 are vital to loyal fans of the series. As it turns out, each of the two parts has its determined supporters and enemies. Their gameplay is a bit different, and the designers introduced improvements and more fun with the new DLCs. But is newer always better? Let’s take a look at the content to find out what is the best Sims game!

General overview

For those who may not know, The Sims is an extensive life simulator where players create their Sims and do what they want. There are many possibilities for endless fun as you implement the most inspiring or hilarious scenarios. And by purchasing DLCs, you can freely boost your gameplay with new accessories, transportation, locations, supernatural creatures, campaigns, and time travel!

The Sims 3 is a title released in 2009 by Maxis, introducing many improvements featured by The Sims 4 in 2014. Both games are some years old, but this is the always up-to-date gameplay that will satisfy the needs of the most experienced fans of the series. The only problem is The Sims players cannot decide which title is better. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a ton of information on both games to help you decide which The Sims part is your favorite.

The Sims 4
Image credit: Maxis

The world and graphics

At first sight, you can see that The Sims 4 graphics are much better. And although the title came to life in 2014, the visuals are still up-to-date and pretty. While designing your people, you will notice slight and noticeable differences, turning sharp features and silhouettes into more realistic characters.

But the most significant difference between The Sims 3 and 4 is the open world of The Sims 3. There are more lots to visit and more locations for free-roaming on the game map. It also means new activities and fun for your Sims! In The Sims 4, you can only travel between communities and neighborhoods by selecting them on the map. Locations are more repetitive, with fewer activities and lots to explore. However, these flaws bring one epic improvement – the game runs incredibly smoothly. When The Sims 3 requires long loading times and high-end computer to play, always threatening to explode, The Sims 4 overcomes these issues and works just fine. Plus, it introduces an intuitive building mode perfect for new players.


Each adventure in The Sims begins with creating a Sim. The Sims 4 offers more realistic customization, set in a somewhat cartoon style. In this title, you can add entirely new elements to your projects, like facial expressions or tattoos. The game also introduces SmartSim, which expands the creative experience. Sims now have personalities, express emotions, and base them on their impressions from their surroundings. They can also do two things at once, which rules out any monotony, and fans of genetics can enjoy accurate breeding results for their Sims.

The Sim 4
Image credit: Maxis

It does not mean that The Sims 3 gameplay is worse. During the character creation phase, you will discover Create a Style feature – a breakthrough system encouraging to customize the appearance of everything and everyone. In this title, you can freely adjust the colors and shapes of items, clothes, or hairstyles, which, unfortunately, was missing in the newer game, where each element is ready. The Sims 3 is also Story Progression, a feature that will allow your Sims to continue to develop without your participation. You can watch their independent actions and progress, guaranteeing better immersion and a more realistic world. The Sims 3 also introduced a toddler stage of life, which The Sims 4 unfortunately removed. But prepare that this is quite an old title, so the fashion is definitely outdated. A few more years and the same problem will probably affect Sims 4.

DLCs contents

There is no Sim series without expansions and a variety of plot twists to your gameplay experience. If you are a fan of supernatural themes, The Sims 3 will make all your dreams come true! Here you will discover an impressive range of fantastic creatures like genies, fairies, unicorns, ghosts, vampires, and so on. There are definitely fewer of them in The Sims 4, and even the DLC content cannot generate such a legendary experience as the base version of The Sims 3. Pets enthusiasts will also find their favorite content in The Sims 3. When The Sims 4 only offers cats and dogs, in The Sims 3, you can have your own horse. Who doesn’t dream of a horse in their backyard?

Or maybe a trip to the city of the future? You can play this scenario in The Sims 3: Into the Future, involving exciting time travels and influencing your heroes’ timelines. And if you are a Star Wars fan, you will surely fall in love with the thrilling adventure in The Sims 4: Star Wars – Journey to Batuu. The Sims 4 has its fundamental flaws, but when it comes to DLCs, you won’t find such exciting content in any other game.

The Sims 3
Image credit: Maxis

The Sims 3 versus Sims 4 – what to choose?

The choice is easy! If you are considering buying and playing the base game, definitely choose The Sims 3. Even without the expansion packs, this title is an immersive adventure, allowing you to implement countless memorable stories. And you can drive cars in it.

However, if you plan to purchase the basic version of the game and then boost it with new expansions – buy The Sims 4. There is always new content for this title, and each upcoming add-on or stuff pack is better and better.