Sims 3 vs Sims 4

Sims 3 vs Sims 4

The Sims is an incredibly popular gaming franchise that is developed by Maxis, and published by Electronic Arts. It is a life simulation game that allows players to create virtual people, and then settle them in homes.The gameplay is sandbox, and players have the freedom to do as they wish. There are no specific goals to achieve. In this article, we will compare Sims 3 vs Sims 4.

The franchise as a whole is one of the best selling video games series of all time. The most recent installments are Sims 3 and Sims 4.

Sims 3 was released in 2009 as a sequel to Sims 2. It was noted for having a fantastic open-world system, and the ability to move around without loading screens.

There was also a great design tool that allowed players to redesign every object. The game was a huge success and sold 1.4 million copies in the first week. It still has many regular players and was given critical acclaim. 

The Sims 4 was the sequel to this, and it was released in 2014. There were many updates, including an in-depth “Create a Sim” feature that allows players to create incredibly lifelike humans.

Additionally, there was a new focus on personalities and emotions. The open-world aspect was toned down a bit, and the toddler stage was completely removed. Sims 4 remains highly popular, but it has been given mixed reviews. 

Let’s have a look at some of the key differences between Sims 3 vs Sims 4.


When it comes to customizing your experience in Sims 3 vs Sims 4, then Sims 3 comes out on top. The revolutionary “create a style” tool allows you to edit virtually every aspect of the experience. Whether that’s the color of a sim’s hair, the clothing patterns, and virtually anything else.

The color wheel is easy to use, and lets users fully customize their gameplay. In Sims 4, this level of customization is nowhere to be seen in the main game. It only appears in the Dogs and Cats expansion pack, and only applies to changing the appearance of those pets. 


Another major aspect in Sims 3 vs Sims 4 is where The Sims 3 comes out on top is the open-world feeling. Not everybody will play Sims for the same reason, but there are many who love the feeling of being able to roam and explore their virtual neighborhoods. The Sims 3 is the only game in the franchise that provides a full open-world roaming experience.

This means that players can travel through the entire world map. There are no loading screens which makes it convenient and fun to explore the world, which was a major difference in comparison to the first two Sims installments.

Sadly, Sims 4 removed most of these open-world aspects. Instead, the game focuses on smaller enclosed communities rather than one large open-world.  You can still jump to separate communities, but you will meet loading screens.

The Sims 3 also had cars which players could buy and even take for a spin. This feature has also been removed on Sims 4. Sadly, there are no cars present within Sims 4. 

Loading Screens

One aspect of Sims 3 vs Sims 4 is that it can affect the gameplay experience is the appearance of loading screens. The Sims 3 does not have many loading screens, but it takes much longer to load the game in the first place. In comparison,

The Sims 4 is much quicker at initially loading, but there are short loading screens when jumping to different communities. It’s not too much of an issue, but it is one of the clear differences when considering

Realistic Characters

The graphics and realism difference in Sims 3 vs Sims 4 are definitely better on The Sims 4, as can be expected since it is the newer game. The sim-likeness is much improved, and they definitely look like real people. The “Create-a-Sim” feature is fantastic, and there are many features available to edit.

You can easily create Sims that have a likeness to real people. The Sims 4 is definitely the franchise that offers the best depictions and customization options for individual Sims. 

Personalities and Emotions

Another aspect where The Sims 4 comes out on top is for the personalities and emotions that are present within each sim. Simply looking realistic isn’t enough; it’s also important for sims to behave and act like real humans too.

The Sims 4 adds an overhaul to the way that these characters interact. There is a specific focus added on sims having unique personalities, and their emotions are also clear due to the realistic graphics.

This results in more immersive gameplay that gets closer to simulating the human experience. So when it comes to Sims 3 vs Sims 4, the fourth installment definitely comes out on top for having more lifelike sims. 

Expansion Packs

After being released in 2014, The Sims 4 is still receiving updates and expansion packs. This comes in the form of downloadable content. There are many DLCs available for Sims 4, including “City Living,” “Eco Lifestyle, and “Pets.”

All of these expansion packs significantly enhance the gameplay and add new dimensions. However, The Sims 3 was a more complete game without the need for expansion packs. The Sims 4 felt a bet missing, and certain items seemed missing.

The downloadable content helps to improve on this. But, it will be a personal preference as to whether you prefer playing with or without the need for expansion packs. 

Story Progression

One notable feature of Sims 3 was that the stories of characters would progress even if you didn’t pay attention to them.

This meant they could have babies, get married, or start a new career. This feature can be turned on or off by the player. In the Sims 4, none of this progression occurs without your direct input.

For players that like to control every aspect of their sim’s life, this will be no problem. However, some will miss the automatic progressions that could occur without their input. 

Summary: Sims 3 vs Sims 4

Feature Sims 3 Sims 4
Expansion Packs 11 9
Open-World Full Roaming Limited to Communities
Loading Screens 1 at Start Up Brief Loading Screens
Pets Range of Pets Cats and Dogs
Micro transactions Sims 3 Store None
Transportation Cars None
Complete Customization’s Full Customization’s Available Only available in Create a Pet Feature
Likeness to Real People Realistic Depictions Very realistic with more scope to edit
Personality & Emotions Basic Communication Full Range of Emotions and Unique Personalities 
Toddlers Toddler Stage of Life Available Toddler Stage of Life Removed
Stability Slowdowns and certain glitches  More optimized and runs more smoothly

Our Verdict

We enjoy both Sims 3 and Sims 4, but there are definitely notable differences in Sims 3 vs Sims 4. It all depends on personal preference, and everyone will have their own opinions. Personally, we find Sims 3 to be a more fun game, and just more engaging to play. 

Written by Siddhesh Jain

My name is Siddhesh Jain, and I'm the fastest man alive (when it comes to learning, that is). I've been acquiring knowledge and learning new strategies for years, and I'm here to share my vast experience with you. What's my goal? Simple, I want to help every young entrepreneur succeed. Follow me on my journey!