On June 2, 2009, The Sims 3 was released in the US, giving us a brand new open world in which our sims (and their homes) could be as weirdly customized as we desired.
The Sims 3 came to us with a lot of new features (and plenty of bugs to go with them) and while many of us still disagree to this day whether it was a better or worse experience than The Sims 2 or 4, I feel as though we can all agree that, at the very least, this game made us laugh in one way or another.
Now, obviously I adore The Sims 3 in many ways. I still love so many features of it that other games just don’t offer and I plan to continue playing it for a long time. I’ve seen many people around making lists of their favorite EPs and SPs from best to worst, so I thought in honor of The Sims 3’s 10th anniversary, I would do it too.
MY Sims 3 EP/SP Tier List
Top Tier: Yaaas
- I still think of the badass Sims 3 Ambitions trailer every now and then, with the Simlish version of Rise Against’s Savior playing while firefighters saved toddlers and stylists made clowns out of their client. It was the one Sims trailer that really sold me, not gonna lie. I feel as though Ambitions gave us much more gameplay than we’d ever had at the time and I don’t think I’ve appreciated it enough – in fact, initially I had it at second tier but remembering all of its features made me bump it up. Being able to go around town and investigate crimes, bust ghosts, or fight fires is truly an experience I admittedly have not utilized enough.
- The Sims 3 Generations is by FAR my favorite EP in (possibly) all of the Sims franchise. It did come with some faults, like spamming wishes that really don’t make sense for certain sims among other small things, but in my opinion, it gave the game and our sims so much more dimension, which makes for more immersive gameplay. With the added abilities to do things like egg houses or play doorbell ditch, go to prom and join after school clubs, it gave sims children and teens more to accomplish in their younger years and made their lives a little more believable. Raising a family and making special memories became so much better with this EP. The imaginary friend was creepy af, though.
Second Tier: Cool
- I’ll admit, The Sims 3 Supernatural is only on second tier because my inner goth/supernatural lover vibes with it so hard. Let’s be honest here: the Sims 3 zombies sucked, the magic was mediocre at best, and there were often way too many fairies in town, but the aesthetic and storytelling possibilities were endless and for that I am grateful. I think I appreciate and cling to it a little more than other EPs because we were initially so starved for supernatural sims in TS3. In a way, that was a great marketing strategy for EA, so they won.
- I remember Seasons being the one thing everyone kept asking for (as they did for TS4), and it was ridiculous that certain other EPs came out before this one. I think it’s a given that it’s higher up on anyone’s list because adding weather and seasons to a life simulator is kind of, well, expected (and thoroughly appreciated). Like every Sims game, it has its share of bugs. For example, I recently played through the winter on a new save file and had trick-or-treaters come to my door during my gift giving party. But in all honesty, the fact that we can have a gift giving party in which our sims receive toilet paper rolls or a coffee maker makes the game so wonderfully charming. And, hey, if I could trick-or-treat all the time I would too.
Third Tier: Okay
World Adventures, Late Night, Pets, Showtime, University Life, Outdoor Living Stuff, Town Life Stuff
- The Sims 3 World Adventures promised us interesting places to visit and they delivered… but it was like being delivered a fresh piping hot pepperoni pizza with a bunch of worms on it. The worlds were gorgeous, the gameplay was wonderful, the tombs were exciting (but somewhat repetitive), and the bugs… THE BUGS were aplenty. We learned pretty early on that World Adventures breaks basically everything. Do I still intend to play it? Yes, but absolutely with a fresh throwaway copy of my saves because ain’t nobody got time for that.
- I do like Late Night for its implementation of bars and clubs for my more social sims, but I very much dislike Bridgeport. The celebrity feature of the EP was alright at best. I think my favorite part of it was giving autographs and paparazzi – just not the ones that hang out outside of your house. Oh, and this is the EP that gave us half walls, so props for that!
- I love The Sims 3 Pets. I really do. The only reason it’s not higher up on my tier list is because of the big dog bug, which caused your sims to slowly lose free will after adding a large dog to the household. That was sort of an EP deal breaker for me because I love big dogs and especially the fluffy textures The Sims 3 added to them. Other than that, this EP was wonderful. I loved the objects that came with it (especially the big cat house), the horses, and even the random deer.
- Showtime is one of those EPs that shouldn’t have come out before Seasons, in my opinion. In all aspects of its gameplay, it meant well, and the SimPort function was pretty cool in theory (I never used it, but the idea of being able to send your big performers to your friends’ towns was the closest we could get to an online multiplayer feature). It wasn’t as though Showtime wasn’t fun, but this EP is definitely for a more specific type of gameplay and you would think that something more generalized (like, uh, WEATHER) would have been the priority.
- I’ll admit, I have never graduated a Sims 3 sim from university. The Sims 2 University gave us so much fun stuff to do and had so much quirkiness that it was pretty difficult to compete with, and Sims 3 University Life didn’t quite rise up to the challenge – at least for me. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t thoroughly love that my sims get to go to university and have that dorm living life. It just seemed to be missing that one thing that kept me interested. I did like going to classes with them, but maybe it was less structured for me to feel challenged. Or maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I’ll be interested to hear if you have differing opinions on this one.
- Outdoor Living Stuff is the first Stuff Pack to make the list, and it doesn’t really get better from here. I’ll be honest here and say that some of the SPs on my list I never bothered to buy, so I can’t fully review them, but also like… there’s a reason I didn’t buy them, haha. The reason Outdoor Living made it to tier three is because I personally enjoy fire pits and outdoorsy fun with my family, so getting some fun objects to use with my sims was a given.
- I think Town Life Stuff wouldn’t have even been necessary if EA had just given us these things to begin with (of course, this holds true for basically every SP). It made it to third tier because it added a prep school and more upscale items for adding a different aesthetic in your town.
Fourth Tier: Meh
Island Paradise, Into the Future, High-End Loft Stuff, Master Suite Stuff, Movie Stuff
- You know, Island Paradise was SUCH a good idea. We had HOUSEBOATS and SCUBA DIVING and taxi boats. It gave us an exploration feature and resorts and… MERMAIDS. Ugh. It was super annoying to find that the world they built for us, specifically for us to play with all this great new stuff, was glitched to hell, making it basically unplayable. If you were a person who wasn’t into finding or building your own custom worlds, I can’t imagine how much of a bummer this was. Bad on you, EA. (The good news is ellacharmed made a fixed version. They should pay her.)
- The Sims 3 Into The Future gave us a ton of futuristic objects, features, and more… but did we really need it? Like many of the other EPs and SPs, the idea is great, it’s super interesting and sounds cool on paper, but when it came down to it, it didn’t add much of anything that I would care to use in every game I played. In fact, I feel like it was almost TOO much stuff. Jetpacks, hoverboards, hover cars, chips, holographic TVs… Did the community ask for these things? I don’t remember. Traveling through time is great once in a great while, but the novelty wore off for me after the first time. When I play TS3 these days, Into the Future is one of the EPs I choose not to include at startup. Maybe you disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts.
- We often get these packs that include maybe one or two things that we’re looking forward to, and I think High-End Loft Stuff is one of those. There were a few nice modern pieces of furniture and some fashionable outfits, but overall, meh. There’s not much more to say about that, haha.
- Master Suite Stuff is one of the SPs I didn’t purchase – or at least I don’t remember purchasing it. It added a few bed and bath type objects for decor. It was all around a fairly romantic themed pack. The only thing that would’ve gotten me to buy this was the elegant pajama gown that I would wear because it’s fabulous.
- I’m noticing as I write this list that it seems I don’t care for specifically themed SPs. This makes sense to me. If I invest in additional features for my game, I often consider whether I would use these objects or clothing regularly. If the answer is no, then obviously I won’t pay for it. Sims 3 Movie Stuff adds cool things inspired by movie genres for storytelling, but nothing struck me as I NEED THIS.
Fifth Tier: Bad
Fast Lane Stuff, Diesel Stuff, 70s, 80s, 90s Stuff
- Fast Lane Stuff. Y’all, I love me some Fast and the Furious, but I do [clap emoji] not [clap emoji] see [clap emoji] the [clap emoji] point in devoting an entire SP to cars and asking people to buy it. The Sims community is perfectly capable of creating these things themselves ok.
- In researching this, I learned that apparently Diesel Stuff was chosen via a poll on TheSims3.com. The community voted on this and that’s totally okay. I do adore many of the styles that came with this SP (and I totally use a couple of conversions from them in TS2 and TS4), but I personally never liked specific brands in my Sims games. So this is not an SP for me.
- Unfortunately, no amount of hammer time pants and glorious 80s leotards would get me to purchase the 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Pack. I hate to say it. More props to EA for celebrating these decades, I guess. But not for me.
Sixth Tier: Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats
Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats
- I got the template for this Tier List and it legitimately came with Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats at the lowest tier. I found it too hilarious and truthful to change it. While I do admittedly like to jam out to California Gurls and Roar when I’m home alone, and the designs of all the sweets are super adorable, this SP was just built with that money hungry scheme EA is so known for. Looking at Origin, it doesn’t even look like you can buy it from there anymore (unless I’m missing something) so clearly EA doesn’t even stand behind it.
So here is my tier list in its visual form (you can make yours here if you’d like). I’m extremely interested to see how we differ in our opinions, so leave a comment with your thoughts if you want to share! I’m always curious about everyone else’s preferences, and in all honesty this is what makes the Sims games so wonderful; there’s something for everyone, even car lovers.
Take care and happy gaming!