The Sims 3 Sucks

The Sims 3 Sucks
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

One of the favourite pastimes of The Sims‘ community is to talk about how good the older games are. While there are things about The Sims 4 that I don’t love, I’m not as nostalgic as other fans. Every time I think about The Sims 3, for instance, all I can remember is how much that game kinda sucked.

Screenshot: The Sims 3 (EA/Maxis)

I got The Sims 3 during the break before my second year of university and played it obsessively. I played it at my boring seasonal job, and then later in my boring classes. I made Sims of my roommates and friends, I downloaded hundreds of mods, and I continued to play it through the the release of its final expansion in 2013. I am exhaustingly familiar with that game, and all the ways it is bad.

Let’s start with an easy and obvious problem. The Sims 3 is optimised like shit. The loading times for this game are so bad that eventually the developers added a spot-the-item style game to them. I remember sometimes spending 20 minutes waiting for my game to load. Even on the very modern gaming PC in the office, the initial loading screen took a full minute.

Saving my game was also a crapshoot. Sometimes, after waiting for half an hour, the game would crash while I was saving it. Then while I played, the game would hitch and jerk any time I sent my Sims out into the open world.

You will be looking at this screen for a long time while that open world loads in. (Screenshot: The Sims 3, EA/Maxis)

You will be looking at this screen for a long time while that open world loads in. Screenshot: The Sims 3 (EA/Maxis)

There’s a loading screen when you go into Build or Buy mode, and because these are each separate game modes, you’re going to do a lot of waiting if you want to build a house. When you go to a location in town, you have to wait for all the textures to pop in.

Worst of all is that it takes a full minute of waiting, even at the highest game speed, for your Sim to get a full night’s rest. You just kind of sit there, watching. It’s creepy and not fun to do.

When your Sim is awake, if you want to send them to a restaurant or a movie, instead of a loading screen, you’ll have to wait while they disappear into a rabbit hole for an indeterminate amount of time. What an engaging, living world!

The Sims 3 seems built on the philosophy that more is more. Unfortunately, if you played the game for half a decade like I did, you come to realise that for all the options they give you, most of them are bupkis. Take the custom patterns they offer you. I mean, who exactly is this nightmare Halloween pattern for?

Screenshot: The Sims 3, EA/Maxis

Screenshot: The Sims 3 (EA/Maxis)

The Sims 3 is constantly getting in the way of itself. In the effort to make sure that the player uses each and every disparate system it has, it stops you from having the organic moments that make The Sims so much fun.

My Sim was a cat lover, and when I sent her out to the park on her day off from work she finally met a stray cat. As I was trying to befriend it, her phone went off, and my game was interrupted with a notification telling me that my coworker wanted me to cook her some hot dogs.

There are plenty of little things that get under my skin about every Sims game, but when I think about the experience of playing The Sims 3, I can feel flames on the side of my face. The Sims 3 sucks shit, and if you say that you actually like this bloated game, you’re a liar.


  • Sims 3 sucks becaue it does not run well on modern machines. Install more than 2 of the expansion packs and the performance plummets. Play a specific sim for an extended amount of time and performance plummets.

    Id love a re-release of the game with all the xpacs and the engine fixed to work and scale properly on modern hardware.

    • Sims 3 is great but high maintenance. Totally worth the effort though. A remaster would be welcome but unlikely to happen.

  • Sims 3 was the best one. You could take your Sim anywhere, that was great.
    My favourite thing was David Letterman befriending a family of ghosts and then having them move in with him.

  • The two things that bugged me about Sims 3 is;

    A) No vsync, so you have to enable it via driver / limit the fps yourself, otherwise your GPU will churn out more frames than your monitor can draw.
    B) The more expansions you pack on, the worse the performance gets, even on an SSD, heck even on a ramdisk. The game itself advises you to only install a certain amount of DLCs when you try to enable every single one.

    Besides those two things, it’s a good Sims game.

    • The game also had problem with memory leaks. And the more you played a sim. The more data it generated resulting in the game performance tanking the more you played a sim.

  • The downloading hundreds of mods could have something to do with all the authors crashes.

    For me it was the perfect RPG sandbox where my super villain would try to change the future into a dystopia while her girlfriend made a passable Lara Croft visiting exotic places and explored tombs trying to solve the puzzles

  • It’s true the The Sims 3 “got in the way of itself”. It was buggy, overly ambitious, and it really needed external support (*cough* Twallan) to be a half-good game. …and it was only ever half-good. It was a mis-step following TS2.

    The thing is, The Sims 4 has always struck me as infinitely worse than TS3 – claustrophobic, patronising, severely limited. TS3 leveraged a huge creative community with devices like Create-a-World, and with CAS. At its best, TS3 allowed more varied, detailed stories than TS4 can ever muster. TS2 and 3 gave players much more fine-grained control over the world and its community, without necessarily overwhelming new or casual players (bugs aside). TS4 takes almost all the control out of the players’ hands in the most frustrating way.

    I really think TS4 is the bottom of the barrel for The Sims franchise.

    • Sims 3 “open world” gimmick is the same as the sims 4 “emotions” gimmick, give us fluff to take away from the fact the sims and interactions are lifeless.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!