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This is a three-way comparison of the 3 base games in The Sims series; The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims 3 and do not include features included in expansion or stuff packs unless otherwise stated.


The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3
Released February 4, 2000 Released September 14, 2004 Released June 2, 2009
7 Expansion packs, no Stuff Packs 8 Expansion packs, 9 stuff packs 1 Expansion pack and no Stuff pack
Isometric perspective Fully 3D Same as The Sims 2
Neighborhood is pre-designed 3 pre-designed neighborhoods (Pleasantview, Strangetown and Veronaville) which may be (to some extent) tweaked by the player, and terrains may be imported from SimCity 4. Additional neighborhoods built from scratch may be created and added to the menu screen. Additional 3 pre-designed neighborhoods from Seasons, FreeTime and Apartment Life 1 pre-designed neighborhood (Sunset Valley) in retail shipment. Another - Riverview - available by download.
3 age groups (baby, child, adult) 6 life stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, adult, elder. Young adult stage added with University) 7 life stages - young adult added from start.
Only babies age, other lifespans are indefinite. All Sims age and eventually die. Aging can be shut off using the cheat window Lifespan can be regulated. Aging can be shut off.
6 skills 7 skills 10 skills, 3 more from expansion pack
Only Adults gain skills Toddlers and older can gain skills Children and older can gain skills
No aspirations Teens and older have one of 5 aspirations (additional 2 aspirations are added with Nightlife). Toddlers and children aspire to Grow Up. No aspirations - wishes are affected by traits
No wants or fears All Sims except babies have 4 wants and 3 fears (Additional 2 wants [if Sim finishes college] and 1 fear [if Sim is expelled from college], requires University) Wishes and promises. No fears
No days of the week, weekend, or days off work or school (Sims would not be fired for skipping work provided they did attend the following day) 7-day week with different days off depending on job. Children and Teens have the weekend off from school. Able to call in sick to work, quit, or retire. Same as The Sims 2
Sims do not collect memories Sims collect memories Same as The Sims
Bills delivered once every 3 days Bills delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays  ?
PlumbBob colour reflects precise mood: optimum is green, worst is red PlumbBob colour represents approximate mood: optimum is platinum PlumbBob colour reflects precise mood: optimum is green, worst is red
No pregnancy, babies can simply appear after user says yes to random "Should we have a baby?" prompt after romantic interaction, no genetics passed down. Try for baby may lead to 3 day pregnancy for female sim, genetic traits passed down from both parents. Alien abduction may leads to 3 day pregnancy for male sim. Same as The Sims 2, except the Alien pregnancy.
Household accounts screen can be accessed, showing income and expenditure over past 3 days and current day No such screen No such screen
Buildings limited to 2 floors. Basements, foundations and lofts not possible. Variable roof pitches. Buildings limited to 5 floors, or 4 with foundation. Buildings with foundation can have basements incorporated into them. Lofts theoretically possible. Roof pitch fixed, but can be changed using the cheat window (before Mansion and Garden Stuff, where a roof pitch changer is added). Buildings limited to 4 floors and 4 floor stages in basement (with the World Adventures expansion). Different sorts of roofs.
Children with failing grades are banished to Military School and never return. When a child in the family has failing grades, all children are taken away by a social worker, and other families may adopt them. Same as The Sims 2
Random phone calls pranking or giving out money. No random phone calls. It is replace by Crank Call if Sim has a below 2 nice. No random phone calls.
Chance cards forcing career change for top level of career Chance cards at all levels of career, causing gain or loss of rank, skill points, etc. No chance cards. Replaced by opportunities.
Many NPCs not interactive All but a few NPCs (drivers, Rod Humble, social workers, etc.) interactive Same as The Sims 2


Differences in Create-A-Sim

The Sims The Sims 2 The Sims 3
Last name is the same for all Sims Same as The Sims, except in the University Create-A-Sim, where different surnames could be given to each Sim in the household. Each individual Sim can be given a different last name
Head Style determines hairstyle, head shape, hair color, eye color, facial hair, etc Head style determines only the shape of the Sim's heads Same as The Sims 2
Hair Color determined by the Head Style Hair (and eyebrow) color determined by user, with preset colors Colors no longer preset
Sims have light, medium, or dark skin Sims have 4 skin tones ranging from light to dark Sims have a range of skin tones with a slider determining exact color
Body type dependent on types of clothes worn by the Sim Thin, Fit, and Fat body types possible, with Thin or Fat types available in Create-A-Sim Independent sliders for muscle tone and body fat
Sleepwear, swimwear, and formalwear are chosen automatically Sleepwear, swimwear, formalwear, underwear, exercisewear and (later) outerwear are chosen in Create-a-Sim Same as The Sims 2 except the merging of underwear and sleepwear into one category
Jewelry, shoes, glasses, etc. not customizable, determined by the Sim's body or head style Glasses may be taken on or off, other accessories are determined by Sim's outfit. Bon Voyage introduces user control of jewelry. All accessories, jewelry and shoes may be customized
Sims' personalities determined by 25 Personality Points placed in 5 different categories Same as The Sims, with Aspirations available that determine Sim's wants Personality Points and Aspirations no longer used, replaced by traits and lifetime wishes
No Family Tree Relationships between spouses, siblings, and parents/children can be established in Create-a-Sim Same as The Sims 2


See also

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