10 Harsh Realities Of Playing The Sims 3 Again

With speculations about what The Sims 5 will entail when it’s finally released more and more recently, it’s a stark reminder that The Sims 3 is now well over ten years old and not getting any younger. It’s a good reason to revisit one of the most ambitious titles in the franchise and see how well it has aged over the years.


The game gained a legion of fans in 2009, but there are a few complaints about the game that have only grown over time. From its persistent performance issues to unfavorable comparisons with the The Sims 4these are some of the frustrations of replaying The Sims 3 today.

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The Sims 3 Character Models Aren’t Pretty

Some Spooky Character Models in Sims 3

Everyone has their own preferences, and some don’t appreciate the more cartoonish visual style of The Sims 4, but it’s impossible to deny that there isn’t a jarring gap in visual appeal between the character models in the two games. Although some players have complained about Sims 3A somewhat unfortunate attempt at more realistic character models at the time of release, it’s even more noticeable now.

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It’s far from a game-breaking detail, but it can be especially frustrating for players who like to spend a lot of time in Create-A-Sim menus trying to get their Sim to look as good as possible. At worst, Sims 3 characters can look downright terrifying in poor lighting.

The Sims 3 open world has never looked so good

A woman running through a forest in The Sims 3

Comparing Sims 3 to its successor, one of the first things those who prefer the old game point out is that The Sims 3 has opted for an ambitious open world that The Sims 4 lack. While it’s fair to consider this a positive, there are a few issues that make it less of a benefit than it first appears.

The first is that, like the worst open worlds, Sims 3The map can end up feeling empty and lifeless at times while that’s rarely a problem with The Sims 4. In addition, The Sims 4Load times between areas really aren’t that bad, especially compared to some Sims 3load times, which means it might actually be better off not having been open world.

Hairstyles are a minor annoyance in The Sims 3

A Beach Party in The Sims 3

Slightly ugly character models might be forgivable if there’s at least the wide range of customization options that sims is famous for when they were created and, for the most part, this is the case with the Sims 3. Unfortunately, the hairstyle options have aged much poorer than most in the game, and its shortcomings are hard to overlook when replaying now.

Maybe it’s partly because fashions have changed and also partly because it’s impossible not to compare it to The Sims 4‘s in this area, but there just aren’t many choices and the choices out there are lackluster. Although mods can help in this area, it is still a source of annoyance.

Sims 3 has some performance issues

A family goes fishing in The Sims 3

By all accounts, a game from 2009 shouldn’t have any problems running on a modern PC, but Sims 3 is such a heavy game, especially with all the expansions included, that players are still having trouble with it. Whether it’s long loading times, frame rate issues, crashes or bugs, performance issues seem to be part of the Sims 3 experience a lot of time.

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When Sims 3 works well, it can feel like you’re playing an entirely new game, but that’s so rarely the case in practice. It’s a testament to how ambitious a game was when it released in 2009, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to deal with.

Sims 3 is a bit overloaded with content

A laughing ghost scares a woman in The Sims 3

the sims games have always been huge and packed with so many features that many Sims players will never experience many of them, but Sims 3 is the only title that probably takes things a bit too far. For every activity and every area, there’s a treasure trove of options and features, not to mention DLC content.

By himself, Sims 3′The sheer amount of content is an amazing thing but, after a bit of time away from the game, it’s easy to yearn for the simplicity of other games and especially the The Sims 4slightly more simplified approach. It’s impossible to blame the game for ambition, but too much can be overwhelming.

A man flexes his impressive biceps in The Sims 3

There are a couple of things that are easy to get used to while playing The Sims 4 and a big one is the game’s massive community that continues to provide tons of help and inspiration to players of all experience levels, along with fantastic mods. For players who have grown accustomed to an endless supply of fan content, return to Sims 3 can be difficult.

There is still a fair amount of it, and it would be wrong to say that Sims 3 has no community, but the lack of a thriving fanbase means there’s less reason to keep playing. It’s an unavoidable side effect of being an older game, but it’s still a shame.

The Sims 3 Has Features The Sims 4 Badly Need

Two characters in a house in The Sims 3

Among the wide range of features that Sims 3 possesses and its successor lacks are some absolutely game-changing ones. Between the game’s Memories system and that all-important color wheel that has made adjusting everything to the right hue one of the most satisfying activities, there’s huge reason to play. Sims 3 more than The Sims 4.

That might not seem like a bad thing on its own, but it’s for any player intending to return to The Sims 4 or intending to play The Sims 5 when he finally comes out. Sims 3 has some rewarding and downright nifty features that make the fact that it’s an old-gen game that much more painful to accept.

The Sims 3 UI is hard to use after playing The Sims 4

Design a Fancy Bed in The Sims 3

One of the biggest improvements The Sims 4 done on its predecessor was with UI design. From interacting with the map to navigating the build menus, almost everything has been organized and streamlined to make gameplay more intuitive and satisfying.

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This is why to return to Sims 3 inevitably feels a little clunky in comparison. Everything takes a little longer to figure out and is at least a little harder to navigate, which detracts from some of the best parts of the game. That’s another way that Sims 3The “more is more” approach had its drawbacks.

Some of the Sims 3 mods seem essential

A woman waters flowers in The Sims 3

Fan content has been a big part of sims for a long time and most gamers wouldn’t want it any other way. That said, they are at their best when creating fun bonus content to add to the game, especially after the base game has started to get a little stale over time.

That is why it is a slight frustration that some Sims 3 mods seem almost essential at this point. From must-have NRAAS mods that can help the game run smoother, and Create-A-Sim overhauls to expanded Sims interactions, it’s hardly worth trying to play the base game without at least a few mods.

Building in The Sims 3 just isn’t as satisfying as The Sims 4

A picnic in The Sims 3

Like many harsh realities of the game Sims 3this derives from inevitable comparisons with The Sims 4 after players have had nearly a decade to get used to the new game. Essentially, the problem is that building in Sims 3 just isn’t as intuitive and easy to understand as the integration Sims 4.

Although it’s one of the smallest details, it’s still one of the most important that makes it easy to turn off Sims 3 and start The Sims 4 instead. The Sims 4The construction method of has a level of finish that is simply unmatched and fans have been spoiled for it. Sims 3 is just a shame to look worse in comparison.

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