Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    Fans of the series will lap it up whilst those that find The Sims to be boring and pointless will not be in any way swayed.
  2. If you liked the Sims, Bustin’ Out is a great addition. Much of the series’ originality has lost its shine, but the mechanics and playability remain extremely good even though there’s not much in the way of plot.
  3. The GameCube and GBA versions have possibly the most exciting exclusive option, with players able to download special mini-games to their GBA which will earn them Simoleons and other goodies to use in the Cube game.
  4. It's monotonous, mundane, and frightfully addictive - just the way I like 'em. [Jan 2004, p.132]
  5. A fairly unremarkable Sims expansion pack on the same disc as a new cut of the original game.
  6. 60
    And if the thought of cleaning up virtual garbage and keeping your sim familiar with the toilet isn't your idea of fun, steer clear. Love it or hate it, this is still "The Sims."
  7. I never thought I'd find myself saying that I enjoy connectivity more than online play, but this just happens to be the case with Bustin' Out. [Jan 2004, p.140]
  8. The addition of goals and plenty of different unlockable locations and items does breathe new life into this old game, and slower meters and a more responsive interface lead to a good version of The Sims. However, this game is very similar to the original PS2 version and might not feel filling enough for those who already made that purchase.
  9. Despite some flaws and relatively few improvements (on the PC this would be just another expansion pack), it still may be worth a purchase.
  10. Worth a look-see, but memory card requirements effectively banish this one to the realm of "Either buy it, or don't bother."
  11. 100
    Even the addition of crazy new Social moves like Break Dance and Booty Tease make interactions with other Sims much more fun than they were in previous titles. [Jan 2003, p.48]
  12. 80
    It’s really no more than yet another extension of a five-year-old gameplay device. Concept, meet the breaking point.
  13. Sims fans should bust out of their homes and bust on down to their favorite store to pick up The Sims Bustin’ Out.
  14. Slow, often frustrating, but frighteningly engrossing at the same time. If you're after a leisurely, open-ended experience then it's highly recommended. [NGC]
  15. games(TM)
    Despite a veritable host of respectable changes and additions, this still can't live up to the standards of the original game. An improvement over the last console effort, but with so much more potential than is actually realised, Bustin' Out still disappoints a little. [Christmas 2003, p.126]
  16. Makes good, solid improvements over its predecessor and stands on its own as a great version of The Sims for consoles.
  17. 90
    This was my favorite version of Bustin' Out. Although the graphics are sharper on the Xbox version and the PS2 version boasts online multiplay, the GCN-to-GBA connectivity feature gives this one a notable edge.
  18. A vast improvement to an aging franchise, breathing a little more life into a concept that's days may be numbered.
  19. Perhaps not as precise as using a mouse and keyboard, but the streamlined control system does do a great job of keeping the action consistent with a dual shock.
  20. There is more freedom in career choices, less intense caretaking, plus a few console specific features. But the gameplay is old hat for previous console players.
  21. GMR Magazine
    It's somehow mind-numbingly mundane and brilliantly addictive at the same time. [Jan 2004, p.92]
  22. 82
    Without any gameplay advancements, I can't say this is really an improvement over the original. However, the GCN/GBA link up is a really nice feature, especially if you have a troublesome Sim.
  23. This is a game without winners and losers. It's all about the personal satisfaction, and engrossing yourself in a wonderful game. Yes, I said a wonderful game.
  24. Nintendo Power
    Refines control, adds personality to character appearance and interaction, fills up on customization details and goes hog-wild with connectivity. [Feb 2004, p.146]
  25. Sims fans will find the game very inviting, but will also find that other than going to various locations, seeing new items to buy, and experiencing the wild animations, this game is definitely not an overhaul of the series. Yet with the new unlockables, it is hard to resist this delicious title.
  26. Despite being a massive fan of the franchise I couldn’t help but feel that the whole thing is starting to get old, despite the new features the games structure is basically the same.
  27. Tweaked sounds and graphics make it look slightly better and sound slightly nicer, but it’s not really a sequel in the true sense of the word. The Sims Bustin’ Out adds logical improvements to an already winning formula without blowing us away with any stunning revelations.
  28. Weekly Famitsu
    7 / 9 / 8 / 8 - 32 gold [Vol 788; 23 Jan 2004]
  29. While they did add various goals to keep console gamers occupied, they end up turning the game into more of a stressful mess than the passive pace of the original.
  30. 80
    It adds just enough to keep fans interested, but doesn't fix all the flaws or reinvent the game. With that said, the game has more focus, a bit more style, a lot more to do, and a definite ending if you choose to pursue it.

Awards & Rankings

#44 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2003
#48 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Jul 28, 2016
    This new expansion pack for the Gamecube is perfect and how I WANTED it to be. Sims Bustin out is how a sims expansion pack SHOULD be not aThis new expansion pack for the Gamecube is perfect and how I WANTED it to be. Sims Bustin out is how a sims expansion pack SHOULD be not a repetitive lacking cheap game. Full Review »
  2. PennyE.
    Apr 2, 2007
    An excellent sims game. I would recommend this game to new and old fans alike.
  3. S.J.Donovan
    Oct 11, 2006
    I really liked the freedom of this game, especially the interaction between free and story mode. It's addictive and nonstop; I literally I really liked the freedom of this game, especially the interaction between free and story mode. It's addictive and nonstop; I literally would play it for entire days. Full Review »