Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
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  1. 100
    Sims 3 is the perfect example for a brilliant, fun game that works without any violence.
  2. 100
    Longtime fans of the series will appreciate not just the massive improvements to customization and gameplay mechanics, but in the little changes as well.
  3. The Sims 3 is pure simulation gaming fun, and the ultimate God game today.
  4. The customization options and freedom to do anything in The Sims 3 allow players to not only make any person or any family, but they allow players to have their own story.
  5. PC Zone UK
    These improvements over the previous game nailed it - I became absolutely besotted. I've lost so many hours to The Sims 3 the PC Zone team were convinced they'd have to surgically remove my mouse from my hand to get me to work. [July 2009, p.56]
  6. PC Gamer
    The best Sims game yet. It's still about playing with virtual dolls, but it's never been this big, beautiful and eager to please. [July 2009, p.69]
  7. If you're a fan of one of the previous games, you probably have this already, but if you're new to The Sims, this is a great way to jump into the water. Just make sure to climb out for air from time to time.
  8. Pelit (Finland)
    The Sims 3 delivers most of its promises. Modeling an entire small town works extremely well, and even though many features from previous installments will be available only in later add-ons, there's still a ridiculous amount of stuff to do. Technically it's pretty awesome as well. [June 2009]
  9. Even more addictive than the last two.
  10. PC Format
    This game may well manage to suck some of the harder gamers into its clever paws thanks to sharp wit and genuine originality. [July 2009, p.86]
  11. The Sims 3 is a great game, a truly masterpiece, fresh, mature and innovative. With beautiful visuals, the game is full of new contents, the life of our avatars is not set only in one house but we can stroll about through an entire city. This a giant leap from the other games created by Will Wright.
  12. A fine digital toy and a great purchase for the fan of the series - as long as you accept that a lot of expansion features from The Sims 2 are missing and will probably be sold to you all over again as an endless stream of expansion packs and downloadable add-ons. As a game, things tend to get just as repetitive as your average daily grind in real life.
  13. A gallant return to form and takes a direction that breathes new life into a formula that is fast reaching a decade old.
  14. It is an improvement in every conceivable way from previous games and allows for much more scope that ever before.
  15. The series has sold 100 million copies and this version should add another 100 million, because everything has been done right. If you liked The Sims, you will love this new version with all its love for details. It's a real masterpiece.
  16. The latest Sims game is also the greatest, striking a terrific balance between the fresh and the familiar.
  17. 90
    Sims 3 is exceedingly adaptable to any character you'd ever dream of making.
  18. After suffering from an oversaturation of Sims for the last 10 or so years, it’s hard to believe The Sims 3 is as good as it is. It’s unapologetically a Sims game, but it also manages to feel truly fresh.
  19. 90
    The living, breathing world of Sunset Valley, the town that comes pre-packaged with the game, is a fascinating one.
  20. The Sims 3 is a serious advancement of the series, however underneath it's still the same Sims, and if you couldn't stand it in the past chances are you still won't be able to. Some of the micro-management tasks have been made a bit easier, and the addition of a whole town to physically explore is fantastic.
  21. EA has done a commendable job at listening to its community and giving them what they want by way of the included movie maker, style creator and integrated online store, crafting not only a well-rounded package that bests its predecessor in every area, but a game that is, much like its virtual stars, filled with charm and character.
  22. Maxis does it again and delivers the best Sims game ever. By implementing a handful new gameplay elements, The Sims 3 now feels like an actual game. And without forgetting the players that just want to fiddle around a little bit. Making this one a lot more appealing to newcomers. The somewhat high price of new objects and the lack of accessories don't come as a surprise. The only thing left is the difficult, though pleasant, job of maintaining a second household besides your own.
  23. 90
    Superb evolution for the franchise and an impressive, enjoyable game in its own right. EA has obviously listened to criticism and worked hard to create a title that prioritises goal-based gameplay over micro-management to deliver an experience that's constantly engaging and thoroughly immersive.
  24. The Sims 3 faced an daunting task to live up to the franchise's legacy and yet still deliver a new kind of experience to satiate the desires of any Sims fan.
  25. On the surface you might get the impression that little has changed between the second and third installment of EA's life simulator, but when you delve deeper into the experience you'll find a game that offers you more unique characters, an increased ability to participate in social activities outside of the confines of the house and less focus on tedious daily chores. For the first time your sim and the world surrounding him/her feels truly unique. As per usual you only get the basic features in the package, leaving an almost clean slate ready for future expansions. Nevertheless, EA's done it again and you'll find countless hours of great fun here.
  26. Improved but basically the same, The Sims remains a joyful simulation, and celebration, of life and all its dramas.
  27. It’s the kind of addictive joy that will make you realize that you have the power to do what you want to the world you help create. In other words, The Sims 3 is a real Must Buy for any fan of the series or any gamer looking for a PC title that’s way too much fun to want to stop playing.
  28. 90
    But it's The Sims to near-perfection, crafted with love, calculated to give the most enjoyment to a player and as involving, as simple to get into and as downright fun as it has always been.
  29. The latest incarnation of Electronic Arts sandbox game is also the best so far. The Sims 3 takes the core of the series and wraps great graphics around it, as well as an open town and more playability. That makes you forgive the lack of real news in the game.
  30. 90
    It's not a revolutionary title, and undoubtedly it will receive new expansions which will broad its contents, but we have no doubt this is the best title in the series, a natural evolution of a game concept which has engaged millions of users through the world.
  31. games(TM)
    The Sims 3 is without doubt the series' finest hour...By playing around with character traits, you're able to create all kinds of people, and just watching them interact is a joy in itself. [July 2009, p.102]
  32. Even with that ostensibly simple premise, the development team has crafted a remarkably layered simulation that feels like what The Sims has been trying to be from the beginning.
  33. If you're a fan of the series, then The Sims 3 will deliver all that you've come to expect and throw in a ton of new ideas, even if the amount of extra toppings doesn't seem as vast.
  34. The massive jump in scale, increase in options and improvements in overall quality make The Sims 3 a worthwhile addition to any games library, and while it may be frustrating at first for a beginner, it won't take long for most to get the hang of it. It is well worth the effort - we're now taking bets on how many expansion packs this one will get.
  35. The greatest achievement in The Sims 3 comes not in its gameplay or presentation. Instead, the overall package makes it stand out as a great sequel.
  36. AceGamez
    As such, The Sims 3 really is a game that keeps on giving; it's polished to near perfection and while it's missing a couple of old features, it shines in so many other areas where the series once lacked that I can only sing its praises.
  37. Additions fix some of the notorious flaws of the game, while others solved problems that most likely didn't even know it had. It's charming, simple, deep, and addictive, just like all of the games in the series before.
  38. If you never really "got" why people played the games, The Sims 3 might give you the answer you've been seeking.
  39. This is the best Sims game ever and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to play the previous titles after experiencing the realism and freedom of The Sims 3.
  40. 89
    This is simply a better playing Sims experience, and once you experience the freedom to hit the town without hitting a load screen you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to any of the earlier games.
  41. For those who like the series, though, it doesn't get much better than The Sims 3.
  42. At the end of the day, The Sims 3 may seem like more of the same old, however it does offer the gamer a uniquely almost fully interactive and virtual experience.
  43. The Sims 3 is not so much a game as a rich field for experiments; a blank notepad that will soon be filled with hundreds of wild ideas.
  44. The Sims 3 is addictive. And you don’t have to be a seven-year-old or a house wife to enjoy playing “Creation”. Most people don’t find enough meaning in reality and the system of desires offered by The Sims 3 is enough for physical existence to temporarily make sense.
  45. Sims is not an easy series to develop, the core concept is a very simple one and is too well exploited thanks to the endless expansions. But The Sims 3 has been successful in reinventing itself thanks to the new dimension opened by the presence of an urban environment that your Sims can explore at leisure. Having this open environment, combined with the improved visuals for the Sims themselves and the new personality system, makes this game something different, a fresh start.
  46. Games Master UK
    It's still the same as ever, but now with far more choice, customisation and a whole town. [July 2009, p.72]
  47. 85
    It's really chuffing addictive.
  48. The Sims 3 is the best The Sims game so far because of two new gameplay elements. The open ended neighborhood provide your Sims with a great deal of freedom and because of the new trait system, every Sim is completely unique all the time. Too bad the game is lacking some content object-wise speaking, but that doesn’t change the fact that virtual people were never more interesting to observe and never more fun to play with.
  49. 85
    The Sims 3 provides gamers with a title that is more evolved and still thoroughly as addictive as its predecessors, giving gamers a greater sense of freedom and an overall refined experience.
  50. To be honest I expected The Sims 3 to be more than it actually is. Those who own The Sims 2 and all add-ons will miss many beloved elements. Electronic Arts just placed the headstone for many add-ons to come but nothing else.
  51. This title offers advanced gameplay, cool community features and because of this gimmicks, The Sims rock again!
  52. All in all, this is a very solid entry for the franchise, with enough new features and assets to please loyal fans and with enough improvements to attract initiates.
  53. Maybe there are not many improvements in this third game of the series, but its gameplay virtues are still alive and well. And these are great news for Sim’s fans.
  54. 83
    And while the information overload does come with a steep learning curve, it will smooth out eventually if you stick with the game. What won't smooth out, however, are The Sims 3's problems with stability and performance.
  55. The Sims 3 proves more evolved and less repetitive than its predecessors. Given the graphics restyling for granted, we have found – and mostly appreciated – an improved management tool: forget the slow obsolete processes of the previous iterations and welcome a smoother gameplay, a wider freedom and an overall better experience.
  56. It's both more of a role-playing game than it's ever been before, and more of a design game than it's ever been before. It may suffer a few glaring compromises, but it's an essential play for anyone with an interest in what videogames can achieve outside of a targeting reticule.
  57. 80
    Definitely a huge step in the right direction with all the improvements it offers. I would've liked more of a true story mode, like we've seen in the console versions or in the Stories series. And at times, I was reverting back to the mundane "eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep, work" cycle that I thought we'd be done with by now (though this micromanaging is way more streamlined now). But The Sims 3 allows players to play the way they truly want, way more than they ever were able to do before.
  58. If there’s one great story in The Sims 3, it’s of how the biggest game in the world continues to act like it, expanding in some respects, shrinking in others, but always evolving. And it’s about EA learning more and more how to act like the world’s biggest developer, the production values, build quality and feature set here being almost overwhelming.
  59. The implementation of the city coupled with the numerous improvements to the game flow and customization, makes The Sims experience much more rewarding and enjoyable than its predecessors. Undeniably the best Sims yet, the extension beyond the home is wonderfully natural and helps to focus on the bigger things than getting caught up in the basics.
  60. Give it time to circulate and new content will come pouring in, but what's there is by far the best in the series, and I can say that because the advent of seamless city exploration, fully integrated character traits and less dumbfounded AI in The Sims3 would make it difficult to return to its predecessors.
  61. A stunning life simulator with a few gaping omissions. It will likely reach boiling point over the next year or so.
  62. The sheer scope of possibility is a little daunting, so it’s really to the game’s benefit that it is just so instantly addictive.
  63. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    The third installment of the Sims brings an evolution not a revolution. Pity there is only one neighborhood in the game. At present look forward to new addons. [June 2009]
  64. The refurbished virtual doll house doesn't look that new, but its voyeuristic charm is greatly increased.
  65. The Sims 3 will make fans fall in love again, thanks to the many new contents added to the franchise. The optimized gameplay also is good news. All the others should know that the game is still the same, deeper, better in the gameplay and graphics and full of stuff to buy, but always The Sims. You love it or you hate it.
  66. The Sims 3 is a complex game. Not a complete revolution, but a precise revision of many game aspects. Leaving behind scripts and isometric visuals, adding a nice online session, Maxis has successfully redefined its masterpiece.
  67. Ultimately, if you liked the previous Sims games, you will like The Sims 3. If the series has never floated your boat, there is nothing here that will make convert you the fan camp.
  68. PC PowerPlay
    The Sims 3, while certainly not as comprehensive as The Sims 2, is a promising start to a new series. [Aug 2009, p.52]
  69. Same formula as the original one, lots of new features, usual charisma. Fun for everyone.
  70. Her loyal fans will go crazy again with it. They'll talk about it everywhere. They'll miss something here and there. But then they'll go back to the game and even forget their real life.
  71. The Sims 3 is not a surprise; it not reinvents the genre or has a significant evolution. It is mainly a successful game, a natural evolution and an experience that can even be regarded as introspective.
  72. A lot has changed in The Sims 3, but for all the technical refinements, gameplay additions, and online integration, it still scratches the same basic itch that its predecessors did, though it arguably does it with an improved effectiveness.
  73. 78
    The Sims 3 isn't a bad game, not in slightest, and too a different group of gamers this might be all they wanted, but for me this feels like a sequel that Will Wright had nothing to do with. There is no new magic, or amazing new idea that is going to re-imagine the whole series, it's just more and better stuff that we got in Sims 1.
  74. The Sims 3 has immense potential as upcoming expansions start rolling into high gear. And that’s what you’re really buying: A game of potential.
  75. It’s only the inclusion of a much slicker set of tools to allow the recording of machinima movies and the sharing of customised content that prevents an even harsher score. While there was a significant step up both technically and in gameplay terms between The Sims and The Sims 2, the same can’t be said of The Sims 3 compared to its predecessor.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 1, 2010
    The Sims 3 is an amazing game, that is very life like. I am looking forward to getting the new Expansion Packs. But I will agree that havingThe Sims 3 is an amazing game, that is very life like. I am looking forward to getting the new Expansion Packs. But I will agree that having no choice to have pets does kinda suck, and the graphics aren't the best. But this game will have you singing along to whatever Sim Language song is on the radio. Full Review »
  2. DKF
    Jan 28, 2011
    I'm a big sims fan.... but Sim3 is a piece of c r a p.
    I mean there are a few things fine and dandy, some nice innovative things as well.
    I'm a big sims fan.... but Sim3 is a piece of c r a p.
    I mean there are a few things fine and dandy, some nice innovative things as well. The seamless zones are great. But! there are far too many things weighing this game down. The content in the game is "small".
    Then I see that you can buy the content for the game for a lot more money via expansions or the STORE.
    I'm insulted that EA tries this trickery to rape me of my money just because I'm a sims fanboi.
    This slap in the face is what now makes me wash my hands of this silly franchise, finally. Sims3 is just boring... boring boring, walk around boring, with no actual content or point to developing your sims, or house.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 11, 2011
    This game is what happens when you mainstream, dumb down, and simplify a well-known franchise. Nothing really is worth the sixty dollar priceThis game is what happens when you mainstream, dumb down, and simplify a well-known franchise. Nothing really is worth the sixty dollar price tag and I honestly feel robbed and ripped off. My money might be gone to feed the greedy pigs at EA, but at least I can give my honest feedback of this game here. Only positive aspect and to start my review, the only redeeming feature is the Create-A-Sim all else falls flat and feels hallow. Within an hour, I felt bored and just could not get into the game. I'm a veteran of Sims 1 and 2 and prefer those two in the series. The core game feels too focused and prioritized on visuals, something the previous games did not need. What actually let me down and disappointed myself was to see content resisted to The Store, a service on The Sims 3 website which you need to pay to unlock an object. This is not necessary to hold content from us and having us pay, it feels like theft. If you take a look at the forums, there is a vast majority who have problems due to bugs and/or glitches and I feel bad for them that they cannot play the game or properly. This is another problem, bugs and glitches which remain causing problems with the game. Ah well, I'm sure this new generation of simmers are having a good time because to them graphics only matter mostly and are "sick" and "epic" Full Review »