Mixed or average reviews - based on 75 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 75
  2. Negative: 2 out of 75
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  1. Sep 3, 2014
    Everything feels like a step forward, even though there are some aspects (like random tutorials or some situations in which we felt completely out of control) that we would like to see more polished. Still, a great choice for The Sims fans.
  2. Sep 8, 2014
    Even with the missing content, The Sims 4 delivers a gameplay experience that is highly-entertaining and addictive for both series veterans and newcomers.
  3. Sep 10, 2014
    The Sims 4 moves away from its predecessors, but the result is cool and fun.
  4. Sep 10, 2014
    Besides the hugely improved Build Mode and Create-A-Sim and the fact that the game runs very smoothly this time around, this is the weakest base-game in the Sims-series. But luckily not by a great distance. Burrowing deeper than the first, somewhat disappointing hours, players will find that a lot of the missing features (basements, toddlers, pools and a ‘open world’ village) are compensated by lots of animations, objects, collectibles and other fun stuff that only Sims-lovers can truly appreciate.
  5. Sep 7, 2014
    And yes, it is another Sims iteration, but at the same time this one feels clean and fresh. The emotional interactions are really interesting, and the combination of these with different Sims' personality traits and aspirations can make for some great unpredictability. Despite what’s been left out, The Sims 4 feels like it’s heading in the right direction.
  6. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 25, 2014
    The Sims 4 is once again a new beginning. Needs more content and soon, please. [Oct 2014]
  7. Oct 15, 2014
    If you are a Sims veteran that hasn’t picked up Sims 4 straight away, do it. There is an improvement in a lot of areas to the game, mainly the build modes and the introduction of the moodlets, and it is only going to get better as they patch and add more content to the game.
  8. Sep 22, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a weird encounter, it feels upgraded but at the same time it feels chopped down in favor of future DLCs. No doubt the loyal fans will enjoy the new member in the Sim family but some more hardcore players will feel that they are moving a step back and not a step back to prepare for a leap.
  9. Sep 18, 2014
    The Sims 4 has lost some appeal as a total life simulator, but on the other hand it has won much as a role playing game.
  10. Sep 12, 2014
    The way they interact with each other, the way they can eat, watch TV and chat about underpants or spaceships at the same time is a marvellous technical achievement that puts the rest of the game, with its missing pools and open worlds, into context. I wish we could have it all in the same package – perhaps The Sims 5 will – but for now, I’m happily and frankly unexpectedly willing to trade those bells and whistles for characters that feel, well, real.
  11. Sep 10, 2014
    How does The Sims 4 measure in the grand scheme of things? It’s an excellent stepping stone for what could be moving forward, although this comes at the cost of numerous add-ons and expansions raiding our pockets.
  12. The Sims 4 provides an intimate and varied experience; being as a god over sprites, to then adopt the perspective within creation, and to, with empathy, become another person, to observe a whole family, or any number of people, as frequent and as seriously as one chooses. For what it is, a simulation game of life, relationships and interior design, I give it an [80].
  13. The Sims 4 simply has core-features. No pools, no garages and other important stuff... Expansion Packs are coming. The Sims 4 has weak content, AI is problematic and it's definitely the worst The Sims game ever.
  14. Sep 5, 2014
    The Sims 4 has solid foundations, but it feels like it isn't finished yet. Having said that, new gameplay qualities open fresh possibilities for the player.
  15. Sep 4, 2014
    The Create-A-Sim and Build Mode systems are much more accessible yet offer a lot of depth for those that desire it. Sims are smart, can multitask, and interact in lots of nifty ways. However, there are still plenty of missing core items while the existing set of options are limited, to say the least, no doubt to ensure that the upcoming expansions bring lots of highly desirable things.
  16. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 has solid foundations. We love the new focus on the Sims but we can't understand why there's a loading for every damn house, when The Sims 3 was a little open world.
  17. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel and is not as comprehensive as its predecessors, but at the same is an accurate revision of almost every unbalanced gameplay aspect of the series.
  18. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 is unique in its genre and this new release is perfect for both fans of the series and beginners. The new features such as emotions are exciting and completely renovate the gameplay, but the game suffers from a brutal lack of content. It's a great game that needs more content as soon as possible.
  19. Sep 12, 2014
    Series veterans are also going to realise that despite the various improvements, The Sims 4 is not in any way as robust as The Sims 3. The core game is magnificent and well designed for the most part, but there are a ton of missing extras, which will presumably be filled out with various DLC packs.
  20. Sep 9, 2014
    Once more with feeling: this is a fine if familiar base game with great creative tools.
  21. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a fresh new start for the franchise. This means that we have to accept some deprivations and sacrifice a few gameplay elements. Maybe we won't have the same amount of content as the previous games (there will be add-on and DLCs), but the new CAS, the Interface and social interactions are greatly improved.
  22. GameStar
    Sep 8, 2014
    On its own it's an entertaining game, but compared to The Sims 3 it's a step back and a lesser game.
  23. Sep 7, 2014
    Without its open world and many beloved features from its predecessor, Sims 4 loses some of the series’ charm. Fortunately, the concept of Sims works so well that none of this dulls the fun in a significant way. The new emotion system is a little superficial, however, and could use work in the future.
  24. Oct 20, 2014
    Sims 4 would've been a really good game if it'd had another six months of production time, and I thinkit has the potential to be great after a few expansions fill in the holes.
  25. Sep 29, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a fantastic game at its core, but with its tiny neighborhoods and many features simply missing, it holds itself back from Sims greatness.
  26. Sep 22, 2014
    I think it is a better foundation to build on than The Sims 3 had at launch.
  27. Sep 16, 2014
    The game is empty and expensive, unable to evolve in such a way as to let us speak of "new generation". We are faced with a technically valid, incredibly pleasant product, that is at the same time inexplicably unable to bring those elements that, after fourteen years, all the players would have taken for granted.
  28. Sep 10, 2014
    It’s a good start to what may eventually be expanded into a great Sims game, but it’s not there yet.
  29. Sep 9, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a game taking a big step forward and then two steps back. A new emotions system is a breath of fresh air, creating your sim and your home have been improved, and it's all good. Unfortunately: frequent loading screens, a not-so-open city, a dull neighborhood, few careers and lack of many things known from previous games create an overall muddy image of the game. It's good, but not that good - fans could be disappointed.
  30. Sep 8, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a good game marred by a dire lack of content, the - albeit solid - foundation for a never ending stream of DLCs.
  31. Sep 5, 2014
    For me, the experience was like taking your car to the shop. When you get it back, it’s shining, detailed, and purring: They’ve traded your Ford Focus for a Ford GT. Hooray! But then you get in and notice it’s a stick shift, with manual brakes and steering, no stereo, no A/C, and wait, where are the doors?
  32. Sep 12, 2014
    Even though the underlying emotion system leads to very entertaining results, EAs sitcom saga falls short of the expectations. Senseless omissions and Maxis’ no-risk-policy make this a game that will grow better with every expansion pack. But in this state it is not as good as its predecessor.
  33. Sep 17, 2014
    The Sims 4 takes a few interesting steps forward, like the Create-a-sim-tool, cartoony graphics, the modular building system and the improved gameplay within your Sims’ house. But the game also takes a few steps backward due to unnecessary loading times and a reduced amount of content. The end result is a decent game, but not an convincing new entry in the series.
  34. Hyper Magazine
    Oct 17, 2014
    [Pictogram of mild disappointment] [Issue#254, p.62]
  35. Oct 8, 2014
    In many ways The Sims 4 is a beginning, its core foundation of functions playing their parts beautifully. But in others it feels like a step back, like a set of systems designed around future expansion in mind and not providing the necessary wealth of options from the start.
  36. Edge Magazine
    Oct 6, 2014
    A conservative sequel, one that drills down into the bedrock of what The Sims has always been. [Nov 2014, p.104]
  37. Sep 29, 2014
    It’s not easy to recommend The Sims 4, especially for veterans. If it’s your first time with The Sims, you’ll be delighted for sure because everything is new and surprises are everywhere. But as noted, there are gaps in content that have to be fulfilled: the feeling of emptiness is permanently present.
  38. Sep 29, 2014
    The Sims 4 manages to be both the worst and the best installment in the series so far. It’s lacking content and has a fair amount of glitches and bugs. But the new feeling mechanics works really well, and opens up a new dimension that The Sims never have been close to before. In the end, the positive parts are the ones that are most noticeable.
  39. Sep 22, 2014
    The gameplay is as fun and addictive as ever, but while added features breathe plenty of new life into the old formula, they aren’t enough to keep The Sims 4 from feeling like half a game. It isn’t a complete misstep, but it’s certainly a long way from the heights intended for it.
  40. Sep 17, 2014
    The Sims 4 has taken a rigorous approach in redefining the gameplay experience of the series. In some cases this has worked extremely well, in others the complete opposite. The fantastic Build-and-create-a-Sim mode is overshadowed by gameplay and content with just doesn’t live up to the standards set by its predecessor.
  41. Sep 16, 2014
    The Sims 4 is good, if a bit plain when compared with the exploding circus of colourful content that festoons previous games in the series, expansion packs littered with dogs and ghosts and hobbies and holidays that are now nowhere to be found...We're back to a clean sheet, and it's arguably the cleanest, most stable and most ready-to-be-built upon sheet Maxis have yet laid down.
  42. Sep 13, 2014
    Sims fans have been worried about all the cuts of longtime features in The Sims 4, and while some critical elements are indeed missing, the core addiction remains. Plus, with the addition of the online Gallery and the ability to share and download creations, it’s easier than ever to liven up your little virtual world.
  43. Sep 10, 2014
    The smarter sims, sleek customization system, and emotions truly brings The Sims 4 to life. However, even with those impressive features, the game ultimately feels like a incremental step up from The Sims 3.
  44. Sep 10, 2014
    Not quite as original or inspired as previous games, but a solid life simulator nevertheless.
  45. Sep 10, 2014
    The Sims 4 is both fresh and yet also predictable, pleasant, comfortable and rarely overstimulating. It's wobbly, and you can still see some of its joins, or hear the creaks as new parts settle into place. It's not likely to win over any new players, but it will satisfy a lot of its old ones.
  46. 70
    Almost a great sequel, but the improvements to the sims are overshadowed by the shopping list of peculiarly random missing features.
  47. Sep 9, 2014
    Although The Sims 4 brings a few new features, namely the emotion system, it can only make the early fans unhappy and disappointed. Electronic Arts erased many elements and features that were essential and representative of the saga. And we already know that EA will sell them in a few months, included inside expansive expansion packs.
  48. 70
    They say familiarity breeds contempt. In the case of The Sims 4, that's certainly true for quite a portion of the audience that'll decide to sit this one out. The rest still believes familiarity to be a prestage to attachment and, sometimes, even love. Which camp do you sit in?
  49. Sep 8, 2014
    I like The Sims 4, although I fully recognize that it's not nearly robust enough yet for series fans. If you're new to the franchise, it's a great place to start and explore the possibilities. The Sims 4 certainly feels like more of the same game we've known for over a decade.
  50. Sep 8, 2014
    The new generation of Sims begins with what feels like a bare-bones starter kit. It packs top-of-the-line Sims creation and house building tools, but styling options and activities are distinctly lacking. Add the contents of its first expansion, and Sims 4 will probably feel like the game it should be right now.
  51. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 could easily have been an nominee for one of our editor's choice awards, but it's woefully incomplete, despite being unexpectedly solid and entertaining in its current state.
  52. Sep 5, 2014
    I feel like I'm playing a game that's half-baked. The core formula is still fun, but The Sims 4 isn't an improvement.
  53. Sep 8, 2014
    Like every The Sims game before it, The Sims 4's success will hinge on the DLC that accompanies it -- what you have here is simply a solid foundation. The Sims team needs to do some heavy duty work on the automation side of things, but otherwise they've created a good place to build from.
  54. 66
    The Sims 4 is a core game, pure and simple. It is made specifically so that more content can be pumped into it via DLC. The overall functionality of the game is fine, with no real breakthroughs, just a little simplification and minor tweaks. Nothing groundbreaking here.
  55. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Sep 23, 2014
    The thing that irritates the most is that in The Sims 3 you had the feeling that you're writing a story, and not for a particular family, but for the whole city. But The Sims 4 carved out the lion's share of content and broke a beautiful open world into couple of dozens of tiny paddocks. Therefore, instead of the epic story you are able to write just a pair of episodes for a B-Rate sitcom. [Oct 2014, p.94]
  56. Sep 10, 2014
    Even in virtual worlds, variety is the spice of life. The Sims 4, for all its polish and cleverness, simply isn't very spicy.
  57. Sep 8, 2014
    While there are certainly some things to like about The Sims 4 such as building a custom mansion, or being visited by the Grim Reaper, the entire experience feels like a starter kit for bigger things in the future. If you had The Sims 3 and its multiple expansions, The Sims 4 will feel stripped down. If you have never played a Sims game, it might be a better option to hold off until The Sims 4 flourishes into a more complete package.
  58. Games Master UK
    Oct 22, 2014
    The pursuit of simplicity might seem noble, but this feels frustratingly light on content. [Dec 2014, p.73]
  59. Jul 23, 2020
    While an enjoyable title that has been polished up and seems generally very modern, it cannot be expected that The Sims 4 is not going to be compared to The Sims 3. In this respect, it seems that while the game took a few steps forwards, it also took a few steps backwards by abandoning features that were very helpful and appreciated in the previous versions. It does have new features that people have been waiting for, such as emotions and more personality for the Sims. As for now, for some players it may not quite be worth to abandon The Sims 3 for it, but for new players looking for a first experience with the franchise, they may have an easier time navigating than former The Sims 3 players. People that have previously enjoyed the latter may be disappointed by the menus (Sim creation, building, or navigating town), as they have been so massively oversimplified that they are now actually confusing.
  60. Oct 2, 2014
    The Sims 4 has room to grow, but right now you're better off continuing to play its predecessor. While certain features were axed in the name of progress, those features were a large reason why many have come to love the series in the first place.
  61. Sep 26, 2014
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the last 15 years of The Sims’ existence, the fourth entry will be a great experience – after all, Maxis did most of the basics right. But long-time fans will quickly grow bored without familiar features, objects, and situations. The Sims 4 was expected to build upon the legacy of The Sims 3, but instead, it is almost a barren platform for future DLCs.
  62. 60
    The Sims 4 leaves me feeling like the potential for greatness is there, but at this point we will have to wait and see if it ever gets realised.
  63. Sep 17, 2014
    The Sims 4 takes a step forward in some ways, while taking two steps back in others.
  64. Sep 16, 2014
    The Sims 4 offer only a small amount of changes that with a little effort could be included in one of many expansion packs of the third installment. Besides, it takes a lot of things that have been taken for granted in the previous installment along its expansion packs away from the gamers. Still, it is a fun game, but there are too many "buts" nonetheless.
  65. Sep 10, 2014
    The Sims 4's biggest problem is that The Sims 3 exists, and describing where it stumbles by necessity means looking at where the series has been. This is a lovely and lively game that elicits constant smirks, but The Sims 4's moments never feel like part of a bigger picture.
  66. Sep 10, 2014
    While The Sims 4 is a good first effort that will entertain goal-chasers and fan creators, it lacks much of the variety and humor that defines The Sims.
  67. Sep 9, 2014
    Starting The Sims 4 after years of The Sims 3 will definitely make you wish for an open world again. The Sims behave more realistically, but after two generations you are pretty much done with all functions and you start to feel how limited The Sims 4 is. Let's hope for some good expansion packs.
  68. Sep 8, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a visual and mechanical upgrade, but it's missing many of the things Sims fans are used to.
  69. Sep 17, 2014
    The Sims 4 is a step backwards for the franchise, leaving behind many beloved features of previous installments and following a more casual approach.
  70. Sep 15, 2014
    The Sims 4 is just like a dollhouse: it's pretty and polished and there are all sorts of possibilities, but in the end, it's really quite empty.
  71. Sep 5, 2014
    A step backwards for the series. There are some major improvements here, but they don't make up for what has been lost.
  72. Sep 4, 2014
    The Sims 4 is basically The Sims 3, but shrunken and sterile. While some tweaks and enhancements are nice, none of them can offset the overall lack of engagement provided, and the looming promise of DLC is no compromise.
  73. Sep 3, 2014
    The lack of core-features, underutilization of the impressive emotions system, flawed customization and faulty… practically everything else, only emphasizes EA’s struggle to keep its promises.
  74. CD-Action
    Oct 24, 2014
    The Sims 4 is just a foundation of a game. How would you react if you bought a new Elder Scrolls game and realized that half of the cities are unavailable (because TES6: World Adventures is around the corner), there are only 4 weapons (TES6: Accessories), you can’t ride horses (TES6: Pets), there are only 12 quests (TES6: Careers), 2 guilds (TES6: Friends) and 3 spells (TES6: Supernatural)? [Nov 2014, p.50]
  75. Sep 12, 2014
    The Sims 4 is still a charming life simulation, with a better interface and some new possibilities, but so many elements are missing compared from The Sims 3 (hello DLCs!) that all the fans will be disappointed.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 2539 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Sep 2, 2014
    When I first fired it up, I thought, 'wow, this looks promising!' The music was nice, the interface was improved and it was much faster thanWhen I first fired it up, I thought, 'wow, this looks promising!' The music was nice, the interface was improved and it was much faster than the previous games. Create-a-Sim looked good, too (at first). Then, I started to realize that this game just isn't that good. Create-a-Sim is a disappointment compared to previous games. There's no color wheel and there aren't even many colors to choose from. There just aren't a lot of options and I had significantly more trouble getting my Sims to not look the same, even with the adjustments of facial features (which actually aren't that great because they are very limited).

    The game feels like a Sims game but it's missing a LOT. Not just content such as pools, outfits, colors, etc. but gameplay and options. The options are practically nonexistent. The camera doesn't work that well and there are zero options to adjust it! Have they never heard of options in video games?

    Overall, I'm just not a fan of this. It's a Sims game with better coding but 1/4 the amount of options and it brings very little to the table in terms of new or original content, just multitasking and emotions. Not worth the money.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 2, 2014
    I played with the Create A Sim demo and felt I had a good understanding of it, but once I started in the actual game the create a sim setupI played with the Create A Sim demo and felt I had a good understanding of it, but once I started in the actual game the create a sim setup has no natural path. Despite having the tutorial, (which if you click off of it goes away until you randomly do whatever it asked you to do.) It assumes you know what to do, and it tries to empower the user with "freedom" and flexibility, but instead you end up missing parts like changing body parts. You see the dials for muscles & fat, but clicking on the body parts and adjusting them at different angles? Well I hope you intuitively know where they are and what their abilities are b/c there is nothing to queue you to their functionality. Again I've been playing with the CAS demo extensively, but in the production version of the game there is no natural flow.

    My biggest complaint is that there is far less control in general. You have only the pre-determined styles and there's no room to custom or alter ANYTHING.

    Like that shirt or counter top but want to make it a shade lighter? Too bad! You get these 5 options we've created.
    Want to make that metal object, wood? #SorryNotSorry
    What a design on that lampshade? So long as it's white, sure!

    There are 1/20th selection of anything, except random crap you don't care about. There are 6 counter/island styles, but 19 stove hood styles. Seriously?

    Standard things are missing. Like? Dishwashers. Under counter, trash compactors. Classic double kitchen sink. Not-hanging ceiling lights (i.e. standard flush mounted can lights)

    The new mouse/camera controls are weird. You can change them back to Sims 3 style but since you're missing pitch/tilt it doesn't make much sense.

    I am so frustrated by the complete lack of *everything* I rage-quit while setting up my house. Something that I could do for hours in all previous versions.

    I spent nearly all of last weekend in The Sims 3, making a really cool new house. Making sure that the wood of the bedroom furniture was the same style and color. Pulling tones from bed fabrics and using them in curtains and wall colors. Making sure the metal of the kitchen counter knobs was the same metal and hue as the light fixtures and the appliances.

    All of the subtle details that made The Sims 3 a fantastic customizable world are COMPLETELY lacking in The Sims 4.

    They completely screwed up the worlds too. Instead of having a cohesive world, you have the vague notion of a world with out of scale venues in neighborhoods. In order to go anywhere or see your world you have to use your phone. Instead of getting in your car or summoning a taxi you go to a load screen and appear at the venue. You cannot seamlessly travel within the world only in the neighborhood. I feel like I am using an internal alpha and not a released game.

    With the Sims 3 I loved trading patterns in the Exchange and getting new buildings or furniture that would have new patterns that I could customize and apply in existing buildings or clothing. I loved being able to choose that SPECIAL shade of green for my Sims eyes, deep green but vibrant. I missing selecting hair color and adding subtle highlights and low-lights.

    I've spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars, buying every expansion pack, every new world, every stuff pack and new set and venue in The Sims 3 store.

    The entire reason I loved playing this game, the customizing of houses, and furniture and clothes and the people ... all of that has been decimated to what can only be described as bare bones, poor-mans replica.

    I want to throw money at EA like I did with The Sims 3, but until I can change the shade of purple in a shirt, or matchy-match my furniture, I have no reason or desire to. I am heart broken that the newest version of my favorite game is only a shell of it's former glory.

    All of that is gone, and until it's back, I am too.

    Damn, so disappointing.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 2, 2014
    What the hell? I bought this being really excited about getting the next generation of Sims games, but it really just seems like a fancied upWhat the hell? I bought this being really excited about getting the next generation of Sims games, but it really just seems like a fancied up version of the Sims 2 with LESS features. Where is all the additions Sims 3 brought? Why is so much gone now while there are still some objects and movement that are the exact same as in previous games? I feel really scammed for getting such an incomplete product.

    I thought after Sim City, EA would be more eager to regain their trust with the customers, but I guess I was dead wrong. Unless you like paying more than 50 bucks for a Sims game that has less features than the freemium app on mobile, I would recommend you to throw your wallet at something else. EA does not deserve any money for this.
    Full Review »