The Sims 4 Best Expansion Packs (And Worst)

sims 4, expansion packs, best expansion packs, worst expansion packs
These attractive, casually posed young adults sure do make this game look fun!

Which expansion packs are worth the hype?

Once the novelty of being able to manually mold the shape of your sim’s cheekbones wears off, there’s just not much to it if you only have the base game. That’s why the releases of new stuff packs, game packs, and expansion packs always send The Sims 4 fans into a tizzy of excitement and anticipation. Of all The Sims 4 DLC the expansion packs tend to be the most highly anticipated (and the most expensive), and therefore you’re probably wondering which of the big-budget game changers are most worth your time and money.

7. Cats and Dogs

Official Cats and Dogs artwork

This cat is looking at me like he knows my darkest secrets.

Pets have always been a cornerstone of the Sims franchise. Our furry friends are such a huge part of our lives, of course, we want our virtual lives to include them as well. That’s why this expansion pack was so highly anticipated, and overall it was a pretty huge disappointment.

  • The scenic New England-style neighborhood of Brindleton Bay is charming (unless you have Seasons in which case it becomes a rain-soaked landscape of virtual depression). You can even woohoo in a lighthouse! The ability to adopt stray pets is a really sweet feature, and the build/buy and create-a-sim items for this pack are very good.
  • The pets, the whole point, basically do nothing. You can mix and match a handful of traits, and the appearance is quite customizable. But once you have the pet in your household they're just...boring. Their actions are repetitive, the "training" skill is tedious, they get sick constantly, and you have no control over the pet itself. Cleaning up furballs from a pet you have no emotional connection with is, shockingly, a lackluster activity.

6. Island Living

Official Island Living artwork

That sunburn looks like it's going to hurt tomorrow!

This 2019 summer release did bring a nice change of scenery to a game that tends to be dominated by different styles of residential neighborhoods. We got a new island world, and the items that came with this pack are quite different than anything we had in the game before, adding nice diversity to both building and create-a-sim. Still, this pack ranks low against the competition.

  • The new world is absolutely gorgeous. There’s a picturesque waterfall, the ocean is a sparkling blue, and the beaches look warm and inviting. This pack also added an interesting new career as well as a couple of part-time jobs, something the game was lacking.
  • As an occult, mermaids just fall flat. Much like the rest of the pack mermaid sims can be pretty, but pretty doesn’t add gameplay. Mermaids are also incredibly glitchy. As a matter of fact, a lot of aspects of this pack are glitchy - many animations are recycled from old packs, and some new animations just don’t work correctly. Additionally, Sulani is a very friendly community, meaning your neighbors are constantly coming over, bringing food, and starting events. This gets annoying fast. Overall it feels like they put all the resources for this pack into the aesthetics and didn’t do much playtesting.

5. Get Together

Get Together official artwork

Say what you will about this pack, but the clothing is cool.

Get Together is the expansion pack for sims who love to party. Dancing! Clubs! Foosball! Fire dancing! What a great way to breathe life into your game when it’s starting to feel like it needs a boost. Clubs were the real selling point of this pack. They can be useful - make all your kids do homework together, make a lot of friends (or enemies), keep track of your queue of daddies for the 100-baby challenge, etc. However, clubs are divisive. I love this pack, but a lot of people don’t and I can see why, which is why it’s lower on the list. 

  • Windenburg is one of the best worlds in The Sims 4. It has an eclectic blend of neighborhoods, the timber-framed houses are quaint as heck, and the addition of the bluffs and the ruins as sort of “party spots” was very clever. We also got two new woohoo locations with this pack, although one of them is a bush you can also use as a toilet, so that can go wrong pretty quickly.
  • If you don’t use clubs or aren’t interested in getting creative with them, this pack really isn’t worth the price tag. A party game pack might have gone over better, but paying expansion pack prices for a dance floor and a DJ skill is definitely disappointing if that’s all you get out of it. 

4. Seasons

Seasons official artwork

What's in the box? Do I want to know what's in the box?

Seasons was another highly anticipated expansion pack for The Sims 4. People are nuts for weather! Seasons adds different weather by neighborhood, and different weather-based activities like building snowmen, ice skating, or showering (yes, showering) in the rain. Personally, I think this is a perfectly middling expansion pack. I’m glad I have it, but I’m not sure I’d miss it very much if I didn’t.

  • With Seasons there’s now a calendar for holidays, and you can customize it with your own holidays as well. This pack has arguably the best build mode items, adding a lot for builders to play with. If you like gardening, the gardening career got a complete overhaul with seasonal plants, greenhouses, and the much sought after money tree.
  • Some holidays are randomly generated, and they get really annoying, especially because your Sim is stuck with a pretty heavy sad moodlet if you don’t participate in them. Weather can get annoying as well when your sim is constantly trying to run from the rain (because the umbrellas are so glitchy!) or when you’re constantly replacing outdoor items that got struck by lightning. Also, I can’t tell you how many sims I lost to freezing or overheating when I first got this pack. Player be warned - it’s an easy way to accidentally kill off your entire family.

3. Get to Work

Get to Work official artwork

I'd let this sim arrest me. Take me in, Detective.

Get to Work was the first expansion pack that came out for The Sims 4 and it’s still one of my favorites. The big new thing was playable careers! Instead of the old rabbit hole system, you can now go to work with your Sim for certain careers and play them through their workday, getting promoted or demoted based on your actual performance. 

  • The new careers are great. The detective career is my personal favorite, but the science career adds a lot of gameplay. Like aliens! There’s a whole alien planet to discover, and as an occult aliens are pretty fun to play. You also have the option of opening your own retail store! I personally enjoy making bakeries and selling homemade baked goods. 
  • Careers do get repetitive. For certain levels of promotion, you have to do the same tasks over and over again. I generally hear this as the biggest complaint about the pack. 

2. Get Famous

Get Famous official artwork

As you can see here the fans can get a bit...erm...intense.

Get Famous adds a fame system. Now your sims can become famous celebrities, fashion icons, and influencers. Honestly, this pack is just a lot of fun. The acting career is silly (in a good way), the clothes are great, and everything is just flashy and over the top. Personally, I love it. The fame system itself isn’t that great, but I can forgive that for the option to woohoo in a giant pile of money.

  • There’s a new world, new celebrities, big lavish houses, fancy sleeping pods - everything your sim could want to live in the lap of luxury. There’s also fun reputation perks! In addition to gaining levels of fame, your sim can also gain a good reputation or an evil reputation - and both are pretty fun to play. 
  • It’s more difficult than it should be to gain and more importantly maintain fame levels. It actually gets obnoxious. You’re randomly assigned ‘quirks’ based on your sim’s behavior, and most of those I could do without. The absolute worst part, of any pack, is the fame walk. Once you’re famous you have this snooty walk and you move so slowly. In theory, you can turn it off, but that feature tends to be buggy. 

1. City Living

City Living official artwork

Look at these sims! They're so good! They are cooler than my sims can ever hope to be.

I LOVE City Living. I can’t imagine my game without it. As a self-proclaimed member of the city-dwelling folk, this expansion sang to me. The festivals add a great level of community and “spice” things up from time to time. You can enter contests, buy swag, learn your romantic destiny, and woohoo in a rocketship! 

  • The apartments are a nice change from the same old suburban lots, and you can work your way up from a run-down place you share with rats all the way up to a penthouse. City Living also has some of my favorite townies in The Sims 4. They are, in my opinion, the hottest townies in the game, and add some much-needed personality to the potential gene pool.
  • It would have been nice to see more customization. Apartments are very difficult to remodel - which sure, is realistic, but not very sims-esque.

The newest expansion pack, Discover University, has just dropped, and simmers are getting their hands on it for the first time. Where do you think it will end up on the list?

 

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Lute in hand, this rogue bard travels the countryside singing tales of monstrous beasts, fair maidens, and the life of 21st century gaming for a soul still lost in the forgotten era of Nintendo 64.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Stardew Valley
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout: New Vegas, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, The Sims 4
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