There's nothing quite like a quality expansion pack, providing it actually brings something new to the table and not a couple of cheap and flimsy cosmetics. As far as The Sims goes, I suppose it's hit-and-miss, with perhaps a little more of the latter than anything else. But that isn't to say EA is incapable of developing a genuinely enjoyable expansion pack. Because let's face it, they can.
Over the decades, Maxis and EA have coined new ideas for their joint venture, forever producing new ways to onboard players and keep loyal fans from falling from the wagon. At first, it was a few virtual cosmetics and nothing more. Before long, the ideas snowballed into something much greater. Long story short, we're now left to gloss over dozens of fleshy content packs, and we aren't quite sure where to look. But we do know, however, which of the many have made the biggest impact over the years.
5. The Sims: Makin' Magic
To be fair, The Sims (that being the one that launched back in 2000) had some fantastic expansion packs. Having owned the entire bundle from the moment each entry dropped, it made the base game feel fourteen times larger than it really was. The real turning point, though, and one that I noticed made the most changes to the game, was with Makin' Magic.
For starters, your Sims could become wizards and witches, brew potions, and practice the art of spellcasting. If that wasn't enough to captivate you and entice you to fork over the cash for the expansion, then honestly, nothing would. Along with it, you had more spooky décor than you could shake a stick at, along with plenty of ghosts and ghouls—and all things Halloween-themed. It was a treasure trove of creepy crawlies and bubbling concoctions—nothing more, nothing less.
4. The Sims 2: University
University was another step in the right direction for Maxis, considering Sims would grow up a little too quickly when transitioning from the teenager to young adult phase. Thanks to the expansion, Sims could aspire to become more than a common couch potato. Flicking through a newspaper for jobs was out, and learning to become an upstanding citizen through learning, funnily enough, was in.
After shipping a Sim off to university, the game opened up to a whole new world, complete with new settings and goals to boot. Having a fresh life on campus along with courses to attend and rules to adhere to, University really pushed the boat out by enveloping a game within a game. Fast-forward several years, and the expansion went on to inspire both The Sims 3: University Life, and The Sims 4: Discover University.
3. The Sims 3: World Adventures
Going on vacation doesn't seem all that great after witnessing your beloved Sims become witches, wizards, and astronauts, to be fair. And yet, jetting them off to distant lands where snow or sand holds power over the surrounding landscapes is still a fun way to kill time. It's a lot more than your bog-standard Stuff pack, anyway.
Having a home away from home is a luxury in itself, and for that, we have to give World Adventures the credit it deserves. Being able to explore tombs in Egypt, or root around France on a quest for a holiday romance hits different compared to other expansions. It's a hybrid of The Sims: Holiday and The Sims 2: Holiday Edition, and we're all for that. Because who doesn't want to become a Mummy, right?
2. The Sims 2: Open for Business
Other than being a criminal or a, dare I say, journalist—not a lot of career options were given to our poor Sims back in The Sims 2 days. Fortunately, Open for Business popped out of the blue, paving the way to an entirely different world, where you could play the boss and manage your very own industry.
Having the ability to hire and fire your peers was a kick in the right direction, that's for sure. Being able to build a brand from the ground up, of course, was the cherry on the bakewell, and an afterthought for most. Collectively, the expansion opened up plenty of new doors for ambitious Sims, giving a boatload of new tools to help conquer the monopoly and rake in infinite waves of cold hard simoleons.
1. The Sims 4: Seasons
Admittedly, it can feel like a bit of a slog having to endure generation after generation of Sims, all while knowing that time, in reality, never really moves past square one. Thankfully, Seasons worked to solve that issue, and went on to make the world around your family feel more life-like, and less like being jarred in limbo.
Simple in concept, of course, but an essential accessory to help flesh out the core experience of the game. Having the four seasons play a role in your Sims' lives helped bring traditions to the table, giving you new reasons to stay on top of trends and roll with the times. All in all, an important piece of the puzzle that never felt truly complete until inserted.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our list? Which Sims expansion pack ranks highest in your eyes? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.