The Best Sims 4 Expansion Packs, Game Packs and Stuff Packs Ranked

The Best Sims 4 Expansion Packs, Game Packs and Stuff Packs Ranked
Images via Maxis

Written by 

Kiera Mills

Posted 

30th Jun 2022 14:45

To find out the best Sims 4 expansion packs, read on. Whether you're a long-standing fan or a newbie to The Sims series, it can be overwhelming to choose from all the packs on offer. Below is a comprehensive list of all the expansion packs, game packs and stuff packs ranked from best to worst so you can get the most out of your money.

Sims 4 Expansion Packs Ranked

Sims 4 Snowy Escape and Island Living expansion packs
Click to enlarge

The Sims 4: Seasons (#1)

The Sims 4 Seasons expanded day-to-day gameplay in a way that few packs previously have. With the added element of holidays and weather, instead of the forever sunny springtime of The Sims, your families could now experience the different seasons in a way that shows the progression of time in the game.

For sims players who like to add realism to their games, this is a great pack. Seasons also expanded the gardening skill in a way that made it relevant, planting different seeds now depends on the season and the new flower arrangement skill is a wealthy opportunity for get-rich-quick schemes. Or perhaps a new hobby for elder sims who enjoy gardening.

Holidays encourage familiar interactions, now you can have snowball fights, build snowpals together, go to skate rinks or ice rinks and decorate the house with holiday decorations with your sim families. Seasons is an essential pack for simmers who enjoy playing out family scenarios. The only drawback to the pack is that it didn't include a new world, but as it added so much extra gameplay to previous worlds, this isn't a deal-breaker.

The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs (#2)

The only thing better than sims are sim pets. Cats and Dogs introduced – you guessed it – cats and dogs to The Sims. The create-a-sim menu for pets is an impressive selection, you can fully customise coats to include your own designs which allow for creative results.

This pack could have introduced animals and left it there, but instead, we also got the brand-new world of Brindleton Bay, a beautiful seaside town complete with beaches and salty taverns. We also got a plethora of new build and buy items, all complementing the rustic nautical theme of the world, and the new veterinary career, giving a host of new gameplay opportunities.

The only criticism that arose from the release of Cats and Dogs was the fact that it only included those two animals (plus racoons and foxes), whereas previous pet packs in The Sims series also included farm animals and most notably, horses. The animals are limited in how you can control them also, you can't 'play' as an animal in your household as you could in The Sims 3, instead, your sim interacts with them by calling them to activities.

The Sims 4: Cottage Living (#3)

Speaking of farm animals, The Sims: Cottage Living is full of them. As the name would suggest, this pack is centred around a traditional English cottage lifestyle, complete with farming and evil chickens. With this pack, you can now live the dream of having a sim only live off produce you've grown yourself. The build-and-buy items that arrived with the pack, lean into the English countryside tropes of cosy log burners, armchairs and hanging baskets making it a great complementary pack to Cats and Dogs or Nifty Knitting. New animals include cows, llamas, chickens, rabbits, and ducks. Just make sure you're on good terms with your animals - or face the consequences.

Henford-on-Bagley is the new world included in this pack, complete with the iconic sims character Mrs Crumplebottom. Compete in crop and animal fares for rewards and a sense of community spirit.

The Sims 4: Discover University (#4)

Sims 4 Discover University
Click to enlarge

Discover University adds some much-needed gameplay to the 'young adult' sim life stage. You can now apply for university scholarships and choose between two rival campuses. Completing semesters at university will result in your sim entering their chosen career at a higher level. Where this pack lacks gameplay, however, is within lecture halls. Your sim, when attending class, disappears at the lot. This is a missed opportunity for players to be able to interact with peers in class and answer questions to progress through their chosen subject in a more involved way.

A key mechanic the pack introduced was the ability to have housemates. These are sims you live with but have no control over. By assigning them a bed/room you can have the gameplay feature of living with sims without the bother of having to focus on them.

The pack also introduced more robotic skills and the ability to build robots for friendship, housework or even love. The university pack is a great choice for sim players who wish to develop the life cycle of their sims more. Instead of going from teenhood straight to work, the university pack fills in that awkward middle step of a sim's life with the ability to have them strike out on their own and have their first taste of adulthood.

The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle (#5)

The Sims 4 Eco Living is a stylised pack centred around eco-friendly furniture, this means re-purposing of furniture and dumpster diving. The pack emphasised the community clean-up gameplay of either improving or lowing the carbon footprint of neighbourhoods in the new Evergreen Harbor world. This pack complimented 'rags-to-riches' playstyles as it encouraged players to fix up second-hand furniture. Seeing the world flourish around you or succumb to pollution is an interesting gameplay mechanic that has a good measure of replayability.

You can even craft furniture with the new crafting skill and make money by producing fizz drinks and candles.  The option for sustainable living was also introduced, with an 'off-the-grid' option for homes to rely on their own power and water production to run effectively. Whilst eco gameplay may not be to everyone's taste, it does add a new dimension to gameplay and added challenge for many simmers.

The Sims 4: Get Famous (#6)

Get Famous is the exact opposite of Eco Lifestyle. With this pack you can lavish your sims in luxury mansions, the pack even came with a money vault and the interaction for your sims to bathe in the money. You can start your sims from nothing and watch as they slowly advance a career in acting or as an online influencer. Set in Del Sol Valley, effectively The Sims version of Hollywood, sims can now earn fame, a new mechanic that impacts their interactions with other sims. Famous sims are harder to impress and get to know and sway influence over other sims. The new fame mechanic comes with perks as your adoring fans will send gifts to you in the mail. However, it can become annoying if you're taking your sims on a date or an outing and a celebrity sim spawns randomly. This can derail a date and interrupt plans.

This pack brought new live streaming and social media management interactions on the PC, as well as a new acting career. The acting career is completely interactive meaning you can go with your sims to gigs and watch them go through the different stages of performance. Watch as they get into hair and make-up, practise lines and then perform the piece. The replay value of the pack is high as there are several different types of gigs you can apply for, with the prestige of them becoming higher as you advance through the career. The gig options range from kibble adverts to full sci-fi movies and period drama shows. The costumes that came with the pack are visually appealing, even if they aren't used outside of the career gigs or Halloween parties, The Sims team put effort into their creation.

The 'build and buy' items kit you out with everything you need to build a lavish Hollywood mansion. The creative opportunities for this are exciting but perhaps limited, as most sims players tend to play realistic suburban families, rather than A-lister celebrities in multi-million dollar homes. As such, this is placed slightly lower in the list for the question of how repayable the pack is compared to other expansion packs.

The Sims 4: Island Living (#7)

Island Living is visually stunning. The new island world of Sulani is a perfect holiday destination for your sims, drawing inspiration from Hawaii and Bali. With this pack, came unique build and buy items which lend themselves well to beach hut designs and resort builds, allowing for creative opportunities for builders.

The pack also introduced mermaids to the game, which brought much excitement on its initial release. However, the mermaids seem lack-lustre compared to the other occult sims, without any background lore or reasoning for their existence they feel like they've just been dropped there. Some of the siren abilities to lure sims into the water are interesting, so, with more narrative around their origins, they had potential. The mermaid create-a-sim options can be considered a success however, with varied tail styles and colours the Maxis team put consideration into the look of the mermaids instead of cashing out with a simple green Little Mermaid style tail.

The Sims 4: Snowy Escape (#8)

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape pack
Click to enlarge

Snowy Escape introduced the lifestyles mechanic to the game, which expanded on the traits system. Effectively, lifestyles are attributed to your sims over time and give them more of a distinguished personality.

The Snowy Escape build and buy items all have a unique Japanese theme to them, which compliments the mountainous areas of the new world, Mt. Komorebi. In a similar way to Island Living, this feels like a destination world where you might take your sims on a ski holiday. Unlike recent packs, the new world features plenty of spare lots to build on. With 14 lots in total (plus three hidden ones), the pack also presents several new activities for your sim to master. These are sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and rock climbing.

The Sims 4: Get To Work (#9)

Get to Work introduced three new playable careers for sims, that being the detective, doctor, and scientist careers. With these careers, you can go to work with your sims instead of having them disappear at the doorstep and interact with work systems to see them progress through the ranks. However, once you've played through the careers once, they can become repetitive meaning players may be unlikely to replay them much.

The pack also introduced the ability to own a retail business, which offers a wealth of gameplay options. With this, you can create any shop you like and earn money this way, offering great 'rags-to-riches' gameplay opportunities. For this reason, the pack is a worthwhile option if you wish to bulk out career options for your sims.

The photography and baking skills were added with this pack, persuading many to take it to make their own bakery business. Curiously, the pack also added aliens to the game and the ability for your sim to be abducted by aliens, and even carry alien offspring. The aliens are a bit gimmicky, once you've met a few and travelled to the alien world of Sixam once, you're unlikely to do so again. Interactions with aliens are limited, short of seeing their emotions in the auras around them. Sixam would have been an interesting opportunity to have alien buildings and bases for your sims to explore, however, there are hardly any things to interact with in the world.

The Sims 4: City Living (#10)

City living's new urban world San Myshuno houses different districts for your sim to live in. The apartment living feature persuades many to get this pack. The gameplay opportunity to work your sim up from the shabbiest apartments eventually to the penthouse suite is where the value of the pack lies.

The pack also introduced festivals to the game, which can provide interesting date opportunities or events for your sims to partake in. However, once you've visited the festivals once, there isn't much replayability in them.

The city also introduced karaoke bars and competitions, without much incentive to win these, however, they can become tiresome. The apartment mechanic can also become annoying if you're trying to renovate a space but cannot move certain walls because of prerequisites. Whilst this is a realistic approach, it can become frustrating.

The Sims 4: Get Together (#11)

Get together introduced clubs to The Sims 4. There are many pre-made clubs in the game that focus on different hobbies and activities which you can join, you can also make your own club. The club feature is mostly useful for gathering several sims in one place at one time in an easy manner, rather than hosting an event or calling them individually.

Beyond the club mechanic, the pack offers very little else in terms of gameplay. The new world of Windenburg is European-inspired and offers traditional thatched buildings, in an almost mock-Tudor style. Beyond the ability to make a Tudor mansion, there isn't as much playability in the pack compared to others.

 

Sims 4 Game Packs Ranked

Sims 4 Batuu and Vampires game packs
Click to enlarge

Rank

Game Pack

Notable Features

S

·        Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator

·        Sims 4 Parenthood

Dream Home decorator offered players the chance to renovate the homes of other sim families within a career. It also introduced the likes and dislikes mechanic. Sims have more personality now, with preferences on colour, music, and furniture tastes. Parenthood facilitated players to be more interactive with their teen sims, allowing them to help with homework projects and impact the choices teens make about their lives.

A

·        Sims 4 Werewolves

·        Sims 4 Strangerville

·        Sims 4 Realm Of Magic

Most of the occult packs cater to a specific type of sims player. Not all simmers enjoy occult packs, preferring to play with more realistic families. As it stands, the occult packs have been getting increasingly better with more detailed lore and gameplay. Strangerville is The Sims 4's first narrative-driven pack and will see you playing through 'the mother' storyline, uncovering the secrets behind a military base's experiments. Although the pack was put together expertly, as it is a narrative-driven pack there is less replayability.

B

·        Sims 4 Journey To Batuu

·        Sims 4 Jungle Adventure

Journey to Batuu received a less enthused response from the fan base. As a Star Wars/Sims cross-over, your sim receives the opportunity to journey to Batuu and either become part of the resistance or the empire. As not all Sims fans are also Star Wars fans this pack received controversial commentary upon launch.  Whether you hate it or love it, the pack introduced a multitude of industrial-themed build and buy options, and the resistance interactions were fun to play. Batuu did have one too many rabbit holes however and could have done with more explorable areas. As such if you're a Star Wars fan, you'll get some enjoyment from the pack.

C

·        Sims 4 Vampires

·        Sims 4 Spa Day

·        Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat

As the first foray into the occult, The Sims 4 vampires is the weakest of the occult packs. Forgotten Hollow was a much smaller world introduced, with fewer activities to populate the area. There was a missed opportunity for interesting vampire bars or clubs to also be introduced to the world. Similarly, Outdoor retreat was the first destination-themed pack from The Sims, as such it feels emptier compared to later packs.

F

·        Sims 4 My Wedding Stories

·        Sims 4 Dine Out

Both packs are founded on great gameplay ideas. Having more involved weddings where you can plan outfits, cakes, venues, and sim participation are great in theory. Dine out offers the possibility for simmers to build and run their own restaurants and hire employees. Both gameplay aspects are great ideas, however, both packs were unusable at launch with game-breaking bugs. Although wedding stories has mostly been fixed, players still report issues, particularly with Dine Out features. Having your sims order food at a restaurant seldom goes smoothly.

Sims 4 Stuff Packs Ranked

Sims 4 Perfect Patio Stuff Pack
Click to enlarge

Tier

Pack

Notable Features

S

·        Sims 4 Nifty Knitting

·        Sims 4 Paranormal

·        Sims 4 Tiny Living

The Sims 4 Nifty Knitting was the first community-led pack, with all the items of the pack pre-determined and voted on by the fanbase. Due to this, the popularity of the pack is cemented amongst fans. The pack introduced lots of new customisable items including the adorable plush grim reaper, and more hobbies for elders.

Tiny Living introduced a plethora of new challenges for sims builders and 'lets players' alike. With new lot traits and eco styled furniture, this pack adds a lot of gameplay diversity for a stuff pack.

A

·        Sims 4 Laundry Day

Laundry Day is a divisive addition to the game. Whilst may find sims doing laundry boring, many others felt that this was a welcome added challenge to the game. This is the pack for simmers that yearn for more realism.

B

·        Sims 4 Toddler

·        Sims 4 Moschino

·        Sims 4 Romantic Garden

Toddlers are severely underrepresented in game updates and packs. So, having a pack that solely caters to them and offers new toddler clothing and play areas was a valuable addition to the game.

The Moschino pack may be divisive. High fashion is not to everyone's taste, but it did also introduce the freelancer photographer career, with new photo interactions for your sims which makes the pack worthwhile.

C

·        Sims 4 Backyard

·        Sims 4 Fitness

·        Sims 4 Bowling Night

·        Sims 4 Kids Room

·        Sims 4 Spooky

·        Sims 4 Movie Hangout

·        Sims 4 Vintage Glamour

·        Sims 4 Perfect Patio

·        Sims 4 Cool Kitchen

·        Sims 4 Luxury Party

Perfect Patio introduces hot tubs to the game which arguably should have been included in the free swimming pool update. The packs in this tier are lack-lustre and tend to only feature one new interaction or machines such as the ice cream machine in Cool Kitchen, or the Popcorn Machine in Movie Hangout. Apart from a few cosmetic items, the packs here are limited.

F

·        Sims 4 My First Pet

This pack is only accessible by also purchasing The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs expansion. Having a prerequisite like this caused much controversy amongst the sims community, with most feeling that paying for DLC for a DLC was a poor business practice.

  • Read our Sims 4 Werewolves cheat guide for cheats on how to turn your sims into wolves instantly, amongst other cheats to make your game easier.
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