The Sims franchise has seen four main installments since its first release in 2000. The latest installment, The Sims 4, has been successful and is beloved by many players and fans of the franchise. The console editions of The Sims 4 replicate the PC gameplay experience, and the Gallery feature was even ported to consoles on January 16, 2020. Console ports and PCs offer their own pros and cons when playing The Sims, but players can have fantastic experiences with their console counterparts.
The franchise has had other console ports and spin-offs that either replicated or expanded on each installment. These were met with varying success. According to Metacritic, each title and spin-off had its own top performers among the console and handheld editions.
- Released: 2006
- Platforms: Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC, Mac, Wii, N-Gage
With a 68% Metascore, the PlayStation 2 edition of The Sims 2: Pets may be the highest score among its peers, but a middling score overall. This console edition was not an expansion pack for the PlayStation 2 version of The Sims 2 and was a standalone game.
The gameplay for this edition was less goal-oriented and more open for players. Players’ Sims could care for dogs and cats, make their pets have offspring, and train them. These features were like the PC version of the game, however, Sims could not age or have children.
- Released: 2011
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS
The Sims 3: Pets for consoles was a standalone release in 2011. The Nintendo 3Ds scored 72% on Metacritic. Unlike The Sims 4: Cats and Dogs is to The Sims 4, this was not a DLC to The Sims 3 console version.
The game included the basic features of The Sims 3 console version, but with pets. In this edition, however, Sims could not have children. Players could create cats or dogs, customize their coats and personalities, and work towards their goals. The Sims 3: Pets isn’t the only pet simulation game for players to enjoy cute and cuddly animals.
- Released: 2007
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii
This is almost like the cozy game Stardew Valley had a Sims game offspring with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Before players were messing with the turnip stock market, they had The Sims 2: Castaway. The Wii edition of The Sims 2: Castaway has a 73% Metascore, narrowly beating the Playstation 2 edition. The Sims 2: Castaway was a standalone release and not a DLC for The Sims 2 Playstation 2 version.
Players would create at least one Sim to make up their group of castaways. By working through goals that also served as a guide to surviving on the islands in the game, Players worked towards getting their Sims either off the island or thriving on it.
- Released: 2004
- Platforms: NintendoDS, Playstation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance,
The console/handheld version that received the highest score is the GameCube version at 73%, and the lowest is the Nintendo DS version at 67%. Music group The Black Eyed Peas featured as characters in the console versions and translated some songs into Simlish to feature in the game. With the Black Eyed Peas’ help, The Urbs: Sims in the City gives players a chance to build their Sim up as part of the next great rags-to-riches story.
The Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions have their own storylines as sequels to the handheld versions of The Sims: Bustin Out.
- Released: 2005
- Platforms: Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable, PC, Mac
The highest-scoring console/handheld edition of The Sims 2 is the PlayStation 2 version. Even if it slightly lives in the shadow of the highly-ranked The Sims 2 PC edition, the PlayStation 2 console port is quite enjoyable. Reminiscent of The Sims, the PlayStation 2 edition of The Sims 2 has players working their way through the game through a ‘moving up, moving out’ style. Starting with a singular Sim, players complete goals on the starter lot to unlock other areas and advance in the game. It also had a multiplayer, split-screen feature.
The Sims 2 on Playstation 2 also differed from its predecessor in how Sims were controlled. Players had direct control over their Sims’ movements, and they could choose to queue up their actions in the same method as The Sims.
- Released: 2010
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, N-Gage
The Sims 3 PC version is still loved by some fans, with some features that are still beloved enough to warrant a possible inclusion in The Sims 4. The Sims 3 Xbox and Playstation 3 ports are well received, with the PlayStation 3 edition receiving a 78% Metascore. The Sims 3 PlayStation 3 version mirrored the PC version’s gameplay.
Now, Sims on the console could have children and raise them throughout their life stages. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions also had the Exchange feature, allowing players to upload and download other players’ creations into their game.
- Released: 2003
- Platforms: Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, N-Gage
The Metacritic scores are at 81% for the GameCube, PS2, and Xbox ports for the title. The selling point of The Sims: Bustin’ Out was the Sims’ newfound ability (at the time) to leave their home lots. The PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube versions featured two modes of play: Bust Out Mode as a story mode, and Freeplay mode. This title deserves a comeback, among other spin-offs, and there was once a mod by modder Kawaiistacie that sought to recreate the Bustin’ Out experience in The Sims 4.
There was an online play feature accessible on the Playstation 2 called ‘Online Weekend’. This feature was shut down on August 1, 2008, but players who still want the experience can set up a similar experience through the popular fan-made online The Sims experience, FreeSo.
- Released: 2003
- Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
With the scores for all The Sims console ports coming out quite close, the GameCube edition is the highest Metascore at 85%. The game had single and multiplayer options, as well as free play and story mode.
The GameCube version had the same features as the other console versions. The same ‘Get A Life’ story mode was included, where players took their Sim through goal-oriented gameplay to climb their way up the social, professional, and housing ladder. Years later, the latest Sims installment is still a recommended cozy game for the latest-gen consoles.
More: The Sims 4: Lot Challenges Explained