The Sims 3

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Sims 3 Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Mature life sim with more personality than ever.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 65 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 322 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Sims can be as noble or as nasty as the player chooses. Possible character trades include coward, evil, dislikes children, kleptomaniac, mean-spirited, mooch, neurotic, and snob. Sims with certain traits will be inclined to steal, cheat on their spouses, say rude things, and get into fights. "Criminal" is a possible career path, and Sims can aspire to be a master thief or gold digger, among other things. It's possible to get arrested and spend the day in jail. The game offers a wider range of different body types than ever before, from skinny to hefty or muscular, but Sims react with dismay if you puff their bodies up to the maximum weight.


Sims can taunt, argue, and get into physical fights with each other. Sims with nasty personality traits may actually feel better after beating up another Sim.


Like previous Sims games, courtship and romance play a big part. Sims with the Romance trait will aspire to a life of having as many lovers and make-out sessions as possible, and if married, will be inclined to cheat on their spouses. Sims can have both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can be seen jumping under the sheets in bed to make "woohoo" (the game's term) -- which is accompanied by groans and giggles.


You can buy a range of items for your Sim's house. The game encourages the pursuit of "nics stuff," because inferior quality products will negatively affect your Sim's mood such as sleeping in a cheap bed or cooking on a cheap stove.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a life simulation game where you can create your own Sim and then control its life. Players can make Sims' personalities nuanced and life-like by assigning body characteristics and traits that include romantic, artistic, brave, kleptomaniac, neurotic, snob, and even "evil," which can influence desires, behavior, and job opportunities. Sims can enter into both heterosexual and same-sex relationships; and they can die.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom July 10, 2010

Not a very mature game.

Sims is more boring than mature. This game is extremely overspoken about how mature the game actually is. Sure there are sexual scenes where you only hear and s... Continue reading
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byBrianS_78 January 2, 2010

Perfect for Tweens and Older

Great game for most ages. I would let my kid play it, he is ten and he is mature enough to handle the content of this game. People make it seem a lot more sexua... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 26, 2015

Best Game!

Made me a sim. Married a rich person. Killed that same person. Couldn't keep mansion. Lived in crappy house. Died making waffles. 10/10 would make those w... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bytommy18 January 5, 2010

Sexual behaviour isn't that bad.

Young kids under 10 may like the look of this game. but do not buy it for them. It will confuse them in areas of the sexual parts. Woo-hoo and the bed is moving... Continue reading

What's it about?

THE SIMS 3, the latest game in EA's blockbuster Sims franchise, is a life simulation game where you create and control your own person, affectionately call a Sim. This version takes character customization to a new level of nuance and detail. Not only are players afforded more options in body shape and clothing style and color than ever before, but they can also select five traits out of three dozen for their Sim, such as coward, absent-minded, athletic, and vegetarian, which affect everything from how the Sim behaves and interacts with other Sims to career choice and life aspirations.

The game's setting, the sprawling Sunset Valley, affords dozens of interesting locations to visit and hundreds of actions and reactions based on each Sim's personality. They can pursue a career or relationship, start a family, chill at the beach or pool, play chess in the park, or even rummage through the neighbor's garbage. You decide whether to be kind or mean-spirited. If you chose a path of evil doing, your Sim will actually derive pleasure from causing as much strife as possible. Likewise, romantic Sims will favor casual relationships with no long-term commitments.

Is it any good?

As with previous Sims titles, The Sims 3 isn't suitable for younger players. The game is a balanced and honest portrayal of peoples' foibles as well as their strengths. Characters can be dishonest, nasty, lustful, mean, and materialistic. Characters can die and turn into ghosts, although it's also possible to control and even halt the aging process.

The game is a nice blend of familar gameplay for those who have played the earlier versions, and interesting new gameplay. For example, the game offers a new detailed building tool that lets you drag walls to change the size of rooms in your house, or rotate items 45 degrees to place them on an angle, and a new family inventory that lets players store items without actually selling them. The game is still a bit cumbersome to control, and it's a shame you can't multi-task (like brushing your teeth while waiting for your morning waffles to cook), but overall the new features and refinements help to make The Sims 3 extremely engaging while giving it almost limitless replay value.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what personality traits they chose for their Sim. Did they make their Sim exactly like them, or experiment with a very different persona? Was it fun to play a nasty Sim, or did you feel guilty about making the other Sims feel bad? Of all the various life aspirations available in The Sims, which ones do you consider the most important?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love simulations

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