The latest Sims game is also the greatest, striking a terrific balance between the fresh and the familiar.
If you're reading this, there's a very good chance that you've heard about The Sims. It's been difficult to escape the popular franchise's web, what with two full games and a seemingly endless stream of expansions. The first thing you may be asking, then, is whether The Sims 3 is worth playing, or if it's just more of the same. Well, it most certainly is worth it, and yes, in some ways it is more of the same. But in this case, that's a very good thing. For anyone who's played The Sims or its first sequel, this familiarity will let them ease into it, feeling like a welcomed guest rather than an outsider. But this doesn't make The Sims 3 a simple rehash of what's come before. Instead, returning elements have been energized and extended by a number of terrific improvements, such as expanded customization tools, additional tools for interaction with other sims (and other players), and more tangible goals and rewards. Most importantly, the free-to-explore town makes you feel like part of an entire virtual society--a feature approximated but never fully realized in the previous games. By blending together the old and the new, developer Maxis has created the best, most charming game yet in the series.