When we look at The Sims 4 as a base game, it has plenty of interesting features that can entertain you for a while. What really makes the game crazy, though, is the expansion packs! Between living on an island, owning pets or becoming a celebrity, expansions provide various ways to spice up your game. Which one spices it up more, though? That’s what we’re here to discuss. If you’re interested in learning more, continue reading to find a comprehensive ranked list of the best Sims 4 Expansions Packs in 2023.
Best Sims 4 Expansion Packs Ranked – 2023 Edition
Before jumping into the main event, it’s important to note that this list does not include Game Packs, kits or Stuff Packs. Instead, we’re focusing entirely on expansions today but will briefly touch upon how different ones influence each other. However, as more expansions are released throughout the year, we’ll include those in the rankings as we dive into their mechanics and new features.
Without further ado, let’s get into the rankings of the best Sims 4 expansion packs as of 2023!
12. Island Living
Starting off this list is Island Living, an expansion that adds an island. I’ll be honest; that’s about all there is for noteworthy features. While things get interesting once you couple in expansions like Seasons and Eco Lifestyle, there is little exploration by itself. I was the most excited about this one initially before diving in-game and realizing the island offers little additional content.
On the plus side, the island is beautiful, and the new careers are interesting to explore. You can also create Mermaid occult sims, introducing a new level of shenanigans. Oh, and we can’t forget swimming with dolphins. Outside of these, though, there are better packs out there.
11. Get to Work
This pack has so much potential. You can run your own retail store and get involved in your career instead of having your character go MIA for eight hours. In particular, I really enjoyed my time at the hospital when trying to figure out what illnesses the NPCs have and dealing with them. The problem? The bugs.
Trying to navigate these bugs, especially at the hospital and crime scenes, is a nightmare at times, making a potential top-five pick fall down to 11. All things considered, if these get patched one day, this very well may climb the ladder once more.
10. Discover University
Discover University has aspects that are both very exciting and slightly monotonous. Other packs, like City Living, Get Together, and High School Years, all have individual aspects from Discover University that are vastly improved, making this one good but nothing to write home about. My favorite part is living in a dorm room and interacting with my roommates, but aside from that, this one is outdated, and the newer High School Years is an improved version.
9. Snowy Escape
Snowy Escape reminds me a lot of Island Living. You gain access to a new, snowy world to visit or live in, and you can partake in various winter-themed activities. Outside of this, though, there still isn’t much going on. This pack is still a major improvement over Island Living because of its considerable amount of Build Mode additions and extras like hot springs, adding an interesting Japanese-inspired twist to this pack.
Overall, the new items in this pack are beautiful, and it’s great to see a seasonal pack that doesn’t require the Seasons expansion. However, a lot is still missing. Sure, you can go skiing and snowboarding, but like most skills, they sometimes feel monotonous. Rock climbing is the most entertaining of the three, but that’s not saying much. It’s a good pack, but it could be better.
8. Get Famous
Of all the current expansion packs, Get Famous is the one I’ve spent the most time exploring. As the name goes, the purpose of this expansion is for your Sims to become famous! While one of the easier ways is by becoming an actor or actress and progressing through this career path, you can also live a life of fame through skills like writing and cooking, among others. Perhaps the most interesting part, though, is the fame perk system and the changes it makes to your Sims’ lives.
While my singing these praises sounds like this should be within the top three, a significant factor drops this down to number eight: the lots. Starlight Boulevard is interesting, but aside from this, you’re very limited on what houses you can live in. Some of the NPC interactions with celebrities also get frustrating, with them often getting distracted whenever one is in the same area. Still a great pack that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time playing around with, but not the best.
7. City Living
City Living has two defining features that make it a fun pack: apartment buildings and festivals. While there are a lot of limits to how you can customize apartments and penthouses, they offer a unique way for your Sim to live that is reminiscent and arguably better than Discover University’s dorm system. Festivals are also a blast, ranging from food to romance-oriented, and add some much-needed spice to the game. The downside? That’s about all it adds.
While the pack does boast other features, like critic and politician career tracks, the two described above are the main highlights. It’s also worth noting that while San Myshuno looks like a big city with a lot going on, you’re still limited to very few lots to use. A decent pack but not for everyone. If you enjoy singing, though, that may help persuade you to check this one out.
6. High School Years
It’s Discover University, but it improved in nearly every way. As a newer pack, this makes sense, despite not making it to the top slot on this list. One of the changes I appreciate is being able to physically attend your classes without sitting there waiting for the few-hour timer to end. You can actually observe what’s going on, much like in Get to Work. You can also attend prom, decorate your locker, and post on social media, among other things. There is also an amusement part lot that you can visit in your free time, which may very well be the pack’s highlight. There’s a surprising amount of content here that makes the experience entertaining, but the actual environment sometimes feels empty.
As you walk around the school halls and attend class, one of the most noticeable details is that classrooms are rarely full. There are plenty of teenagers around, yet the school often feels empty. I wouldn’t expect hundreds of students, mainly due to performance issues, but adding a few more goes a long way in having things feel more lively. Far from perfect, but a considerable improvement from Discover University, landing it right in the middle of this best Sims 4 Expansion Packs list.
5. Eco Lifestyle
Eco Lifestyle is, all around, an interesting and pleasant expansion pack to use. The eco-footprint addition helps show just how great (or poor) an area’s environmental standards are, and the new world it adds has a mix of smog-ridden industrial regions and green residential lots. However, it does pose some issues, such as how easy it is to create a green environment and how few consequences there are to having Industrial eco stats.
What makes this pack so interesting, though, is the sheer variety of content it adds. Sure, it all centers around the same theme, but it has multiple ways to accomplish this. Features like insect farms, biofuel, fabrication and the Neighborhood Action Plan are all viable ways to get into the spirit of creating a greener world, which helps adds a lot of variety. It also forces you to be attentive to your household appliances, especially if you fill your house with electronics and other high-power items. Overall, it adds enough challenge and excitement to land in the top five of this list!
4. Cottage Living
If you’re an animal lover, this may very well be near the top of the list for you. While sure, it doesn’t feature every animal out there, it has chickens, cows, and llamas! If you venture out into the wild, you can also spot foxes, rabbits, and birds around the world that you can interact with. The countryside aesthetic is attractive, with great themed outfits to boot. There is also a competition to motivate us to care for the little guys. It’s a blast, and it’s the first pack with which I have very few problems. It just isn’t very influential outside of Henford-on-Bagley compared to the three I’m about to discuss.
3. Cats and Dogs
As a disclaimer, this pack isn’t for you if you’re not a fan of cats or dogs. For those who are, though, rejoice! The Cats and Dogs expansion pack in The Sims 4 provides a surprisingly comprehensive customization and caretaking system for creating and caring for your pets. You can interact with your pet through petting, hugs, praising and other regular actions, as well as fulfilling their basic needs of eating, feeding, cleaning and more. The pack has nearly everything you’d need and want if you want pets, but one aspect may cause problems. There is no mood interface for your pets.
In a way, this adds an exciting challenge in knowing that, much like the real world, you can’t perfectly guess just how hungry, thirsty, or bored your pet is. However, you also can’t see any traits or quirks your pets may have, resulting in some odd situations where your pets will randomly perform actions, forcing you to guess why. Having a similar but simplified version of the regular Sim UI would help with this problem immensely.
Outside of that, though, it’s an incredible and adorable pack for those who want a cat, dog, fox, or raccoon in their game. If you don’t, you’re more than welcome to skip this one.
2. Get Together
You’d think that the second Sims 4 expansion pack ever released would be far lower quality than the rest, but honestly, it’s really good. Clubs offer an exciting way to meet new sims and participate in activities together, and you can watch group dances as your Sim takes on the role of a DJ. Seeing people dancing in nightclubs is one of the best things to watch while eating some food or, well, doing anything.
One of the best parts of this pack that differs from others on this list is the number of lots you can visit. There are multiple cafes, nightclubs, bars and other community lots alongside various residential ones. This shouldn’t be as exciting as it is, but considering some of the new worlds have 10-12 new lots, and this one has 27, it’s certainly worth celebrating.
This is only topped by one other pack simply because the next one influences nearly every aspect of the game in some way.
I’ll be honest. This one surprised me a lot. Ever since I first laid my eyes upon this pack, I thought it was unnecessary and would be one of the worst on the Sims 4 market. Boy was I wrong, though, and I’ll just say it loud and clear: The Sims 4 Seasons is the best expansion pack out there. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover. Its impact on the game is so important that the “Select a Season to Play in” page is the first thing to appear once you create a new game.
It is shocking how many exciting features are in this pack, ranging from the weather to the gardening career. My favorite, though, is the addition of holidays. Not only are there default annual holidays, but you can create your own! That’s just asking for fun and wild shenanigans!
Seasons also introduces some minor but underrated additions, such as children being able to become scouts and make holiday crafts. Considering children have minimal gameplay mechanics currently, anything that adds variety here is always a plus. The gardening career is also surprisingly in-depth compared to others in the game and adds to an already helpful skill. While many of the previous packs vary in impressiveness depending on personal preference, Seasons is one that just about anyone can enjoy.
The Sims 4 is available on PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 through the official website. If you’d like to learn more about the game, check out How to Enable Free Build and How to Make Objects Bigger in The Sims 4.