Impressions: My Favorite Sims 4 Expansions

I have been playing a lot of Sims 4 lately, and this comes as no surprise to me. It is a relatively stress-free game and offers a level of control over life (even a fake one) that currently we just don’t have. It has been a rather enjoyable way for me to unwind or even go into “brain shut down mode.” As we all know, The Sims has become a way to sell expansions (something I could also discuss at length), but EA has been rolling out a decent number of discounts through the lockdown. I thought I would give a brief look at my favorite expansions.

Island Living

I was one of those kids that wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. In fact, I very nearly actually followed through but then personal stuff. Anyway, if you were that kid, you want this expansion. Okay, in fairness, it doesn’t let you do as much with the ocean as I’d like, but you can become a marine biologist and befriend dolphins, so, you know, kickass. The island itself is also beautiful and a fun new place in the Sims 4 world. You can also make positive changes to the island, thus bringing back sea turtles and unlocking new parts to the expansion. Plus mermaids.

Eco Lifestyle

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this expansion, but honestly, it’s pretty interesting. The new area is not in the best shape, and largely you are impacting it by deciding to go more green or corporate. It also adds in many new options as far as crafting, a new job, and a really interesting take on how people can impact the world they are part of if a little simplistic. I would say the biggest problem is the new job requires you to have a house at a certain point, and apartment living is really the emphasis of this expansion. Overall I rather enjoy it and enjoy the effort to add things like caring for the environment.


Probably the most basic of the expansions, but I find the game lacks a bit without it. Seasons are a great addition, especially if you are like me, and appreciate weather in games. It also adds a lot of holidays. I personally put this more on the level of a Game Pack than a true Expansion Pack, so I would recommend waiting for it to be on sale, but once you have it, you certainly won’t want to go back.

Dine Out

Much like Seasons, the game feels a little duller without it. I love going out to eat in the Sims, and I love expanding what is there as far as places to visit in The Sims. This also allows you to own a restaurant and opens new cooking options.


If you plan on having kids in The Sims, this Game Pack is a must. It adds so much depth to raising kids. Instead of just normal skills, it adds things like manners, emotional growth, and puts in new options for schoolwork, activities, and really everything to do with kids in The Sims. I ended up shocking myself with how much I love this pack. It has moved “raising kids” in the game from something I occasionally do to something I look forward to with almost every new character.

Outdoor Retreat

I was a touch disappointed with this expansion because I thought it would really push camping more. There is camping, it’s just not the top priority. However, I still included it because it’s fun. Setting aside my disappointment with it not being focused on camping, it’s still a great “vacation” piece. There is fishing, hiking, hanging by the campfire, etc. It is fun and a decent way to break up the gameplay, especially if you have a sims family instead of just solo. Plus bears… that you can be friends with.

Nifty Knitting

Honestly, a lot of this should have been in the eco expansion, but it’s The Sims; we are all keenly aware of how much EA likes to break up these packs to get more money from us. Anyway, knitting falls under the maker category that comes in the Eco pack. Honestly, for being a “stuff” pack, this one actually adds more than others in the same vein, including the fake Etsy.

Toddler Stuff

So this pack will add some cute clothes, but the big appeal to me is all of the outdoor stuff. It adds a lot of new outdoor toys and play pieces. I think it makes playtime more interesting when you have toddlers (something you do a lot of). It will also allow for playdates.

Kids Room

Much like the toddler pack, this one again has some cute clothes and hairstyles, but big-time about the things it adds for rooms: new toys, decorations, and generally more fun stuff for kids.

So those are some packs you might want to consider getting for The Sims. I always encourage waiting for sales, especially as EA has really started to overdo it with DLC for The Sims. But each one I think added a little bit, and it was worth eventually adding.

Note: I did not include Cats and Dogs, and I really struggled with it. I actually enjoy the expansion, and who doesn’t want to add pets to The Sims. The big problem is many features for the expansion (other than the pets themselves) require you reach a particular level in the vet career. No big deal, except you don’t have automatic access to the vet career, which is just a massive bummer and really impacted my enjoyment of the expansion.

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