Recommend Me A Sims Game

So I’ve never really been into the computer game thing. While my teenage boys are both very much into Runescape, WOW, and whatever the latest game is, I mostly use the computer for reading and researching. So I have very little experience with computer games, but very proficient teachers in the house.

Lately I have been wanting to play Sims. Sounds like such fun. I went to the used bookstore, but the copy I bought didn’t want to work and I had to take it back. Then I bought SimCity, because they didn’t have any other Sims games, but that’s kind of boring. So now I’m shopping online for a good, fun Sims game.

The big problem is that right now I have Windows ME. Yes, I practically live in a cave. (But I don’t have dialup or AOL, so I’m not completely lame.) I gather some of the newer versions require less ancient software. I’ll be getting a new PC after the new year, but I don’t want to wait until then.

I was looking on Amazon, and it looks like maybe the best choice would be Sims 2: Holiday Edition.

Surely lots of Dopers play/have played this game, and I’m eagerly anticipating your thoughts. This is going to be my birthday present to myself and I want to choose the most funnest. Thanks!

The Sims games require the base game before you can use expansion packs. The Sims 2: Holiday Edition is the base game (Sims 2) plus the expansion pack Holiday Party Pack, so you’d be fine playing it. Any other Sims 2 product (Nightlife, University, and Open for Business) require the base game, so you shouldn’t buy them if you’re not going to get the base game as well.

I’ve heard some people have had problems with the Holiday Party Pack; i’m not sure whether those problems are addressed in the Holiday Edition or not, though.

If your hardware is too ancient to run The Sims 2, you can pick up the (original) Sims and all expansion packs at a reasonable price these days. The Sims 2 is a brilliant game and I’ve been happily addicted to it since it came out, but it does like you to have a good video card. You can download a tool to check that your system meets the basic requirements from here.

Amazon has The Complete Sims for $34.98. It is the original Sims, plus all the expansion packs that were released for it (Living Large, House Party, Hot Date, Vacation, Unleashed, Superstar and Makin’ Magic).

The Sims 2 currently has three expansion packs - University, Nightlife and Open for Business - and two object packs - Holiday (bundled in the pack you mention above) and Family Fun Stuff. Expansion packs add new functions to the game, such as new areas, new abilities and interactions, new character types as well as new objects. Object packs only add new objects such as clothes, wallpapers, furniture, hairstyles. You can also download objects from fan sites, often for free although some charge to help offset their bandwidth costs.

The Sims games are often buggy upon release. Keep an eye on the official website for patches that will fix the bugs.