Origin users can download The Sims 4 on PC for free for the next week, but you really shouldn’t.
The deal may look good on paper: One of 2014’s most high-profile games for nary a cent! But it may be more complicated than that. The base game was (and still is) missing a significant amount of content from its predecessors, and that’ll be what you’re getting without opening your coin purse. To get that content back, you’ll need to dig deep into your coffers:
Very, very deep.
In perfect circumstances, there would be a simple solution. And there is. Just get The Sims 2 instead. There’s more, better expansions. It’ll run on any toaster of a computer, and at a more stable rate. There’s still a thriving modding scene and community (The Sims 4 has this as well, but just way less of it) with just about anything you could ask for. And I do mean anything. Hell, The Sims 2 just better. It’ll even run on Windows 10, an OS more than a decade its junior…with some minor tweaking.
That said, there is a slight hiccup in that plan: The game has not been legally available, full stop, since October. Your options in that regard are either gathering the game for peanuts on eBay or borrowing them from a friend who has them. Trust me, you do have one of those. The CD keys won’t matter; they stopped mattering years ago. But I’m not going to advocate piracy here. Not at all.
This may sound like more work than it’s worth. To some, it probably is for such an old game. But I counter with two points: It’s not, and remember what your mum told you about patience. There simply isn’t a better The Sims game than the second one. Of course, you could still download The Sims 4 on Origin for free if you’ve been meaning to dive into them. I’m unfortunately not your mum, so I can’t tell you what to do. But the series are some of the most iconic PC games ever made, and they will absolutely ruin your life with their time-sucking energy. The Sims 3 is still available as well, at a much-reduced cost, if you want a marginally better experience – albeit behind a paywall.
Just don’t think that The Sims 4 is the best of them. Once you go 2, it’ll stick like glue.