In 2000, Electronic Arts released the first game in The Sims franchise and garnered much attention and avid fans. And why wouldn’t it? The famous simulation game allowed players to let their imagination roam free and see this play out within the confines of the game.
In the midst of removing pool ladders, building a dream home, fulfilling the dreams (or ruining the lives..) of Sims, or doing the legacy challenge, the very idea of having a Sim live your life with different choices or doing something entirely different gets you hooked.
With so many game actions you can do and objects that you wish you had in real life, there’s a lot to love in The Sims: living a life as an astronaut or a supervillain, exploring the jungle, becoming a five-star celebrity, or turning your real-life prank war ideas to in-game pranks. However, one of the most astounding (and arguably underrated) aspects of the game franchise lies in the story that connects all The Sims games: the timeline.
Whether you’re a first-time gamer or if you’ve been playing The Sims 4 for a while without knowing much about this timeline, read on and gain a deeper appreciation for the beloved game.
But wait! Before Proceeding…
So far, there are four main games in The Sims franchise. Those are the only ones given focus here, which means storylines or universes from other The Sims games (like The Sims Medieval) and alternative timelines created from expansion packs are not considered. Also, only the PC games are discussed.
To quickly illustrate a rough timeline between the main games, it’s best to look at the storyline of the recurring characters that appear in each one. So, for this one, we’ll focus on the Goth family and those related to them as these Sims appear in all four games (plus, they all just have such interesting storylines). And with that, let’s go into the details of The Sims timeline!
The Sims 3
Yup, you read that right. The earliest events in the ‘game universe’ happen in The Sims 3. Here, the popular Goth family members who have been introduced to in previous games (more on that later) do not yet exist as the familiar family unit as Mortimer and Bella are still children.
In The Sims 3, the Goth family lives a gloomy and well… gothic lifestyle, as shown by their mansion (they live near the graveyard) and premade attires. As previously mentioned, Mortimer here is still a child and lives with his parents Gunther, a CEO, and Cornelia. It’s indicated that the Goth family is very influential in Sunset Valley, a neighborhood in the game. (In the neighborhood description, it’s said that the place was “Founded by the Goth family…”)
In the game, there’s a familiar character named Agnes Crumplebottom, who is also much younger than when she was first introduced in the game franchise. Agnes is Cornelia Goth’s sister, and she has one of the saddest in-game stories – she is a widow of a Sim who drowned, and since her husband’s death, she has become very lonely. In addition, based on the in-game description, she doesn’t get many suitors as her husband’s ghost haunts them away.
Bella Bachelor, also a child, is Mortimer’s good friend in The Sims 3. Bella lives with her parents, Jocasta and Simis Bachelor, and her teenage brother, Michael Bachelor. Based on the family description in the game, the Bachelors is a “tightly knit family” headed by Simis.
The next game in The Sims chronology is the first released game. Supposedly, the events in The Sims happened many years after the events in The Sims 3. However, technically, this is the first time the popularly known Goth family, composed of Mortimer, Bella, and their daughter, is introduced to players who have been playing the game from the start.
As mentioned, Mortimer and Bella are adult Sims here and have been married. They also have a daughter named Cassandra Goth. The Goths live in a humble home where they stick with the whole graveyard thing, except in this game, they actually have tombstones of their dead relatives in their backyard.
For other characters, Michael Bachelor is present in the game; however, it’s not indicated here that he is related to Bella. Instead, he is described as a fresh graduate trying to figure out his life in the game.
Agnes Crumplebottom is also in The Sims: Hot Date, one of the expansion packs for the base game. Here, she is an NPC known as “Miss Crumplebottom,” an old-fashioned elderly woman known for being grumpy and extremely strict. For example, if your Sim performs a romantic interaction with another Sim in a public space, they could be scolded or even slapped by Miss Crumplebottom. Knowing what happened to her in The Sims 3 shows that her sad story continued years after.
The Sims 2
The timeline then ends (so far) in The Sims 2, which happens a few years after The Sims. This is where things get pretty interesting and quite eerie for the Goth family. But before all that, it’s worth pointing out a few changes in the Goth family tree.
First off, sometime between The Sims and The Sims 2, Mortimer and Bella had another child named Alexander Goth. Also, by this time, Cassandra has become an adult with a career in the science branch and is dating Don Lothario, who happens to be a womanizer (talk about drama, right?).
So how are Mortimer and Bella doing? In this game, Mortimer is an elder (nearing death based on a Sim’s lifespan) and is dating a much younger adult named Dina Caliente, who is implied to be a gold-digger after Mortimer’s money, after his wife disappeared.
Yes, Bella has disappeared before the events in The Sims 2. It’s said that she was abducted by aliens, which is a crucial part of the story of Pleasantview, the primary neighborhood in the second game. She does exist in-game but cannot be found unless players use game cheats.
By this time, both Michael and Agnes are already deceased.
But what about The Sims 4?
The Goth family does exist in one of the neighborhoods in The Sims 4, with an adult Mortimer, young adult Bella, teenage Cassandra, and child Alexander. However, this game’s timeline is regarded as occurring in an “alternate universe,” so they’re not related to the events in the first three games.
In summary, the chronological order of The Sims storyline is as follows: The Sims 3, The Sims, The Sims 2. Whether you choose to play the Goth family or not, it’s interesting to understand their family backgrounds and how their stories are formed throughout the different games. While waiting for the next game in the franchise, go explore and discover other recurring characters in the first four. Have fun!