Bottomline: The Sims 3 is by far the best in the series. That being said, some of the same performance issues remain that did 9 years ago when the series debued. The immense customization options and more realistic situations will still leave you in shock and awe.

Since The Sims came out in the year 2000, I've been an absolute fanatic of the series. Maxis took a real a real leap of faith when they attempted to create a "life" simulation game. Luckily, we all know it was a great success, and over the last 9 years, EA has pushed this franchise harder than just about any other I can imagine. You can play Sims on your PC at home, on your Playstation 2, Mysims on your Wii or DS, and now you can play Sims 3 on iPhone.

The first thing you'll notice when you get in Sims 3 is that your world is a living, breathing environment with people moving and doing things. The whole world is an "instance" in which things happen in real time. You can walk to the park and meet up with a friend to hang out with no load times. People are around too, by the way. In fact the game goes out of its way to make sure your sim is being social. Beware, you won't get along with all Sims. You will not hit it off with others. Members of the opposite sex will not necessarily find you attractive. I was "good friends" with a girl for a really long time, and even had a child with her, but she refused to be my girlfriend. My sim is apparently pathetic.

Let's get down to what you really want to know. The most important thing you need to know about the Sims 3 is that this game is all about what you do with you character. Forget spending your entire day going to the bathroom, taking showers, and sleeping. Managing these has become extremely easy, being narrowed down to six : energy, hygiene, hunger, bladder, social, and fun. That being said, if you watch TV to full fun, you'll be ok with that for a couple of days, you'll use the bathroom only once a day, and the ability to socialize at work makes keeping social up much easier. Guess what else? You can "serve dinner" and put it in the fridge and have instant meals until they spoil or you eat them all.

Speaking of work, things are a little different in Sims 3, but in a good way. You'll still be climbing your way to the top in a 10 promotion tree, but this time you only have to depend on one skill. You don't have to have X number of friends, but you do have to get along with your co-workers. While you're at work you'll have several options: business as usual, work hard, take it easy, suck up to the boss, socialize with your coworkers, etc. In addition to this you'll go one "quests" at your job making you go to a location, complete a task, and return to work. You'll also get these quests for skills as well. For example, my Sim is a "Master Cook" so randomly, someone will call me and ask for a batch of cookies. I cook the cookies, put them in my inventory, take it to the person, and get a cash reward. It feels a lot like an RPG and less like a simulation in this sense.

Master Cook is a trait that you will assign to your sim. There are many different traits ranging from Technophobe (fear of technology) to kleptomaniac, which will make your sims randomly steal things. My Sim is a kleptomaniac, and I have been pretty satisfied with the results (a free treadmill from the Gym). An adult sim will have 5 traits that you pick. Your children will have traits assigned to them if they aren't well taken care of, or you will pick them. Keep in mind that these traits can be negative. I met someone the other day with "No Sense of Humor." The relationship didn't last very long.

The amount of customization is endless. You can create "patterns" and put them on anything: shirts, drapes, or anything else you can imagine. No two Sims are exactly the same. You can download other's creation on the Sims Exchange, and purchase new items, which is a good thing, because the amount of items in the game currently is pretty limited. EA will, of course, release expansion after expansion on this title to change that.

This game is amazing, simply put. It is a must have for anyone.