Poppy Patrick Stump Travie McCoy My Chemical Romance
[Photos via Poppy, Patrick Stump, Travie McCoy/Spotify, My Chemcial Romance]

The Sims franchise has been going for a long time. Those pixelated people in their simulated homes and their intricate stories have been inspiring and entertaining the masses since 2000 with the release of The Sims for PC. Creator Will Wright put his heart and soul into the games, and it shows. 

But what about the music? Believe it or not, the music of The Sims series has a big effect on the games and its players, just as any video game soundtrack does. With 2020 coming to a close, here are 20 alternative songs from the past 20 years of The Sims

Read more: Do you know the real lyrics to these commonly misheard songs?

“Pressure” Paramore

If you’ve ever played Sims 2 for console, you’ve heard this Simlish version of the highly popular Paramore song. Not only is the song an absolute banger in its English version, but the Simlish version doesn’t miss a beat. With the same awesome guitar riffs and Hayley Williams’ outstanding vocals, this song did what it came to do. This would be a perfect background song for the wacky high jinks of your Sims trying to better the lives of each household they visit. 

“Can’t Take That Away” The Friday Night Boys

The Sims 3: World Adventures is a well-loved (and sometimes glitchy) expansion that brought a lot to the series’ third trip around the sun. Including this awesome rendition of The Friday Night Boys  “Can’t Take That Away.” The vibe of the song is perfect as a travel tune for your Sims to listen to in one of the vacation destinations from the pack. And if you’re not keen on an in-game vacay, then there’s nothing stopping you from playing the song in either its Simlish or real-world iterations. Pick your poison. 

“Everyway” Circa Survive

Widely considered the best expansion pack in the entire Sims franchise, Sims 3: Generations captured the scope of growing up and all the phases and milestones that come with it. One of the things that aided in this pursuit was adding new songs to the collection of amazing Simlish tracks in the game. Circa Survive’s “Everyway” captures the teen feel perfectly. It’s easy to picture a rebellious teen Sim listening to this in their bedroom, away from their strict and overbearing parents. 

“Snake Devil”   Scary Kids Scaring Kids

Sims 2 had many amazing metal and alternative hits, so it’s no surprise to see that when it came time to do a Teen Style Stuff pack, they went to Scary Kids Scaring Kids to add to the metal radio station. The guitar riffs in the opening alone could ignite a teenage rebellion. SKSK had a hit on their hands in this song, but adding it to The Sims 2 puts the track at legend status. This song is admittedly hard to find, except for on The Sims wiki, but it’s still an in-game classic. Dress your teen Sim in those goth clothes and put on “Snake Devil” to make their transformation complete. 

“Dominoes” Black Cards

Let’s take a trip back to Sims 3: Generations and give some props to Black Cards. “Dominoes” possesses an upbeat melody, and it fits perfectly for a night of getting your teen Sim ready for prom. Or for when the parents get a nicely timed invitation for a free trip so you can throw a party. Either way, it’s a song that captures the fun and freedom of teen mischief. 

“Cassie” Flyleaf

2005 was such a good year for hard rock and emo. Think skinny jeans, graphic tees and long, dark bangs. A time of stewing in our angst and headbanging to songs just like Flyleaf’s  “Cassie.” Imagine putting in your headphones and turning your MP3 player all the way up while this song blesses your ears. Well, The Sims team must have been thinking the same when they added this song to Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff. A great choice overall. 

“Savior” Rise Against

Sims 3: Ambitions added so many new active careers to the game such as firefighters, ghost hunters and detectives. What better way to get in the zone for a day of work than bumping some Rise Against while your Sim goes to their next job site? Its energetic and heart-pumping pace makes it a great song to get amped to. Tim McIlrath’s vocals keep the energy high, while Zach Blair’s guitar flows effortlessly through each change in the song. 

“Where Would We Be Now” Good Charlotte

The last expansion pack for any Sims title is expected to go out with a bang, and Sims 2: Apartment Life is no exception. Not only did the expansion bring apartments to the franchise, but the added bonus of hearing Good Charlotte in Simlish more than makes the pack worth it. It’s almost too perfect as a kickback song for when your Sim has invited some friends over to hang out and have a meal together after moving into their new apartment. The apartment isn’t extravagant, and the food is only a level-one meal, but the vibe is there.

“Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?”   Chiodos

A very valid question posed by Chiodos and one that even Sims can ponder. This gem of a song was added in the amazing Teen Style Stuff pack, and it perfectly captures the dark, gloomy atmosphere of a goth aesthetic. We’re talking black carpet, lace gloves, long boots and writing brooding poetry on a rainy autumn day. So let’s ponder the question at hand, whether in Simlish or English. Is it progression if a cannibal uses a fork? 

“More Than Alive” The Ready Set

The Ready Set is one of those singer-songwriters who exists in a nice marriage between alternative and upbeat pop. That makes “More Than Alive” perfect for the night owl, party culture of Bridgeport in Sims 3: Late Night. Especially if your Sim is a budding celeb doing club appearances. We all remember that particular opportunity where our Sim has to dance at a night club for over two hours. Just put this song on and dance the night away—or until the club closes. Whichever comes first. 

“Good Times” All Time Low

No need to double-checkyou didn’t accidentally leave your Spotify open. When it comes to Sims 4, the songs range from nostalgic ones such as the build mode music from Sims 1 to alternative smashes such as this track by All Time Low. For a game all about your Sim having as much of a good time as possible, this song seems like a no-brainer. So go hang out the next time you get that invite to the Von Haunt Estate. We won’t forget the good times

“JEKYLL & HIDE” Bishop Briggs

With all those WooHoo locations in the game, adding a song that contains “I was yesterday’s regret/But today I woke up in your bed” in the original lyrics seems like a tongue-in-cheek way to bring some edge to The Sims. Though we don’t hear those words in-game, the Bishop Briggs song is still a big boost to the atmosphere. And it’s one that players will never tire of hearing. 

“Double Vision” 3OH!3

Like the Ready Set, 3OH!3 live in that perfect intersection between alternative and pop. Something to dance to while still maintaining your counterculture rep. Let’s return to Bridgeport and Sims 3: Late Night, where we’re playing this song while hitting up the city’s hot spots and still managing to make it on set for call time the next day. How does a celeb Sim manage to do it all?

“Na Na Na” My Chemical Romance

It feels great to see My Chemical Romance back in action. For all those years where the band members went onto other projects and spent time apart, being a fan meant relying on their stacked catalog. For Sims fans, this iteration of their party banger was a definite no skip. The song is amazing in both its original and Simlish versions. So fire up that copy of Sims 3 (with must-have expansion Late Night installed) and celebrate MCR’s return by having your Sims throw a party in the band’s honor, with “Na Na Na” on the party playlist, of course. 

“This City” Patrick Stump

Sims 3: Showtime brought so much to the game (such as a magician career and a new coffeehouse hangout, to name a couple). But the expansion added this song by Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump. His vocals are just as soul-grabbing and outstanding in the Simlish version as they are on the original. So set those gigs for your Sim and have them perform to the funky beats of “This City.” 

“4am” girl in red

If ever there was a song to put on while your artistic Sim is painting or sculpting, it’s “4am” by girl in red. Not only does the song give great inspirational vibes, but it brings up images of a romantic indie film. Live out your summery coming-of-age fantasies with your Sims and girl in red with this amazing song. Don’t forget to record and post it. The larger Sims community would love to see it. 

“Block List” Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty has carved out a lovely spot for herself in the alternative scene with her punk/goth fashion sense and genius mix of hip-hop with alternative music. Put on this track for your more out-there and party-centric Sims. It’s a guarantee that the function will be bumping when this song comes on. And you’ll probably want to get out of your gaming chair and party a little as well. 

“Want You Back” 5 Seconds Of Summer

Don’t get it twisted: 5SOS are not a boy band (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This talented group of Aussies have more than enough punk and alternative cred to blow that assumption out of the water. And this song from Sims 4: Seasons is a great addition to the game and can be used as both an autumn kickback tune or a summer afternoon croon for when your Sim is in the pool. 

“Money” Poppy

Sims 4: Kids Room Stuff added much-needed content for kid Sims to the game and gave them more to do besides go back and forth to school and play on the jungle gym. The pack also introduced this upbeat, bubbly song by Poppy, which matches perfectly with the bright colors and shiny new objects that come in this pack. Turn on the radio and let’s battle those Voidcritters. 

“Need You” Travie McCoy

Ever since we first were introduced to Travie McCoy as part of Gym Class Heroes, it’s been one outstanding track after another. Another banger from Sims 3: Late Night, the expansion is stacked on that front, and this song adds that quirky yet endearing sound that McCoy is known for. The song’s J-pop influence also isn’t lost in the move from English to Simlish. No matter which version you listen to, the song is a bonafide jam.