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While the objective in previous console games like Bustin' Out were more career-oriented, the objectives in The Sims 2 do not focus on advancing in a career, but the goals to be completed are more aspirational, like buying better stuff, improving a skill, or beating a bully Sim at foosball.

Unlike other games, the player controls the Sims directly with the analogue stick, rather than moving them using the point and click to queue up actions.

When a Sim dies, they are not lost forever, rather, they remain on the lot as ghosts and can haunt the other residents of the lot, using interactions like "puke" and "possess".

They can be brought back to life at any point by bribing the Grim Reaper or defeating him in a fiddle contest.

If the character accepts, they will follow the player's created Sim to different lots as a sort of companion, and the player can switch between them at any point.

Death in the console version of The Sims 2 is rather different from death in The Sims 2 for other platforms.For instance, if Sims are in love the background will be pink and they will move closer to each other.The player can also pick different food choices and mix them, depending on the combination and the Sim's Cooking skill.As a Sim advances through the game, new locations will become available.There are eight main and four small locations in Story Mode, and four others in Free Play Mode.