If your saved game is not showing in the main menu of the Sims 3, your save file may have been corrupted or lost. There are several technical issues in the Sims 3 that can cause saved games to be lost or corrupted, but you might be able to get your game back.
First, quit The Sims 3 and close the Launcher, then check your saved games folder by going to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > Saves
You should see a list of subfolders for each of your saved games. There will be two folders for each saved game. If your saved game is called “Sunset Valley” you should see a subfolder named “Sunset Valley.sims3″ and another one named “Sunset Valley.sims3.backup” If you see “Sunset Valley.sims3.bad” it means the saved game has been corrupted.
To restore a saved game that has been corrupted, delete the “.sims3″ and “.sims3.bad” subfolders and rename the “.sims3.backup” folder to “.sims3″ (if the folder was “Sunset Valley.sims3.backup” rename it to “Sunset Valley.sims3″). Then start your game and try to load the restored saved game. You may lose some of the progress you had made in your game.
If restoring the .backup version of your saved game does not resolve the problem, you may or may not be able to get your saved game back and your technical troubles could be more significant than you suspected. The following suggestions are less than ideal and may involve losing all or some of your saved games, custom lots and sims, downloaded content, etc. Make copies of everything you hope to keep before you move forward with these remedies.
Quit the game and the Launcher. Go to Documents > Electronic Arts and locate the folder named The Sims 3. Right click on The Sims 3 folder and select “Cut” from the popup menu. Click anywhere on your computer’s desktop and select “Paste” from the popup window (or paste The Sims 3 folder in another location on your computer, if you prefer).
When you move The Sims 3 folder to another location, the game will generate a new folder called The Sims 3, in the original location, when you run the game next. Run the Sims 3 and create a new game. Check to see that things are working and save your game. If your game saves properly, quit the game and then run it again and make sure you can load the saved game you just made.
So long as all of that worked, you can begin adding your saved sims, lot library, custom content, etc back into the game. Find the content you wish to add back into your game by going through the subfolders found in the folder for The Sims 3 you moved to your desktop. For example, the subfolder called “SavedSims” will contain all the custom sims you had in your game (ones you saved, as well as any sims you downloaded), and you can copy the file(s) for any of the sims, then paste the file into the new Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > SavedSims folder. Add your content back to your game carefully–just restore a few files at one time and test to make sure everything works.
If simply moving The Sims 3 folder to the desktop and forcing the game to generate a new folder doesn’t work to resolve the technical issue you’re experiencing, you may need to completely uninstall the game, clean your computer’s registry and defrag the hard drive, then reinstall the game and make sure it’s updated properly.
Tip: Always make a copy of The Sims 3 folder (containing all your saved games, sims, lots, etc) before installing any new expansion pack, stuff pack, or game update AND before updating your EA Download Manager (EADM) or Origin. Keep your copies in another location on your computer so you can restore lost content if anything goes wrong.
Note: the saved games and their back-ups are stored in the Saves folder, and if you exceed 200 folders (that is 100 saves and their 100 backups) you will not be able to load your most recent saved game from the Main Menu within the game. If your newest saves are not showing on the Main Menu, exit the game, delete old saves and backups that you know you will not need (or move them to a storage location outside of your Sims 3 folder) and restart the game. Your newest saves should then be visible from the Main Menu.