Press Release

How Does PS5 Backwards Compatibility Work?

When Sony announced the PS5, the company revealed that it would also play PS4 games. This was an important part of their strategy; gamers had built up a huge PS4 collection over the years, and it was important to people that they could still play these games. Of course, even though this announcement garnered Sony much praise from the gaming sphere, not least from sites like PS5 Home, many people still wondered: how exactly does PS5 backwards compatibility work? That’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here’s what you can do with your PS5 in the backwards compatibility stakes (and what you can’t do).


Can the PS5 play PS4 games?

In a word: yes it can. The PS5 is fully capable of playing PS4 games, and the vast, vast majority of your PS4 library is totally compatible with the PS5. Major tentpole games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Last of Us Part II can all be played on the PS5, and you’ll also find indie hits like Hades are compatible with your new console as well. As attests to, there are still lots of PS4 games well worth revisiting, so fire up your PS5 today and see if you can discover a new PS4 game or fall in love all over again with a game you used to adore.

Can the PS5 play PS3 games?

This is where things get a little trickier. Technically, the PS5 has the capability to play PS3 games…of sorts. You’ll need a subscription to the PlayStation Now service, which offers lots of PS3 games you can play at no additional cost. However, there is a caveat: you’ll need to stream them. It is possible to download some PS Now games to your hard drive, but others can’t be downloaded, including PS3 titles. This means that if you want to play PS3 games on your PS5, you’re going to need a very good internet connection to maintain good quality when streaming.

Can the PS5 play PS2 games?

Again, this one’s a little trickier. Thanks to Sony, many PS2 games are available on PS5 as PS4 remasters. These versions add better resolution support, trophies, and other enhancements to make the games more modern and playable on your PS4. However, they’re not the original PS2 games. If you want to play PS2 games on your PS5, you’re limited to the games Sony has added to the store; you can’t simply put in a PS2 disc and expect it to work on PS5, sadly. This is the modern reality of console gaming; backwards compatibility often comes with several caveats.

Can the PS5 play PS1 games?

Unfortunately, this one has a very clear answer, and that answer is “no”. Not only can you not insert PS1 discs on PS5 and play them, but there are also no PS1 games available as part of PS Now. If you want to revisit your PS1 library, then you’re out of luck unless you have an original PS1 (and a TV that supports it) or a PlayStation Classic. If you have a PS3 or a PS Vita, you can still buy PSOne Classics from the store, and if you bought any back in the day, you can still re-download them onto your PSP. Otherwise, unfortunately, you’re out of luck.

Can the PS5 play PS Vita games?

Sadly, this is another blanket “no”. It’s simply not possible for the PS5 to play PS Vita games. This is largely because they came on a completely different format, and also because the PS Vita was an unsuccessful venture on Sony’s part, so they perhaps don’t want people to revisit that console. However, of course, if you still have a PS Vita console, you can still purchase and download games on that console, so it’s worth picking one up if there are some PS Vita games you want to check out.

Can the PS5 play PSP games?

Once again, the PS5 is not capable of playing PSP games. When you think about how many games Sony has essentially allowed to fall by the wayside by removing support for their consoles’ stores, it’s a real blow to preservation. The PS5 can’t play PSP games, but hey – the PS Vita can! This means you can still buy and play PSP games on Vita via backwards compatibility. Again, there are PSP games that are well worth preserving (and some that arguably aren’t), so it’s definitely worth picking up a console if there’s something you want to check out!

Will more PS5 backwards compatible games be added?

Sony has said that it isn’t going to end PS4 support for around three to four years after the advent of the PS5. In realistic terms, we’ve probably seen the last of Sony making games for the PS4 as well as its new console; Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok are likely to be the last games made for both machines. In this regard, we probably won’t see the PS5’s backwards compatibility expanded, as more PS4 games aren’t being made and it would require a huge hardware revision to add compatibility for previous generations of consoles.

We hope this guide on PS5 backwards compatibility has been helpful. While it’s not quite as comprehensive as we would perhaps like it to be, the fact that we can still play our entire PS4 back catalogue is definitely worth celebrating. Here’s hoping the PS6 – which is probably still many years away – lets us do the same for our PS5 library! 

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