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Is PS5 Backwards Compatible? The Answer Might Surprise You

The PlayStation is undoubtedly one of the most popular series of gaming consoles. Its latest iteration, the PlayStation 5 or simply PS5 is well received by the gaming community. With the release of a new console, game developers also try to push new games. Already, the cost of the console is high (add very limited availability to that). If you have to buy the latest games, then it will definitely put a hole in your pocket. So, many PS5 users start wondering if they can reuse their library of PS4 games on PS5 to save a few bucks. Now, the obvious question is “Is PS5 Backwards Compatible?”.

In this guide, we will explore the backwards compatibility of the PlayStation 5 Console. First, we will take a brief look at the PS5. Then we will answer the question “Is PS5 backwards compatible?”. We will also see some additional information with respect to PS4 Games (and even older PS2 or PS3 games).

A Brief Note On PlayStation 5 (PS5)

The name “PlayStation” is very famous even for someone who doesn’t own one. It is a series of video game consoles from Sony. Since its first launch in 1994, the PlayStation Console has been a huge success all over the world.

Over the years, Sony constantly upgraded the hardware and software of the PlayStation consoles with PlayStation 2 (PS2 in 2000), PlayStation 3 (PS3 in 2006), and PlayStation 4 (PS4 in 2013).

The latest version in the PlayStation lineup is the PlayStation 5 (PS5) released in 2020.

While the “Pro” version of PS4 supported 4K, Sony put a significant effort to make 4K gaming at higher refresh rates (up to 120 fps) a standard with PS5.

There are two models of PS5. One without an optical disc that supports only digital games and one with UHD Blu-ray Disc that supports both digital as well as Blu-ray game discs.

To support this high frame rate and high-resolution gaming, Sony used a custom AMD CPU (based on AMD Zen) and GPU (based on AMD RDNA 2).

Apart from gameplay, you can also stream or play high-quality content (either from online services such as Netflix or Ultra HD Blu-ray discs).

Is PS5 Backwards Compatible?

You have a PlayStation 4 Console with a huge collection of games, both digital and on disc. After the release of PS5, you decided to offload your PS4 and purchase the latest and greatest PlayStation 5.

But you don’t want to spend a fortune on games for PS5 and look for a possibility to use the PS4 games on your new PS5 Console.

Let us jump straight into the topic. Is PS5 backwards compatible? The simple answer is, yes. You can play a majority of PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation 5 as well.

There are a few exceptions to this (which we will see in the next section) but more than 4,000 PS4 games are playable on the PS5 Console.

If you have a huge library of PS4 games, then you can happily play them on PS5 as well. Just make sure to update your PS5 with the latest software.

With PS5’s Game Boost technology, older (and select) PS4 games will benefit from the superior hardware as well as they run smoother with high frame rates.

Keep in mind that even if a PS4 game is playable on PS5, not all features that are available on the PS4 might not be available on PS5. This even applies to add-ons as well.

So, before jumping ahead and buying add-ons for PS4 games on your PS5, double-check that the game is playable without any errors or glitches and doesn’t have any unexpected behavior.

You can use both PS4 game discs as well as digital games on the PS5 console. In the case of discs, just insert them into the console and select the game from the Games home. In some cases, PS5 will ask you to download an update.

Coming to digital games, you can transfer the games along with the game data using Wi-Fi. If you have the digital game on USB Storage, then you can access them on your PS5 just by connecting the storage drive to the PS5.

Alternatively, you can also download any PS4 game from your library directly onto PS5 and it will automatically install.

What PS4 Games Won’t Work On PS5?

So far so good. As mentioned earlier, only a small portion of PS4 games are “PS4 only” and you cannot play them on PS5 Console. Here is the list of those games:

  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • Shadwen
  • Just Deal With It!
  • We Sing
  • Robinson: The Journey

If you own any of these games, then you cannot use them on your shiny new PS5. If you have game discs for these games, you can either sell them or just give them to a family or friend who has a PS4 Console.

What About Even Older Games (PS2 and PS3)?

We can divide this into two categories. If you own game discs of PS2 or PS3 games, then sadly they are not compatible with the PS5 Console (at least at the time of writing this guide). Things might change in the future but don’t keep your hopes up.

But if you are a subscriber to the PlayStation Plus Service (previously known as the PlayStation Now), then you can download games from the PS3 era and play on PS5.

The downside is that this is a cloud gaming service. So, you need consistent internet connectivity with high bandwidth and speed.

Are PS5 Games Compatible with PS4 Console?

Sadly, the answer is no. Game Developers for the PS5 console took advantage of the advanced hardware of the PS5 Console. Hence, these games will be unplayable on the PS4’s inferior hardware.


The PlayStation 5 is undoubtedly the greatest product in the PlayStation series. But several users, who spent a fortune on the console, are looking to save a penny by figuring out how to use their older PlayStation games on PS5.

So, the obvious question many PS5 users have is “IS PS5 backwards compatible?”.

Turns out, if you have a good collection of PS4 Games (either physical discs or in the digital library), you can use most of them with PS5, with a few exceptions (we mean very few PS4 games are incompatible with PS5).

In this guide, we saw how to play PS4 games on PS5. We also saw a list of “PS4 only” games that are not compatible with the PS5 Console. After that, we saw the situation with PS2 and PS3 games.

If you feel we missed something, please let us know in the comments section below. It will not only help us buts also other readers.

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