Gaming Consoles & PCs PS4 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS1, PS2, and PS3 Games on PS4? Play your old favorites on your newer hardware by Jennifer Allen Writer Jennifer Allen has been writing about technology since 2010. Her work has appeared in Mashable, TechRadar, and many more publications. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Jennifer Allen Updated on October 28, 2020 Consoles & PCs Xbox Buyer's Guide Tweet Share Email What to Know Open the PlayStation Now app, highlight the game you want to play, click X on your controller and choose Download or Stream Now.You can download classic and remastered PS2 and PS3 games from the PlayStation Store on your console.Neither option has the full PS1, PS2 or PS3 catalog, so there's no guarantee that your favorite game is available. This article explains how to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on a PS4 by downloading or streaming them on PlayStation Now or purchasing classic and remastered games from the PlayStation Store. How to Use PlayStation Now to Play PS2 and PS3 Games Through Your PS4 The PlayStation 4 disc drive and hardware can't read PS2 or PS3 discs, so the easiest way to access your favorite old games is to use PlayStation Now, Sony's streaming service. PlayStation Now gives you access to an extensive library of PS2, PS3 and PS4 games. Over 600 games are available through the service for $10 per month. PlayStation Now is available through the PlayStation 4 and PC. It's not currently compatible with Mac, and the service doesn't offer any PS1 games. Unless you already have an account, sign up for PlayStation Now in a web browser or on your PlayStation 4. The service offers a 7-day free trial before you begin paying for it. On your PlayStation 4, open the PlayStation Now app. Browse through the library of titles. Go to PS Now Collection and click PS2 games or PS3 games to narrow down your options. Highlight the game you want to play and click X on your controller. Choose Download or Stream Now. Download allows you to play the game offline but will take up hard drive space, while Stream Now allows you to play the game immediately via your internet connection. Wait for the game to stream or download to your PS4. Play the game like you would on a PS2 or PS3 games console. How to Download PS1, PS2 or PS3 games to the PS4 Some PS1, PS2 and PS3 games are available to purchase through the PlayStation Store, allowing you to play them on your PS4. Not many are available through the service but it's worth checking. Here's how to download them. Major games included here include classic Grand Theft Auto games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as well as PaRappa the Rapper 2 and Red Dead Revolver. There are also remastered versions of original PlayStation 1 games like Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy VIII. On your PlayStation 4, select the PlayStation Store icon and press X button on your controller. Scroll up to Search and click X. Enter the name of the game you're looking for. Tap right to scroll through the list of results. Select the game with X. Tap Add to Cart to buy the game. What Is PS4 Backwards Compatibility? Backwards compatibility refers to the ability for new technology to be able to still use older software. In the case of the PlayStation 4, it's the ability to play PS1, PS2 or PS3 games on the system so you don't need to dig out your old games consoles to play old favorites. In the past, the PS2 was backwards compatible with the original PlayStation 1, while one launch version of the PlayStation 3 would allow you to play PlayStation 2 games. The answer for PS4 backwards compatibility is a little bit more complicated than this though. Remastered Games Are an Alternative for PS4 Users Numerous classic games have been released in a remastered form. These typically add extra features or improved graphics so they're not the same as the original game but they are often better. On the PlayStation 4, you can play classics like Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and PaRappa the Rapper in remastered forms available on the PlayStation Store. You can also buy remastered collections such as Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Games like these two are available in a physical form so if you prefer to use discs, you can do so and put them in your PS4 console like a regular PS4 game. With new remastered games coming out regularly, it's worth researching whether your old favorite is available this way.