PS5 Backward Compatibility: How to Play PS4 Games on the PS5

Use discs or an online service to keep up with your backlog

What to Know

  • Choose the game from the PlayStation 5 game hub, if you own it digitally, or insert the PS4 game disc into the PS5 console.
  • The Game Catalog in the Extra and Deluxe tiers of PlayStation Plus is also an option for playing PS4 games on the PS5.
  • The PS5 Digital Edition console can't play PS4 game discs because it doesn't have a disc drive.

This article explains how you can play PS4 games on PlayStation 5 and what games are incompatible with the PlayStation 5. The vast majority of PS4 games can be played on the PS5.

How to Play a PS4 Game on PlayStation 5

Playing a PS4 game on your PlayStation 5 is as simple as playing a PS5 game on the system. Here's how to do it.

  1. Insert the PS4 game disc.

    This step can be skipped if you own the game digitally.

  2. Choose the game from the PlayStation 5 game hub.

  3. Begin playing the game. 

What Is PlayStation 5 Backward Compatibility? 

PlayStation 5 backward compatibility refers to the latest game console's ability to play older games, such as those available for the PlayStation 4 or previous PlayStation game consoles. 

In the past, Sony has implemented some backward compatibility abilities with its previous consoles. The PlayStation 4 could play some older games through processes, such as the PlayStation Now service, while the PlayStation 2 and certain versions of the PlayStation 3 could directly play physical copies of older games. 

Sony has shut down PlayStation Now and folded its library into premium tiers of its PlayStation Plus service. The Extra level provides access to the Game Catalog, which includes some PS4 titles. The Deluxe membership includes both the Game and Classics Catalogs, the latter of which offers games from even older generations of PlayStation.

Will PS5 Play PS4 Games? 

If you're wondering if the PS5 is backward-compatible with the PlayStation 4, there's good news. Sony has stated that an overwhelming majority of its 4,000+ PS4 games are playable on the PlayStation 5.

Unlike the PlayStation 4 that made playing past games a little complicated, the PlayStation 5 has made playing previous generation games much simpler. 

For all PS4 digital games you've purchased in the past, they're available within your games library via the PlayStation Store. Download them as you would on your PlayStation 4, and you can play them. 

Alternatively, if you have a PlayStation 5 with a disc drive, you can also use physical PS4 game discs by placing them in the console like a PS5 game. 

Are PS4 Games Different on PlayStation 5?

Most PS4 games will be near-identical on the PlayStation 5. Sony has warned that some games may suffer from minor issues or glitches but these are expected to be fixed over time. 

Some PS4 games will actually see improvements such as increased loading times, superior frame rates, and improved resolutions so you get a better image quality. These are likely to be the biggest PS4 games such as Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us, and the Uncharted franchise of games. 

If you don't already own the games, you can also play PS4 games via PlayStation Plus.

What PS4 Games Won't Play on the PS5?

Sony has released a list of a select number of games that are playable on PS4 only and can't be played on the PlayStation 5. The list comprises of:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe's Diner
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