PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS4 Games on the PS5?

Yes, you can, and it's easy

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.
  • PlayStation Now, Sony's streaming video game service, 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 Backwards Compatibility? 

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

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

Will PS5 Play PS4 Games? 

If you're wondering is the PS5 backwards 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. Simply download them like 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 Now and stream them to the PlayStation 5.

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