PS4 Backwards Compatibility: Can I play classic games on PlayStation 4?

Is the PS4 backwards compatible?

Ever since launching back in 2013, PS4 has lacked a truly accessible form of backwards compatibility. PlayStation Now isn’t the most ideal way to play your PS3 library, and purchasing old PS2 classics is convenient, if a little harsh on your wallet.

Playing Xbox 360 games on Xbox One is so much simpler comparison. Xbox One backwards compatibility is a doddle with games available to be downloaded digitally or installed through the original disc. With over 300 games under its belt, Microsoft is easily in the lead.

The situation hasn’t improved with the launch of PS4 Pro either. Microsoft’s Xbox One X will continue Xbox One’s trend of backwards compatibility, carrying over the existing library and more into its 4K future.

Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about PS4 backwards compatibility, including all the information on PlayStation Now and PS2 Classics.

Related: PS4 Pro vs PS4

As we mentioned before, it’s not possible to play games from older platforms by inserting a disc or downloading them from the PlayStation Network. That is, unless you’re willing to fork out for them once again. PS4 is built on completely different architecture, and it resembles a PC far more than any previous console.“=”” data-sheets-userformat=”(” 2″:4739,”3″:[null,0],”4″:[null,2,16777215],”10″:2,”12″:0,”15″:”arial,sans,sans-serif”)“=””>

What makes the complications around PS4 backwards compatibility worse is that Microsoft has solved Xbox One backwards compatibility by creating an Xbox 360 emulator within its latest console.

That means you can simply slide any supported Xbox 360 games into your Xbox One and they’ll play straight away. Or you can download digital titles from the Xbox Live store. And this is all for free, so long as you own them, that is.


Related: Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro

 

PlayStation Now

So, can you play PS3 games on the PS4? Well, not exactly, but there is a solution. It’s called PlayStation Now, and it will let you stream older PlayStation games to your PS4 over your home internet connection.

PlayStation Now was first announced at CES 2014, and since then the service has been launched in full with both rental price options and subscription tiers.

In the US and Canada, PS Now costs $19.99 (£13.20) for a one-month membership or you can go for a three-month membership for $44.99 (£29.77). Rental prices range from $1.99 to $19.99 depending on the title and the duration of your rental period, which can last for 4 hours, 7 days or 30 days.

Playstation Now will cost UK owners £12.99 a month. Alternatively, you can rent things individually. Games will either cost you £2.99 or £4.99 for a two-day rental (over a weekend perhaps) or £5.99 or £7.99 for a 30-day rental period.

You can use the service on PC, Mac and select Sony Smartphones. If you’re a newcomer, it’s definitely worth checking out the free trial period.

Related: Best PS4 Games 2017

ps now
We’ve listed each and every game available on PS Now below:

DETUNED
ALEX KIDD IN THE MIRACLE WORLD
ALIEN RAGE
ALIEN SPIDY
ALPHA PROTOCOL
ALTERED BEAST
ANARCHY: RUSH HOUR
ANNA EXTENDED EDITION
ANOMALY WARZONE EARTH
ARCANA HEART 3
ARCANIA THE COMPLETE TALE
ARMAGEDDON RIDERS
ASURA’S WRATH
ATELIER AYESHA: THE ALCHEMIST OF DUSK
ATELIER ESCHA & LOGY – ALCHEMISTS OF THE DUST SKY
ATELIER RORONA PLUS: THE ALCHEMIST OF ARLAND
ATELIER SHALLIE – ALCHEMISTS OF THE DUSK SEA
BACK TO BED
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM GAME OF THE YEAR
BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY
BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS
BATTLE PRINCESS OF ARCADIAS
BATTLE VS CHESS
BENTLEY’S HACKPACK
BEYOND: TWO SOULS + ADVANCED EXPERIMENTS DLC
BIG SKY:INFINITY
BIONIC COMMANDO REARMED
BIONIC COMMANDO REARMED 2
BIOSHOCK
BIOSHOCK 2
BIOSHOCK INFINITE
BLADESTORM –  NIGHTMARE
BLAZBLUE CALAMITY TRIGGER
BLAZBLUE CHRONOPHANTASMA
BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT
BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT EXTEND
BLAZERUSH
BLOOD KNIGHTS
BLOODRAYNE BETRAYAL
BODYCOUNT
BOMBERMAN ULTRA
BORDERLANDS 2 ULTIMATE EDITION
BORDERLANDS GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL ULTIMATE EDITION
BOUND BY FLAME
BRAID
BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO SONS
CAPCOM AC COLLECTIONS
CASTLEVANIA: HARMONY OF DISPAIR
CATHERINE
CEL DAMAGE HD
CHAMPION JOCKEY: G1 JOCKEY & GALLOP RACER
CONTRAST
COSTUME QUEST 2
COUNTER SPY
CRASH COMMANDO
CRAZY TAXI
CRITTER CRUNCH
CUBOID
DAMNATION
DARK SECTOR
DARK MIST
DARK VOID
DARKSIDERS
DARKSIDERS 2
DARKSTALKERS RESURRECTION
DAYTONA USA
DE BLOB 2
DEAD ISLAND
DEAD ISLAND: RIPTIDE
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 ULTIMATE
DEATH TRACK
DECEPTION IV: THE NIGHTMARE PRINCESS
DEVIL MAY CRY 4
DEVIL MAY CRY HD COLLECTION
DISGAEA 3: ABSENCE OF JUSTICE
DISGAEA 4: A PROMISE UNFORGOTTEN
DISGAEA D2: A BRIGHTER DARKNESS
DOKI-DOKI UNIVERSE
DON BRADMAN CRICKET 14
DOUBLE DRAGON NEON
DUKE NUKEM FOREVER
DYNASTY WARRIORS 7
DYNASTY WARRIORS 8
DYNASTY WARRIORS 8: XTREME LEGENDS
DYNASTY WARRIORS: STRIKEFORCE
EAT THEM!
ECHOCHROME
ELEFUNK
ENTWINED
ETHAN: METEOR HUNTER
EUFLORIA
EVERYBODY’S GOLF
EVERYBODY’S GOLF: WORLD TOUR
F.E.A.R. FIRST ENCOUNTER ASSAULT RECON
F1 2014
F1 RACE STARS
FAERY : LEGENDS OF AVALON
FARMING SIMULATOR 15
FARMING SIMULATOR 2013
FAT PRINCESS
FIGHTING VIPERS
FINAL EXAM
FINAL FIGHT: DOUBLE IMPACT
FLOW
FLOWER
FROGGER RETURNS
GENJI: DAYS OF THE BLADE
GO! PUZZLE
GOD OF WAR 2 HD
GOD OF WAR 3
GOD OF WAR HD
GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION
GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS HD
GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA HD
GOLDEN AXE
GRAVITY CRASH
GREG HASTINGS PAINTBALL 2
GRID 2
GRID AUTOSPORT
GUACAMELEE!
HAKUOKI: STORIES OF THE SHINSENGUMI
HAMILTONS GREAT ADVENTURE
HAMSTERBALL UNLEASHED
HEAVENLY SWORD
HEAVY FIRE AFGHANISTAN
HEAVY RAIN + CHRONCILE 1 DLC
HOHOKUM
HOUSE OF THE DEAD 4
HOW TO SURVIVE
HUNTER’S TROPHY 2 – AMERICA
HUNTER’S TROPHY 2 – AUSTRALIA
HUSTLE KINGS
ICO CLASSICS HD
INFAMOUS
INFAMOUS 2
INFAMOUS: FESTIVAL OF BLOOD
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US ULTIMATE EDITION
INVIZIMALS THE LOST KINGDOM
JETPACK JOYRIDE DELUXE
JOE DANGER 2: THE MOVIE
JOURNEY
JUDGE DEE, THE CITY GOD CASE
JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME – EP 1
JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME – EP 2
JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME – EP 3
JURASSIC PARK: THE GAME – EP 4
KILLZONE 1 HD
KILLZONE 2
KILLZONE 3
KNYTT UNDERGROUND
LEARNING WITH THE POOYOOS – EPISODE 1
LEGASISTA
LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES
LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME
LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 1-4
LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 5-7
LEMMINGS
LINGER IN SHADOWS
LOCOROCO COCORECCHO
LONE SURVIVOR
LOST PLANET
LOST PLANET 2
LOST PLANET 3
MACHINARIUM
MAFIA 2
MAGIC ORBZ
MAGUS
MAHJONG TALES : ANCIENT WISDOM
MARS: WAR LOGS
MEGA MAN 10
MEGA MAN 9
METRO: LAST LIGHT COMPLETE EDITION
MORTAL KOMBAT KOMPLETE EDITION
MOTOGP™15
MOTORCYCLE CLUB
MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE
MOTORSTORM RC COMPLETE EDITION
MOUSECRAFT
MX VS ATV SUPERCROSS
MX VS ATV: ALIVE
MX VS ATV: UNTAMED
MX VS. ATV: REFLEX
MXGP – THE OFFICIAL MOTOCROSS VIDEOGAME
NBA 2K14
NIGHTS INTO DREAMS
NINJA GAIDEN 3 RAZOR’S EDGE
NINJA GAIDEN SIGMA 2
NUMBLAST
ODDWORLD: STRANGER’S WRATH HD
OF ORCS AND MEN
OLLIOLLI
OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING
OPERATION FLASHPOINT: RED RIVER
ORDER UP!!
OVERLORD II
OVERLORD RAISING HELL
PAINKILLER HELL & DAMNATION
PAPO & YO
PAYDAY 2
PID
PIXELJUNK EDEN FULLY GROWN EDITION
PIXELJUNK MONSTERS BIG BITE EDITION
PIXELJUNK RACERS 2ND LAP
PIXELJUNK SHOOTER
PIXELJUNK SHOOTER – PART 2
PIXELJUNK SIDESCROLLER
PIYOTAMA
PLANET MINIGOLF
PLANETS UNDER ATTACK
POKER NIGHT 2
PORT ROYALE 3
PROTEUS
PUPPETEER
PURE CHESS
PUZZLE AGENT
Q*BERT REBOOTED
RAG DOLL KUNG FU: FISTS OF PLASTIC
RAGNAROK ODYSSEY ACE
RAIDEN IV: OVERKILL
RAIN
RAINBOW MOON
RATCHET & CLANK ALL 4 ONE
RATCHET & CLANK NEXUS
RATCHET & CLANK Q-FORCE
RATCHET & CLANK: A CRACK IN TIME
RATCHET & CLANK:QUEST FOR BOOTY
REALMS OF ANCIENT WAR
RED DEAD REDEMPTION
RED DEAD REDEMPTION: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE
RED FACTION: GUERRILLA
RED JOHNSON’S CHRONICLES
RED JOHNSON’S CHRONICLES – ONE AGAINST ALL
RENEGADE OPS
RESIDENT EVIL CODE:VERONICA X
RESIDENT EVIL OPERATION RACCOON CITY
RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS
RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS 2
RESIDENT EVIL UMBRELLA CHRONICLES
RESIDENT EVIL: THE DARKSIDE CHRONICLES
RESISTANCE 3
RETRO CITY RAMPAGE DX
RETRO/GRADE
RICOCHET HD
RIDE
RIFF: EVERYDAY SHOOTER
RISE OF THE ARGONAUTS
ROCKETBIRDS: HARDBOILED CHICKEN
ROTASTIC
R-TYPE DIMENSIONS
RUNE FACTORY OCEANS
RUNNER 2: A FLAT OUT RUN OF THE RHYTHM ALIEN
SACRED CITADEL
SAINTS ROW 2
SAINTS ROW IV
SAM & MAX BEYOND TIME & SPACE – EP 1
SAM & MAX BEYOND TIME & SPACE – EP 2
SAM & MAX BEYOND TIME & SPACE – EP 3
SAM & MAX BEYOND TIME & SPACE – EP 4
SAM & MAX BEYOND TIME & SPACE – EP 5
SAM & MAX THE DEVIL’S PLAYHOUSE – EP 1
SAM & MAX THE DEVIL’S PLAYHOUSE – EP 2
SAM & MAX THE DEVIL’S PLAYHOUSE – EP 3
SAM & MAX THE DEVIL’S PLAYHOUSE – EP 4
SAM & MAX THE DEVIL’S PLAYHOUSE – EP 5
SAVAGE MOON
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS CLASSICS HD
SHATTER
SHERLOCK HOLMES: CRIMES & PUNISHMENTS
SID MEIER’S CIVILIZATION REVOLUTION
SILENT HILL HD COLLECTION
SIREN BLOOD CURSE
SKULLGIRLS ENCORE
SKY FIGHTER
SKYDIVE: PROXIMITY FLIGHT
SLY COOPER: THIEVES IN TIME
SMASH CARS
SNAKEBALL
SNIPER ELITE V2
SNIPER ELITE 3
SNIPER GHOST WARRIOR 2
SNIPER: GHOST WARRIOR
SOLDNER-X 2: FINAL PROTOTYPE
SOLDNER-X: HIMMELSSTURMER
SONIC ADVENTURE
SONIC CD
SONIC GENERATIONS
SONIC THE FIGHTERS
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4 EPISODE II
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4: EPISODE 1
SONIC UNLEASHED
SOUND SHAPES
SPACE ACE
SPARKLE 2
SPEC OPS: THE LINE
SPELUNKY
STARHAWK
STARWHAL
STEALTH INC.
STICK IT TO THE MAN
STRIDER
STRONG BAD’S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – EP 1
STRONG BAD’S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – EP 2
STRONG BAD’S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – EP 3
STRONG BAD’S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – EP 4
STRONG BAD’S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – EP 5
SUPER HANG-ON
SUPER MEGA BASEBALL
SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER II TURBO HD REMIX
SUPER STARDUST HD
SYBERIA
SYBERIA 2
TALES FROM SPACE: ABOUT A BLOB
TALES FROM THE BORDERLANDS – EPISODES 1 & 2
TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND – CHAPTER 1
TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND – CHAPTER 2
TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND – CHAPTER 3
TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND – CHAPTER 4
TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND – CHAPTER 5
THE AWAKENED FATE ULTIMATUM
THE BOOK OF UNWRITTEN TALES 2
THE DARKNESS
THE DARKNESS II
THE GUIDED FATE PARADOX
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 3
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL
THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII
THE LAST GUY
THE LAST OF US
THE LAST OF US: LEFT BEHIND
THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME
THE RAVEN: LEGACY OF A MASTER THIEF
THE SLY TRILOGY
THE SWAPPER
THE UNFINISHED SWAN
THE WALKING DEAD GAME OF THE YEAR  EDITION
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON TWO – EPISODES 1 & 2
THE WITCH AND THE HUNDRED KNIGHT
THE WOLF AMONG US
THOMAS WAS ALONE
TERRARIA
TITAN ATTACKS!
TINY BRAINS HOW TO SURVIVE
TOKYO JUNGLE
TOUR DE FRANCE 2015
TOY HOME
TOYBOX TURBOS
TRASH PANIC
TRINE
TRUCK RACER
TWISTED METAL
TWO WORLDS II
ULTRA STREET FIGHTER IV
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE
URBAN TRIAL FREESTYLE
VELOCITY ULTRA
VESSEL
VIRTUA FIGHTER 2
VIRTUA FIGHTER 5 FINAL SHOWDOWN
WAKEBOARDING HD
WARHAWK
WHEN VIKINGS ATTACK!
WHITE KNIGHT CHRONICLES
WHITE KNIGHT CHRONICLES 2
WRC 4 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
WRC 5 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
WWE 2K15
X BLADES
XCOM: ENEMY WITHIN
ZEN PINBALL 2
ZENO CLASH 2
ZOMBIE TYCOON 2 – BRAINHOV’S REVENGE

We’ll be sure to update this list whenever something new is introduced.

Related: What is PlayStation Now? A guide to Sony’s streaming service

Sony PS4 Pro 11

Why can’t the PS4 play PS3 games?

The PS3 and PS4 use completely different system architectures, which means the PS4 would need to emulate the PS3’s system in order to make the games work. The figure often quoted is that a system needs ten times the power of the thing it’s emulating in order to do so at full speed.

Sony does claim that the PS4 meets this ‘ten times’ more powerful mark, but producing a workable emulator also requires a whole lot of work when working with a system of the PS3’s complexity. And that means a healthy cash investment, too.

Sony decided not to do this, and it’s sure to be one of the most common complaints about the new console. We can imagine many people simply assuming they’ll be able to play their old PS3 games on the thing.

Related: Upcoming PS4 Games 2017


What about PS1 and PS2 games?

Although PS1 games are still an elusive beast, PS2 games are now available on your PS4 – albeit in limited form.

They are as follows:

  • Ape Escape 2
  • Ape Escape 3
  • Arc The Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
  • Bully
  • Dark Chronicle
  • Dark Cloud
  • Destroy All Humans
  • Destroy All Humans 2
  • Fatal Fury Battle Archives: Volume 2
  • Fahrenheit
  • Fantavision
  • Fu’un Super Combo
  • GTA 3
  • GTA: Vice City
  • GTA: San Andreas
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
  • Hot Shots Tennis
  • Kinetica
  • Legaia 2: Duel Saga
  • The King of Fighters 2000
  • Manhunt
  • The Mark of Kri
  • Max Payne
  • Metal Slug Anthology
  • Okage: Shadow King
  • PaRappa the Rapper 2
  • Primal
  • Psychonauts
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  • Red Dead Revolver
  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction 2
  • Resident Evil: Code Veronica X
  • Rise of the Kasai
  • Rogue Galaxy
  • Samurai Showdown VI
  • Siren
  • Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
  • Star Wars: Racer Revenge
  • Twisted Metal: Black
  • War of the Monsters
  • Wild Arms 3
  • The Warriors

What classic games would you like to see on PS4? Let us know in the comments.