Is PS5 Backwards Compatible? [ANSWERED!]

As a diehard Sony fangirl and loyal PlayStation gamer since the very first PS came into the US market in 1995, I want to be able to play as many of my old games as possible on my new console.

Yeah, sure, I will be able to pop some PS4 games in and have fun with those, but what about my beloved PS3 games? What about my treasured Skyrim that I bought for PS3 when that game debuted?

Can I play PS3 games on PS5? Heck, will PS2 games play on PS5? Can you play PS3 games on PS5 with PS Now?

These are things I was dying to know, so I began researching what my PS5 – likely – will and will not be able to play. 

Here is what I found.

Is PS5 Backwards Compatible? [ANSWERED!]

Sony’s PS5 is currently backward compatible with PS4 games. There is also a small smattering of PS3 games that can be accessed through the PlayStation Now service. At the moment, any PS3 selection in the PS5 store will direct you to a PSN version of a game, such as Dead or Alive.

So, can I play PS1 games on PS5?

Just how far back does the PS5’s backward compatibility go?

And just how is all of this going to be impacted by the upcoming Spartacus – Sony’s new games service? 

Could this just be a visual bug? How many PSN games can you download versus having to stream? What will be the future of compatibility on the PS5? 

Read on to learn more about what I have discovered in my research endeavors.

Is the PS5 backward compatible with PS1?

The PS5 is not backward compatible with the original PlayStation. 

While Microsoft gives players a strong advantage in terms of backward compatibility (with the Xbox Series X — which plays many Xbox 360 and original Xbox games), you cannot play any original PS games on the PS5. 

The last PlayStation console to be backward compatible with PS1 games was the PS3.

Can I play PS2 games on my PS5?

The PS2’s games are also not backward compatible on the PS5. 

You can still play these games on the PS3, but that is the last console from Sony that you can actually play them on.

Is the PS5 backward compatible with the PS3?

The PS5 is not intended to be backward compatible with the PS3. 

However, as recent reports suggest, a few PS3 titles have been showing up in the PS5 store. 

As of right now, these links just direct players to the PlayStation Now versions of these titles.

Why are PS3 games popping up in the PS5 store?

As it stands right now, you cannot purchase those PS3 game titles as you normally would in the PS5 store.

However, a new patent from PS5 lead creator Mark Cerny seems to be at the heart of all of this.

This seems to suggest that gamers will eventually be able to buy PS3 games to play on the PS5.

What is Spartacus anyway?

This leads me to Spartacus.

In January of 2022, Sony began removing its PS Now retail cards ahead of the launch of Spartacus – a game-buying system that would essentially combine PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus.

This sets it up to challenge Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.

There are supposedly going to be three tiers to Spartacus: Essential, Extra, and Premium (whose names might be subject to change before Spartacus debuts). 

Essential is said to cost $10 USD per month and offers players a small selection of games to play each month. 

For $3 more, Extra adds a bigger catalog of games that will make it more similar to PSN.

Premium is said to hold access to some classic PlayStation games as well as trials of brand new games.

It is set to cost $16 per month.

More details are set to emerge in March of 2022 as Sony makes more headway on this project.

Can I actually download games from PSN versus having to stream them?

PlayStation Now launched back in January of 2014 and currently has about 3.2 million subscribers from all around the world.

Unfortunately, PSN just hasn’t been able to challenge Microsoft in this regard.

There are currently about 800 games to choose from on PlayStation Now, but the vast majority of them are only available for streaming. 

Approximately only 300 of these games can actually be downloaded. 

These games do span from the PS3 up to the PS5.

Could this emergence of PS3 video games on the PS5 store actually be the real deal? Or is this some sort of visual glitch like others we have seen in the past on the store? Only time will tell.

Closing Thoughts

The PS5’s backwards compatibility is currently limited to just PS4 games. 

This has been a sour spot for us PlayStation gamers, sure, but with the upcoming changes promised by Spartacus, there is at least a small glimmer of hope. 

If Sony wants to compete with Microsoft, they’re going to have to – ahem – step their game up. 

And that will mean giving us a way to play all our old favorites on a newer platform. 

This is what we players are looking for after all.