Update: I’ve updated each of the sections of the article. I’ve also added a new section detailing how to use a PS2 console with a modern TV. I’ve added a new Conclusion and What Next section. And I’ve added a couple of videos to the article. I hope you enjoy the new additions. All the very best and thanks for reading the article. Every second you are here is hugely appreciated. Nick.
I’m a big fan of the PS2.
Sony’s second-gen PlayStation was literally stuffed full of utterly fantastic, genre-defining games. From Gran Tourismo 3 to Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty and all the way back to JRPG juggernauts such as Final Fantasy 10, the PS2’s catalog of games is yet to be bettered.
But time, as always, trundles forward and stops for no one: 2 decades have zipped past since the PS2 was released. But after all that time the PS2 and its games still hold a cavernous home in our hearts.
So, on buying my PS5 the first thought that fired off in my head was, would I finally be able to play my PS2 games on my PS5? Would Sony have embraced backward compatibility like its American competition, Microsoft?
Eager to find out, I grabbed my laptop to start a campaign of research. This is what I found:
Does the PS5 play PS2 games? You cannot play PS2 disk-based games on the PS5 because the disks are not compatible with the Playstation 5. However, if you pay for a PS Plus Premium subscription, you’ll be able to play a wide variety of digital PlayStation 2 games on your PS5.
Now that you know you can only play digital PS2 games on the PS5, read on to find out some of the PlayStation 2 games to play on the PS5, and whether PS3 and PS4 games work with the PS5.
Which PS2 games can you play on the PS5?
As I have mentioned above, you cannot play physical PS2 games on the PS5.
If you insert a PS2 game disc into the PS5 disc drive, the message “This disc isn’t supported by the PS5” will appear on your gaming screen.
PlayStation hasn’t come out to say if they’ll extend the PS5 backward compatibility feature to allow it to play PS2 game discs.
I hope they do and make it as good as the Xbox Series X backward compatibility feature, which allows you to play original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One game discs.
So currently, the only way to play PS2 games on the PS5 is via Streaming. You can stream the games as part of the PS Plus Premium service, or you can buy the PS2 games outright usually for around $9.99. Though some games’ pricing does differ.
Keep in mind that regardless of how you choose to play the PS2 games on your PS5, you will be streaming the game from Sony’s servers. So you may find that there are limitations with using their service if you have a low bandwidth internet connection.
Below, I’ll take a look at how you can go about using PS Plus Premium to play PS2 games on your PS5.
What is PS Plus Premium?
PS Plus Premium is a cloud-based service like Netflix that has over 700 PlayStation games you can play on your PS5.
It is a subscription service that has monthly, quarterly, and yearly billing models.
A monthly subscription in the US costs $17.99 and £13.49 in the UK.
To save money, you could opt for a yearly or quarterly subscription.
The quarterly subscription goes for £39.99 in the UK and $49.99 in the US, while the annual payment is £99.99 and $119.99.
If you would like to try PS Plus Premium first before paying for it, the service often offers a 7-day trial.
You can sign up for the service through the PlayStation Store on your PS5.
Once you subscribe to PS Plus Premium, all PS2 games available on the platform will be available for you to play on your PS5.
Like you do with a Netflix movie or TV series, you don’t have to download the PS2 game to play it on your PS5.
You can play games over the internet but to do that you need a stable internet connection.
PlayStation recommends you use a wired broadband connection instead of a wireless one, and it should be at least 5Mbps.
Through PS Plus Premium I have been able to play some of my PS2 favorite games on the PlayStation 5 such as:
- Ape Escape 2 ($9.99)
- Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits ($14.99)
- Dark Cloud ($14.99)
- Dark Cloud 2 ($14.99)
- FantaVision ($9.99)
- Hot Shots Tennis ($9.99)
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy ($14.99)
- Jak II ($14.99)
- Jak 3 ($14.99)
- Jak X: Combat Racing ($14.99)
- Kinetica ($9.99)
- Okage: Shadow King ($9.99)
- Primal ($9.99)
- Red Faction ($14.99)
- Red Faction II ($14.99)
- Rise of the Kasai ($14.99)
- Rogue Galaxy ($14.99)
- Siren ($9.99)
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter ($9.99)
- Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter ($9.99)
- Star Wars: Racer Revenge ($9.99)
- The Mark of Kri ($14.99)
- War of the Monsters ($9.99)
- Wild Arms 3 ($14.99)
While playing these games on the PS5, they had higher resolution visuals and better performance, which made the gaming experience much more pleasurable than when played on the PS2.
To know if your favorite PS2 game is available to play on the PS5, head over to the PS Plus Premium website and browse the full list of PS2 games available to play with your next-gen console.
You can also use PS Plus Premium to play older PS2 games on your PS4 despite the console not being backward compatible with other PS games.
How to Use Your PlayStation 2 on a Modern H4K TV
Here’s the situation: You’ve dusted off your classic PS2, craving a hit of that sweet, sweet nostalgia. The only problem? Your snazzy modern TV only has HDMI connectors, and your PS2 is equipped with the old AV Multi Out connectors. So how do you get these two to play nice together? Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve got just the guide for you.
First off, don’t stress! We’re not sending our PS2s to the technology graveyard just yet. All we need is a little help from an AV to HDMI converter. These clever little devices are an easy and inexpensive solution, designed to convert the PS2’s analog signal into a digital one that your HDMI-only TV can understand.
To get started, you’ll need:
- Your trusty PS2 (of course)
- All the cables for your PS2
- A Free USB power adapter (To power the AV to HDMI converter)
- An AV to HDMI converter
- Your TV
Alright, let’s get to it.
Step 1: Connect your PS2 to the converter. Your PS2 came with a cable that has a unique multi-out connector on one end and three RCA connectors (Red, White, and Yellow) on the other. You’ll want to plug the multi-out end into the PS2 and the RCA connectors into the input ports on the converter. They are color-coded, so it’s pretty simple – red to red, white to white, and yellow to yellow.
Step 2: Connect the converter to the TV. Now grab the HDMI end of the converter. Plug it into your TV.
Step 3: Power up. Plug the power cable into your converter. Some converters draw power directly from a USB port, so if that’s your converter, plug it into a USB port on your TV (if available), or use a USB wall adapter.
Step 4: Set the right channel. Now, on your TV, select the HDMI input channel that corresponds to the port where you connected the HDMI cable. You should see the PS2 logo pop up, and voilà, you’re in business!
Remember, using an AV to HDMI converter might not give you a picture-perfect 1080p output, but hey, we’re going retro here! Plus, some games actually look better with their original graphics on the PS2 than they do with some of the remastered versions.
The below video outlines some extra way in which you can connect your PS2 to your modern TV. Enjoy!
Is the PS5 backward compatible with PS3 Games?
Backward compatibility with previous console games is one of the key selling points of any new console.
New consoles are almost always not cheap and the backward compatibility features give potential next-gen console buyers extra value for the money they spend.
That’s why the question of whether the PS5 is backward compatible with PS3 and PS4 games has been asked by many PlayStation gamers.
To answer it, just like with the PS2, you can only play digital PS3 games on the PS5 because the PS5 does not support PS3 game discs.
The Digital PS3 games are also available on PS Plus Premium.
Is the PS5 backward compatible with PS4 Games?
Sony did a much better job of making PlayStation 4 games compatible with the PS5.
Working with PS game publishers and developers, Sony has made most PS4 games playable on the PS5.
Currently, over 4,000 PS4 game disc and digital titles can be seamlessly played on the PS5.
On its website, Sony only lists a few PS4 games that do not run on the PS5. These titles are:
- Just Deal With It!
- We Sing
- Joe’s Diner
- Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
- Robinson: The Journey
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
This PS4 only list has been on the website for several months now and hasn’t grown,
So, we can assume the PS5 will support the remaining PS4 titles.
If that’s the case, it means now that you’ve gotten yourself a PS5, you can continue enjoying almost all of your old favorite physical and digital PS4 games or try classic games you may have not gotten round to playing on your new next-gen console.
As with the PS2 games playable on the PS5, PS3 and PS4 games will have higher frame rates and resolution when played on the PS5 because of the next-gen console’s improved tech.
Well folks, we’ve traveled a thrilling path of nostalgia and gaming potential in this piece. Let’s summarize what we’ve learned:
- Physical PS2 games can’t be played directly on the PS5. Inserting a PS2 disc into the PS5 will generate a “disc not supported” error.
- PS2 games can be streamed on the PS5 through the PS Plus Premium service.
- Sony’s servers host the PS2 games you stream on your PS5, so a robust internet connection is crucial.
- Using an AV to HDMI converter, you can hook up your classic PS2 to a modern TV with HDMI connectors.
- The PS5 can only play digital PS3 games, also through the PS Plus Premium service.
- Finally, most PS4 games are backward compatible with the PS5, both in disc and digital format.
But the journey doesn’t stop here. Dive into the “What Next?” section and find out how you can put this knowledge into action.
Being the gaming enthusiast that I am, I always want you to have something actionable to do after you’ve given this a read. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Check out the PS Plus Premium service and consider the trial offer.
- Go through the list of PS2 games available on PS Plus Premium.
- For those with a classic PS2 and a modern TV, look into getting an AV to HDMI converter.
- Consider the PS5’s backward compatibility feature when deciding your next gaming purchase.
- Finally, explore the list of PS4 games not compatible with the PS5 to ensure your favorites are playable.