Does the PS5 Play PS2 Games?

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 PlayStation Now 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 PlayStation Now.

  • What is PlayStation Now?

PlayStation Now (PS Now) 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 $9.99 and £8.99 in the UK.

To save money, you could opt for a yearly or quarterly subscription.

The quarterly subscription goes for £22.99 in the UK and $24.99 in the US, while the annual payment is £49.99 and $59.99.

If you would like to try PS Now first before paying for it, the service offers a 7-day free subscription after which you can choose which plan to pay for if you like it.

You can sign up for the service through the PlayStation Store on your PS5.

Once you subscribe to PlayStation Now, 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 PlayStation Now I have been able to play some of my PS2 favorite games on the PlayStation 5 such as:

  • The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, which comprises Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • Twisted Metal: Black
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica X
  • Bully
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter

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 PlayStation Now website and browse the full list of PS2 games available to play with your next-gen console.

You can also use PS Now to play older PS2 games on your PS4 despite the console not being backward compatible with other PS games

Note, however, that PS Now is currently only available in 19 countries, including the UK, Austria, France, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Belgium, and the US.

Is the PS5 backward compatible with PS3 and PS4 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 PlayStation Now.

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 game titles that are exclusive to the PS4. These titles are:

  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadwen
  • 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.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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