The PlayStation 5 introduces some major improvements over the previous generation, while maintaining compatibility with most PS4 games. Unfortunately, ‘most’ isn’t ‘everything,’ so here’s what you need to know about playing older games on your PS5.
Most PS4 games work on PS5
Sony has promised that 99% of PlayStation 4 titles will work on PlayStation 5, including the top 1
However, a small number of games do not work on the PS5 and the Sony store states that these are “PS4 only” titles. In addition, according to Sony, about 130 games can “bug”. These will still work, but may contain graphics issues and bugs. Some PS4 era features such as online services may also stop working.
Push Square has compiled a list of games that may have issues. It mainly consists of older titles, with a few notable inclusions, such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Mafia III, and the original Project CARS.
Some older titles will bring big performance improvements
Like the Xbox Series X and S, the PlayStation 5 can improve the performance of some last-generation titles. Sony calls this feature Game Boost. It allows older titles to take advantage of the faster processor and more capable GPU in the PS5.
Without an update, most games just offer smoother performance. Games run on PS4 pro-optimized resolutions, rather than native 4K (the PS4 Pro used upscaling to achieve its 4K goals, unlike Microsoft’s Xbox One X). Games running at an unlocked frame rate (up to 60 frames) are now much more likely to achieve that goal.
Benefits vary from game to game. In some cases, you may need to choose “Performance Mode” in a game’s options to see some improvement. Some titles, such as Days passed, run at dynamic 4K (with resolution scale) at 60 frames per second. Others like Spirit of Tsushima, are patched to allow only higher frame rates.
As games continue to appear across generations on both PS4 and PS5, some titles offer cross-buy benefits. This means you can buy a PS4 version and play it on PS5 later, with graphics upgrades and better performance. Some older games will also receive these updates.
Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and start blockbuster Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, all offer free upgrades on the PS5. Unfortunately, not all publishers have signed up for free upgrades. Titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and NBA 2K21 require the more expensive version (or an upgrade fee) for cross-buy to work.
Original PlayStation, PS2 and PS3 games will not work
Unfortunately, older games from classic PlayStation consoles don’t work natively on the PS5. If you want to play older titles you own, you’d better keep some vintage hardware in your entertainment device.
Another option for playing older titles on your PS5 is PlayStation Now. For $ 9.99 a month, you get access to a huge library of games dating all the way back to the PS2 era. New games are also added every month, although games that have been around for a while can be removed at any time.
The service uses streaming, rather than running native code, to deliver older titles. This means that your experience can vary greatly depending on where you live and how good your internet connection is. Many new titles (PS4 and above) that are part of a PS Now membership can be downloaded instead of streamed.
PS Now offers an inelegant solution for playing classics at a price. The service is available in North America, most of Europe, and Japan.
Most PS4 accessories work (with a catch)
Most PlayStation 4 accessories work on your PS5 and with PS5 titles, including officially licensed specialty peripherals such as racing wheels, arcade sticks and flight controllers.
Controllers are slightly different, however. The DualShock 4 works with the PlayStation 5, but only when playing older PS4 games. This is because the PS5 comes with the brand new DualSense controller, which makes great use of haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and an integrated microphone.
You’ll have to buy a new DualSense controller if you want to play local multiplayer PS5 titles – you can’t use an old DualShock 4 you have lying around.
Sony also supports the PlayStation VR (PSVR) on the PlayStation 5, including PS Move Motion Controllers and the PSVR Aim Controller. Headsets that work with the PS4, including the Platinum and Gold officially licensed Sony headsets, will normally work on the PlayStation 5.
The PlayStation Camera, required for PSVR to work, works on the PS5. However, according to Sony, it requires “a PlayStation Camera Adapter that is provided to PS VR users at no additional cost.” However, the company hasn’t announced how PSVR owners can get their hands on one.
For everything else, you have to plug it in and see what happens or contact the manufacturer directly.
Consider storing older titles on an external drive
If you plan to play a lot of PS4 titles on your new PS5, consider purchasing an external drive to expand your storage on the cheap. Since older titles were designed with slower mechanical hard drives in mind, they can be downloaded and stored on cheaper external drives.
You can then use what’s left of the PS5’s 825 GB internal SSD for PS5 games that use the much faster NVMe drive in the console. Unfortunately, unlike the Xbox series, the PlayStation 5 doesn’t let you archive games to an external drive.
If you want to create more space on the PS5’s internal drive, you’ll need to delete games. You cannot simply move the data to another drive and then copy it again if you want to play that title again. Many hope that Sony will add this feature in a future firmware update.
Avoid the Digital Edition PS5 for disc support
If you enjoy playing your older games at higher resolutions and smoother frame rates, the PS5’s Game Boost feature should put a smile on your face. Just remember that if you’re upgrading from a PS4 and have a library of discs, you’ll need the physical disc edition of the PlayStation 5 ($ 499), rather than the digital edition, as it doesn’t have a disc drive. .
Sony’s PS5 Digital Edition remains compatible with PS4 titles, but it must be digital editions purchased from the PSN Store. That’s why we recommend avoiding all-digital consoles whether you’re buying an Xbox or a PlayStation.