Can You Play PS3 Games on PS5? Backwards Compatibility Answered

With the PlayStation 5 sweeping the market, you might be feeling nostalgic about the days of the classic PlayStation 3. The PS3 had many amazing and genre defining titles that still hold up to this day. You might be wondering whether you can revisit those games on your PS5.

Unfortunately, PS3 games can not natively be played on PS5, however with the new PlayStation Plus Premium subscription service, you can stream select PS3 titles over the cloud without the need of owning a disc. 

There are plenty of reasons why PS3 games don’t run on PS5, but depending on the games you want to play, the new subscription service might be an even better option to revisit your favorites. Read on to find out more. 

Do PS3 Games Run on PS5

Sadly, PlayStation 3 games are not compatible with PS5 systems. You can not play your games from your discs or transfer your digital purchases from your PS3 system. This is unlike the PlayStation 4 which is almost fully compatible with the PS5. 

Why Don’t PS3 Games Run on PS5?

There are plenty of reasons why PS3 games don’t work on PS5 systems, which mostly comes down to the differences in how the PS3 was built compared to other Playstation systems. 

  • The Cell Processor. This is the biggest reason PS3 games aren’t compatible with the PS5, or even the PS4. The system originally utilized a cell processor that was meant to take advantage of the console’s unique features. However, this processor proved difficult for developers to make games for, and for that reason, following systems did away with the cell processor. 
  • Emulation Difficulties. Another reason is that the PS3 is a very complex system. Thanks in part to the way PS3 games were made, even modern powerful systems like the PS5 have a difficult time emulating games. Since the games do not run natively, backwards compatibility would have required perfect emulation to work.
  • Releasing the Games. As a result of the vastly different architecture of the PS3, many games would have to be reworked from the ground up to work on the PS5, at which point, most developers would benefit more from remastering or remaking the games instead of releasing the games as they were.

At the end of the day, there are many complexities regarding the PlayStation 3 and how games were made for that system. However, many classic titles on the PS3, such as The Last of Us and the Uncharted series were already remastered on PS4, meaning they are fully accessible on PS5 and can be found easily on Amazon.

What Does Run on PS5

While PS3 backwards compatibility isn’t an option for the PS5, the system does feature almost full backwards compatibility for PlayStation 4 games. You can transfer your digital purchases from your PS4 or play them off the same disc. 

Some games will receive boosts so they’ll perform better on PS5 than on your PS4, especially if you had the base model over the PS4 Pro. In some cases, certain titles like Assassins Creed Valhalla will let you upgrade to the PS5 version at no cost. Thankfully, if you want to play PS3 games on your PS5, there is an option.

The New Playstation Plus

Sony have recently announced a refresh of their PlayStation Plus subscription service, which combines their current offering with the PS Now service, which was used on PS4 to stream classic games from the PS1, PS2, and of course, the PS3. The new Premium tier of this service will allow you to play PS3 Games on your PS5.

Which PS3 Games are Available on PS Plus


Many classic games are available via this service. Some examples are the InFamous series , Demon’s Souls, the Ratchet and Clank series, and the Devil May Cry HD Collection. As the service nears launch, more announcements are expected since this is just a preview at what the service will entail.

More games are sure to be released overtime, so if you don’t see your favorite at launch, it is potentially in the pipeline for a later release. 

What You Need to Know About PS Plus

The new service includes the option to stream PS3 games via the cloud, similar to how it worked in PS Now on the PlayStation 4. There will also be the option to stream or download PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, and PSP games as well.

It will cost $17.99 per month for the premium tier, which is the tier that will include access to PS3 games. The quarterly price is $49.99 or $119.99 annually. 

Streaming games via the cloud will provide benefits like not requiring you to own the disc or not taking up space on your hard drive. Since PS3 games are more complex and have a higher visual fidelity than PS1 or PS2 games,  it will require a faster connection to prevent lag and keep the game looking good.

To take full advantage of streaming via the cloud, make sure your internet is good enough to handle streaming games over the cloud. Sony recommends an internet connection of at least 5mbps, but the higher speed you have, the more smooth your gameplay experience will be. 

Concluding Thoughts

To summarize, PS3 games can’t be played natively on PS5, as a result of the unique cell architecture that PS3 was developed with. However, with the new PS Plus Premium tier, you’ll be able to stream many classic PS3 games on your PS5 system without having to own the disc or have a digital purchase. 

Since the cell architecture was abandoned for PS4 and PS5, it’s unlikely that issues like this will happen again for future consoles, as evidenced by the PS5 having almost full backwards compatibility for PS4 games.  

So if you want to revisit your classic PS3 games or are exploring them for the first time, the new PS Plus offerings are a great alternative. There is no shortage of top-quality titles available on the PS3, and as time goes on, we’ll surely see more of them accessible for the long term future. 

Can PS5 play PS3 games?

PS3 games are not compatible with PS5. PS3 game discs and digital purchases cannot be played on or transferred to a PS5 system. However, you can stream PS3 games from PS5 through the PS Plus subscription service. This is unlike the PlayStation 4 which is almost fully compatible with the PS5. 

Is PS5 backwards compatible with PS3?

The PS5 is not backwards compatible with PS3 game discs of digital purchases. However, you can stream PS3 games from a PS5 through the PS Plus subscription service. The PS5 does have almost full backwards compatibility with PS4 games, including digital and disc titles.

Sources: – UNCHARTED: The Nathan Drake Collection

John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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