PS4 Backwards Compatibility Explained

Sony’s PS4 video game console has been a runaway success from almost the day it was announced. Sony played the console market right. The PS4 maintained the same rules around disc and digital games as the PS3. Smartly, Sony bet on a slew of online services to enhance the PlayStation experience. What the PS4 lacks during some months is big-name releases though. People who have already purchased a PS4 usually see these droughts as an opportunity go to back and play some of their favorite older titles. New console buyers want to know that the game library they’ve invested in isn’t going to be a complete waste if they decide to upgrade to a newer console. That’s where PS4 Backwards Compatibility comes into play.

playstation 4

PS4 Backwards Compatibility is a loaded topic for gamers. Many game consoles have offered users an opportunity to keep their library from their direct predecessors. When this console generation started, neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 offered it, citing big differences in the internals that power modern gaming consoles. Microsoft offered up a life boat to users that do want backwards compatibility from their console last fall with the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program. Nintendo has always offered backwards compatibility for Wii games with the Wii U. Microsoft’s willingness to offer the feature triggered a wave of people all asking if Sony would introduce PS4 Backwards Compatibility.

Sony has a PS4 Backwards Compatibility system, but it’s very, very different from what other consoles offer today or have offered in the past. In fact, parts of it predate Microsoft’s offering.

PS4 Backwards Compatibility: Sony PlayStation Now

The primary way that PS4 owners can get access to games that were meant for older consoles is through PlayStation Now. PlayStation Now is a game rental service, just without the need to pay postage or maintain a queue of games you’d like to play. PlayStation Now launched back in 2014.

Instead of mailing games off to you like other rental services, PlayStation Now gives you access to servers where you can play PS3 games that you no longer have physical access to. To function, the service requires that you have a 5Mbps high-speed internet connection. There are no big game downloads once you’ve decided to rent a game. You’re actually playing the game on Sony’s servers. Sony is streaming that footage back to your console. Trophies are included with each PlayStation Now game rental. Some rentals include downloadable content too, but that’s on a case by case basis.

playstation now streamign service

Read: PlayStation Now Subscriptions: 5 Things You Need to Know

The trick to PlayStation Now – and the reason why Microsoft and Nintendo are able to claim that they offer access to older games for free – is PlayStation Now’s status as add-on service. It’s not included with a PlayStation Plus subscription at all. The service has hourly, daily and monthly rental rates per game.

A PlayStation Now subscription lets users sign up for $20 a month and get access to a huge library of games instead of paying for each game rental on its own. The PlayStation Now subscription library is a bit smaller than the regular PlayStation Now subscription though.

PS4 Backwards Compatibility: PS2 Emulator for PS4

PlayStation Now is a huge part of what makes the PS4 unique. In fact, many assumed Sony would never go the traditional route and bring PS4 Backwards Compatibility to users in a more traditional way. These people were work wrong, sort of.

A PS2 emulator introduced late last year gives PS4 owners the ability to play some classic games on their console. Because there’s an emulator involved, there’s no need for a constant internet connection. More importantly, you don’t have to keep paying for access to these PS2 games. Once you buy them, they are yours to keep on your console and play for as long as you want.

sony-playstation2-console

Unfortunately, you don’t get access to these games without spending money in some way. Even if you own a physical copy of the game already, you’ll need to buy the PS4 compatible version again. These games are upgraded to support high-definition displays, Share Play, streaming over Twitch and Remote Play. Trophies are supported too.

PS4 Backwards Compatibility: Games on the PS4 with PlayStation Now Subscription

These games are available for streaming when users have a PlayStation Now subscription. Sony works with publishers to expand this line-up of games pretty regularly.

  • Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations
  • Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
  • Air Conflicts – Secret Wars
  • Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers
  • Air Conflicts: Vietnam
  • Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed
  • Alien Rage
  • Alien Spidy
  • All Zombies Must Die!
  • Alone in the Dark: Inferno
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Anarchy: Rush Hour
  • Anna Extended Edition
  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Aqua Panic!
  • Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (new)
  • Arcana Heart 3
  • Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!
  • ArcaniA – The Complete Tale
  • Armageddon Riders
  • Asura’s Wrath
  • Atelier Ayesha
  • Atelier Escha & Logy
  • Atelier Rorona Plus

B

  • Back to Bed
  • Back to the Future™: Episode 1 – It’s About Time
  • Barbie and Her Sisters Puppy Rescue
  • Batman: Arkam Asylum
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Battle Fantasia
  • BATTLE OF TILES EX
  • Battle Princess of Arcadias
  • Bellator MMA Onslaught
  • Bentley’s Hackpack
  • BEYOND: Two Souls with Advanced Experiments DLC
  • Big Sky: Infinity
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2
  • Bioshock
  • BioShock 2
  • BioShock Infinite
  • BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • Bladestorm: Nightmare
  • Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War (new)
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • BlazeRush
  • Blood Knights
  • BloodRayne: Betryal
  • Bodycount
  • Bomberman Ultra
  • Borderlands: Ultimate Edition
  • Borderlands 2
  • Borderlands The Pre-sequel
  • Bound by Flame
  • Braid
  • Burn Zombie Burn: The Diarrhea Bundle

C

  • Capcom Arcade Cabinet: All-in-One-Pack
  • Castlevania Harmony of Despair
  • Catherine
  • Cel Damage HD
  • Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer (new)
  • Chime Super Deluxe
  • Choplifter HD
  • Class of Heroes 2G
  • Comet Crash Bionic Bundle
  • Contrast
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Counter Spy
  • Crash Commando
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Crimsonland
  • Critter Crunch
  • Cuboid Ultimate Bundle

D

  • Damnation
  • Dark Souls 2
  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
  • Dark Void
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders II
  • Darkstalkers Resurrection
  • de Blob 2
  • Dead Island
  • Dead Island Riptide
  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
  • Dead Rising 2
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
  • Dead to Rights: Retribution
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Deadliest Warrior: The Game
  • Death Track: Resurrection
  • Deception: Nightmare Princess IV
  • Deception IV: Blood Ties
  • Derrick the Deathfin
  • detuned
  • Devil May Cry 4
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten
  • Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness
  • Divekick
  • Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
  • Dogfight 1942
  • Doki-Doki Universe
  • Don Bradman Cricket 14
  • Double Dragon Neon
  • Dragon Fin Soup
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp
  • Duke Nukem Forever
  • Dynasty Warriors 6
  • Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires
  • Dynasty Warriors 7
  • Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires
  • Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
  • Dynasty Warriors 8
  • Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

E

  • Earth Defense Force 2025
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armaggedon
  • Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
  • Eat Them!
  • echochrome
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
  • Elefunk
  • Enemy Front
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
  • Entwined
  • Escape Dead Island
  • Eternal Sonata
  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter
  • Eufloria
  • Everyday Shooter

F

  • F.E.A.R. (Campaign Mode)
  • F1 2013
  • F1 2014
  • F1 RACE STARS
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon
  • Falling Skies
  • Farming Simulator
  • Farming Simulator 15
  • Fat Princess
  • Final Exam
  • Final Fight: Double Impact
  • fLOW
  • Flower
  • Frogger Returns
  • Fuel Overdose

G

  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Game of Thrones Ep 1 & Ep 2 Bundle
  • Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
  • Go! Puzzle
  • God of War HD
  • God of War II
  • God of War III
  • God of War: Ascension
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus
  • God of War: Ghosts of Sparta
  • GO! Sports Ski
  • Gravity Crash
  • Greg Hastings Paintball 2
  • Grid 2
  • Grid Autosport
  • Guacamelee!
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

H

  • Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
  • Hamilton’s Great Adventure
  • Hamsterball
  • Handball 16
  • Heavenly Sword
  • Heavy Fire: Afghanistan
  • Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear
  • Heavy Rain – with The Taxidermist DLC
  • Hoard
  • Hohokum
  • Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Hunter’s Trophy 2: America
  • Hunter’s Trophy 2 : Australia
  • Hustle Kings

I

  • ibb & obb
  • ICO
  • inFAMOUS
  • inFAMOUS 2
  • inFAMOUS: Festival Of Blood
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos
  • Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom

J

  • Jeopardy
  • Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
  • Jetpack Joyride Deluxe
  • Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Journey
  • Judge Dee – The City God Case
  • Jurassic Park: The Game

K

  • Karateka
  • Katamari Forever
  • Killzone 2
  • Killzone 3
  • Killzone HD
  • King Oddball
  • Knytt Underground
  • Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends
  • Kung Fu Rabbit

L

  • Le Tour de France™ – Season 2014
  • Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West
  • Legasista
  • Legend of Kay Anniversary
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • LEGO Batman: The Videogame
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • Lemmings
  • Linger in Shadows
  • LocoRoco Cocoreccho!
  • Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut
  • Lost Planet 2
  • Lost Planet 3
  • Lost Planet: Extreme Edition
  • LUMINES Supernova

M

  • Machinarium
  • Mafia II
  • Magic Orbz
  • Magrunner: Dark Pulse
  • Magus
  • Mahjong Tales™: Ancient Wisdom
  • Mamorukun Curse!
  • Mars: War Logs
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign
  • Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond
  • Mega Man 9
  • Mega Man 10
  • Mercury HG
  • Metro: Last Light – Complete Edition
  • Monster High: New Ghoul in School
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Moto GP 13
  • Motorcycle Club
  • Motorstorm RC Complete Edition
  • MotorStorm: Apocalypse
  • MouseCraft
  • MX vs. ATV Alive
  • MX vs. ATV Reflex
  • MX vs. ATV Supercross
  • MX vs. ATV: Untamed

N

  • Namco Museum Essentials
  • Narco Terror
  • NBA 2K14
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • Nights Into Dreams
  • Ninja Gaiden 3 (new)
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
  • Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel
  • Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence (new)
  • Numblast

O

  • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD
  • Of Orcs and Men™
  • Okabu
  • OlliOlli
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Order Up!!
  • Overlord 2
  • Overlord: Raising Hell

P

  • PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX
  • Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
  • Papo & Yo
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1
  • Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2
  • PID (Peculiar Destination)
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • PixelJunk Eden Encore
  • PixelJunk Monsters
  • PixelJunk Monsters Encore
  • PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap
  • PixelJunk Shooter
  • PixelJunk Shooter 2
  • PixelJunk Sidescroller
  • Piyotama
  • Planet Minigolf
  • Planets Under Attack
  • Poker Night 2
  • Port Royale 3: Gold
  • Proteus
  • Puppeteer
  • Pure Chess
  • Puzzle Agent

Q

  • Q*Bert: Rebooted
  • Quantum Theory (new)

R

  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic (Single Player Only)
  • Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
  • Raiden IV Overkill
  • Rain
  • Rainbow Moon
  • Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
  • Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty
  • Realms of Ancient War
  • Record of Agarest War
  • Record of Agarest War 2
  • Record of Agarest War Zero
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
  • Red Faction Battlegrounds
  • Red Faction: Guerilla
  • Red Johnson’s Chronicles: One Against All
  • Red Johson’s Chronicles
  • Renegade Ops
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Resident Evil Code Veronica X HD
  • Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City
  • Resident Evil Revelations
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2 Complete Season
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles HD
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles HD
  • Resistance 3
  • Retro City Rampage DX
  • Retrograde
  • Ricochet HD
  • Rio
  • Rise of the Argonauts
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords – Complete Edition
  • Rocket Knight
  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
  • Rotastic
  • Rugby 15
  • Rugby World Cup 2015
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny

S

  • Sacred 3: Gold Edition
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Saints Row 2
  • Saints Row IV
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
  • Sam & Max The Devil’s Playhouse
  • Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space
  • Samurai Showdown
  • Samurai Warriors 4 (new)
  • Savage Moon
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Shatter
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
  • Silent Hill HD Collection
  • Siren: Blood Curse Episodes 1-12
  • Skullgirls Encore
  • Sky Dive: Proximity Flight
  • Sky Fighter
  • Slender: The Arrival
  • Sly Cooper Collection
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Smash Cars
  • Snakeball
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype
  • Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II
  • Sound Shapes
  • Space Ace
  • Sparkle 2
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Spelunker HD
  • Spelunky
  • StarDrone
  • Starhawk
  • Star Raiders
  • Starwhal
  • Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark
  • Stick it to the Man
  • Street Fighter 3 Third-Strike Online Edition
  • Strider
  • Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People
  • Super Mega Baseball
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
  • Super Stacker Party
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
  • Swarm
  • Syberia
  • Syberia II

T

  • Tales from Space: About a Blob
  • Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack
  • Tales from the Borderlands: Episodes 1 & 2
  • Tales Of Monkey Island
  • Tales of Zestiria
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Tennis in the Face
  • The Awakened Fate Ultimatum
  • THE BACONING
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
  • The Darkness
  • The Darkness 2
  • The Guided Fate Paradox
  • The House of the Dead 3
  • The House of the Dead 4
  • The House of the Dead Overkill Extended Cut
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • The Last Guy
  • The Last of Us
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
  • The LEGO Movie Videogame
  • The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
  • The Swapper
  • The UnderGarden™
  • The Unfinished Swan
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two: Episodes 1 & 2
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
  • The Witch and the Hundred Knight
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Thomas was Alone
  • Titan Attacks!
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters
  • Tomb Raider Game of the Year Edition
  • Toy Home
  • Tour de France 2015
  • Toybox Turbos
  • Trash Panic
  • Trine
  • Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll
  • Truck Racer
  • Twisted Metal

U

  • Ultra Street Fighter IV
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Game of the Year Edition
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late
  • Urban Trial FreeStyle

V

  • Velocity Ultra
  • Vessel
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Voodoo Chronicles: The First Sign

W

  • Wakeboarding HD
  • Warhawk
  • Warlords
  • Warriors: Legends of Troy (new)
  • Warriors Orochi 3 (new)
  • Way of the Samurai 3
  • Way of the Samurai 4
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • When Vikings Attack
  • White Knight Chronicles
  • Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls
  • WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship
  • WRC 5: FIA World Rally Championship
  • WWE 2K15 (Single Player Only)

X

  • XBLAZE Code: Embryo
  • XCOM: Enemy Within

Y

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (new)

Z

  • Zack Zero
  • Zen Pinball 2: Zen Pinball Classics
  • Zeno Clash II
  • Zombie Tycoon II: Brainhov’s Revenge

 

PS4 Backwards Compatibility: PS2 Games on the PS4

Here are the games that you can download to your console and play using the PS2 emulator for PS4. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to expand on this list as Sony fills out its library.

  • ADK Damashii (Coming)
  • Alter Echo (Coming)
  • Ape Escape 2
  • Ape Escape 3 (Coming)
  • Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
  • Bully
  • Dark Chronicle
  • Dark Cloud
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Destroy All Humans! 2
  • Fahrenheit
  • FantaVision
  • Fu’un Super Combo
  • Grand Theft Auto 3
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (Coming)
  • Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland (Coming)
  • Hot Shots Tennis
  • Kinectica
  • The King of Fighters 2000
  • Legia 2: Duel Saga (Coming)
  • Manhunt
  • The Mark of Kri
  • Max Payne
  • Metal Slug Anthology
  • MX vs. ATV Unleashed (Coming)
  • MX vs ATV Untamed (Coming)
  • Okage: Shadow King
  • Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory (Coming)
  • PaRappa the Rapper 2
  • Primal
  • Psychonauts
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  • Red Dead Revolver
  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction 2 (Coming)
  • Rise of the Kassai
  • Rogue Galaxy
  • Samurai Galaxy
  • Samurai Shodown VI
  • Siren
  • Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
  • Star Wars: Racer Revenge
  • Stuntman: Ignition (Coming)
  • Summoner (Coming)
  • Summoner 2 (Coming)
  • Twisted Metal: Black
  • War of the Monsters
  • The Warriors
  • Wild Arms 3

Sony is always working to add more PS2 games to this list. Each is available for purchase within the PlayStation Network Store.

Good luck with your PS4. Though it’s a little complicated, there’s a lot to like about the way the PS4 Backwards Compatibility works.