Backward compatibility is a big selling point for any video game console, because being able to play your old games on a new system makes it more valuable. Before putting money into a system, it’s a good idea to find out if it can do this.
So, you might wonder if PS3 games can be played on a PS4. Let’s answer this question and examine your options.
Can the PS4 Play PS3 Games?
No, the PlayStation 4 cannot play PlayStation 3 games. This is the short answer. If you try to put a PS3 disc into a PS4, it won’t work. You also can’t get digital copies of PS3 games from the PlayStation Store and put them on your PS4. This is true for all PS4 models, including the slim PS4 and the PS4 Pro.
The PS3 and PS4 have different systems, so they can’t play each other’s games. This is the case in most cases where games can’t be played on both systems. The PS4 doesn’t have the same hardware as the PS3, so it can’t play PS3 games natively. Sony decided it wasn’t worth it to make a piece of software that could run the older games, so the PS4 can only play PS4 games. The PS4 can’t play PS2 discs or discs from the first PlayStation either.
Stream PS3 Titles on PS4 via PlayStation Plus Premium
In the middle of 2022, Sony stopped offering the PlayStation Now cloud gaming service and changed the PlayStation Plus tiers. Instead, the company puts the game streaming features that used to be part of PS Now into the PlayStation Plus Premium tier.
If you sign up for PS Plus Premium, you can stream a large number of games on your PS5, PS4, and Windows. The subscription lets you stream games for PS4, PS3, and PS2, so you can play some of the best games for the PS family without having to download anything. Because of the compatibility problems we talked about above, there is no way to install and play PS3 games locally.
If you want to play a lot of PS3 games on your PS4 for the least amount of money, the easiest way is to sign up for PS Plus Premium, as long as you have a stable network connection and don’t mind the upfront cost. At the time this was written, there were more than 350 PS3 games on the service. The exact number changes as games are added and taken away.
Find out more about PlayStation Plus by reading our overview.
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Play Remasters and Remakes of PS3 Games
Because there are so many remasters and remakes of video games coming out these days, you can often play games made for older systems that have been updated and put on a new console. Sometimes, a bunch of these games from the same series are put together in one package.
Below are a few examples of PS3 games you can play remastered on PS4:
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is a remaster of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, along with loads of DLC.
- The Last of Us Remastered is an enhanced version of the monumental PS3 title.
- BioShock: The Collection bundles in remasters of BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite.
Even though you’re playing a PS4 game and not a PS3 game, they’re basically the same games with a few minor changes. If you didn’t play the best PS3 games, but you have a PS4, try these.
Use Cross-Buy and Cross-Gen Offers
Cross-buy deals are the only other way you can play PS3 games on your PS4. When you buy one of these, you can play a game on more than one system. For example, if you bought Doki-Doki Universe for the PS3, you can play the PS4 version for free.
When the PS4 generation started, some games that could be played on both systems offered upgrades for a small fee. For example, if you bought Battlefield 4 for PS3, you could pay an extra $10 to switch to the PS4 version. The offer was activated by a code inside the physical copies of the games, while the next-gen versions were automatically discounted when digital copies were bought.
Check your PS4 game library to see if any of these are in there. Chances are that any codes have already run out, but digital offers might still be good.
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Workarounds to Play Your Favorite PS3 Games on PS4
Even though PS3 games don’t work directly on PS4, we’ve seen how to play them on PS4 in other ways. You can play many of the best PS3 games on your PS4, whether you sign up for PS Plus Premium or check out one of the many remasters.
Most PS4 games can be played on the PS5, which is a big plus. But it still can’t play PS3 games on their own.