HomeHow ToHow to Play PS3 Games on PS4 | PS Now, Backwards Compatibility

How to Play PS3 Games on PS4 | PS Now, Backwards Compatibility


Key Takeaways
  • PS4 lacks native backward compatibility for PS3 games, but there are ways to play them
  • Method 1: Use PS Now to stream PS3 games on PS4 with a subscription and stable internet
  • Method 2: Play remastered versions of select PS3 games on PS4 with their physical copies, offering improved graphics and gameplay

Although the PlayStation 4 (PS4) is an extremely popular video game console, it has no native backward compatibility with PlayStation 3 (PS3) games. It is still possible to play PS3 games on the PS4. Throughout this article, we’ll explain how to play PS3 games on the PS4 and what backward compatibility means.

How to Play PS3 Games on PS4 | PS Now, Backwards Compatibility

Can You Play PS3 Games on PS4?

There is no native backward compatibility between the PS4 and PS3 games, which means games from the PS3 cannot be directly played on the PS4. You can still play PS3 games on the PS4 in a few ways, including:

Method 1: PS Now

PS Now

Through PlayStation Now (PS Now), you can play PS3 games on the PS4. The PS Now service is a cloud-based service that lets you stream PS3 and other games to your PS4. PS Now subscriptions and stable internet connections are required for this method to work. PS3 games can be played on PS4 with PS Now by following these steps:

  1. Visit the PlayStation Store and select PS Now from the menu.
  2. Open your PS4’s PS Now app.
  3. Browse the PlayStation 3 games available and choose one to play.
  4. You can now start playing the game.

Playing PS3 games on the PS4 is made easier by PS Now, which gives you access to an extensive collection of games, allows you to play them instantly, and eliminates the need for physical copies.

Method 2: Physical Copies

Physical Copies

To play PS3 games on the PS4, you can either use physical copies or scan the discs. PlayStation 3 games have been re-released as PS4 remastered versions, which are fully compatible with the console. You can play these games on the PS4 by inserting their physical copy into the console. Here are a few PS3 games that have been remastered as PS4 versions:

  • The Last of Us
  • God of War III
  • Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection

In addition to being able to play PS3 games remastered on PS4 without a PS Now subscription or internet connection, using physical copies of PS3 games offers improved graphics, sound, and gameplay, and no need for a PS Now subscription.

In contrast, not all PS3 games are re-released for the PlayStation 4, so you’ll need to purchase physical copies of the titles you want to play.

Some Frequently Asked Questions — FAQs

What is Backward Compatibility in Consoles?

What is Backward Compatibility in Consoles?

It refers to a console’s ability to play games designed for an earlier generation of the console’s backward compatibility. In other words, a backward-compatible console can play games that were originally released for older consoles.

There have been many video game consoles with backward compatibility over the years, including the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It is important to note that not all video game consoles provide backward compatibility, and the degree of compatibility varies from console to console.

With the Xbox One, you can play a limited selection of Xbox 360 games, while with the PlayStation 4, you can play some PS3 games you’ve already played or remastered versions of them.

In addition to allowing gamers to play their favorite games from previous generations on a new console, backward compatibility is beneficial for developers. Furthermore, it can be a valuable tool for preserving the legacy of old games and making them available for new generations of gamers to enjoy.

Despite this, backward compatibility also has some limitations and challenges. Depending on the newer console’s hardware, some games may not function properly on the newer hardware and may not emulate the older console’s experience. It is also costly and time-consuming for developers to implement backward compatibility, which may restrict the number of compatible games.

What happens when you insert a PS3 disc into a PS4?

Since PS4 discs are not compatible with PS3s, when you insert a PS3 disc into a PS4, the PS4 cannot play the game. PS4 games cannot be played directly on the PS4 with physical discs since the PS4 does not support native backward compatibility with PS3 games.

While some PS3 games have been re-released as remastered PS4 versions, which can be played on the PS4 with physical copies, as mentioned in the previous article, some PS3 games have also been re-released as remastered versions for the PS4.

Why can’t PS4 play PS3 games?

Why can't PS4 play PS3 games?

There is a technical difference between the PS4 and PS3 in terms of hardware architecture and software compatibility. In order for the PS4 to run PS3 games natively, it must use hardware and operating systems that are different from the PS3.

Additionally, existing PS3 games that were designed for different hardware specifications may not run properly on the PS4. The PS4 uses an advanced and efficient hardware architecture.

In addition, the PS4 can’t render or process the graphics and gameplay mechanics of PS3 games due to its different GPU and CPU architecture compared to the PS3, which means that PS4 games may not work properly on the PS4.

Aside from that, the PS4 does not support PS3 games without additional software and hardware support due to its different operating system and software architecture.

Should I pay again for my PS3 games?

There is no need for you to pay again for PS3 games that you have already purchased. On the PlayStation Store, you can re-download some PS3 games to play them on your PS3 or PS4. It depends on the PlayStation Store’s terms and conditions whether you will need to pay a fee to re-download the games.


To summarize, PS3 games on the PS4 can be played with either the PS Now service or physical copies. It’s important to choose the right method for you, since each method has its own downsides and benefits. You can access a vast library of games with PS Now, but you need an active internet connection and a subscription.

When you purchase physical copies, you will have access to remastered versions of the games, but you will need to purchase physical copies of the games you intend to play. There are several ways you can play PS3 games on the PS4, but in either case, it’s a great way to enjoy classic games with a modern console.


Daniel Carver
Daniel Carverhttps://itechhacks.com/
Daniel is a senior content writer at the iTech Hacks. He's having 8 years of experience in Technology and troubleshooting topics. Coming from a background of engineering, you will often see his writing stuff related to How To's, Android, and iOS.


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