PS5 and Xbox Series X Backward Compatibility: What You Need to Know


PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S all play old games with a few limitations.

Dan Ackerman / CNET

Playing your old games on a next-generation console is a huge deal for people who want to check out titles they missed, or revisit the past. Sony and Microsoft knew this when they launched theirs PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X last year, both had hyped the backward compatibility features of their consoles. The latter even announced a new batch of old games it made it possible to play on Series X Monday.

The two companies have been battling other console manufacturers for decades – Sony since 1994 and Microsoft since 2001 – so they have both built magnificent back catalogs filled with classics. Let’s take a look at how much of each of these libraries you can play on the new consoles and how you can transfer your saves.


Your shiny new PS5 will play most PS4 games.

Dan Ackerman / CNET


That PS5, Which one starts at $ 400, was designed with PS4 games in mind, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told CNET June last year.

“PS4 titles will be even better on PS5. Selected PS4 titles will see increased loading speeds on the PS5 console and will also take advantage of Game Boost, which offers improved or more stable frame rates,” the company said in a blog post on October 9. “Some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher quality.”

Read more: PS5 Review: Sony built a space-age gaming console for your next-generation dreams

god of war

God of War will look and play better on the PS5 thanks to an optimization patch.

Sony Santa Monica

The ghost of Tsushima develops Sucker Punch gave us a feel of how Game Boost works: When enabled, you will “see an additional option to allow frame rates up to 60fps.”

For 2018 god of war, developer Sony Santa Monica released a PS5 optimization patch on February 2nd. Once installed, you will be able to play in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second.

The company also released a short list of PS4 games that cannot be played on PS5:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma bind 1
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just deal with it!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

It noted that these games will carry a “Playable on: PS4 only” warning in PlayStation Store so you do not download them accidentally.

On October 30, Ubisoft released a separate list of PS4 games that do not work on PS5. The most prominent was Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate from 2015. It later pulled that blog post and told IGN that it may have included “inaccuracies involving the Ubisoft titles that will be playable on PS5.” Players have since reported that Syndicate is playable, with some strange graphical errors.

Switching from rotating hard drive to solid-state storage will make them run faster than they did on the PS4, so you will not stare into the abyss of the loading screen for very long. I timed how long Ghost of Tsushima took from startup to gameplay on each system; my launch on PS4 took 1 minute and 40 seconds, on PS5 it took exactly 1 minute.

If you subscribe to PS more, Sony’s $ 60 per year online service, you get a selection of PS4 games to play at no extra cost through PS5 only More collection from November 12 (you also get free PS5 and PS4 games every month).

First-party games


Batman: Arkham Knight is part of the PS5’s Plus Collection.

Warner Bros.

Third Party Games

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane trilogy
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy 15 Royal Edition
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Person 5
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard

You can use your current DualShock 4 controller to play these PS4 games, but you will have to use new DualSense for PS5 games. And PS5 will not be backwards compatible with PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.

Transfer of savings

It’s possible to continue your PS4 adventures on the new console, and Sony has confirmed a few methods to transfer your saves.

“You can transfer digital games, game data and game storage from a PS4 console to a PS5 console using LAN cables or by connecting wirelessly (Wi-Fi). If you have already stored PS4 games and game data in it external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with the external USB storage device, “the company said in a blog post on October 9th. “And if you’re a PS Plus member, you can also sync PS4 game savings on PS5 through cloud storage.”

The cloud storage method is the simplest approach, but it is a bit cumbersome. You need to make sure the latest storage is backed up to the cloud from your PS4 and manually download it to your PS5 – hopefully a future update will get the PS5 to automatically detect and download cloud storage once a game is installed.

However, it warned that the ability to transfer game storage between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is up to the developer, and it will vary with games across gen. It is highly unlikely that any developer will decide not to give you the power to transfer. Until now, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are confirmed to have saved downloads if you upgrade to the PS5 versions.

Playstation 3

You may want to stick to your PS3 to play games from its library.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Are you revisiting PlayStation’s past?

If you want to play the dusty old original PlayStation, PS2 or PS3 discs, you’re unlucky. Sony moved away from backward compatibility after the first batch of PS3s, and the PS4 could not play any games from the older consoles – so the 2008 copy of Metal Gear Solid 4 stays on your shelf until the world gets cold. This is also the case on PS5.

However, there are a few ways to access old games on PS5. There is a selection of PS2 classics you can buy on PlayStation Network and Sony $ 9.99 a month PS now the streaming service gives you access to a massive library of PS2 and PS3 titles (along with a rotating selection of PS4 games – these can be downloaded to your console). These games can be played on PS5.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to access the huge library of original PlayStation, PSP or PS Vita games without tracing the old hardware or a mini console. Your options for playing classic games on PS3, PSP or Vita will soon be even more limited as Sony is it shuts down PSN Store for these devices this summer.

Read more: Game Subscription Services: Read this before choosing one


Xbox Series X and Series S are backward compatible with games from all of Microsoft’s previous consoles, but not all such titles.

Xbox Series X and Series S

Microsoft has been more ambitious with backward compatibility. That $ 499 Xbox Series X and 299 $ Series S play original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games. It’s four generations of games that stretch back to first console launch in 2001.

But that does not include literally everything. Microsoft has one comprehensive list of the games playing on their new consoles. And titles that require them to be discontinued Kinect motion sensor will not work at all.

To celebrate 20 years anniversary of the original Xbox on November 15, the company added more than 70 games to its backward compatibility catalog. However, it noted that this would be the last batch of old games it would make playable on its new consoles.

Old games get a visual boost on Series X and Series S, e.g. high dynamic range graphics. The hardware of the new consoles can also reduce the loading time of the game and increase the frame rate. It also offers the Quick Resume feature.

Read more: Xbox Series S News In Stock

It also made more Xbox and Xbox 360 games available through Xbox Cloud Gaming, meaning Xbox Game Pass subscribers can play them on an Android device.


Your Xbox 360 is largely irrelevant thanks to Series X’s ability to play old games.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Save downloads

This is incredibly straightforward because Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system lets you transfer saved files from any Xbox Series X-compatible game.

“As was the case with our current backwards-compatible titles, you also do not have to worry about losing progress,” the company said in a blog post on June 15. “Thanks to our commitment to intergenerational compatibility, you can be sure that when you purchase a game on Xbox One today, your game library, progression, and entire game heritage will move forward with you if you jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X. ”

If you still have the 360 ​​games you want to access, you can transfer to Xbox Series X by uploading it to the cloud. You can not use this method to transfer saves from original Xbox games to Series X, so you will have to start it Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic play through from scratch.

Maximize your Xbox library

Microsoft also has a subscription service, the $ 10 a month Xbox Game Passthat gives you access to one rotating library of older games. New Xbox exclusives are also being launched on the service, giving you Halo Infinite and other upcoming games the day they become available. The $ 15 Game Pass Ultimate option will also give you access Xbox Cloud Gaming, EA Play games and the ability to play many titles on PC.

Unlike the PS5, you have plenty of controller options no matter what generation of games you play – Series X and Series S controllers are compatible with Xbox One games, the Xbox One console itself, and PCs. You can also use your Xbox One controllers on your Series X and Series S.

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