One of the most useful features a gaming console can have is backwards compatibility. This is when a console allows you to play games from consoles in a previous generation. If a console supports this, it can allow you to consolidate the consoles you own, and save a lot of time instead of switching back and forth to play certain games.
The PS2 did this for PS1 games, and early versions of the PS3 were backwards compatible for PS2. Unfortunately, though, the PS4 doesn’t have this feature for any PS3 games. However, there are some workarounds to this that can allow you to play some PS3 games on your PS4.
The PS4 Pro and Slim editions are also not backwards compatible, but you should be able to use the same methods here to play some older Playstation games on them.
How To Play PS3 Games On Your PS4
Despite the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility, there is a way to play some PS3 games. Playstation has a service called Playstation Now that lets you download hundreds of games. It’s what is known as a cloud gaming service.
Cloud gaming is basically like a streaming service, but for games. You download the game and play them directly from servers, using an actual PS3 console there, and then the game footage is streamed to your console as a video. You will have to pay a subscription fee for Playstation Now, which is currently $9.99 in the US and $8.99 in the UK.
There are many PS3 games available on this service, and not only that, there are also some PS2 games to download. However, also like a streaming service, games may get rotated out.
There is also the option to buy games from the Playstation store to download and play on your PS4. Sony has remastered many PS3 titles so you can play them on the PS4, and additionally a good amount of PS2 games.
Why Can’t PS3 Discs Be Played On PS4?
This is because the Playstation 4’s system architecture is so vastly different from the PS3’s, making the PS4 backwards compatible nearly impossible. It doesn’t have the hardware to run the games the way they were programmed.
Due to this, the only way a PS4 could play PS3 games is if they were emulated, or in other words, the system would have to have a program that could imitate how the PS3 runs, in order to play its games. This ability, though, requires a lot of power on the console’s part, and would mean a whole lot of extra work.
The much easier route, which Sony chose, was to remake individual PS3 games entirely so they could be played on the new console. These were games like Skyrim, BioShock, Dark Souls, and more.
What Are The Best PS3 Games To Play On PS4?
Now that you know some different ways that you can play PS3 games, you might be wondering what games are actually available. This list is compiled of games you can either stream, or have been remastered for the PS4 itself.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim, since its release, has become an extremely popular game and it’s hard to find a console it’s not on. In 2016, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition was released on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
On PS4, it completely updates the PS3 version of the game with a graphical upgrade, as well as including all three of the original DLCs released. It also allows you to mod the game directly from the console.
In 2018, a remastered version of the acclaimed PS3 game Dark Souls was released for the PS4. This version completely updates the graphics and frame-rate of the original, giving it a 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and the PS4 Pro version also allows for 4K gameplay. They also changed the amount of friends you can play with in the Online mode, moving it up to 6.
This game became a classic on the PS3, so despite the PS4 not being backwards compatible, you can still play one of the biggest last gen games updated for the PS4.
The Last of Us
When released, this game became an instant hit on the PS3. With its emotional story, stunning visuals, and engaging gameplay, it’s definitely one game people would want to be able to play on an updated console.
This game was released as a remastered version for the PS4 in 2014. It includes graphics updates, faster frame-rates, and allows those with a PS4 Pro to play it in 4k. They also decided to incorporate more of the capabilities of the PS4’s controller into gameplay. It also gives you the DLC released for the original game, like Left Behind.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
Another game series to make it big on the PS3 was the Uncharted trilogy. They were games full of action and memorable storytelling. Thankfully, all three games were remastered for the PS4 so that you can enjoy the trilogy in its entirety with next-gen updates.
The games have been redesigned to run at 1080p and at 60 fps, and multiple other graphics upgrades. Some of the game’s mechanics were also tweaked in the remaster in order to create a more cohesive experience throughout the series. Whether you’ve already played them in their PS3 release or want to try them out for the first time, the PS4 remaster will definitely be satisfactory.