Can You Play PlayStation 2 Games on a PlayStation 3 Console?

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By Valerie Becker

Are you wondering if you can play your old PlayStation 2 games on a PlayStation 3 console? The answer is not a straightforward one, as it largely depends on which model of the PlayStation 3 you have. Let’s dive into the details.

Backward Compatibility

One of the major selling points of the PlayStation 3 when it was first released in 2006 was its backward compatibility with PlayStation 2 games. This meant that gamers could enjoy their favorite PS2 titles on their shiny new PS3 consoles. However, not all models of the PS3 were created equal when it came to backward compatibility.

Early Models

The very first model of the PS3, known as the “20GB” or “60GB” model, had full backward compatibility with most PS2 titles. These models had hardware built-in that enabled them to play PS2 games natively. This means that they didn’t rely on software emulation to run older games – they could simply play them as if they were running on a PS2 console.

The next wave of PS3 models, known as the “80GB” and “160GB” models, also had some level of backward compatibility. However, these models relied on software emulation rather than hardware to run older games. This meant that not all PS2 titles would work perfectly – some might have glitches or frame rate issues.

Later Models

Later versions of the PS3, such as the “Slim” and “Super Slim” models released in 2009 and 2012 respectively, dropped backward compatibility altogether. These models were no longer able to play any PS2 games natively or through software emulation.

So What Does This Mean?

If you’re lucky enough to own one of the early “20GB” or “60GB” models of the PlayStation 3, then congratulations – you can play most PS2 games on your console with no issues! However, if you own a later model of the PS3, then you may be out of luck when it comes to playing older games.

But Wait, There’s More!

If you really want to play your old PS2 games on a newer PS3 console, all hope is not lost. Sony released a series of remastered collections for the PS3 that included updated versions of popular PS2 titles. These collections often included multiple games in one package and were optimized to run smoothly on the newer hardware.

Additionally, if you’re willing to put in some work, there are ways to mod your PS3 console to enable backward compatibility with older games. However, this can be a tricky and potentially risky process that may void your warranty or even break your console if done incorrectly.


In summary, whether or not you can play PlayStation 2 games on a PlayStation 3 console largely depends on which model of the PS3 you have. Early models had full backward compatibility with most PS2 titles, while later models dropped support altogether. However, there are still options available for playing older games on newer hardware if you’re willing to explore them.