Xbox Series X/S Can Play PS2 Games

A Weird Way to Play

If the Xbox Series X/S has a significant edge over the PS5, it’s in backwards compatibility. PlayStation hasn’t featured naive backwards compatibility since (some models) of the PS3, which means that although there’s a growing catalog of legacy titles available on PlayStation Plus or PlayStation Now, there’s still many classic titles that have seemingly been abandoned, leaving players to turn to emulators to replay – or play for the first time – some classic titles.

Some games get even unluckier, as the code doesn’t lend itself to emulation; even a top of the range gaming PC might have trouble with a title like Shadow Hearts, as the game will routinely slow down, stutter, or freeze – not ideal by any means, but especially painful for a game which features so many skill checks.

Don’t worry though, as a few retro gaming junkies have found that the Xbox Series X/S Developer mode lets it play PS2 games – although this does come with a hefty “but”. Using the developer mode to emulate PS2 games may break Xbox’s terms and conditions so, for example, if you brick your console, you might not be able to repair it under warranty.

We also don’t know the extent of the system’s power. Dev mode specifically lets you use the RetroArch emulator – a free, OpenSource and Cross-Platform emulator, but we’ve ultimately only seen a handful of titles (like God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, and Godhand).


Again, this is a risky procedure, and it’s always safer to buy a used PS2 to play games which haven’t been ported to more recent consoles. We can’t condone breaking a console’s terms and conditions, but it’s certainly interesting that the newer generation of Xbox consoles is better at playing PS2 games than the PS5.

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