Best gaming TVs Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best gaming TVs you can buy in 2022.
If you want to amp up your favourite video game, it's worth splashing out on a bigger, brighter TV, and one with deeper blacks that will immerse you in the action.
Before we get into our full list of the best gaming TVs, it's worth going over what makes a great gaming TV and explaining what the acronyms you'll see in the spec lists actually mean. That said, if you already know all of that stuff (or simply don't care) click here to get straight to the best gaming TVs you can buy.
How to choose the best gaming TV for you
There's a huge amount to consider when choosing a gaming TV, to the extent that you'll find a very long explainer at the bottom of this page (to jump straight to that, click here), but here's a slightly more condensed version.
The most crucial factors at play are which console you play games on and to what extent you want to take advantage of its most advanced features.
(If you're unsure what the acronyms below mean, click the links or scroll to the bottom of the page for more information)
The Xbox Series X (and, to an extent, its sibling the Series S) is the most advanced of the consoles, thanks to its support for 4K/120Hz gaming, Dolby Vision gaming, VRR, ALLM and HGiG. A TV that supports only some or none of these can still be great for gaming, but if you want to be at the bleeding edge of gaming tech, these are the specs to look for in a gaming TV. 4K/120Hz can even give you a competitive advantage in games that support it.
The PS5 also supports 4K/120Hz gaming, ALLM, HGiG and, thanks to a recent update, VRR. Dolby Vision gaming isn't supported and there's no indication that it will be added, so you don't need to worry about that.
With gaming PCs things are much more complicated. Many of the technologies mentioned above are supported by some graphics cards but you also have even higher refresh rates, custom resolutions and ultra-widescreen ratios to consider, which is why many PC gamers prefer monitors to TVs. This guide is primarily aimed at console gamers.
If you're using an older console or a Nintendo Switch, almost any modern 4K HDR TV will have the specs to make it sing (though the Xbox One X and One S do support VRR, which is less common), but with all consoles you should be looking for a TV with low input lag, which dictates how long it takes for your button presses to be reflected as on-screen actions.
Finally but very importantly, you also want a TV with excellent core picture quality: sharp, bright, with excellent blacks and vibrant, accurate colours. Arguably, those elements are more important than the specs mentioned above, which should really be considered the icing on the cake.
The best gaming TVs you can buy
While there are certainly reasons that you might want to opt for a rival, LG's OLEDs have been the go-to premium TV of choice for most people for years now. That means there's huge anticipation for each year's new models – particularly those in the C-series, which have typically been the sweet spot between performance, features and price.
That said, last year saw a picture quality gap emerge between the C-series and the brighter G-series. There’s a gap this year, too; this year’s C2 has the ‘Brightness Booster’ technology of last year’s G1, while the new G2 takes things to ‘Brightness Booster Max’ levels.
Having put both the G2 and C2 through their paces, we’re happy to proclaim that while the G2 certainly justifies its position at the top of LG’s 2022 OLED range, the C2 is still the model that most people should buy.
While not as bright as the G2, the new C2 is brighter than all of last year's LG OLEDs. There’s noticeably more punch to the whole image, which pops much more effectively, and there’s significantly greater contrast and dark detail – all excellent upgrades for gaming. Crucially, there’s no down side, either. There’s nothing artificial to the image – it’s lifted, but naturally, with no detriment to the colours or black depth.
The C2’s punchier, more attacking audio delivery is a definite improvement over the C1, too, although there’s also a slight rattle from the speaker cabinet when the set is challenged by very deep bass, which is a bit of a shame.
As is now expected of LG's premium OLEDs, the feature set is practically flawless, particularly where next-gen gaming is concerned. 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM are supported over all four of the Set's HDMI 2.1 sockets, which are rated to 48Gbps, and there's an HGiG setting and Dolby Vision game mode.
Those with seriously discerning tastes and the budget with which to satisfy them will find it worth levelling up to the G2, but the C2 is the current performance-per-pound champ of 2022.
Read the full LG OLED65C2 review
If you're looking for a much more affordable and much more compact LG OLED, the 48-inch version of 2021's C1 is the way to go.
Like the C2 above, it boasts four HDMI 2.1 sockets with support for eARC, 4K/120hz, ALLM and VRR. VRR is supported in all three current formats, the most important HDMI VRR format, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync Premium. HGiG and Dolby Vision gaming are supported, too, and while its HDMI 2.1 sockets are 'only' rated to 40Gbps, no current console demands more than that anyway.
The dedicated Game Optimiser menu gives you quick access to all of those game-related settings as well as features that adjust gaming picture performance, either based on the genre of the game you’re playing or through manual tweaking of the detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the picture.
In short, only the newer C2 and G2 are better-specified gaming TVs, and even then it's not by much, so the C1 is well worth picking up while it's discounted and before stock runs out.
We've tested the C1 in its 48-inch and 65-inch sizes, and you can read full reviews of both TVs by clicking the links below.
Read the full LG OLED48C1 review
Read the full LG OLED65C1 review
LG's OLEDs have been the go-to choice for gamers for a few years now (its dominance of this list is no accident), and the new G2 is simply the best yet.
The big news is that this is the brightest OLED that LG has ever produced, thanks to a combination of OLED Evo technology and a new heat sink element that allows the panel to be driven even harder than before. The extra punch is transformative, making all content (including games) pop from the screen in glorious fashion. Thankfully, black depth hasn't been sacrificed, so overall contrast is astonishing, and in fact there's been an uptick in shadow detail, which not only makes the picture more authentic, it also makes for fewer surprises in online deathmatches.
The overall gaming spec is unbeatable, too. LG's TVs are unique in supporting Dolby Vision gaming right up to 120Hz, while all four of its HDMI inputs are rated to the maximum 48Gbps and support 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. There's also an effective HGiG setting for more accurate HDR tone mapping, and we measured input lag at a lightning-fast 9.4ms.
The only downsides to the G2 are its premium price, lack of a bundled stand (it's primarily designed to be wall-mounted) and that it's not available in sizes below 55 inches (we tested the 65-inch version), all of which makes the C2 the more sensible choice for most people. If you've got the money to stretch to the very best, though, this is it.
Read the full LG OLED65G2 review
While it's not up there with the OLEDs and QLEDs on this list, Samsung's AU9000 LCD model is a great choice for gamers on a budget.
Unlike the cheaper AU models, the AU9000’s three HDMIs support both VRR and 120Hz signals. This instantly makes the UE50AU9000 a much more compelling option as a monitor for a PS5, Xbox Series X or a PC with a new high-end Nvidia or AMD graphics card – even though the 120Hz support can only be sustained at 1080p resolutions rather than 4K.
The gaming features don’t stop there, either. There’s also support for ALLM, and input lag with Game mode activated is a minuscule 9.2ms. You can call up a handy Game Bar display that shows you at a glance what graphics features a game is using.
What’s more, in keeping with Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs, the 50AU9000 can support playback in 32:9 ratio from PC games that support this super-wide format.
Its brightness and rich but controlled colours play beautifully with the spectacular 4K HDR graphics capabilities of the latest gaming machines, while the support for higher and variable refresh rates joins forces with the exceptionally low input lag to contribute to a fantastically immediate and immersive experience. Deeper blacks would be nice, though.
Read the full Samsung UE50AU9000 review
LG's first 'OLED Evo' TV, 2021's G1 is still an excellent buy even though it's now been slightly overshadowed by the new G2 (and, to a lesser extent, the C2).
So, it's not as bright as the new G2, but it's still very bright by OLED standards, not to mention terrifically sharp and detailed.
It's also got all of the gaming features we've come to expect from LG OLEDs: four 40gbps HDMI 2.1 sockets with support for 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM (plus eARC); an HGiG mode for more accurate contrast with HDR games; a sub-13ms input lag; and a Game Optimiser menu that allows for more game-related fine-tuning and puts all options at your fingertips.
Sound is less strong, but if you were always planning to combine your new TV with a separate sound system and the wall-mount design works for you (a tabletop stand is an optional extra), the G1 should be seriously considered while it's discounted and still available.
Read the full LG OLED65G1 review
2021 was very much the year of Mini LED, and Samsung went bigger on this new backlighting technology than anyone else.
The company has developed its own Mini LEDs, which are just one-fortieth the size of traditional backlight LEDs, and combined them with its existing Quantum Dot tech to create a range of premium TVs that it calls Neo QLEDs. The QE65QN95A is the first Neo QLED we tested, and Samsung's current flagship 4K set – at least until the new QN95B hits shops.
In real-world performance terms, Mini LED might not quite be the revolution that Samsung is pitching it as, but it is still a substantial upgrade to an already excellent range of TVs. The overall contrast offered is staggering, and the QN95A combines near-OLED black levels with awesomely crisp white highlights and fabulously vibrant colours, all while retaining an effortless sense of naturalism.
On the gaming front, all four of the QN95A's HDMIs support ALLM, 4K@120Hz and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). And VRR is supported in all three of the formats currently available: standard HDMI VRR, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync (this was the first TV to be FreeSync Premium Pro-certified, in fact).
Samsung's also created the 'Game Bar' – a pop-up menu that gives you quick access to various game-related features and delivers live information on the signal being received, including the VRR format and frame rate. Input lag, meanwhile, has been reduced to under 10ms, which is entirely imperceptible. If you don’t mind sacrificing a little of that speed, you can enable some gaming-specific motion smoothing, although we don’t find that necessary during testing.
Finally, on the gaming front, the HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) setting that was added to Samsung’s 2020 QLEDs via a software update late last year is also present on the QN95A. This is well worth using in conjunction with your console’s HDR calibration settings as it results in a more accurate picture with deeper blacks and more detailed highlights.
All told, games absolutely pop when played on the QN95A, and performance is lightning-fast and super-slick. Throw in the best, most app-packed operating system in the business and this is (a lack of Dolby Vision support aside) as complete a package as can be imagined.
And if you can live with just one HDMI 2.1 socket, check out our review of the QE65QN94A, which lacks the QN95A's One Connect box but otherwise boasts the same feature set and performance.
Read the full Samsung QE65QN95A review
Read the full Samsung QE65QN94A review
While Philips' 2020 OLEDs were brilliant for movies and TV, they were sadly lacking next-gen gaming features. That's not the case with 2021's OLED806, which has two full-fat 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 sockets that support 4K@120Hz, VRR in all of its current forms, and ALLM, making this a very well-specified gaming TV. The very low input lag of around 14ms certainly helps matters, too, as does the HGiG mode, which broadly results in more accurate tone mapping of HDR games.
The only gaming spec of note that's missing is support for 4K@120Hz with Dolby Vision, but Dolby Vision gaming is at least supported up to 60Hz.
One other thing to bear in mind is that one of the two HDMI 2.1 sockets is also the one that handles eARC, which means that if you have two HDMI 2.1 sources (an Xbox Series X and PS5 or a high-end gaming PC), you’re not also going to be able to send sound via eARC to a soundbar or AV amplifier. This is a limitation of all TVs that we’ve tested that have two HDMI 2.1 sockets and, unlike those others, Philips does somewhat mitigate the issue by supporting standard ARC via its other three HDMI sockets. This won’t get you lossless, TrueHD Dolby Atmos, but it will get you Atmos in the Dolby Digital+ format, and we doubt that many will hear much of a difference.
In terms of the overall performance, the OLED806 is a stunner. Sharper and punchier than rival OLEDs, with a vibrant approach that suits games without over-cooking them. Sound is good by TV standards, too, and the gorgeous Ambilight technology adds an extra dose of the spectacular to everything you play and watch.
We've tested the OLED806 in its 48-inch and 65-inch sizes. You can read both reviews by clicking below.
Read the full Philips 48OLED806 review
Read the full Philips 65OLED806 review
QD-OLED, which is (broadly speaking) designed to blend the best qualities of both OLED and QLED, is finally here in the form of Sony’s A95K.
OLED has become the premium TV technology of choice thanks to its perfect blacks, pixel-level contrast control, near-perfect viewing angles, super-thin designs and increasingly aggressive pricing, and QD-OLED is expected to overcome its main limitation – brightness.
If you’re therefore expecting the A95K to be vastly brighter than the best standard OLED TVs, you might be slightly disappointed. Side-by-side with LG's G2 (the brightest standard OLED currently available) there's little to choose between the two in terms of peak brightness.
But while the A95K isn't brighter than the brightest traditional OLED TV, it does deliver better bright highlights with subtle shades and colours that its non-QD-OLED rivals miss.
In less cultured hands, the added colour vibrancy of QD-OLED’s Quantum Dots could lead to exaggerated vibrancy, but Sony’s careful, authenticity-led approach means the A95K is balanced and natural, and the fine detail, sharpness and three-dimensionality that its flagship 2021 OLEDs exhibited remains.
The bundled Bravia CAM – a camera that magnetically attaches to the rear of the set and peeks over the top of the screen – isn't terribly useful now and possibly never will be, but for picture quality the A95K is a star. It sounds great by TV standards too, thanks to its bespoke Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which utilises actuators that imperceptibly vibrate the whole screen to make sound.
In short, for movies and TV shows, in SDR and HDR and at all resolutions, the Sony A95K is exceptional. However, hardcore gamers, particularly those on Xbox Series X, will still be better served by an LG C-series or G-series TV, as these have more HDMI 2.1 sockets, a Dolby Vision game mode and an HGiG setting. If you can live without those slight feature gaps though, the A95K is a great choice.
Read the full Sony XR-55A95K review
Just because a TV is small by today’s increasingly expansive standards doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The 50-inch Samsung QE50QN90A is a case in point: here we have a relatively diminutive screen that throws everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at delivering a premium picture and sound performance to rival the best that its much bigger brethren have to offer.
For starters, this is a Neo QLED model, which means it combines Quantum Dots with a Mini LED backlight. This results in a supremely bright and vibrant picture with truly excellent contrast – that's a particularly tasty combination for gaming. While only one of the HDMIs is 2.1-certified (LG's 48-inch C1 has four HDMI 2.1 sockets), it does support all of the key gaming technologies, including 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM, and there's an HGiG mode for more accurate HDR tone mapping. There's no Dolby Vision gaming, of course, as Samsung TVs don't support Dolby Vision in any form.
Images look exceptionally detailed and crisp with both video and gaming sources, fully selling the screen’s native 4K resolution despite the relatively small 50-inch screen size, and the sound is good, too, with good punch and weight.
This is a great buy if you want a premium gaming experience at a smaller size, but do also check out the LG OLED48C1 above.
Those looking for a larger screen might be interested to read that the QN90A is available in a wide variety of sizes, but be aware that these all appear to use a different panel type (IPS rather than the 50-inch model's VA), so performance may well vary.
Read the full Samsung QE50QN90A review
You certainly don't need an 8K TV for gaming, what with there being no 8K games or even consoles out there, but the extra resolution does actually help when you get into very large screen sizes. That's because it increases pixel density which, when combined with excellent upscaling such as that of the QN900A, results in a sharper, crisper picture than you get from similarly sized 4K models.
The QN900A also boasts all of Samsung's top gaming tech. All four of its One Connect box's HDMIs are 2.1-certified, with full support for ALLM, 4K@120Hz and VRR. There's an HGIG setting, too. A lack of Dolby Vision is the only disappointing omission.
Samsung's also created the 'Game Bar' – a pop-up menu that gives you quick access to various game-related features and delivers live information on the signal being received, including the VRR format and frame rate. Input lag is astonishingly low – low enough, in fact, that you can afford to sacrifice a few milliseconds to enable some gaming-specific motion smoothing, should you so wish.
To top it all off, this is one of Samsung's Mini LED-backlit Neo QLED models. It goes brilliantly bright and, thanks to thousands of individual zones, has excellent contrast, too. If that makes it sound like a bit of a blunt instrument, the opposite is actually true – the QN900A is just as capable of delivering nuance and subtlety as it is awesome punch and vibrancy. This is a truly exceptional TV that will reward those willing to sacrifice the money and space.
Read the full Samsung QE75QN900A review
The A80J might well be the best performance-per-pound TV that Sony has ever produced, boasting most of the brilliance of the flagship A90J at a much lower price. It's actually better than the LGs and Samsungs in this list when it comes to watching movies and TV shows, and only ends up below them in this list because it's slightly behind in terms of next-gen gaming specs.
The good news is that the A80J does have HDMI 2.1 sockets that support 4K@120Hz, ALLM and (thanks to a firmware update delivered in early 2022) VRR, but there are only two of them and one of them also handles eARC/ARC, potentially limiting you to connecting just one HDMI 2.1 source if you need to use the other for your sound system.
HGiG is missing, too, and there's no Dolby Vision game mode despite the set supporting Dolby Vision for movies and TV shows. You can still game in Dolby Vision if you wish, but input lag will be very high.
Finally, while the A80J's 4K@120Hz feature works fine with a PS5, during testing it caused problems with an Xbox Series X if Dolby Atmos sound was also enabled. With an LG OLED, you don’t have any of these limitations or foibles – everything simply works.
Plenty of caveats, then, but none that should be of concern to PS5 gamers, and the A80J's superb picture and sound performance translates very well indeed to 4K and HD games.
Read the full Sony XR-55A80J review
The X90J’s pictures aren’t exactly shy and retiring – and that’s fine by us. Exceptional amounts of brightness make it onto the screen with startling consistency, delivering some of the most flat-out punchy and bright HDR pictures we’ve ever seen on a 50-inch TV.
It’s not just brightness for brightness sake, either. Sony is unashamedly using it to deliver as uncompromising an HDR experience as it can within its backlight limitations. So daylight HDR scenes look more natural and realistically bright by far than they do on any other current TV in its size and class.
Even more impressively, the XR-50X90J has enough headroom with its brightness to ensure that the brightest highlights of already bright HDR images enjoy that extra step up in intensity that usually only the most premium TVs provide.
The price you pay for this superb brightness is slightly elevated black levels and occasional backlight blooming, but neither issue is a huge deal-breaker, and you can also add excellent motion processing, natural colours and decently dynamic sound to the list of the Sony's strong points.
It's also got two HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K at 120Hz, ALLM and (since early 2022) VRR, making it a good option for next-gen gamers. There's no HGiG support or Dolby Vision game mode, but that won't be of concern to PS5 gamers.
As well as the 50-inch model, we've also tested the X90J at 65 inches, and that's a very solid gaming TV, too. You can read the full reviews of both models by clicking below.
Read the full Sony XR-50X90J review
Read the full Sony XR-65X90J review
How we test
How we test gaming TVs
To put it plainly, manufacturers aren't always as honest or forthcoming about gaming specs as they might be, so we ensure that we test every TV to find out whether it supports the next-gen specs we're looking for and whether it does so properly and effectively. We also measure input lag ourselves and don't simply reprint the figure given by the manufacturer.
But specs only tell half the story, so we also test each TV's real-life performance with a number of games from a number of genres, on both the Xbox Series X and the PS5. Here, we're not only making sure that the TV lives up to its spec sheet, but also that it delivers the core picture quality we're looking for, from sharpness to responsiveness, contrast to colour vibrancy.
We're also testing the sound here: while most gamers will (and should) connect their TV to a dedicated sound system (such as a soundbar) or their console to a gaming headset, there are those who will rely on the in-built speakers, so we need to ensure those deliver a clear, spacious and engaging sound.
All of our testing is comparative, so every gaming TV is compared side-by-side with the best gaming TV at its size and price, and every test we conduct is collaborative, so no one member of the What Hi-Fi? team rates a product in isolation. The end result is a completely unbiased, exhaustively thorough review.
How to choose the best gaming TV
Important gaming TV features to look out for
Broadly speaking, a TV that's great for TV and movies should also be great for games but, if you're looking for the very best TV for gaming, there are a few gaming-specific features to look out for, particularly if you've got or are planning to get a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
The big one is input lag, which tells you how long your gamepad button presses will take to appear as on-screen actions. Lower is better, but anything below 40ms will be imperceptible to almost all gamers, and 20ms or less is lightning-fast.
There are now a number of next-gen gaming features to look out for, too – Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and 4K/120Hz are all part of the HDMI 2.1 spec but, somewhat confusingly, aren't all necessarily supported by a TV even if it has HDMI 2.1 sockets. There are also plenty of TVs that will support some of these features even though they're HDMIs are certified as 2.0. In short, you need to check which specific next-gen gaming features are supported by the particular TV in question.
VRR matches the TV's refresh rate to the frame rate being output by the console in real-time, resulting in a smoother, faster gaming experience. The Xbox Series X, Series S, One X and One S (and certain PCs) can all output VRR, and it's even now supported by the PS5 thanks to an April 2022 software update.
ALLM is simpler: it just means that your TV will automatically switch to its 'game mode' to reduce input lag when it senses a game signal from your games console. It's also intelligent enough to switch game mode off again if you play a movie or TV show via your console, using the Netflix app, for example. This is a feature of both the Xbox Series X and the PS5.
4K/120Hz has suddenly become a big deal, too, as both the PS5 and Xbox Series X support it. Put simply, this allows a TV to handle 4K games at frame rates of up to 120fps. There aren't that many TVs around that can do this (most are limited to 60Hz), particularly below 55 inches, but there are some and you can expect the number to grow significantly in 2022.
Microsoft has recently upped the ante further by introducing Dolby Vision gaming, right up to 4K/120Hz. Most TVs that support Dolby Vision for movies and TV shows should support gaming in Dolby Vision, but very few will do so at 4K/120Hz and some (including Sony) lack a dedicated Dolby Vision Game mode, and that can have a big impact on input lag. With those TVs you're best off sticking with standard HDR rather than the more advanced Dolby Vision format.
On the subject of HDR, it's also now worth looking out for HGiG. Rather than a fixed standard or certification, HGiG (which stands for HDR Gaming Interest Group) is a consortium of companies that have come together in order to create guidelines and best practices for the implementation of HDR in gaming. Console-makers Microsoft and Sony instigated the creation of HGiG, and members include TV manufacturers such as LG, Samsung and Panasonic, and game developers and publishers such as Activision, EA, Rockstar and Ubisoft.
Put simply, the aim of HGiG is that each game is tailored to the specific capabilities of your TV without the need for endless calibration screens. Samsung, LG and Philips have added HGiG settings to their top sets, and they generally result in a more accurate HDR picture with deeper blacks and more detailed highlights.
General qualities that translate well for gaming
Those specific gaming features are all well and good, but focusing on specs alone really isn't wise: your new TV also needs a broad range of core skills. For example, it needs to have the punch and vibrancy to do justice to brighter, flashier games such as Astro's Playroom, but also a natural balance that doesn't oversaturate tonally subtler blockbusters such as Elden Ring.
Black depth is important for delivering drama, too, but you want to be able to see plenty of detail in shadows, so avoid a TV with a reputation for crushing dark detail and be sure to tweak the brightness/gamma setting for your game – most titles have a specific option for this.
HDR is a must, of course, as the PS4, PS5, Xbox One X, One S, Series S and Series X all output HDR, and you might want to look for one that supports Dolby Vision gaming as well as standard HDR10 if you're an Xbox Series X owner. More obviously, it would be a mistake not to get a 4K screen, even if you don't yet have a 4K console. The good news is that it's now pretty hard to buy a TV that doesn't have 4K and at least HDR10.
8K vs 4K/120Hz
But what about 8K? Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X can handle 8K in theory, but neither has the feature enabled at this point.
It seems that the focus is on higher frame rates in the short term, with higher resolutions potentially coming later. Even then, native 8K gaming seems unlikely. It's broadly agreed that neither console has the processing power to run blockbuster games at that resolution. We might, though, see games appear that dynamically scale at resolutions above 4K before being output as an 8K signal, much as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X invariably handled 4K on games (truly native 4K games were very rare until this new console generation, and one might argue that they're still a myth).
In other words, while 8K should perhaps be at the back of your mind, it's certainly not essential that you buy an 8K TV right now. Such sets will likely be much, much more affordable by the time 8K gaming becomes a serious concern – assuming it ever does. That said, there is an excellent 8K TV on this list for those who have very deep pockets.