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 telly, 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 highlighting some of the many acronyms that you're going to come across. 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.
- Best PS5 deals: where to buy a PS5
- Best Xbox Series X deals: where to buy the new Xbox
- Best gaming headsets
How to choose the best gaming TV for you
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
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 even 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 and HGiG. 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. VRR is due to be added to the console in the near future, though, so you may want to look for a TV that also supports 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 on-screen.
Finally, but very importantly, you also want a TV with excellent core picture quality: sharp, bright, detailed, with excellent blacks and vibrant, accurate colors. 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 colors 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 bang-for-buck champ of 2022.
Read the full LG OLED65C2 review
It might seem like a bit of a cheat to have two LG C2 models at the top of this list, but the 42-inch C2 is in some ways a different beast to its siblings that are 55 inches or larger.
For starters, its relatively small size makes it just as well suited to desktop gaming as it is for use in a smaller living room. And instead of a central pedestal stand it's got basic but practical feet that take up less space and leave more room for your gaming peripherals.
It also, like its 48-inch sibling, goes less bright than the bigger C2 models, but that's not going to be an issue unless you game in a seriously bright room.
In every other way this is the brilliance of the OLED65C2 scaled down to a brilliantly bijou size. Every gaming feature is covered across all four HDMIs, performance is flawlessly smooth and sharp, and contrast is exceptional.
The only letdown is the sound, which is clear enough but lacking in volume and weight. A small soundbar such as the Sonos Beam would be an excellent addition.
Read the full LG OLED42C2 review
In any sane AV world, we would be lauding the Samsung S95B as the world’s first Quantum Dot OLED TV. After all, Samsung basically invented the technology. Yet in the end it was actually Sony that gave us our first QD-OLED TV in the glorious form of the A95K.
Samsung has marked the arrival of its first QD OLED TV with quite the design statement. The S95B really is incredibly thin over the vast majority of its rear – just a couple of millimetres deep, in fact.
Connectivity is impressive. In particular, all four of the provided HDMI ports are true 2.1 affairs that are able to handle 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM, and there's an HGiG mode for better HDR accuracy with games. Dolby Vision isn't supported. of course, for gaming or for movie content.
The S95B boasts phenomenal contrast. On the one hand it instantly delivers the sort of immaculate, ultra-deep blacks long associated with the best of the OLED world, while on the other it delivers levels of brightness – both in small highlights and, even more noticeably, across the whole screen – that we haven’t seen before on any regular OLED TV. Including LG’s brilliant new G2 series. It 'pops' more than the Sony A95K, too.
Basically Samsung, as usual, seems more prepared than its rivals to take the brakes off, and while that means it's not quite as subtle or accurate as the best sets here (skin tones in particular look a bit off at times), it does provide unparalleled thrills and that makes it very well suited to gaming. It sounds surprisingly decent, too, given the super-thin chassis, though bass is rather lacking and you would be wise to partner a picture this good with sound that matches via a soundbar or home theater system.
Read the full Samsung QE65S95B 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
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 colors that its non-QD-OLED rivals miss.
In less cultured hands, the added color 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 utilizes 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
For reasons unknown, Sony didn’t launch a new 48-inch OLED TV last year. Instead, 2020’s A9 (A9S in the US) was tasked with holding the fort against increasingly large ranks of rivals for almost two years.
Thankfully, relief is finally at hand in the form of the Sony XR-48A90K – Sony’s flagship OLED for those who don’t have the space for its new A95K QD-OLED (above), which isn’t available below 55 inches.
Has the A90K been worth the wait? And does it deliver a true flagship performance? It’s a resounding yes to both questions.
The 48-inch Sony A90K OLED is a force to be reckoned with. It might not quite have the flawless gaming feature set of an LG OLED, but it’s close, and a very good gaming TV in its own right, particularly if you’re a PS5 player.
Where the A90K is almost flawless is in its picture quality. We have never before tested a TV this size that’s this good, and while we are yet to test the new 48-inch LG C2, it’s really going to have to go some to beat this Sony on pure picture quality.
Read the full Sony XR-48A90K review
If you don't fancy an OLED gaming TV, this Samsung QN90B is the next best thing.
The main event is its Mini LED lighting system, which crams far more and much smaller LEDs into the 50-inch screen than is possible with regular LEDs. This enables it to deliver more local light control and more contrast and brightness than regular LED TVs can. Especially when partnered as here by a local dimming system which, in this case, sees the TV able to output different amounts of light from no less than 448 separately controlled zones.
While it doesn't have the precise contrast control of an OLED TV (which, thanks to its self-emissive pixels, effectively has over 8-million independent dimming zones), it's capable of going much brighter than OLED rivals such as the LG C2 and is far more dynamic than most backlit TVs.
Joining the class-leading LCD backlight controls is a spectacularly wide and intense colour palette that avoids the thin, washed-out look less talented brightness-focused TVs can suffer with. There’s extreme subtlety in this colour presentation too, even in dark areas, that’s been bolstered by Samsung’s move this year to a 14-bit colour processing engine.
All of this results in a brilliantly punchy picture performance that also benefits from seriously low input lag and support (across all four HDMIs) for more or less every possible gaming feature. Only Dolby Vision gaming is missing, as Samsung TVs don't support Dolby Vision at all.
All told, this is a great option for gamers, particularly those who play in a bright room.
Read the full Samsung QN50QE90B 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 colors 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 color 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 onscreen 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 are also available via plenty of TVs with HDMIs that are certified as 2.0.
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 due to be added to the PS5 later this year.
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 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.