But that's not all. Even if a TV supports all the gaming features, it won't necessarily be as great for gaming as the spec sheet suggests. A weak HDR performance can rob your games of their pop and excitement, for example, while high input lag can rob you of a battle royale win.
That's where we come in. Our team of experts has created this guide to the best gaming TVs you can currently buy. We've extensively tested the gaming performance of more TVs than we can count, and these are the very best that you can currently buy.
The quick list
Here's a quick breakdown of our picks for the best gaming TVs with a short summary and some of the key features that each offers. Want more details? Click the photo of the TV to drop down to the in-depth entry.
The best gaming TV overall
Not a huge improvement on the C2 before it, but then again, it didn't have to be. The 42-inch C3 is pretty much the perfect gaming TV at the perfect size.
The best large gaming TV
It's facing fiercer competition than ever, and isn't a massive step on from its predecessor, the OLED65C2. But this remains the best-specced gaming TV at its size.
The best premium gaming TV
With the same feature set as the C3, but an even brighter panel, this is the gaming TV for you if money is no object. The rest of us would be better served by the C3.
Best Sony gaming TV
Sony's TVs are renowned for their excellent motion processing, and the A80L is no different. If you're playing fast-moving games, it's a Sony you want – specifically, this one.
The best non-OLED gaming TV
Samsung's 4K QLED TV is immune to screen burn, so you can leave it paused for hours without worry. It supports all the major gaming features, and has a super bright picture as well.
The best gaming TV overall
This one had us worried. The 65-inch C3 isn't a big upgrade on its predecessor, and carries a much higher price, so we feared the same might be true of its 42-inch sibling. Thankfully not. Because while the smaller C3 still isn't a big improvement on its equivalent C2, it's still miles ahead of the competition. Add to that an eminently reasonable price, and you have hands down the best all-round gaming TV you can buy.
Why? Where do we start? Its gaming spec is peerless, with four HDMI 2.1 ports enabling a full suite of gaming features like VRR, ALLM, 4K120, Dolby Vision gaming and HGiG. LG's TVs are unique in offering Dolby Vision gaming right up to 4K/120Hz, and its HGiG mode is particularly well implemented, making it easy to get better HDR tone mapping in many modern games.
Because it's a smaller set, the pixel density is higher, making graphics sharper and the action that bit crisper. And while it's not as bright as a bigger TV, it's still immensely dynamic, with subtle shading and natural colors. In short, everything looks as it should, which is essential when gaming.
Away from gaming, it's still an excellent TV. The Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor brings plenty of picture improvements, and the webOS 23 operating system has been streamlined to make it easier to use. It sounds a little weedy – as do most TVs this size – and the feet could do with being able to extend to more easily accommodate a soundbar (which you should definitely invest in). But for most people, this is the best gaming TV around.
Read the full LG OLED42C3 review
|Picture||Sharp, solid and detailed without exaggeration||★★★★★|
|Sound||Weak, even by small TV standards||★★★☆☆|
|Features||Great app selection and flawless gaming specs||★★★★★|
Best large gaming TV
The 65-inch take on LG's C3 only earned four stars, but that was for a very good reason: it wasn't a big improvement on the C2. This allowed rivals like the Sony A80L to gain ground. But if it's gaming we're talking about, LG's effort is the better bet.
That's because, like the 42-inch model above, it has four HDMI 2.1 ports, meaning you can plug in multiple gaming consoles at once while still using one socket for a soundbar via eARC. Also like the 42-incher, it supports all the usual gaming features these ports allow (VRR, ALLM) along with rarer standards like HGiG and Dolby Vision gaming (which the Sony doesn't support).
The other reason for its four-star review? Its high launch price. But that's since come down significantly. Even the fact it's similar to the C2 it replaces isn't really a big drawback, seeing as the C2 was a multi-Award winner.
The C3 retains the elegant design of the C2 but adds a new processor for even better visuals and more advanced audio upmixing. The webOS 23 operating system is simpler than last year's version too, and easier to navigate, and it brings a more sophisticated Game Optimiser menu complete with a dedicated sound sub-menu.
Picture quality is refined, subtle and plenty detailed, and that goes for games as well as movies and TV shows. Some highlights are a little brighter than the C2's, and there's a healthy amount of shadow detail throughout. The sound is still a poor relation to the picture, but that's easily fixed with a decent soundbar. If you want gaming on a big screen, this is the TV for you.
Read the full LG OLED65C3 review
|Picture||Balanced, authentic picture quality||★★★★★|
|Sound||Rivals offer punchier audio||★★★☆☆|
|Features||Flawless gaming specs||★★★★★|
Best premium gaming TV
Imagine all the gaming-specific features of the 65-inch C3 but with an even better screen, and you've basically got the G3.
That better screen has Micro Lens Array (MLA) tech to boost brightness, which has long been considered the chink in OLED's armour. And it works. Highlights are noticeably brighter than the G2 that came before it, making the overall picture more vibrant and immersive. This extra brightness helps the contrast, making the darker parts of the picture look even more pitch black, with more dark detail visible within.
This will benefit gamers as well as cinephiles, of course. Gamers can also enjoy all of the same gaming features as on the C3, like four HDMI 2.1 ports capable of handling 4K/120Hz, ALLM and VRR, as well as Dolby Vision gaming up to 4K/120Hz and HGiG for more accurate tone mapping. You also get the same Game Optimiser menu with the Boost mode to reduce input lag to under 10ms.
The G3 does carry a premium over the C3, so you'll have to weigh up how much you'll value the extra brightness. But if money is no object, this is the best premium gaming TV going.
Read the full LG OLED65G3 review
|Picture||Brilliantly bright and vibrant highlight||★★★★★|
|Features||Flawless gaming specs||★★★★★|
Best Sony gaming TV
Surprised? You shouldn't be. True, the A80L only has two HDMI 2.1 ports, and ok, it doesn't support Dolby Vision gaming or HGiG, but it is certified as 'perfect for PlayStation', and so can calibrate itself to the best settings for your PS5. That applies whether you're gaming or watching a film on the console (though in our experience this isn't 100 per cent accurate, so it's always worth checking these settings yourself).
Still, it's a nice extra. And seeing as the PS5 doesn't support Dolby Vision gaming, PlayStation gamers really won't be missing out with this TV.
Those two HDMIs can handle the usual 4K120, VRR and ALLM standards, so gamers are well catered for. And in terms of picture quality, this TV takes some beating.
It effortlessly combines the spectacular and the subtle, creating an image that's more than the sum of its parts. There's real solidity to the picture, giving it a greater sense of depth and making it look more realistic. Sony's TVs have consistently tested best for motion processing, so fast-moving games pose the A80L no problems. Detail is also outstanding, with clothing textures, skin imperfections and complex patterns all rendered crisply but without artificial definition. PS5 gamers – and viewers – look no further.
Read the full Sony XR-55A80L review
|Picture||Beautifully sharp, detailed and dynamic||★★★★★|
|Sound||Impressively atmospheric sound||★★★★☆|
|Features||Good, but not as packed with connectivity as rival LG models||★★★★☆|
Best non-OLED gaming TV
While we don't think OLED burn-in should be a deciding factor when choosing a new TV, we understand how even the tiniest possibility could put some people off. If that's you, you could opt for Samsung's flagship QLED, the QN95C, which is impervious to the phenomenon.
But that's the only thing it has going for it – it's also an ace at games, thanks to four HDMI sockets all supporting 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM. That means you can plug in a PS5, Xbox Series X and soundbar via eARC and still have a fully featured HDMI port left to play with.
Its performance is ideally suited to games too, with an ultra-bright picture that's super vibrant and sharp. Not only will that make games look their best, the greater clarity will help you spot enemies first, giving you the competitive advantage.
A dedicated Game Bar menu screen gives you fast access to a few other gaming-specific features, too. You can, for instance, trade a little response speed for enhanced visuals if you’re playing something like an RPG that isn’t dependent on super-fast reaction times.
You can also raise the brightness floor of dark parts of a game’s graphics to make it easier to see hidden enemies or traps; you can magnify and even share a game’s minimap if it has one; and you can call up a virtual aiming point in the center of the screen.
What else do you need to know? It's a looker, with thin bezels and a very slim profile, and it has an input lag of just 9.8ms. Did we mention it's the best non-OLED gaming TV around?
Read the full Samsung QN65QN95C review
|Picture||Dazzlingly bright HDR pictures||★★★★★|
|Sound||Good, but some fuzz during bassy scenes||★★★★☆|
|Features||Excellent gaming support||★★★★☆|
What to look for in a new gaming TV
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
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 colors. Arguably, those elements are more important than the specs mentioned above, which should really be considered the icing on the cake.
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 their 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. This feature is becoming more common.
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.