Choosing a gaming monitor can be difficult. With so many choices and so many buzzwords being thrown around, it can get confusing. Size, viewing distance, and even the type of games that you play can all impact your decision. As most people won't be using the monitor just for gaming, it's also important to consider how else you plan on using the monitor, not just now, but in the long-term as well.
We've tested more than 130 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors in each size. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, best gaming monitors for Xbox One X, and best gaming monitors for PS4.
Larger-sized monitors are the norm now, but smaller monitors do have their benefits. Compared to 27 inch monitors, 24 or 25 inch screens take up less space, which is important if you have limited real estate in your at-home gaming setup. Still, they offer enough screen space for gaming, and it's easier to see everything in your field of vision, such as maps, during competitive gaming. Also, a smaller screen results in a higher pixel density, making images and text clearer and easier to see.
Most of the monitors we've tested in this size have a 1080p resolution designed for gaming, specifically esports gamers. There are a few with a higher 1440p resolution, which is good for productivity, but it puts stress on your graphics card, and a 1080p resolution is the better choice for competitive gaming. Due to the small size and low resolution, most 24 or 25 inch monitors are available for a budget-friendly price.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM is the best 25 inch gaming monitor that we've tested. It's an excellent gaming monitor with an incredibly high 240Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 280Hz. Its response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, resulting in minimal motion blur, and even at 60Hz, the response time remains excellent. It has native FreeSync support and is G-SYNC compatible. It has low input lag that sadly increases significantly when gaming at 60Hz, so it's not suggested for console gaming. Despite having a low contrast ratio, picture quality is great as it has wide viewing angles, great peak brightness, and decent color accuracy. See our recommendations for the best 24-25 inch monitors.
A 27 inch monitor is one of the best gaming monitor sizes available. It provides enough screen space to have multiple windows opened side-by-side for work, and it's large enough to provide an immersive gaming experience. 1080p is still a very popular resolution for this size, especially for fast-paced games where you don't have the time to notice the lower resolution, and it's easier on the graphics card. However, the pixel density is a little low for rendering text, making it less ideal for productivity tasks.
For gaming, 1440p is generally considered the 'sweet' spot, as it's just sharp enough without overburdening the graphics card, so it can still achieve a high frame rate. As for 4k, depending on how far you sit from the screen, it may not look all that different from a 1440p screen, so the extra pixels can't be fully appreciated and only makes it harder on the graphics card.
The best 27 inch gaming monitor that we've tested is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It has a good build quality, excellent ergonomics, and wide viewing angles. Its peak brightness is good enough for most rooms and handles reflections decently well. However, it isn't the most ideal for dark rooms, as it has a low contrast ratio and mediocre black uniformity. Although it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut, and there's no local dimming. Its fast response time results in very little motion blur, it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, and its 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked up to 165Hz. It supports FreeSync VRR and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC. Overall, it's a well-rounded and versatile gaming monitor. For more options, see our recommendations for the best 27 inch monitors.
Just like TVs, monitor sizes have gotten bigger over time. Most screens at this size either have a 1440p or a 4k resolution. At 1440p, the pixel density is higher than that of a 27 inch 1080p monitor, but you can still make out each individual pixel if you sit close enough. However, it allows your graphics card to achieve a higher frame rate, which makes the overall gaming experience look and feel smoother. At 4k, the image looks fantastic, but it requires an enormous amount of graphical horsepower to just achieve a playable frame rate in demanding games, making the experience feel choppy.
With a screen this big, RPGs and atmospheric games feel incredibly immersive. At 32 inches, you may want to sit back a little more than usual, as sitting too close can cause the image to look washed out at the sides, particularly with screens that have a TN or VA panel. That said, many if not most of the monitors this size now have a curved screen, which helps with visibility.
The best gaming monitor available in a 28-32 inch size is the Samsung C32HG70. It's a 1440p screen with a VA panel that can deliver deep blacks. It has excellent response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and a 144Hz refresh rate. It supports FreeSync natively and is compatible with G-SYNC as well. It can display a wide color gamut and supports HDR10, but it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out in HDR content. It has two USB ports, one of which supports quick charging. See our other recommendations for the best 28-32 inch monitors.
You can take your gaming experience to next-level immersion with a 34 inch monitor, one of the best monitor size for gaming. Options of this size are known as ultrawide monitors, and they generally have a 3440x1440p resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. This is good for atmospheric gaming as it delivers an immersive experience. If you also want to use it for work purposes, there's enough screen real estate to open multiple windows at once.
The extra screen space means it may be harder to see the edges, so to compensate for that, some 34 inch monitors have a curved screen. Naturally, you're going to need a large desk and some extra space for a 34 inch monitor. One downside is that monitors of this size usually don't have the best ergonomics, and you likely won't be able to place it into portrait mode. However, if you just need a large screen to place directly in front of you, you should be happy with 34 inches.
The best 34 inch monitor we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. It's a well-rounded choice with great ergonomics for a screen of this size. It has a base plate that allows you to turn the screen around 360 degrees, so it's easy to place in an ideal viewing position. It has an excellent response time at its max refresh rate of 144Hz and remains fast at 60Hz, so it's a good choice for console gaming. It has native FreeSync VRR support and incredibly low input lag. Its IPS panel provides fairly wide viewing angles, but at the same time, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. For other options, see our recommendations for the best 34 inch+ monitors.
If you want the ultimate immersive gaming experience that's just short of gaming on a virtual reality headset, then you'll want to go with a super ultrawide monitor. They typically have a 32:9 aspect ratio and a 1440p resolution, which is equivalent to two 27 inch 1440p monitors placed side-by-side. There aren't any 4k options at this time, mainly due to the difficulty of maintaining a playable frame rate at such a high resolution with current hardware. Also, it's an unconventional aspect ratio that isn't supported by all games, so you may get black bars on the side.
For productivity, this aspect ratio is great for multitaskers and for professionals working with programs that have a horizontal layout, like sound engineers or video editors. They often have a Picture-by-Picture mode, allowing it to display an image from two sources at the same time. If you're concerned about viewing angles, most of them are curved, which can help with visibility.
The best super ultrawide gaming monitor we've tested is the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, it supports FreeSync, and it's compatible with recent 10- or 20- series NVIDIA graphics cards. It has a decent wide color gamut and can get extremely bright to deliver a great HDR experience. The contrast ratio is acceptable, but its black uniformity is quite bad, with very visible clouding throughout the screen. On the bright side, it has a fast response time, low input lag, and a flicker-free backlight. If you're shopping for a super ultrawide monitor, this one is a good option. See our recommendations for the best ultrawide gaming monitors.
10/05/2020: Replaced the Dell Alienware AW2521HF with the ASUS VG259QM; replaced the LG 34GN850-B with the Acer Nitro XV340CK.
08/06/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
06/10/2020: Replaced the LG 34GK950F-B with the LG 34GN850-B. Replaced the Dell S2417DG with the Dell Alienware AW2521HF.
01/15/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG27AQ.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitor sizes. They are adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.