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 reviewed more than 115 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors in each size. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors.
Even though larger screens are becoming more popular, a 24 or 25 inch monitor still provides enough screen space to comfortably game with. With screens of this size, it's also easier to see everything in your field of vision and you have to turn your head less, which is important for competitive gamers who need to quickly see on-screen overlays, such as maps, while gaming. These monitors aren't as good for productivity, but if you have an at-home gaming setup, they won't take up too much space.
There are monitors at this size available with either a 1080p or 1440p resolution, and 4k screens are very rare. A 1080p resolution is ideal for competitive gamers as it doesn't put too much stress on the graphics card, and the screen is small enough that you won't see individual pixels. A 1440p resolution is better for productivity or for multimedia use as you get a really high pixel density, giving images a lot more detail, but it's heavy on the graphics card and may affect your overall gaming experience.
If you want a 25 inch monitor, the Dell Alienware AW2521HF is the best one of this size we've seen so far. With a really high 240Hz refresh rate, it has one of the best response times we've seen on a monitor so far, resulting in minimal motion blur. It has an excellent response time even at 60Hz, which is ideal for console gamers, and the input lag is incredibly low. Since it uses an IPS panel, it has wide viewing angles but it doesn't perform well in dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio. See our recommendations for the best 24-25 inch monitors.
One of the most popular monitor sizes is the 27 inch. 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 we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It's an IPS screen with a 1440p resolution. It has a good build quality, excellent ergonomics, and wide viewing angles. Its peak brightness is good enough for most rooms and it handles reflections decently well. It isn't the most ideal for dark rooms, though, as it has a low contrast ratio and mediocre black uniformity. It supports HDR, however; it can't display a wide color gamut and there's no local dimming.
Its highlight is its motion handling. Its fast response time results in very little motion blur, and it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature. Its 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked up to 165Hz to make motion look even smoother. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC. It comes with integrated speakers, but sadly, no USB ports. Overall, it's a well-rounded and versatile gaming monitor that should satisfy most people. 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.
Ultrawide monitors are becoming more popular these days due to their versatility. They're great for gaming, as they provide an immersive experience, and the wider field of view can also help with awareness in certain games. However, ultrawide monitors have roughly thirty percent more pixels than a 16:9 screen of the same resolution, so you may need a beefier graphics card or might have to lower the graphics settings a bit in order to retain a consistently high frame rate. This 21:9 aspect ratio is amazing for productivity as well, with plenty of screen space to work comfortably and efficiently.
The best 34 inch monitor that we've tested so far is the LG 34GN850-B. It's an impressive gaming monitor that delivers good all-around performance. Its 34 inch screen and 1440p resolution help deliver an immersive gaming experience and give you more than enough space for multitasking. Its native 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 160Hz, it has native FreeSync support and it's NVIDIA certified for G-SYNC compatibility. Motion looks exceptionally clear when playing at 160Hz, and its response time is still excellent at 60Hz, so it's an ideal choice for console gaming. It also has a low input lag, although it increases a bit with VRR enabled.
It also delivers great overall picture quality. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, it covers all of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. Unfortunately, it has a disappointing contrast ratio and just okay black uniformity, so it's not ideal for dark room viewing. However, like most IPS panels, it has wide viewing angles, ideal for when you need to share your screen with others. 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 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 it can get extremely bright to deliver a great HDR experience. 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.
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.