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 100 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 monitors 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 monitors 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 more popular sizes for a monitor is a 27 inch screen. It provides enough screen space for productivity as you can open multiple windows at once and if you sit further away from the screen, you won't have to turn your head. The most popular resolution for a 27 inch monitor is 1440p, as the pixel density on a 1080p resolution might be too low for some, and text isn't as clear at this resolution. Many 27 inch monitors are also able to switch into portrait mode, which is good if you're looking for a second monitor to have a chat open with your teammates.
There are also 4k 27 inch monitors available, but those are more catered towards office use but once again, the high resolution might be too much on a graphics card if you want to game on it. Still, if you have a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, a 4k monitor is ideal and doesn't take up as much space as a TV, and most monitors have a low input lag, resulting in a responsive gaming experience.
The best 27 inch gaming monitor we've tested so far is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It has a native 144Hz refresh rate that can easily be overclocked to 165Hz, it supports FreeSync VRR and it's G-SYNC compatible, and it has an incredibly low input lag. Unfortunately, blacks appear closer to gray due to its low contrast, but in bright rooms, it has good peak brightness and decent reflection handling. See our recommendations for the best 27 inch monitors.
If you're considering an even bigger monitor like a 32 inch, then you should go with a 4k resolution. These monitors are usually limited to a 60Hz refresh rate; however, given the sheer graphical horsepower needed to run games at a high frame rate in 4k, it’s not a major drawback.
This combination of size and resolution is truly breathtaking for RPGs, atmospheric games, and turn-based games that don’t require the fastest reaction time. Like a piece of fine art, these monitors are meant to be enjoyed at a distance, or at least further than you would with a smaller monitor. When up close, the viewing angles may impact color reproduction and look non-uniform at the sides.
The best gaming monitor available in a 28-32 inch size is the Samsung C32HG70. Although we tested the smaller 27 inch version, we expect the 32" model to deliver a similarly exceptional gaming experience. This 1440p monitor has excellent motion handling, a fast refresh rate, and outstanding low input lag. It also supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. 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 monitor 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.
This monitor 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. These monitors 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. These monitors 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.
06/10/2020: Replaced the LG 34GK950F-B with the LG 34GN850-B. Replaced the Dell S2417DG with the Dell Alienware AW2521HF.
04/10/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
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.