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 85 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming monitors in each size. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors.
Although larger monitors provide a more immersive gaming experience, smaller 24-25 inch monitors are still preferred by many gamers, as they allow players to sit fairly close to the screen without affecting their peripheral awareness. In competitive games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, or even World of Warcraft, it makes it much easier to keep an eye on your health bar, resources, and map without having to constantly turn your head. The downside to these sizes is productivity, as you have less screen real estate to work with.
At this size, it’s generally recommended to stick to a 1080p resolution, which is the most common one. This resolution is high enough that you won't be able to identify each pixel, but it's also far less demanding on the graphics card, allowing you to achieve higher frame rates for smoother gameplay. While there are some 24-25 inch monitors with a 1440p or 4k resolution, the visual difference can be difficult to spot at a distance, and some elements on screen may appear too small due to scaling issues. These high-resolution monitors are also difficult to drive, often requiring a powerful graphics card that can increase the overall cost of your gaming rig with minimal gains.
If a 24-25 inch monitor is what you're looking for, then the Dell S2417DG is our top recommendation. Not only does it have all the features mentioned above, but it also supports NVIDIA’s G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology. For our other recommendations, check out our list of the best 1080p monitors.
If you tend to sit a bit further away from the screen, a 27 inch monitor could be a better choice. At this size, it's worth considering bumping up the resolution to 1440p, as the pixel density of a 1080p resolution drops to a point where pixels are easily identifiable. This configuration is usually considered as the "sweet" spot among gamers, as it combines a high-resolution picture with ample screen real estate, which is great for gaming and productivity. There are also 27 inch monitors with a 4k resolution, but again, the visual difference is minimal and it requires a much more powerful computer to run the game at a decent frame rate.
If you like 27 inch monitors, consider the ASUS TUF VG27AQ; it's the best 27 inch gaming monitor we've tested. It delivers an excellent gaming experience even to the most demanding gamers. It has a 1440p resolution that can display more of your gaming arena, minimizing the need for scrolling. It has excellent motion handling with a very fast refresh rate of 165Hz, and an almost instantaneous response time that allows it to display crisp motion with almost no blur behind fast-moving content. The low input lag ensures a responsive gaming experience and the wide frequency range of the FreeSync support ensures nearly tear-free gaming even when playing the most graphics demanding games.
The ASUS is a monitor that performs its best when in a brighter room as blacks look gray when in a dark room, just like most IPS monitors. Nevertheless, this is a 27 inch gaming monitor that'll please almost any gamer. See our recommendations for the best 1440p gaming 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 have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These monitors usually have a 21:9 aspect ratio, providing incredible immersion in RPGs, atmospheric, or racing games. However, the added screen real estate also means that it's more demanding on the graphics card. These monitors are also great for watching movies, as most modern movies are shot in the same aspect ratio, so the image fills up the whole screen without any black bars.
If you're looking for a more immersive gaming experience and don't mind the higher price and space requirements, get the LG 34GK950F. It's a 34 inch curved monitor with a 3440x1440 resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio that delivers an impressive gaming experience. It has a fast refresh rate and very fast response time delivering fast motion with almost no blur trail. The input lag is extremely low and the monitor supports FreeSync for nearly tear-free gaming. Apart from the great gaming experience, this monitor's size makes it a great choice for media consumption. It can get bright enough for most rooms and supports HDR so you can enjoy the latest HDR games.
Just like most monitors with an IPS panel, this monitor doesn't look as good in a dark room as blacks look gray. On the upside, the image remains accurate from side to side even when sitting up close and favors co-op gaming. Overall, this is an impressive monitor that will please most demanding gamers out there. For other options, see our recommendations for the best 4k gaming monitors.
Super ultrawide gaming monitors deliver a far more immersive gaming experience in general, and also make for great general purpose monitors when you're not gaming. With a 32:9 aspect ratio, this large format allows you to see a wider field of view in most games, but may not be suited for every game genre. It's also worth noting that not all games support this aspect ratio, so black bars may be present in some games.
The wide nature of these monitors is great for day-to-day use, as it's very easy to work with multiple windows open. Multitasking is a breeze with many of the features that we talked about with 34 inch monitors being implemented too, such as picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture. Unfortunately, due to the large size, these monitors typically require very large working spaces. Most super ultrawide monitors also have a curved screen, which helps to alleviate some concerns regarding viewing angles.
The best super ultrawide gaming monitor we've tested is the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. It has an outstanding response time, delivering crystal-clear motion with very little blur. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.
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.
02/11/2020: Added text for clarity, no change in recommendations.
01/15/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG27AQ and made small changes to text for clarity.