When it comes to gaming monitors, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach that works. Every user requires something different that depends on everything from the equipment you use to the games you play. Most high-end gaming monitors have a fast response time that produces very little motion blur and extremely low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. There are extra technologies that further improve the user experience, like variable refresh rate (VRR) support and HDMI 2.1 inputs. There are so many models with a wide variety of features that it can be hard to choose.
We've tested over 220 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for many needs and budgets. Also, see our picks for the best gaming monitors for PS5, the best gaming monitors for Xbox Series X, and the best curved gaming monitors.
The best FreeSync gaming monitor that we've tested with native FreeSync support is the Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA. It has excellent gaming performance that should please most people. It's one of the few monitors available in both a 27 and 32 inch size, and even though we tested the 32 inch variant, our results are also valid for the 27 inch model.
It has native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, it's G-SYNC compatible. The variable refresh rate (VRR) support goes along with its 240Hz refresh rate, and you can achieve its full refresh rate range over a DisplayPort connection. Gaming feels smooth and responsive thanks to the quick response time and low input lag. However, it has a slow response time in dark transitions, meaning you'll see some black smearing, which is typical of VA panels. It has a high contrast ratio, so it's a good choice for dark room gaming.
Unfortunately, it has a terrible local dimming feature that causes intense blooming around bright objects. We've also read reports of the backlight flickering with VRR enabled in certain types of content, but we haven't noticed that problem with our unit, so your experience may be different. It has okay ergonomics, but the stand has a narrow swivel range. Overall, it's one of the best monitors we've tested if you want native FreeSync support.
If you're not a fan of VA panels and prefer something with wide viewing angles, then check out the MSI MAG274QRF-QD. Although you won't get the same 240Hz refresh rate as the Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T, it still delivers an excellent gaming experience with a 165Hz refresh rate. It has an IPS panel with a lower contrast than the Samsung monitor. However, that means it has wider viewing angles, and the image remains accurate when viewing from the sides. It also has great ergonomics in case you need to place your screen in different positions. It has low input lag and a quick response time for smooth motion, and like the Samsung monitor, it's also G-SYNC compatible. Unfortunately, the color gamut is over-saturated, which may bother you if color accuracy is important.
If you want a FreeSync gaming monitor, you can't go wrong with the Samsung thanks to its 240Hz refresh rate, but if you're willing to compromise on the refresh rate for something with better viewing angles, go for the MSI.
If you have a NVIDIA graphics card and want to take full advantage of it, then the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG is the best G-SYNC gaming monitor we've tested. It's excellent as it has a 144Hz refresh rate that's overclockable to 165Hz with native G-SYNC support to reduce screen tearing. We also confirmed it works with AMD graphics cards for FreeSync compatibility.
It has a large 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution for an immersive gaming experience. It's a great choice for co-op gaming because it has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, and the good ergonomics make it easy to place the screen in an ideal viewing position. Gaming feels smooth and responsive thanks to its low input lag and to the quick response time whether you're gaming at its max refresh rate of 165Hz or 60Hz. It has a backlight strobing feature to try to reduce persistence blur, but it creates image duplication. It also has a few extra features like the ability to add a crosshair on the screen, and it has built-in speakers.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, which is disappointing for a high-end monitor like this. Also, our unit has terrible out-of-the-box accuracy, and even though this may vary between units, you may have to calibrate the monitor. If this doesn't bother you, it's an excellent choice with G-SYNC support.
If you prefer something with a much higher 360Hz refresh rate, look into the Dell Alienware AW2521H. It has a lower 1080p resolution than the 1440p resolution on the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG, so images don't look as sharp, but that allows your graphics card to achieve a higher frame rate. You can achieve the max 360Hz refresh rate over a DisplayPort connection, and it has incredibly smooth motion handling and low input lag. The response time remains quick even at lower refresh rates, and the input lag doesn't increase. It has great ergonomics and wide viewing angles if you want to share the screen with someone else. Unfortunately, it doesn't support FreeSync, which isn't ideal if you also have an AMD graphics card.
If you want the best monitor for gaming with native G-SYNC support, you can't go wrong with the ViewSonic, but if you prefer something with a much higher refresh rate for esports gaming, then check out the Dell.
The best 4k gaming monitor that we've tested is the Gigabyte M32U. It's an excellent gaming monitor with a large 32 inch screen that provides enough screen space for an immersive gaming experience. Also, the high resolution delivers crisp images and fantastic text clarity.
It has a 144Hz panel, which you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection. Thankfully, even over HDMI, you can hit a max refresh rate of 120Hz with a 4k resolution thanks to the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, which is ideal for console gaming on the Xbox Series X and PS5. However, it doesn't support full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1, as it's limited to 24 Gbps, but it won't make much of a difference for console gaming, except you're limited to chroma 4:2:0 from the PS5. Motion looks exceptionally smooth thanks to the quick response time, and it has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, as long as you update it to the latest firmware.
Unfortunately, it's not a good choice for dark room gaming because it has a low contrast ratio. Even though it has an edge-lit local dimming feature, it performs terribly and causes blooming around bright objects. It also doesn't deliver a good HDR experience because it can't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Regardless, it's still one of the best monitors for gaming that we've tested.
The best ultrawide gaming monitor that we've tested is the Gigabyte M34WQ. The advantage of getting an ultrawide monitor is that it offers more screen space thanks to its 21:9 aspect ratio, providing a more immersive gaming experience. It's an excellent gaming monitor with many features, including productivity perks, meaning you can work on it during the day and game at night.
It has VRR support in the form of native FreeSync support, and we confirmed the G-SYNC compatible mode works with NVIDIA graphics cards. It has a high 144Hz refresh rate that you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection as it's limited to 100Hz over HDMI. Gaming feels responsive thanks to its low input lag, and motion looks smooth because it has a great response time. It even has a USB-C input so you can connect your laptop, and with its KVM switch, you can control multiple devices with one keyboard and mouse.
Unfortunately, it's not a good choice for gaming in HDR or the dark because it has a low contrast ratio, and without any local dimming, blacks look gray in the dark. It also has okay HDR peak brightness, but it's not enough to deliver an impactful HDR experience. If this isn't an issue for you, it's one of the best monitors we've tested for gaming.
If you're on a budget, then the best gaming monitor we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. At 24 inches in size, it's a bit smaller than other gaming monitors in this recommendation, but it offers excellent gaming performance at a low cost. It has gaming features like a 144Hz refresh rate that can overclock to 165Hz and native FreeSync support with G-SYNC compatibility.
It has an incredible response time whether you're gaming at its max refresh rate or 60Hz, so motion looks smooth, and you won't notice any delay while gaming, thanks to its low input lag. It gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling, meaning visibility won't be an issue in most rooms. It also has wide viewing angles if you want to use it for co-op gaming, and the round stand on the base allows you to turn the screen a full 360 degrees.
Sadly, it can't display a wide color gamut, and its HDR peak brightness is just okay. Also, it has a low contrast ratio, so it's not a good choice for HDR gaming because highlights don't pop, and blacks look gray. Our unit has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this also varies between units. All in all, it's one of the best budget monitors for gaming that we've tested.
Jan 17, 2022: Replaced the Acer Nitro XV272U with the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD because the Acer is hard to find; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Dec 08, 2021: Replaced the LG 34GP83A-B with the Gigabyte M34WQ because the LG is low on availability and to be consistent with other recommendations; added the Gigabyte FV43U and the Samsung Odyssey G5 S27AG50 to Notable Mentions.
Nov 08, 2021: Replaced the Gigabyte M28U with the Gigabyte M32U because it's bigger and has better motion handling; moved the Dell AW2521H to an alternative to the ViewSonic XG270QG to remain consistent with other recommendations; updated the Notable Mentions based on changes.
Oct 14, 2021: Replaced the Gigabyte FI27Q-X with the Acer Nitro XV272U because it's hard to find, and moved it to Notable Mentions; added the LG 48 C1, Samsung Odyssey Neo G9, Gigabyte M32U, and LG 34GP950G-B to Notable Mentions.
Sep 15, 2021: Refreshed the text and added the LG 27GP950G-B to the Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best PC gaming monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. 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 gaming 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.