When it comes to gaming monitors, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach that works. Every user requires something different that's reliant on everything from the equipment you use to the games that you play. Most of the best gaming monitors have a fast response time that produces very little motion blur, and extremely low input lag to ensure every keypress matches what's happening on the screen. Recently, new gaming technologies have emerged that have drastically changed the way we game, like variable refresh rate (VRR) support and HDMI 2.1. There are so many models out there with a wide variety of features that it can be hard to choose.
We've tested over 210 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. Also see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for PS5, the best gaming monitors for Xbox Series X, and the best curved gaming monitors.
The best monitor for gaming 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, the 27 inch model should perform the same.
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 may see some black smearing 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 gaming monitors we've tested.
If you want to use a monitor for co-op gaming with a friend, look into the Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx. It has a lower 170Hz refresh rate than the 240Hz on the Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T, and it has a worse contrast ratio, but that means its IPS panel has better viewing angles. The image remains accurate no matter where you sit, and it has excellent ergonomics that make it easy to share your screen with a friend. In terms of gaming performance, it has exceptional motion handling, native FreeSync support, and low input lag. It gets bright enough to fight glare in a well-lit room, but keep in mind you need a firmware update for it to get bright and have the VRR support work at its full range.
If you're in the market for the best gaming monitor with native FreeSync support, you can't go wrong with the Samsung, but if you're a fan of wide viewing angles, then check out the Acer.
The best gaming monitor with native G-SYNC support that we've tested is the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. It's an excellent gaming monitor with a 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution. Input lag is exceptionally low, and the response time at max refresh rate is fantastic, remaining excellent even when gaming at 60Hz. It has a backlight strobing feature to improve motion clarity, but you can't use it with variable refresh rate (VRR) enabled.
It's a fairly versatile monitor with good performance overall. It's well-built, and it has good ergonomics so that you can place the screen in an ideal viewing position. It has wide viewing angles, making it great for co-op gaming, and it provides good visibility in well-lit rooms thanks to its great reflection handling and high peak brightness. It has a few extra features, like built-in speakers, RGB bias-lighting, and a USB hub so that you can charge your devices while gaming.
Sadly, our unit has terrible out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you may need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. That said, this can also vary between units. It also can't display very deep blacks, and our unit has poor black uniformity, so it's not the best choice for a dark room. Overall, if having native G-SYNC support is important to you, this is one of the best PC gaming monitors we've tested.
The best gaming monitor for esports is the Dell Alienware AW2521H. It's an excellent compact gaming model that delivers a remarkably responsive gaming experience for esports players. It's well-built, and it has a clean and modern design that fits easily into most setups. The stand allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments, and its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, making it great for playing co-op games.
It has an incredibly fast response time and a 360Hz refresh rate, resulting in almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It has a backlight strobing feature; however, it only works within a narrow refresh rate range, and you can't use it while variable refresh rate is active. Regarding its VRR, it supports G-SYNC natively, but it isn't FreeSync compatible. You can only get the full 360Hz over a DisplayPort connection, so it's important to make sure your graphics card has the same port.
It supports HDR, but it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. It has four USB 3.0 ports to charge your mobile devices, and you can add a virtual crosshair or timer on the screen. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain. All in all, it's an excellent choice for both casual gamers and professional esports players.
The Gigabyte M28U is the best 4k gaming monitor that we've tested. It's a great monitor with a 28 inch IPS screen, and it has HDMI 2.1 ports, making it a great choice for next-gen console gamers. It supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC compatible modes for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It has an outstanding response time at the max refresh rate, resulting in clear motion with very little blur behind fast-moving objects and just a bit of overshoot.
The IPS panel delivers wide viewing angles, great for co-op gaming. It has decent peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue unless you're in a bright room. On the other hand, the IPS panel also results in low contrast, so it's not the best choice for a dark room. There's a local dimming feature, but it's pretty bad, so we don't recommend using it. The 4k native resolution delivers extremely sharp text, and it's amazing for atmospheric games or RPGs.
Unfortunately, you may experience some input lag, especially at 60Hz, if your monitor isn't updated to the latest firmware. While most users won't notice the difference, Gigabyte released an update to lower the input lag so there aren't any issues with it. This means you'll need to make sure you have that update. Overall, it's an impressive gaming monitor that should please most people.
The LG 34GP83A-B is the best gaming monitor available in an ultrawide format that we've tested. It's very similar to the LG 34GN850-B, which may be harder to find, so it's worth getting this one instead. It offers impressive gaming performance and performs well for other uses as well. The 34 inch screen and 21:9 aspect ratio help deliver an immersive gaming experience.
This monitor has a native 144Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 160Hz over a DisplayPort connection. It has native FreeSync support with G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing, and it has a fantastic response time whether you're gaming at its max refresh rate or 60Hz. It doesn't have a backlight strobing feature, but it's unlikely you'll need it as motion already looks so smooth, and input is really low. It has a few gamer-oriented features, like the ability to add a virtual crosshair on the screen.
Unfortunately, ergonomics aren't the best as the stand doesn't allow for any swivel adjustments, and as expected from most ultrawide options, you can't rotate it into portrait mode. It has a slightly curved screen that makes it a bit easier to see the edges of the screen, and it has wide viewing angles in case you need to share the screen with someone else. Overall, it's one of the best PC gaming monitors we've tested.
The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is the best gaming monitor that you can get in the budget category that we've tested. It's a well-rounded monitor with amazing gaming performance that competes with higher-end models. It has excellent ergonomics with a unique stand that rotates freely, allowing you to turn the screen a full 360 degrees. As is expected of most IPS panels, it has excellent viewing angles, so images remain accurate when viewed from the side.
Its 24 inch screen isn't the most immersive, but it does increase pixel density; this results in sharper images. Also, the lower resolution puts a lighter load on the graphics card, allowing it to push out higher frame rates. It has a 165Hz refresh rate and exceptional response times to deliver smooth motion with fast-moving content. The backlight is flicker-free, which is great for reducing eye strain on those long gaming sessions.
It supports HDR10, but like most budget monitors, it doesn't deliver a true HDR experience because it can't display a wide color gamut, and its HDR peak brightness is just okay. Also, its low contrast ratio makes blacks appear gray when viewed in the dark. It has built-in speakers, but sadly, no USB ports. Nonetheless, this is one of the best gaming monitors we've tested, and best of all, it's easy on the wallet.
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.
Aug 16, 2021: Added the Gigabyte M28U as 'Best 4k Gaming Monitor' and moved the Acer Nitro XV282K KVbmiipruzx as 'Lower Input Lag Alternative'.
Jul 21, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced LG 27GN950-B with Acer Nitro XV282K KVbmiipruzx.
Jun 23, 2021: Added the LG 27GN950-B as 'Best 4k' and removed the Samsung Odyssey G9 as Super Ultrawide alternative for consistency; replaced the LG 34GN850-B with the LG 34GP83A-B because the latter is easier to find.
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.