The gaming monitor market is growing, and it's becoming easier to find the ideal monitor for your needs. Depending on the games you play and your price range, you'll need a different monitor than someone else. Most high-end gaming monitors have a fast response time with very little motion blur, and they have extremely low input lag. There are extra technologies that further improve the gaming experience, like variable refresh rate technology and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth if you have an Xbox Series X or PS5. There are high-resolution monitors if you want an immersive gaming experience, and there are others with a higher refresh rate and lower resolution.
We've bought and tested over 250 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors to buy. Also, see our picks for the best 4k gaming monitors, the best 240Hz monitors, and the best budget gaming monitors.
The best gaming monitor we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, which is easiest to buy directly through Dell's website. It's an excellent ultrawide gaming monitor that doesn't have the highest resolution or refresh rate compared to other monitors. However, it's known for its incredible motion handling and remarkable picture quality. It's a QD-OLED display, meaning it combines the perfect black levels of OLEDs with the wide range of colors of quantum dot displays. Content looks amazing in dark rooms, and colors look vivid in HDR, but there are issues when using it in a bright room as the black levels raise, so it's better to game with it in the dark. There are also some text clarity and color fringing problems; however, it doesn't affect the overall picture quality in games.
It has an OLED panel with a near-instantaneous response time, resulting in an incredibly smooth motion without any blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It also has a 175Hz refresh rate that you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection from your PC. It also natively supports G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing, which is beneficial if you have an NVIDIA graphics card and want to take full advantage of it.
If you prefer something a bit cheaper but still want high-end features, look into getting an upper mid-range monitor like the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75. It's a different type of monitor compared to the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, as it has a 16:9 aspect ratio with a 4k resolution, meaning it's the better choice if you want to use it for console gaming. It doesn't deliver the same perfect black levels as the Dell, but instead, it has Mini LED backlighting that lets highlights get brighter in HDR. It still looks great in dark rooms thanks to its high native contrast ratio and decent local dimming feature.
In terms of its gaming performance, it's excellent thanks to its 165Hz refresh rate and fast response time across its entire refresh rate range. There's a bit of black smearing with fast-moving objects, but it has an optional backlight strobing feature to help improve the appearance of motion. It also features HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that lets you take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X as you can play 4k games up to 120 fps on it, making it a more versatile gaming monitor than the Dell.
If you don't need the best in terms of both gaming and picture quality, you can still get excellent gaming performance with a mid-range monitor like the Gigabyte M32U. It has the same 32-inch, 4k screen as the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75, with the main difference being that it doesn't feature Mini LED backlighting. It means that it doesn't have the same excellent picture quality, especially for dark room gaming or HDR, but it has a different panel type with wider viewing angles instead, making it the better choice for co-op gaming.
It has the same HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for console gaming. Even if you game from a PC, it's excellent thanks to its low input lag for a responsive feel, flicker-free backlight, and fast response time across its entire refresh rate range. It also has native FreeSync VRR support, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, it's G-SYNC compatible. While it doesn't perform well in dark rooms, it's good in well-lit rooms as it has very good peak brightness and decent reflection handling. If you find the 32-inch screen size too big, there's a smaller version, the Gigabyte M28U, that you can get cheaper, but it has worse ergonomics.
If you're looking for something cheaper but aren't necessarily on a tight budget, the LG 27GP850-B is a good alternative. As you move down in price, there are a few features you lose out on; in this case, the LG has a lower resolution than the Gigabyte M32U. It means that images don't look as sharp, but that's the sacrifice you make when getting something cheaper. Still, it has a 180Hz max refresh rate, and the 1440p resolution results in good image clarity. It doesn't have HDMI 2.1 bandwidth either, so you can't use it for 4k @ 120Hz gaming from consoles, but it downscales a 4k image, which results in a sharper image than a native 1440p signal.
Motion looks incredibly smooth on this monitor as it has a very fast response time, especially with high-frame-rate signals, and it remains fast even with low-frame-rate signals. It also has low input lag for a quick and responsive gaming experience. It has other gaming features like native FreeSync VRR support, G-SYNC compatibility, and an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur. However, it only works within a limited range.
If you're on a budget, there are plenty of options to choose from. You'll have to sacrifice a few features, but you can still get something with impressive gaming performance, like the ViewSonic XG2431. It has a lower resolution than the LG 27GP850-B and a smaller screen, so it doesn't deliver the same immersive gaming experience; instead, it has a higher 240Hz refresh rate. It's great if you want to play games at a high frame rate, and your graphics card can take full advantage of the high refresh rate. While it has a smaller screen and lower resolution than the LG, it still has decent image clarity, so images aren't blurry.
The high refresh rate helps provide an extremely fast response time, and it has low input lag for a responsive feel. It also has an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur, and unlike many monitors, you can control the pulse width and phase to your liking. Even though it's a budget-friendly monitor, it still has a few extra features, like a black stabilizer that adjusts the gamma so that you see opponents easier in games.
If you want a monitor even cheaper than the ViewSonic XG2431, then check out the HP X24ih. Like with any monitor, you're losing out on features if you spend less money, and in this case, it has a lower 144Hz refresh rate. While it may not seem appealing to competitive gamers, this refresh rate and 1080p resolution are ideal if you're getting into PC gaming and need a simple monitor for your entry-level graphics card. Even without all the bells and whistles of higher-end monitors, it's still great for gaming thanks to its exceptional response time and low input lag, but unlike the ViewSonic, it doesn't have a backlight-strobing feature.
While the monitor doesn't look good in dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio, it's still good for well-lit rooms as it gets bright enough to fight glare. It also has alright ergonomics; however, it doesn't offer any swivel adjustment. If that's important to you, the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is also a great low-cost gaming monitor, but considering it costs more than the HP, it's worth getting the HP if you want a cheap gaming option.
Nov 02, 2022: Removed the Gigabyte M27Q X because it's hard to find and renamed the Gigabyte M32U as the 'Best Mid-Range Gaming Monitor'; added the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 and the LG 27GP850-B to their respective categories; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Sep 26, 2022: Restructured article to reflect user needs and for consistency; renamed the Dell Alienware AW3423DW as the 'Best Gaming Monitor' and the Gigabyte M32U as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Gaming Monitor'; removed the LG 27GP850-B, Acer Nitro XF243Y, and the Dell Alienware AW2521H because they don't fit user needs anymore; added the Gigabyte M27Q X, ViewSonic XG2431, and the HP X24ih; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Jul 04, 2022: Added the LG 27GP850-B as the 'Best Mid-Range' and replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the Dell Alienware AW3423DW because it's better overall; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
May 27, 2022: Restructured article to reflect user needs; moved the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM to an alternative to the Samsung Odyssey G7, moved the LG 279G950-B to Notable Mentions, and updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Apr 14, 2022: Completely restructured, adding the Dell Alienware AW2521H as the 'Best Esports Gaming Monitor' and the LG 27GP950-B as the 'Best Console Gaming Monitor'. Removed a few out-of-date Notable Mentions, and refreshed the text throughout.
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.