While even the cheapest monitors can be used for gaming, they don't all deliver the same performance. The best gaming monitors have fast response times that produce very little motion blur, as well as extremely low input lag to make sure every key press matches what is going on on the screen. In recent years, new gaming technologies have emerged that have drastically changed the way we game. AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-SYNC deliver fast, tear-free motion. Ever faster response times have become the norm. There are so many models out there with such a wide variety of features that it can be hard to choose.
We've reviewed 38 monitors, and below you will find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for PS4, the best curved gaming monitors, the best gaming monitors for PC and the best gaming monitors under $300.
The ASUS ROG PG279Q is the best gaming monitor we have tested so far. It has excellent motion handling, with a nearly instantaneous response time and multiple overdrive options that you can adjust to your preference. It also has a flicker-free backlight that can introduce flicker to further reduce motion blur.
It is compatible with Nvidia's G-Sync variable refresh rate technology, and the wide variable refresh rate range means you'll have a perfect gaming experience, free from screen tearing even with the most demanding games. The 144 Hz refresh rate can also be overclocked to 165 Hz directly on the monitor if you want even better gaming performance.
Unfortunately, it isn't the best monitor for gaming in a dark room, as it has disappointing black uniformity and the contrast ratio doesn't deliver true blacks. The design is a little more subtle than some of the higher end gaming monitors, so there's no RGB ambient lighting or headphone hook, which might disappoint some people.
Overall, it is an excellent gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you like the gaming performance of the ASUS ROG PG279Q, but would prefer a FreeSync monitor to match your Radeon graphics card, check out the Samsung CHG70. The CHG70 has a slightly slower response time, and the viewing angles aren't as wide. The CHG70 also supports HDR, which has yet to see wide adoption for PC gaming but is a nice addition for console gaming. The gaming performance is nearly identical, with the same wide VRR range and excellent low input lag.
If you want a great 4k gaming experience, check out the LG 27UK650. The UK650 delivers great clear motion with little blur thanks to the excellent fast response time. It has excellent low input lag that is perfect for gaming, and it supports AMD's FreeSync VRR technology, great if you have an AMD graphics card or Xbox One S/X. Unfortunately, since it is a 60 Hz monitor, the VRR range is limited to 40-60 Hz, so you might still see some screen tearing if your refresh rate drops below this range.
Unlike the ASUS ROG PG279Q, it can't introduce flicker to improve motion clarity. Like the Samsung CHG70, it supports HDR, but unfortunately, it has a narrow HDR color gamut and it isn't very bright in HDR, so the effects aren't as noticeable.
Overall it is a great gaming monitor that should please most people, and the large high-resolution screen is great for a variety of uses.
If you have an older computer that can't run most games at higher resolutions, or play mainly older games that don't support higher resolutions, the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is the best 1080p gaming monitor that we have tested so far. The BenQ Zowie's biggest feature is the lightning fast 240 Hz refresh rate, which delivers an extremely wide VRR range when paired with a FreeSync compatible graphics card.
Paired with the extremely low input lag, the Zowie is an excellent gaming monitor even for professional competitive gamers. Motion is crisp and smooth, with almost no motion blur, thanks to the extremely fast response time. Fast games can be further improved by enabling the XL2540's Black Frame Insertion feature.
Unfortunately, it isn't the greatest for dark room gaming, as it can't produce true blacks and has poor black uniformity. Overall, it is a great 1080p gaming monitor that should please even the most demanding gamers.
If you are looking for a cheaper monitor than our top picks, the best budget gaming monitor we've tested is the ViewSonic XG2402. It has an excellent 144 Hz refresh rate, and it supports AMD FreeSync, ensuring a smooth, tear-free gaming experience. The XG2402 has an outstanding response time, so fast moving objects look great, with very little motion blur.
The ViewSonic XG2402 has excellent low input lag, and supports FreeSync across HDMI and DisplayPort, which is great. Some people might find the 1080p, 24" screen too small, but it's great for casual gaming or in a dorm.
Unfortunately, the XG2402 uses a TN panel, and like IPS monitors, it doesn't look as good in a dark room. Unlike IPS monitors, it also doesn't have very wide viewing angles, so it is best enjoyed from directly in front. Overall, it is a decent monitor for mixed-usage, but it's a great budget gaming monitor that should please most people.
If you like the gaming performance of the ASUS VG248QE but want a larger, higher resolution screen, check out the ASUS PB277Q. The PB277Q features a larger, 27", 1440p screen. Unfortunately, the refresh is limited to 75 Hz, compared with the PB277Q's 144 Hz. Despite this, the PB277Q has an equally excellent fast response time, and almost as good low input lag. It doesn't have the optional Black Frame Insertion feature found on the smaller model, but the response time is so fast anyway that it isn't really a necessity.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors currently available to play video games. 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 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.