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. Some of the best gaming monitors have fast response times that produce very little motion blur and extremely low input lag to make sure every keypress matches what's happening on the screen. In recent years, new gaming technologies have emerged that have drastically changed the way we game. Also, there are so many models out there with such a wide variety of features that it can be hard to choose.
We've tested over 130 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. For the best console gaming monitors, see our articles about the best gaming monitors for PS4 and the best gaming monitors for Xbox One. See also our recommendations for the best curved gaming monitors.
The best gaming monitor with native FreeSync support that we've tested is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It's a well-built, versatile model with excellent ergonomics, so you can easily place the screen how you like. Along with its native FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, it's G-SYNC compatible with NVIDIA graphics cards.
It has a large, 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution, which helps deliver an immersive gaming experience without putting too much stress on your graphics card. Its native 144Hz refresh rate can easily be overclocked to 165Hz, which helps provide more smooth motion. The response time at its max refresh rate is excellent, and even though it's slower at 60Hz, there's a Black Frame Insertion feature that helps reduce motion blur. Input lag is really low, and it stays low with VRR enabled, which is great. Picture quality looks good because it has good peak brightness, wide viewing angles, and excellent gray uniformity.
Sadly, it doesn't perform as well in dark rooms. Like most IPS panels, it has a low contrast ratio and mediocre black uniformity, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It also has limited additional features and doesn't have many connectivity options, but this shouldn't be an issue for most people. However, it has built-in speakers, great if you don't want to buy an external setup. All in all, this is one of the best gaming monitors that we've tested.
If you prefer a monitor with a VA panel for dark-room gaming, look into the Samsung C27HG70. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the ASUS TUF VG27AQ but instead has a good contrast ratio that displays deep blacks. It has a local dimming feature, but like most monitors, it doesn't perform well and creates blooming around bright objects. In terms of gaming, it offers great overall performance. It has an excellent response time at its max refresh rate, but sadly, it's bad at 60Hz, and there are visible artifacts, so it's not ideal for console gaming. Input lag is really low, and it also has G-SYNC support. It has great color accuracy, a wide color gamut, and gets somewhat bright in HDR to make highlights pop. Lastly, it's well-built, and the stand has good ergonomics.
The ASUS is the best gaming monitor with FreeSync support that we've tested, but if you don't need wide viewing angles and prefer a good contrast ratio, check out the Samsung.
The ViewSonic Elite XG270QG is the best gaming monitor with native G-SYNC support that we've tested. It's an excellent gaming model packed with features such as built-in speakers, RGB illumination, and the ability to add a virtual crosshair in your game. It even has three USB inputs, which is great for charging your devices.
It has native G-SYNC support to get the most out of your NVIDIA graphics card, and it's FreeSync compatible. Its 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 165Hz and its response time at its max refresh rate is incredible, resulting in minimal motion blur. Even at 60Hz, the response time is really fast, so you shouldn't notice any motion artifacts in fast-moving scenes. Input lag is really low, and even though it's higher than other gaming monitors at 60Hz, most people shouldn't notice a difference. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles and performs well in well-lit environments because it has good peak brightness and great reflection handling.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR and has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is terrible, but this may vary between units. On the upside, the 27 inch, 1440p screen provides an immersive gaming experience and delivers crisp images. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card and want something with native G-SYNC support, this is one of the best gaming monitors we've tested.
The best gaming monitor for esports is the ASUS VG279QM. This IPS model is an excellent choice for gaming, largely due to its maximum 280Hz refresh rate, while the monitor itself is compatible with both G-SYNC and FreeSync. Viewing angles are great from the side, which is ideal if multiple people are watching the screen at the same time. The ergonomics are outstanding overall, as you can place it however you'd like to best suit your gaming setup.
It has outstanding motion handling, resulting in clear motion and very little blur behind fast-moving objects as you game. Its great SDR peak brightness helps it overcome glare in a bright room, and it has amazing gray uniformity, with only a bit of vignetting in the corners. It can get decently bright with HDR content and has impressively accurate colors out-of-the-box.
Unfortunately, because it has an IPS panel, it's not ideal for gaming in the dark due to its low contrast ratio. Also, it's screen resolution is limited to 1080p, which isn't ideal for multitasking. Finally, the input lag at 60Hz is likely too high for console gamers but is otherwise outstanding at the native resolution and refresh rate. Overall, this is one of the best monitors we've tested.
The best gaming monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is an amazing choice for gamers, as it has a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz and supports FreeSync and G-Sync to help reduce screen tearing. It features a 34 inch screen, and its 1440p resolution immerses you in the action or allows for multiple windows to be opened side-by-side.
It has excellent response time at the maximum refresh rate, which makes fast-moving content appear crisp. It also has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur, and it supports HDR. It has decent viewing angles, though unfortunately, it doesn't have a curved screen, so you may notice some slight image degradation on the far sides of the screen.
Unfortunately, it lacks local dimming, and its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio, which makes it blacks appear grayish. It also has a tough time overcoming glare in very bright rooms as its peak brightness is only okay. Also, while it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut, and it can't get bright enough for HDR content to really pop. That being said, its high refresh rate and VRR support help make this the best ultrawide gaming monitor that we've tested.
If you want to take immersion to the next level with an even wider monitor, check out the Samsung C49RG9/CRG9. Unlike the LG 34GN850-B's 21:9 aspect ratio, this one is much wider at a whopping 32:9, which is equivalent to two 1440p screens placed side-by-side. Its VA panel has a decent contrast ratio, but black uniformity is rather poor, as there's noticeable clouding throughout the screen. As with most VA panels, viewing angles are disappointing, but its curved panel does help, making it easier for you to see the sides. As for HDR performance, it has a decent wide color gamut and an impressive peak brightness to make highlights pop in HDR content.
Overall, the LG is a better choice for an ultrawide gaming monitor, as the size fits easily on most desks, but if you want the most immersive experience you can get, consider the Samsung.
The best budget gaming monitor we've tested is the ViewSonic XG2402. It doesn't have the most stylish design with its thick bezels, but it's well-built, and it has good ergonomics so that you can adjust it easily to your optimal viewing position.
As expected of most TN panels, its response time and input lag are superb, but contrast and viewing angles suffer as a consequence. Also, it has a 144Hz refresh rate that makes motion look incredibly smooth, and it supports FreeSync technology to reduce screen tearing. It's also compatible with G-SYNC; however, it requires a DisplayPort connection for it to work. For a budget option, the out-of-the-box color accuracy is surprisingly good. Although it has a basic 1080p resolution, its smaller 24 inch screen results in a higher pixel density, which keeps images and text looking sharp.
Sadly, there's no HDR support, which is somewhat expected for something in this price range. It does come with quite a few extra features, such as built-in speakers and USB 3.0 ports to charge your mobile devices. All in all, if you're shopping for the best gaming monitor on a tight budget, the ViewSonic is a great choice.
10/26/2020: Added the Acer Nitro XV340CK as 'Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor' and moved the LG 34GN850-B to Notable Mentions. Added the Samsung Odyssey G9 to Notable Mentions.
09/25/2020: Removed the Samsung Odyssey G7, moved the ASUS VG27AQ to the Best Free Sync pick, and added the Samsung CHG70 as an alternative; removed the Dell S2716DG.
08/19/2020: Added the Samsung Odyssey G7 and moved the ASUS VG27AQ to alternate pick; removed the LG 27GL850-B.
07/16/2020: Added the ASUS VG279QM as 'Best esports Gaming Monitor'.
06/23/2020: Replaced the ASUS PG279QZ with the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG.
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.