Gaming monitors have started to hit their stride. Whether you’re looking for a 4K gaming monitor for the sharpest picture or a 240Hz gaming monitor for the smoothest experience, you’ll be able to find something to cater to your exact style of gaming and loaded with all the latest technology you could want. Aside from those extremes, you’ll also find tons of value in our picks. And, we’re not just talking about budget gaming monitors, we mean the majority of monitors now feature VA or IPS panels for great color depth, while offering up fast response times, and all of them are 60Hz or faster. These monitors can change the way you game.
The plethora of options is a boon and a curse though. There are almost too many good options to churn through, but luckily for you, we’re experts in this field and have reviewed or witnessed the majority of the options in action. We’ll save you the trouble of having to pour through all the specs and compare models by simply serving up the best gaming monitors on the market – and click here to see them in the UK.
TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Monitors:
1. LG UltraGear 34GP950G-B
Best Gaming Monitor
There’s a new leader of the pack, and that’s the LG UltraGear 34GP950G. You’ll find greatness around every corner on this display. Its big, 34-inch display provides a spacious viewing area for your games with a cinematic, 21:9 aspect ratio. It stays sharp at 3,440 x 1,440 and it keeps your visuals clear with a fast response time and Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate, so you won’t suffer from screen tearing, stutter, coronas, or ghosting. This display is going to keep you immersed in the game no matter what you’re playing.
LG has used a Nano IPS display on this model that comes with impactful color with a 10-bit color depth, and those visuals will really pop thanks to the 600-nit peak brightness and HDR capabilities. It’s enough for the monitor to almost completely cover the expansive DCI-P3 color space. These specs surpass most monitors on the market, so you’re going to be blown away by the picture. And, all of that visual quality can cruise at 144Hz, or you can enable the overclocked mode to boost it up to 180Hz. You’ll be getting some super-smooth gameplay. There’s even content-responsive bias lighting built into the monitor with an RGB light ring on the back. This monitor truly means business, if your business is gaming.
2. Dell 2721HGF
Best Budget Gaming Monitor
Even if you’ve spent a good deal of your budget on other gaming peripherals, you can still snag a solid monitor on the cheap. The Dell 2721HGF offers up a 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate for under $250. These specs, along with the support of both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, give you ample visual and motion fidelity, allowing you to see all the action in your games. A 1080p resolution is also easier for modern graphics cards to drive at high frame rates, making it an excellent pairing for any budget gaming builds.
The Dell 2721HGF has a 27-inch screen with a slight curve to wrap around your field of vision, immersing you further in a game’s action. This isn’t the brightest display out there for features like HDR, but the 350 nit VA panel is easy on the eyes and offers a decent contrast ratio. The color accuracy makes games vibrant, though there is a bit of ghosting behind dark objects. A height and tilt adjustable stand is also included to ensure you get the perfect viewing angle.
3. Acer Nitro XV282K
Best 4K Gaming Monitor
Jumping up to a 4K resolution is one way to improve your gaming experience, as it’ll deliver a crisper picture with more fine detail than lower resolutions. But, that high resolution is only a small piece of the picture. For a monitor that delivers 4K as well as upgrades in just about every other department, the Acer Nitro XV282K is hard to beat. This 28-inch option puts that impressive 4K picture on a shiny IPS display with 400-nit peak brightness, giving you a vibrant and colorful 4K HDR experience, as you find on the best gaming TVs. It’s important to note when using gaming consoles, you can’t switch user modes and are stuck in HDR, which can be a bit taxing on your eyes.
Unlike most gaming TVs, the Acer Nitro XV282K is built for speed. The panel delivers a 144Hz refresh rate, though, you can overclock up to 170Hz for silky-smooth gameplay on your PC. Even if you’re not able to hit 144fps at 4K in some games, the support for AMD FreeSync — G-Sync support is not official, though we tested the monitor and found it works without flaw — ensures you’ve got clean, full frames on display instead of a torn-up picture. The multiple HDMI 2.1 ports and DisplayPort make this monitor great for taking advantage of the latest gaming consoles and high-end PC builds.
4. Samsung Odyssey G7
Best 1440p Gaming Monitor
If you don’t think 4K is all it’s cracked up to be, then there’s plenty to be gained by sticking with old faithful: 1440p. This resolution will be able to run your games better. And, the Samsung Odyssey G7 offers up a solid 1440p display with a fairly tight curve. That’s a good start for gaming, but this monitor is ready to take as much graphical horsepower as you can throw at it thanks to a super-fast, 240Hz refresh rate. Those are the kinds of speeds usually reserved for 1080p monitors.
With the Odyssey G7, you’ll get those speeds alongside a 600-nit peak brightness and 10-bit color depth. So, not only will you be able to see a ton of frames, but each frame can look exceptional. And, don’t worry about tearing, as this monitor supports both G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro. It’s ready to take on whatever you throw at it.
5. Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR
Best 1080p Gaming Monitor
People might be clamoring over 4K displays, and 1440p has a home in the hearts of many gamers who are trying to balance visual quality with value, but 1080p still has its place. The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR is a prime example of just what 1080p is still good for. For under $250, you get a screen that delivers a 165Hz refresh rate, jumping right past 144Hz, which will see your games run as smooth as hot butter.
The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QR stretches its 1080p picture across a 24.5-inch IPS panel for incredible motion performance, and at 300 nits, it’s plenty bright for easy viewing. The contrast ratio isn’t the best, but a shadow boost feature while gaming helps to expose enemies lurking in the shadows. The IPS panel also offers G-Sync compatibility, ensuring your monitor and GPU are on the same team, so visuals look great without tearing. The VG259QR manages to tick some other quality-of-life boxes, too, with a height-adjustable, pivoting stand, two HDMI ports, and one DisplayPort for ample connectivity opportunities.
6. Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q1A
Best Budget 4K Gaming Monitor
4K doesn’t always mean you have to spend a fortune, and the Asus TUF Gaming is proof. By putting down a little over $300, you’ll be getting that impressive resolution and a whole lot more. First, we’re talking about HDR, as the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q1A supports a 10-bit color depth to show substantially more shades of color than your typical monitor. The IPS panel on this monitor also gets brighter than the typical monitor to let highlights pop. It can boost shadows, too, so you won’t struggle to see what’s going on in darker scenes of your games.
Now, because this monitor only boasts a 60Hz refresh rate, it may not be ideal for competitive gaming where a higher refresh rate can offer a competitive edge. But, the high resolution on a 28-inch panel will offer exceptionally crisp visuals for you to enjoy the detail in story modes. And, thanks to FreeSync support, you won’t have that perfect 4K picture marred by screen tearing.
7. Asus TUF Gaming VG32VQR
Best Curved Gaming Monitor
Curved monitors sometimes give you leg up against competitors, as the screen pairs perfectly with your field of vision. Our favorite happens to be the Asus TUF Gaming VG32VQR, which offers a little bit of everything, including a slight 1800R curve to keep every bit of the screen facing you. This 31.5-inch display totes a 1440p resolution with a fast 165Hz refresh rate that’s good for delivering super-smooth gaming at a crisp level.
It’s not just the resolution, refresh rate, and slight curve that help you keep track of your enemies, but also the 400-nit brightness and high contrast on the VA panel. That type of performance means the monitor has DisplayHDR 400 certification. You also get support for FreeSync Premium to ensure the picture remains tear-free whether you’re hitting high or low frame rates. However, the best part of Asus TUF Gaming VG32VQR might be the low cost, especially when considering all its features.
8. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9
Best Super Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
With the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9, you get a super ultrawide display, and it’s not just “super” because of how wide it is, but also because of how powerful it is. Samsung delivers an insanely stretched-out 48.8-inch display panel that’s effectively two 1440p monitors side by side without a gap in between. The display has an incredibly tight 1000R curvature that keeps it nice and close to your eyes from one side to the other.
Samsung has stuffed this thing to the gills, too. The display is lit with intense Mini LED backlights that deliver a 2,000-nit peak brightness — something you’ll be hard-pressed to find on just about any other screen. That brightness pairs with the strong contrast and broad color of the QLED panel in front of those Mini LEDs. You can take all the gorgeous gaming visuals this monitor can display for a high-speed cruise thanks to the monitor’s 240Hz refresh rate. And, since 5,120 x 1,440 won’t be the easiest resolution for any computer to drive, FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync compatibility will help keep the visuals neat and tidy.
9. Gigabyte Aorus FV43U
Best Gaming Monitor for the Xbox Series X/S and PS5
If you want to game on a monitor with your new consoles, you’ll want to do it with the Gigabyte Aorus FV43U. This is a monitor measuring 43-inches diagonally, but it brings with it some high-end gaming chops that will let you make the most of your PS5, Xbox Series console, and even your gaming PC. You can do all of this without needing to swap cables behind the monitor thanks to its inclusion of two HDMI 2.1 ports and a DisplayPort connection.
The Gigabyte Aorus FV43U has a 4K VA panel that gets incredibly bright with a peak at 1,000 nits. It also delivers a 10-bit color depth, so you’ll be able to enjoy some serious HDR visuals while you game. And, you can enjoy the 4K visuals and HDR alongside high speeds. The display offers up a 144Hz max refresh rate with the two HDMI ports letting you go for the peak 4K/120Hz on offer from the latest consoles.
10. ViewSonic Elite XG270QG
Best G-Sync Gaming Monitor
If you know you’re after a monitor with true G-Sync capability, then you’ll love the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG. This monitor hits the sweet spot with a 1440p resolution on a 27-inch display. It gives you clear visuals without putting the crazy stress on your graphics card that 4K visuals can. And, you’ll want that additional headroom from your graphics card to help it take advantage of this monitor’s 165Hz refresh rate.
The capabilities of this monitor extend beyond gaming as well. That’s thanks to its colorful display, which supports up to 1.07 billion colors and covers enough of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color spaces to offer an excellent visual experience in whatever you do.
11. Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X Tactical Gaming Display
Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor
You can find FreeSync around almost every corner, even popping up on some budget work-oriented monitors. But, if you want the best FreeSync Monitor, it’s going to be the Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X Tactical Gaming Display. This is no casual 1080p display, nor one that settles for a leisurely 144Hz refresh rate. With the Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X, you’re getting a 1440p display that blazes a trail at 240Hz. Given how hard it’ll be to run many games that fast, FreeSync Premium will come into play to keep each frame intact (or G-Sync if you switch to an Nvidia card later on).
The resolution is only one part of what’s going to make each of those frames look great, though. The Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X pumps out the brightness with a 450-nit display panel, and it pairs that with richer color thanks to 10-bit color support. These are some nice upgrades to the Aorus FI27Q, which we were already fans of.
12. Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A
Best G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor
G-Sync can be pricy, but it gets a lot more affordable when you just use a quality FreeSync monitor that’s been officially vetted for strong G-Sync compatibility. That’s what the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A offers. You’ll get a bright, sharp, and fast experience from this monitor thanks to its combination of a 1440p resolution, a 470-nit peak brightness, and a 170Hz refresh rate. However, you’ll be limited to 144Hz when using G-Sync.
This display can handle some HDR gaming, and it even supports 10-bit color, letting you get a great picture in and out of games. This monitor is also a strong option for anyone looking at the Xbox Series S, as it can support that console’s 1440p and 120Hz specs alongside FreeSync.
13. Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HFL)
Best Esports Gaming Monitor
When it comes to esports, there are a few things you need to consider beyond speed. The Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor (AW2521HFL) has speed on lock with a 240Hz refresh rate that’ll let you cruise through maps while catching all the visual detail you need to get the drop on your opponents.
The Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor keeps things fairly simple by using a 1080p display panel that will make it easier for your system to push the full 240fps you need to take advantage of the display. And, when you can’t keep a constant frame rate, FreeSync and G-Sync support ensure you won’t run into tearing. A nice extra perk of this monitor is its use of a fast IPS panel, which can help ensure your viewing angle won’t impact your ability to see enemies in games.
Where to Get the Best Gaming Monitor in the UK
We’ve mentioned several brilliant screens on this list, with up to 14 different options to choose from. These range from the most affordable all the way up until the juggernaut sets for those who love to take in every single detail. Thankfully, all of the displays mentioned can be found in UK retailers, and we’ve just so happened to track them down to save you the trouble of a time-consuming Google search.
What to look for in a gaming monitor
Below we go over the three essential things you should consider including screen size, resolution, and aspect ratio. We’ve also briefly explained a few of the more technical aspects of computer display such as panel types, refresh rate, and the variable refresh rate technologies available today.
Screen size: “How big?” Will probably be the first thing you’ll ask yourself, and the answer really comes down to your unique situation. Are you in a tiny dorm with barely any room or are you looking to get a 43-inch gaming monitor to replace your TV?
How you answer that question will ultimately determine the display size you need. But, if you’re looking for some basic guidelines on screen sizes, 24- to 27-inch displays will satisfy most gamers. Those looking for a more immersive experience might be interested in a 32-inch or larger screen. As with most things, gaming monitors will usually become more expensive as you go up in size, so think with your budget as much as your ambition.
Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of your monitor is closely related to its size because it determines which form factor your display will have. The majority of monitors fall into the widescreen category with their 16:9 aspect ratio. Ultrawide displays have been rising in popularity recently, and these screens often feature the 21:9 aspect ratio you would typically see at the movie theater. If you can believe it, modern displays have only been getting even wider and there’s a growing crop of 32:9 displays as well.
Screen resolution: This determines how sharp your gaming monitor will be and, for the most part, there are three choices: Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440), and Ultra HD or 4K (3,840 x 2,160). Like screen size, as the numbers go up so does the price, plus they’ll require a higher-end graphics card if you hope to maintain a high frame rate.
Panel type: Although most monitors might look the same on the surface, there are a few different panel types that offer specific benefits and shortcomings. Twisted Nematic (TN) panels are the most basic and common panel you’ll come across as they deliver the fastest response times of 1ms often at the cost of duller colors, grayer black levels, and poor viewing angles.
In-Plane Switching (IPS) is the next most prevalent type of display and it’s basically the opposite of a TN panel. Rather than focusing on speed, IPS panels are known for rendering excellent colors and contrast while offering wider viewing angles in exchange for slightly slower response time, usually hovering around 3-5ms.
Lastly, Vertical Alignment (VA) panels are becoming increasingly common and they essentially split the difference between TN and IPS panels. They offer great image quality with decently quick response times. VA panels aren’t perfect, though, as sometimes fast-moving objects will give off ghosting effects due to the slower response time.
If you want a responsive experience, it’s best to pick one with a fast response time, which is a measure of how quickly a pixel can change from the brightest to the darkest (white to black) color.
Response time: Competitive shooters and MoBAs demand the quickest response times, so it’s best to play these types of games on monitors that offer a 1ms response time. Playing Indie games and most single-player experiences shouldn’t be a problem on a display with a response time between 3-5ms – and it’s pretty much impossible to find a monitor that is slower than this.
Refresh rate: This is another important measure of how responsive the display is, and it defines how often your screen can display a completely new image — so it essentially dictates your frame rate. 60Hz is the standard refresh rate for silky smooth PC gaming, but there’s a long list of options that feature even higher refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, and, so far, up to 240Hz.
Basically, the higher the refresh rates the more times the image on your screen will update every second, resulting in a smoother gameplay experience. Beyond the visual appeal of high refresh rate displays, they can be useful for gamers who need to keep up with the rapid movements competitive games demand. Generally, you’ll be at an advantage if you see your opponents and react before they do.
G-Sync vs FreeSync: Variable refresh rate (VRR) technology is a fairly recent invention and it ensures you have a consistently smooth and responsive gaming experience. Currently, there are two flavors of VRR, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, and they’ll require a prerequisite that you own a compatible graphics card from the corresponding brand. Nvidia GeForce cards do allow you to enable VRR on any FreeSync monitor, but your results will vary.
At the most basic level, VRR syncs your monitor’s refresh rate with the number of frames your GPU outputs. This prevents screen tearing caused by the graphics card feeding your display multiple frames while it’s is in the middle of refreshing its picture. If your graphics card is running your game at 60 fps, you’ll see your monitor refresh at exactly 60Hz with wonderfully smooth gameplay.
Our only other piece of advice when buying a gaming monitor is to make sure your video card can handle the resolution and refresh rate of the display you’re considering. It would be a waste of money to buy a 4K monitor when your GPU can only handle 1080p gaming.
Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam