The best gaming TV offers great picture and sound while also giving you the speedy performance you need to make the most of your new PS5 or Xbox Series X. Of the dozens of TVs we review every year, only a few are considered the best 4K gaming TVs. From resolution and refresh rates to connectivity and features, getting the best gaming experience from your console demands getting a TV that can keep up, because all that eye candy is wasted if you’re hooked up to a subpar TV.
And even if you’re still playing on a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, the key to getting the best 4K gaming experience is to get a TV that can match the best your console will put out, from sharp resolution and vivid HDR to speedy response times.
Unlike the best gaming monitors, gaming TVs are great because they can be used for catching live sports or bingeing Netflix when you’re ready for a break from Battle Royale and campaign races. You’ll also get better HDR than a standard monitor, plus some game-focused features like automatic game modes, high-frame-rate gaming support and Nvidia G-Sync on LG TVs.
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What are the best gamings TVs?
Of all the best gaming TVs, our favorite is the LG CX OLED. With a feature-set that’s ready for next-gen gaming and the best PC support in the category, our favorite 4K TV is also the top TV for any gamer.
For something that’s just as impressive, but for under $1,000, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) is an incredible value, boasting impressive gaming capability and forward-looking features, without the premium price.
This 2019 Samsung Q60R QLED set delivers mesmerizing colors, deep blacks and sharp details for enhanced gameplay. With all its ports and 120Hz refresh rate, we think it offers a solid value for the price. This set is versatile enough to join your home’s central entertainment system for everyone in the household to enjoy.
The best gaming TVs you can buy today
The LG CX OLED isn’t just our favorite 4K smart TV, it’s also the best gaming TV you can buy. The CX’s slim OLED display is gorgeous, but it also boasts some of the fastest response times we’ve seen, with a tested lag time of 13.1 milliseconds. And it packs other gamer-friendly features, like a full set of HDMI 2.1 ports, ready to offer full connectivity for next-gen consoles, and Nvidia G-Sync capability for PC gaming.
On top of that, it’s an incredible TV, with tons of smart features, like built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, integrated smart home controls and an intuitive motion-control remote, and even AI-powered features for better video and audio quality and smarter content recommendations. With Dolby Vision IQ, it even tweaks HDR to look better in different lighting.
Read our full LG CX OLED review.
If you want one of the best gaming TVs on the market, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) is the best value, hands down. While all modern TVs have a low-latency game mode, the TCL 6-Series R635 is the first to get THX Certified Game Mode, which not only strips out the extra video processing that would slow down the response time for the player, it also meets a bunch of other criteria for high-quality images. These stringent requirements look at everything from color quality and refresh rates to rise time, which measures how quickly the TV can handle dark-to-light transitions, essential for fast-paced games.
The 6-Series also supports all of the gaming-oriented features of HDMI 2.1 connectivity, like Auto-Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which switches to game mode as soon as the console is turned on, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), which matches the screen to the frame-by-frame output coming from the TV, synchronizing the two for judder-free gaming. All that feature support makes it ideal for handling the 4K, high-frame-rate gaming offered by the PS5 and Xbox Series X later this year.
Read our full TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) review.
For one of the best 4K gaming TVs with premium performance, look no farther than the Samsung Q60R QLED TV, our favorite TV for gaming. The 65-inch display offers superb color (Delta-E rating 1.6, color gamut 99.96%), excellent motion handling and a polished smart TV experience with built-in voice assistant. It’s a solid TV in its own right. It’s price may make it a bit of an investment, but delivers value is every aspect.
On the gaming front, the Q60 has everything you could want: Short lag times (16.3 milliseconds), an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, plenty of HDMI ports and robust HDR support. It even has automatic game console detection that switches you to game mode the moment you power on the console. If you want the best TV for gaming, this is it.
Check out our full Samsung Q60R QLED TV review.
Go bigger with your games on the Sony X950G Android TV. The 75-inch smart TV is the largest we’ve ever reviewed, but it manages to be a pretty big deal thanks to solid picture quality, a great feature set and wide viewing angles. Sony has improved the smart TV experience with the latest version of Android TV and a new remote design, along with built-in Chromecast and thousands of apps.
Combine that with 22.4 millisecond response time, support for 10-bit color, Dolby Vision and gaming at 60Hz in full 4K resolution, and it’s easy to recommend the X950G as one of the best 4K gaming TVs. If you want to game on a view-filling 75-inch screen, it’s one of the best options available. The nearly bezel-less design adds a certain panache other sets in this category lack.
Check out our full Sony X950G 75-inch Android TV review.
How to choose the best gaming TVs for you
When it comes to picking the best 4K gaming TV, there are several factors to consider.
First, you’ll want to make sure that the TV has a dedicated game mode included in the picture settings. Game mode skips most of the processing that modern TVs use to provide cleaner, smoother picture reproduction, and as a result offer better speed and responsiveness. While all of the models in our list above have this, it’s worth double checking on any TV you want to buy.
Second, you want to check the TV’s frame rate. Most current TVs will offer a 60Hz refresh rate, which means that the TV refreshes the picture 60 times per second. Given that most current consoles and games top out at 60 frames per second, this is an ideal match. However, the latest systems demand better, with the new PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles offering frame rates up to 120Hz. If you want a TV that will handle next gen gaming, you’ll need something that supports 120Hz, as well.
The other major aspect of a good gaming TV is lag time, which encompasses the interval between an image or button press registering on the console and the resulting change displaying on screen. Measured in milliseconds, we recommend sticking to less than 30 millisecond lag times for any gaming, but more competitive gamers will want to find sets with lag times shorter than 20 milliseconds for the best performance.
Size is another element to consider. A larger TV will fill your field of vision, making for a more immersive gaming experience. Just don’t go too big; you want to be able to clearly see everything on the screen. Our guide answers the old question: What size TV do I need?
One additional point to consider is the physical design of the TV. The thinner the set’s bezels, the more immersive gaming and picture will be. Port placement will also be a significant factor is you need to disconnect your game system with any regularity – some TVs have easily accessible connections, but others do not, and your own setup will vary depending upon whether or not you choose to wall-mount your TV.
And don’t skimp on smart features if you plan to use your new TV outside of gaming. Smart TVs let you use your favorite apps and streaming services, mirror content from your phone or tablet, and provide a blend of online and over-the-air options for cord-cutters.
Finally, price and value play a pretty important role in people’s decision making, which is why we include TVs that will support gaming for less than $500. These budget-friendly options prove that you can get a great TV for 4K gaming without spending more than you paid for the console itself. Save a few bucks and go buy the game you really want to enjoy.
How we test the best gaming TVs
We put every TV we review through a series of benchmark tests to measure different aspects of performance, like color accuracy, brightness, lag times and more. We use the results to supplement anecdotal impressions gathered through hours of hands-on evaluation, which includes everything from watching movie clips and streaming Netflix to gaming with the latest console and games.
To test actual gaming capability, we spend time using every TV with an Xbox One X, playing current titles and checking the compatibility of features on each TV. Where it makes sense to do so, we’ll also adjust the TV settings to enable all of the features the console offers. In most cases, this doesn’t require anything more than switching to the TV’s game mode, but in some instances, we’ll also need to adjust the TV’s input settings to allow the full range of features to be supported, such as higher frame rates and HDR gaming capability.
When evaluating how well-suited a TV is for 4K gaming, we take a fresh look at specific test results, namely refresh rate and lag time, which both play into how well a set will display fast-paced games and handle the responsiveness they require. This is on top of our usual observations about image detail, color quality, brightness and features.
What you need to get your game on
Once you pick one of the best 4K gaming TVs above and your choice of gaming platform, you’ll need to get a few details straightened out before you can enjoy high-resolution gaming. First, you’ll need to use the right connections, specifically an HDMI 2.0 cable (or newer). Unlike HDMI 1.4, the newer standard offers wider bandwidth for delivering faster frame rates, richer 12-bit color and better audio quality.
You’ll also need to check your settings. On the console, enable 4K and HDR content. On the TV, you’ll want to check that HDR content is accepted from external devices. For optimal color support, you’ll also want to enable higher bit-rates. The specifics will vary from one TV to the next, but most manufacturers have instructions online for getting set up with a console.
Best gaming TVs: PS4 Pro compatibility
The PS4 Pro is the first console from Sony that can game at 4K resolution, and that’s reason enough to pick up a 4K TV if you haven’t already. The original PlayStation 4 topped out at 1080p, with 4K playback reserved exclusively for photos and videos, not games. Thanks to improved hardware and streamlined rendering, you can finally enjoy games like Mortal Kombat 11 or Red Dead Redemption 2 in all their high-resolution splendor.
That said, only about half of the current PS4 Pro titles that have been released have 4K support at all. That doesn’t mean that 4K is a waste of time, though, since most current games will offer something better than 1080p, and upscale the results for 4K displays. If you want the best-looking version of a game, the PS4 Pro can deliver it.
The PS4 Pro also offers support for high dynamic range (HDR) content, which lets games and other media take advantage of the better brightness, color gamut and contrast that new panels can offer. Thanks to this new standard, images offer richer depth and color in games that support it. Although few games at present offer HDR support, the new standard is gaining ground, and more games will include it going forward. Keep an eye out for games that say “PS4 Pro Enhanced,” which indicates that a game offers both 4K and HDR support.
Next gen consoles: PS5 and Xbox Series X
Now that the PS5 or Xbox Series X have arrived, it’s clear that the new gaming systems have capabilities that demand more from TVs. From new connectivity standards to extremely high resolutions, even the best 4K TVs for gaming might come up short when you bring home one of the latest gaming consoles.
Support for 4K gaming is already significant, and it’ll continue to grow. Recent news is bring greater focus on TVs for gaming, with Sony announcing two “Ready-for-PS5” TVs and TCL launching the first TV with THX certified game mode.
If you’re in the market for a TV to go with one of the newest consoles, there are three key features you’ll want to take into account: connectivity, frame rates and resolution.
Resolution: Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be able to handle much higher resolutions, with the promise of games playable at 8K Ultra HD or 7680 × 4320 pixels. While we don’t recommend jumping to 8K just yet, there’s a case to be made for gamers who want to embrace the new higher resolution experience.
Frame rates: Both consoles offer 4K gaming at 120 Hz, doubling or even quadrupling the current frame rates you can get and producing smooth, judder-free gameplay as a result.
Connectivity: To handle the new 8K and high refresh rates offered by the new consoles, both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 use the HDMI 2.1 standard. Since most current TVs don’t support 2.1 connectivity, you’ll need to either upgrade your TV and cables, or accept the reduced resolution and frame rates offered over the older 2.0 standard.
Check our guide “What TV do I need for PS5 and Xbox Series X?” to get the full picture of how gaming and TV will evolve with the launch of the new consoles.
Best gaming TVs: Xbox One X and Xbox One S compatibility
Microsoft’s Xbox One was a great console already, but with the release of the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X, you can finally go beyond 1080p. The Xbox One S is an evolutionary step forward from the original Xbox One with both 4K and HDR support, but it uses upscaling to present games at their best on ultra-HD TVs.
The Xbox One X, on the other hand, offers native 4K support, meaning that the games are actually rendered at the higher resolution instead of simply being upscaled for the higher-resolution display. In either case, your games will look far better than they did on a 1080p HDTV.
However, you’ll want to pay attention to frame rates and how they match up to the refresh rates of the TV you’re considering. Most games that can hit 4K resolution will do so at 30 fps, but a few, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, will pump out an impressive 60 fps.
The Xbox One X also has Dolby Vision support, offering best-in-class HDR support for the console. While Xbox games aren’t yet offering Dolby Vision-based gaming, the console will support the enhanced HDR standard for apps and streaming content, including 4K movies on Netflix and other streaming services.
For those that deliver the full triple threat of 4K resolution, HDR support and 60 fps, you’ll want a 4K TV that can do the same. Thankfully, there’s no need to shell out extra for the 120Hz premium displays of our top models unless you want that for your non-gaming enjoyment.
Best gaming TVs: PC gaming
Even in the PC world, gaming in full 4K resolution is still a rarified experience, reserved for the best gaming PCs out there. The reason is simple: Most hardware can deliver either high frame rates or 4K resolution, but doing both is still an impressive feat. A single Nvidia 1080 Ti card – the crème de la crème of Nvidia’s current gaming graphics cards – tops out in most current games right around 60 fps with 3840 x 2160 resolution. That makes it perfectly suited to the 60Hz panels used by less expensive 4K TVs.
However, if you’re really cooking with multiple GPUs, like a trio of Nvidia RTX 2070s or better in three-way SLI, or RX Vega 64 cards in CrossFire, then you’ll want a TV that can show off the eye candy you paid so much for. In that case, you’ll need a TV with a higher refresh rate, and that means stepping up to a 120Hz panel. In our list of top picks for gaming, you’ll want to look at the Samsung Q8FN QLED TV or the Sony Master Series A9F OLED TV, which both feature 120Hz display panels, while the rest are 60Hz panels.