If you think now that you just got the latest generation console your work is over, think again. Hitching up a next generation game console to a low-end TV is a sure fire way to book yourself for disappointment and looking foolish in front of your friends.
What you want is a TV with the power, class, and tenacity to handle all the glorious graphics of your console. That’s the first step to making your gaming corner literally holy ground for everyone who is serious about gaming.
Without a high-quality television built to showcase the hot graphics of your console, you might as well have bought a PlayStation 2 instead of a PlayStation 4. Like all electronics, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a gaming television; knowing what to look for as well as the meaning behind all the television metrics and statistics will ensure you’re getting a gaming television that is perfect for you.
And this knowledge level is crucial when buying a gaming TV because on the surface, all decent TVs would offer sharp detail and great HDR capabilities. However, to uncover which TVs stand out head and shoulders over the rest, you are going to go a little deeper into the nitty gritties.
Indeed, there are a lot of great TVs to consider if you are a console gamer and PC gamer, however once you pick the wrong picture preset things will go south really fast. The same as once you choose a screen without a dedicated gaming mode, the resulting experience may be 50/50.
Lots of features that are important to gamers like input lag and contrast are affected by factors that you wouldn’t ordinarily think about when you are watching our favorite show over Netflix. Meaning you want to be aware of these nuances and how they might affect your gaming before you purchase a gaming TV.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. We compiled a list of the best gaming TVs for serious gamers out there in 2020, so that you wouldn’t have to bother with the hard work of sorting through hundreds of models yourself. To find the gaming TV set that is right for you, all you have to do is look through our list of the very best available.
Best Gaming TV 2020: Our Top Picks
For many in the gaming community, this is the best overall gaming TV, the crème de la crème. The Sony X950 leaves no stone unturned in its quest to provide the ultimate visual gaming experience.
This gaming display offers the works when it comes to visual realism: deeper blacks, higher native contrast ratio, high dynamic range for greater picture clarity, an insane degree of brightness, and a full range of local dimming features to contrast.
Thanks to the incorporated Motionflow XR technology, your gaming level is never going to be the same after you try the Sony X950, because of the motion handling and smooth gameplay. With this technology, you can also expect nigh instantaneous response time while playing, giving you an edge over whatever poor soul happens to be playing against you on another screen online.
If you are in search of a gaming TV that offers unbelievably good value for money, you need not look further than the TCL 55R617-55 4K TV. You would have to search high and low for another screen that offers you the same balance of price and performance as this TCL model does.
And thanks to the effort the manufacturers put into deepening the blacks and enriching the overall brightness to improve the contrast ratio, this gaming TV from TCL easily holds its own when compared with more expensive products by more famous manufacturers like Sony and Samsung.
In spite of its lower price when compared to rival products, it is really worthy of note that this gaming TV comes with comparable features like full array local dimming, a wide color gamut, and profoundly deep blacks, thanks to what TCL refer to as ‘Nano Band Phosphor’ tech.
There is a dedicated game mode that once activated leads to an input lag of 17.9ms, and, once coupled with the incorporated HDR10 and Dolby Vision features creates a truly unforgettable visual experience—much more than you would expect at this price range.
For gaming TVs that cost less than $1000, serious gamers would quickly add this to their shortlist of possible purchases. The panels are nothing short of great, jam packed with features that enable the TCL 55R617-55 4K TV to punch above its weight class.
You can turn to the TCL 55R625 if you are big on bright, colorful pictures on a budget. This screen also comes with Roku-enabled smart functions for those who are looking for a full multimedia experience.
TCL is quickly becoming everybody’s favorite TV brand, and it is not difficult to imagine why. Their products offer outstanding contrast and color options at a budget that is simply not common with other more renowned brands.
The TCL 55R625 is one of the better options in a truly stellar lineup of gaming TVs, coming with brighter panels and wider color ranges compared to earlier TCL models. What’s more, they are even more affordable as well.
There are a lot of things going for this gaming TV apart from the price though.
For example, aesthetically, this TV comes with a slick, premium design that would add to any setting in which you keep it. Front to back, a 1 millimeter-thick bezel frame covers the sides and the top and slightly overlaps the panel.
This makes for stylish design that stands on two gunmetal, V-shaped feet installed for support at both far sides of the screen.
Long story short, you could save a lot of money, add to your décor, and also get all the gaming visuals you need by going for the TCL 55R625.
Samsung QLED technology is behind some of the best television visuals in the world, and it would simply not be possible to have a best gaming list without at least one model from Samsung’s iconic lineup.
The Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA does a great job of providing gamers with the sort of deep blacks, wide viewing angles, and peak screen brightness that many TVs promise but hardly deliver.
Usually, this sort of quality visuals comes at a steep cost, and for good reason, given the quality; but the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA stays within range in spite of everything. You can get this beauty for around $500, making it one of the cheapest, most affordable QLED screens we have from Samsung.
Of course, at 32 inches, some may consider this screen a little too small for comfort. There’s something to be said about finding an enemy, placing them within your gun scopes, and plucking them off with a clean shot on a giant screen. But not everybody has the luxury of space, and if you happen to be among those who can only make do with a compact 32-inch screen for your gaming pleasure then this gaming TV is the best, most affordable you could buy.
Besides, the visual quality of the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA is so high that you probably wouldn’t mind its small size.
The LG 34UC79G-B is a perfect example of a hands free viewing experience. If you’ve ever wanted to get on the trend, this is a good gaming TV to start with. Put together with LG’s ThinQ artificial intelligence tech, not only is this Tv panel and its accompanying apps fully under voice control via Amazon Alexa, but also, you can program it to act as the hub of your smart home.
You can connect your other smart devices to the LG 34UC79G-B, everything from climate controls and lightbulbs to your smart refrigerator, so that you enjoy a hands-free TV experience while you play your favorite games.
Usually, all these bells and whistles would come with some sacrifices in other key areas like visuals and audio. But that’s not the case with the LG 34UC79G-B. In spite of the bevy of smart tech, you still get a sharp, distinct display and also wide enough viewing angles.
In addition, buying the LG 34UC79G-B means you get to enjoy the HGLHDR and HDR10 features that augment the quality of the visuals and contrast levels even further.
The LG 34UC79G-B is a gaming TV any gamer would enjoy in 2020, but you would particularly enjoy this panel if you live in a smart home or plan to move into one in the near future.
Stuck on a budget, but not too tightly? Are you able to break slightly beyond the $500 price range? If yes, then you definitely need to check out the 433-inch panel that is the Sony Bravia X800. This is a 4K TV you simply have to take the time and look at.
At 43 inches, it can be considered small, but that has no bearing on the video and picture quality offered by the Sony Bravia X800. You can thank the excellent technology packed under the hood for that—it’s among the most cutting edge in the industry.
You can expect vivid imagery and vibrant colors as you compete with your friends on your favorite games, and also smooth motion—no choppy video—thanks to the high refresh rate. You can also enjoy some retro action; this gaming TV upscales older games, TV shows, and movies so that your favorite classics feel brand new.
And then there are the smart capabilities and voice control features to sweeten the deal.
The Sony Bravia X800 is designed to be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, both of which will give you complete or partial control of your TV with your voice.
Like mentioned above, you could get this for just above $500. It wasn’t always that way though. Tech-heavy gaming equipment like the Sony Bravia X800 would come for no less than $1000 just a short while ago, so the present price feels like a huge bargain.
So you like big things, but don’t necessarily have the budget for it? You can still play your games on a larger than life screen without a commensurate budget; by going for the Vizio 65-inch Class V HDR 4K UHD Smart LED TV.
You would have to search long and hard to find a large screen smart gaming TV that is more affordable than this one. And what’s more, gamers on a budget, who are also movie fans would enjoy this panel the most.
One can only wonder about what manufacturers are able to pack into low cost gaming displays today. Today, budget or cheap tech does not equate low tech. You can actually expect decent or even stellar products for prices that fit squarely within your budget range.
A few years ago, it would have been a fool’s errand to go searching for a 65-inch display for even a dollar less than $1000. But that is no longer the case today, mainly because of beauties like the Vizio 65-inch Class V HDR 4K UHD Smart LED TV.
The Vizio 65-inch V-Series comes with 4K display capabilities, coupled with Dolby Vision and HDR features. So you can expect top-of-the-shelf display, profound contrast, as well as a wide range of colors. The contrast is made even more pronounced by the full array backlight screen that deepens and contrasts the blacks against the lights at the edges.
There are several other features that make this gaming display such a winner. For example, you have the Chromecast support, Apple Airplay 2, and voice control that enables you zap between content handsfree. Also, if you are a fan of smart TVs and movies, you can get a lot of what you want with the Vizio interface.
All these features make the Vizio 65-inch Class V HDR 4K UHD Smart LED TV one of the best TVs for your multimedia station, and that is probably why it comes with several HDMI ports (3), as well as ARC, analog, and digital outputs. You can set this screen up easily and connect it to different devices quickly for your gaming and viewing pleasure.
The Samsung Class Crystal 4K would make a great addition into the living rooms of gamers looking to build a home entertainment system. Like pretty much every other display from the manufacturer Samsung, this TV promises vivid images, sharp, distinct colors, and also smooth motion that is free of any lag.
The color technology that Samsung used to build the Class Crystal 4K sieves through millions of colors to choose the most vibrant selections for whatever game, TV, or movie you have on.
Some of the best things to like about this gaming display include: 4k display capability which really is a step up from the HD TV you bought 5 years ago, and also the UHD feature that upscales older games and content to make them look brand new and fresh.
But performance isn’t the only place where the Samsung Class Crystal 4K gets top marks. Design-wise, it looks great with its slim, modern finish that would add to the general aesthetic of any environment into which it is added.
And, as a bonus, you also get smart features with this TV, given that it is compatible with Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby, and also Amazon’s Alexa.
Sharp has been in the television game a long time, and their experience and dedication towards quality and longevity shows in this gaming TV. The Sharp 55-Inch Smart 4K UHD TV has one of the highest ratings of any television online, and there are many reasons for that.
First of all, one of the most popular aspects of this display is its design. The super slim, sleek, modern finish of the Sharp 4K UHD is a winner on any day and in any setting.
The image quality and sound that this device produces can only be described as top-notch, capable of holding its own in a well-lit room as well as it can in a dark or poorly lit room. You can expect a clear, focused image bonanza that really augments your gaming experience when you sit in front of this television.
And the smart capabilities simply mean that you probably would never want to get another TV set again since you would be streaming your favorite content in the best image and sound quality available right now.
The Insignia 4K Ultra HD is a great TV to get if you are just dipping your toes into the waters of gaming TVs. You simply can’t go wrong with a 50-inch TV that makes it easy to plug and play your favorite games AND also comes with built-in Fire TV capabilities like voice remote features that allow you to control your viewing experience with nothing but your voice.
When you buy the insignia, you get a fast, reliable, multi-core CPU for multi-purpose entertainment and viewing. Whether you happen to lean more towards games or towards movies, it doesn’t matter. This display packs all the necessary features to leave you satisfied and looking forward to more.
How Do You Choose the Best TV for Gaming?
The first decision you’ll have to make about your gaming television is likely the most important: what type of television you purchase. Currently, the most common types of gaming televisions you’ll find for sale include:
If you’ve ever watched television in the past or used a computer monitor, you’re already familiar with LCD screens. This screen is the status quo when it comes to televisions and seen on everything from tiny 20-inch television sets all the way to large 60-inch sets.
While this screen is fantastic for gaming, with many of the gaming televisions you’ll find for purchase using this type of screen, those who want something more will need to look into more advanced technology.
While technically an advanced technology, plasma televisions are currently falling out of favor among manufacturers. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find plasma sets for sale at most retailers.
What caused the death of plasma TVs? Much of it has to do with screen burn-in; when an image was on a plasma screen for too long, a permanent copy of that image would end up etched into the screen for all time.
For gamers, this meant that static imagery, such as health meters, ammo counts and even character names, could end up being a permanent part of your viewing experience. While plasma televisions have excellent color depth and viewing angles, this one flaw is a major one.
If you’re looking to buy a gaming television, stay away from plasma, as no plasma television is immune to screen burn-in.
While many thought plasma televisions would be the next big thing after LCD, that honor instead goes to 4K. In layman’s terms, a 4K television offers four times the resolution of your standard full HD LCD television; in other words, this means your images are going to look somewhere in the neighborhood of four times as good as an LCD television.
For gamers, this means graphics that will fully immerse you into the game, letting you see even tiny details, like beads of sweat on a character’s face or specks of mud on the tires of a car.
The downside? Console games have yet to embrace 4K gaming fully, though it does appear to be happening; while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don’t natively support 4K, it’s heavily implied that newer iterations of those consoles will soon appear that will endorse this technology.
If you have the money to spare, then by all means invest in 4K gaming, as it’s only a matter of time before game manufacturers fully support the technology.
OLED is the new kid on the block, with screen technology that offers an unparalleled picture quality with fast response times, superior image quality and reduced power usage. If you’re serious about your console games and want the best that money can buy, you want an OLED television.
Of course, there is a catch: OLED televisions are expensive and are only made by a handful of manufacturers. There are no discernable downsides to OLED televisions, so for many it will simply be a waiting game until the technology becomes more affordable.
However, if money is no issue, OLED is the way to go and is the best bang for your buck and the market today and in the future.
Size Does Matter
Like many things in life, when it comes to television screens the adage “size does matter” is something that many gamers live by. While many modern games are perfectly playable on a 30- to 40-inch television, many players will tell you that you need a 60-inch or larger television to get the full degree of immersion.
Thanks to recent advancements in technology, a large gaming television is no longer only something only the affluent can enjoy; most 50- to 60-inch sets are only marginally more expensive than their smaller counterparts.
In fact, the price is no longer the determining factor for what size television most consumers get; instead, it’s the size of the area where the television will go. Before going and buying the biggest gaming television you can, be sure to measure out the area where you’re placing it to ensure you don’t purchase a set that is too large for your entertainment center.
However, if you’re a professional gamer or play games that require split-second reflexes, larger televisions do have one downside: a greater degree of input lag.
Understanding Input Lag and Refresh Rate
When buying a gaming television, input lag and refresh rate are two of the most important things to look for; in fact, some gamers feel that these two statistics are even more important than the type and size of television you buy.
After all, what good are the type and size of your gaming television if your games are unplayable?
The refresh rate is a measure of how well the television can portray moving images. A television with a low refresh rate will represent moving images as choppy while a television with a high refresh rate will portray moving images as buttery smooth.
Naturally, you want a gaming television with as high of a refresh rate as possible to get the most out of your video games. Look for televisions with a 120Hz refresh rate or greater to get the best possible picture; anything lower than that will result in a decrease in image quality.
Input lag is the length of time it takes for an action to register on your television screen after pressing the button on your controller. For example, on gaming televisions with little to no input lag, the on-screen character will perform an action almost directly after you press the corresponding button.
On a gaming television with a high amount of input lag, the character will perform that action a full three or four seconds after pressing the button. As you can imagine, significant amounts of input lag will make your video games virtually unplayable.
Unfortunately, there is no magical statistic to look for that determines small volumes of input lag. One of the biggest ways you can decrease input lag is to buy a smaller television: The tinier the television, the less input lag you’ll have. Unfortunately, many gamers aren’t willing to budge on screen size; after all, bigger is better, remember?
Fortunately for you, many gaming televisions offer one way to cut down on input lag: Game Mode.
What is Game Mode?
As the name implies, Game Mode is a television picture mode that is solely for video games to help combat input lag. Game Mode does this by turning off most non-essential television functions and diverting those resources into lowering input lag. The tradeoff for decreased input lag on a larger screen is lower quality visual fidelity.
Nearly every gaming television has a Game Mode feature; in fact, it’s a good litmus test to determine if the television you’re buying is essentially a gaming TV.
If it offers a Game Mode setting, then you can rest assured the manufacturer was thinking about gaming in some capacity when designing this set.
How Important Are Smart Capabilities?
A Smart TV is one that comes with built-in WiFi and a host of applications, including mainstays such as Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. For the casual user, it’s worth paying the extra bucks for a Smart TV just to access your favorite apps without an external device.
For a gamer, though, it’s not worth the extra money the Smart features cost, and for one reason: You already have a better way to access those apps.
No matter which gaming console you own, they all come with some form of Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and YouTube along with a broad range of other applications.
In addition, the applications on your gaming console offer a better viewing experience by utilizing the built-in strength of your console. Applications in a Smart television are limited versions of the real thing, as televisions will never have the powerful hardware a gaming console packs.
Be honest: There will likely never be a time you watch Netflix or Hulu on your television rather than your game console. Save yourself some cash by passing on Smart televisions if possible; instead, put that money towards a hot new game.
How Many Inputs Should I Look For?
When it comes to inputs, the more, the merrier. While you may have one gaming console now, who knows what kind of deals Black Friday will bring. Having those extra inputs gives you the flexibility to add as many gaming consoles as you like, without needing to worry about reaching behind the television to plug and unplug your various devices.
Most gaming televisions come with a minimum of two HDMI slots, which is enough for most casual gamers; however, hardcore gamers will want at least three HDMI slots, one for each of the major manufacturers: Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
If you’re a fan of retro gaming, you’re going to want to keep an eye out on gaming televisions that have composite and S-Video inputs. While not common on many gaming televisions, there are a few manufacturers, such as Samsung and Sony,that offer older inputs on their newer televisions.
Of course, if you can’t find a television with the proper inputs, there are modifications one can make to their NES and other older gaming systems to make them HDMI compliant.
Which Gimmicks Should I Avoid?
Televisions have seen a lot of gimmicks over the years, with some of them fading into history while some are still actively offered today. When shopping for a gaming television, you’ll come across two gimmicks that have seemingly stood the test of time: 3D and curved screens.
A few years ago, it seemed like 3D was the next big thing. 3D movies were booming in popularity, every manufacturer had a 3D television on the market and even the PlayStation 3 had a large assortment of 3D games.
Unfortunately, the 3D fad is dying out, with newer gaming consoles not offering 3D capabilities that are reliant on 3D televisions; rather, 3D technology is coming from dedicated hardware, such as the PlyStation 4’s PlayStation VR headset.
A few years ago, it would have been worth the money to spring for a 3D television; now, however, you’re better off just saving your money and getting a headset instead.
Curved televisions are currently the hottest gimmick on the market today, claiming to offer a wider viewing angle than your average flat-screen television. While this is true to an extent, it’s not worth the extra cost for a gamer in many cases.
Even when all the features are the same, your average curved television clocks in at a much higher price than an ordinary television for only a minimal increase in viewing size. Unless you’re rolling in the dough, this is one gimmick you can safely skip.
How Far Back Should I Sit?
To get the best viewing experience possible on your new gaming television, you need to calculate the proper distance to sit from it. Sit too close to your gaming television and you won’t see all the action, sit too far from it and you’ll lose out on picture quality.
THX, a manufacturer of high-quality audio and video equipment, recommends this formula to ensure proper seating distance: one foot for every 10 inches.
Thus, if your television is 55 inches, you’ll want to sit five feet and five inches away from it. While some may argue with this formula, it’s a good starting point for measuring the proper distance to sit from a television.