Skip to main content

The best gaming TVs: High refresh rates, HDMI 2.1 and more

best gaming TVs

The best gaming TVs make sure you get your favorite games at their best, from picture-perfect 4K visuals and clear sound to competitive frame rates and support for the latest features. Every game system has its specific set of connections and standards, so we've also found the best TVs for any game system you might own, from a new PS5 or Xbox Series X to a Nintendo Switch or custom-built gaming PC. 

Of the dozens of TVs we review every year, only a few can offer exactly what you need for optimal gaming, so we've highlighted the TVs that offer short lag times and great color quality, so you get an excellent TV for gaming and for everything else you want to watch. And since not everyone is ready to game in 4K, we've included some full HD options, as well.

Whether you want the latest features and dazzling eye candy or just need a basic TV for old-school fun, these are the best gaming TVs you can buy.

What are the best gaming TVs?

Of all the best gaming TVs, our favorite is the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED, which uses quantum dots and mini-LED backlighting to offer nearly OLED-level quality while still delivering killer gaming performance. Combine that with HDMI 2.1 support and gamer-friendly features, including adjustable aspect ratios for ultra-widescreen PC gaming,  it's an incredible gaming TV.

For something that's just as impressive, but that's usually sold 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.

The best gaming TVs you can buy today

Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV

A premium QLED for premium gaming

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Screen Type: Neo QLED
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Lag Time: 12.6 ms
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI (1 HDMI 2.1)
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful, thin design+Neo QLED delivers incredible brightness+Impressive anti-glare abilities+New solar-chargeable remote
Reasons to avoid
-Visible blooming at times-Just one HDMI 2.1 port-No Dolby Vision support

If you're willing to pay more for a top-of-the-line experience, the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED 4K TV is one of the best gaming TVs you can buy, and the winner of the 2021 Tom's Guide Award for best gaming TV. The Neo QLED TV combines Samsung's highly refined quantum dot technology with the tight control of mini-LED backlighting, resulting in one of the best TV displays you'll ever see. Brilliant color and unmatched brightness make for superb performance, and Samsung pairs that with a bounty of smart TV functions and genuinely intelligent features, like a solar-powered remote control that eliminates the need to swap out batteries – delivering eco-friendly design and unbeaten convenience at the same time.

The whole thing is packed into a gorgeous 1-inch-thick design that contains a huge array of smart features, potent Dolby Atmos sound and some of the best performance we've ever seen. HDMI 2.1 connectivity comes standard, along with gamer-friendly features and impressive 12.6-millisecond lag time for an unparalleled gaming experience.

Read our full Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV review.

TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) review

(Image credit: TCL)

2. TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635)

Incredible gaming value

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65, 75 inches
Screen Type: QLED
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Lag Time: 21.5 ms
HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Ports: 4 HDMI
Reasons to buy
+Excellent QLED and mini-LED display+Great gaming performance+THX Game Mode and future-proofed features
Reasons to avoid
-Sound is a little weak-Roku is missing some of the latest apps

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.

LG CX OLED review

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG CX OLED

The best OLED gaming TV

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Lag Time: 13.1 ms
HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Reasons to buy
+Stunning picture+Speedy responsiveness+HDMI 2.1 connectivity+Nvidia G-Sync support
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively high price

The LG CX OLED isn't just our favorite 4K smart TV from 2020, it's also one of the best gaming TVs you can buy. The CX's slim OLED display is gorgeous, and it boasts some of the fastest response times we've seen, with a tested lag time of 13.1 milliseconds. It also 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.

Vizio OLED TV (OLED55-H1) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

4. Vizio OLED TV (OLED55-H1)

A game-ready OLED bargain

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65 inches
Screen Type: OLED
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Lag Time: 21 ms
HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Reasons to buy
+Ultra-low price for an OLED+Generally strong picture and audio quality+SmartCast provides plenty of smart features and free video content
Reasons to avoid
-Gaming performance could be better-Cumbersome stand

The Vizio OLED TV is the most affordable OLED TV on the market, and the first to offer a more budget-friendly alternative to offerings from LG and Sony in the United States. Selling for hundreds of dollars less than the competition, the Vizio OLED packs plenty of smart features alongside the 4K OLED display, and delivers the sort of premium picture quality that normally costs much more. Most notable is a slew of HDMI 2.1 features, like auto game mode, variable refresh rate and up to 120Hz refresh rate support for extremely smooth gaming.

Vizio's SmartCast smart TV platform has also expanded its app selection significantly, and all of the major apps you might want – from Netflix to Disney+ – are available right on the TV. The few that aren't offered on the home screen (HBO Max is the most glaring omission) can still be enjoyed through the TV's built-in Google Cast and AirPlay 2 support. Combine all of this with an improved remote control design and great sound with better-than-average bass, and you've got one of the best TV values of the year, and the easy pick for affordable OLED TVs.

Read our full Vizio OLED TV review. 

Hisense U8G Android TV (65U8G) review

(Image credit: Hisense)

5. Hisense U8G Android TV

Quantum color and HDMI 2.1 for less

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65 inches
Screen Type: LCD with Quantum dot
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Lag time: 17.5 ms
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Ports: 4 (2 HDMI 2.1, 2 HDMI 2.0)
Reasons to buy
+Very bright+Excellent sharpness, color and contrast+Low lag time
Reasons to avoid
-Overactive motion smoothing-Mediocre viewing angles

For a more affordable option that still delivers HDMI 2.1 connectivity and features – not to mention killer gaming performance – it's hard to beat the Hisense U8G Android TV. With quantum dots for bold color, brightness that beats most competing TVs and the rich features of Android TV, with Chromecast, Google Assistant and room-listening mics for hands-free voice control, it's a great TV, even for non-gamers. But the low lag time and up-to-date connectivity make it a choice TV for gamers that want the latest features.

A pair of HDMI 2.1 ports deliver support for 4K gaming at 120Hz, automatic low latency mode, variable refresh rate and AMD FreeSync, giving you convenience and smooth game play to go with the low 17.5 milliseconds of lag. It even keeps things affordable, with the 55-inch model selling for less than $1,000. Pretty impressive for one of the best Android TVs on the market.

Read our full Hisense U8G Android TV review.

TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435)

(Image credit: TCL)

6. TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435)

A great 4K gaming TV for less

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Screen Type: LED
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.1 (1 ARC)
Lag Time: 14.1
HDR Support: HDR10, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value-priced 4K+Good color fidelity+Solid Roku skills
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision support-Minimal sound adjustments-Picture adjustments are difficult to find

The TCL 4 Series Roku TV, is one of the best TV values you'll find in any size, especially if you want a solid gaming TV that gives you 4K resolution without all the expensive extras. It has good color accuracy and supports HDR10 — but not Dolby Vision — for improved contrast. It uses Roku’s system software, which provides one of the best smart TV experiences available and has plenty of apps to choose from. With a low lag time of 14 milliseconds, this set also will handle fast-paced gaming well.

Often sells for less than you’ll find bargain 1080p TVs, the TCL 4 Series is missing a few features that more expensive TVs deliver. It lacks local dimming, so the HDR performance isn’t as good as it could be. It also has weak speakers, with little bass and limited power. If this is going to be your main TV, consider adding a soundbar to overcome the sound issues.

Read our full TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435) review.

Toshiba C350 Fire TV review

(Image credit: Toshiba)

7. Toshiba C350 Fire TV (2021 model)

A killer Amazon Fire TV

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 43, 50, 55 inches
Screen Type: LCD
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI (1 ARC)
Lag time: 10.7 ms
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Reasons to buy
+Responsive Fire TV+Good color in standard mode+Low lag time
Reasons to avoid
-Flat HDR-Inconsistent backlighting

The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the 2021 addition to the small family of Amazon-powered smart TVs, offering good features and decent performance for its extremely affordable price. It's also a killer 4K gaming TV, with a 10.7-millisecond lag time that's one of the best we've ever seen. It lacks HDMI 2.1 and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but if you're still enjoying your PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, you won't be disappointed. And even players on the newer PS5 and Xbox Series X won't be missing much, thanks to the Toshiba's excellent color accuracy and Dolby Vision HDR support.

It's a decent example of the Fire TV template, combining good-enough 4K picture quality, impressively short lag times, and Amazon's great Fire TV smart features, like built-in Alexa voice control, a pretty big app store and (of course) an interface that puts Amazon's Prime Video service front and center. With even the largest 55-inch model selling for less than $500 (and likely much less during sales events), it's one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get.

Read our full Toshiba C350 Fire TV review.

Vizio V-Series (2020 model) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

8. Vizio V-Series (2020 model)

An affordable gaming alternative

Specifications
Available Screen Sizes: 40, 43, 50 55, 58, 65, 70, 75 inches
Screen Type: LED
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.1 (1 eARC)
Lag Time: 13.1 ms
HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG
Reasons to buy
+Super affordable price+Good connectivity+Good response for gamers
Reasons to avoid
-Low brightness-Weak audio

If low prices are what you're after, then the Vizio V-Series (2020 model) might be just the budget-friendly 4K smart TV you're after. It's also one of the only TVs on the market to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats, making it a great pick for movie-lovers. With exceptional affordability, decent smarts from Vizio's SmartCast software and great gaming capabilities, it's a fantastic bargain, even when it's not on sale – and it frequently is, with steep discounts occurring throughout the year.

A trio of HDMI 2.1 ports deliver gaming-friendly features like auto low latency mode and impressively short lag times of just 13.1 milliseconds. If you want great gaming performance for less, this is definitely the budget gaming TV to get. But keep in mind that this is a 60Hz display, so variable refresh rates and high refresh rates are off the table. And general performance is decent enough, but the brightness isn't great and the audio would benefit from adding a soundbar.

Read our full Vizio V-Series (2020 model) review.

(Image credit: Roku)

9. TCL 3 Series Roku TV (32S327)

A Full HD TV that's great for Nintendo Switch

Specifications
Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 1080p
HDMI Ports: 3
Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Dimensions: 28.8 x 17.1 x 3.0 inches
Smart TV: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good for gaming+Alexa and Google voice control
Reasons to avoid
-Mediocre performance

The TCL 3 Series Roku TV (32S327) is a small 32-inch set that's soft on your wallet. For under $200, it's perfect for playing Nintendo Switch games on the big screen – even if that screen fits into the smallest of game rooms. It also offers both full Roku access and a smart home device that cooperates with your Alexa or Google Assistant ecosystems.

Though the 325327's performance is far from premium, the 1920 x 1080p resolution satisfies for the screen's size. And it's excellent for gaming, with a lag time of 12.3 milliseconds. It may not offer 4K resolution, but the full HD display makes it perfect for the Nintendo Switch and any older consoles you might own.

Read our full TCL 3 Series Roku TV (32S327) 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.

Refresh rate: You'll want to check the TV's frame rate, often listed as the refresh 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.

Lag time: 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.

Screen size: 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?

Design: 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.

Smart features: 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. 

Price: Budgets 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 affordable 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.

ConsoleHDMI StandardResolution and refresh rate
PS5, Xbox Series X HDMI 2.14K @ 120Hz or 8K @ 60Hz
PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, Xbox One SHDMI 2.04k @ 60Hz
Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox OneHDMI 1.41080p and 720p

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 TV for 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 eventually be able to handle much higher resolutions, with the promise of games playable at 8K Ultra HD or 7680 × 4320 pixels in a future update. While we don't recommend jumping to 8K just yet – and neither console offers 8K support at this time – 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.

Best gaming TV for Nintendo Switch

 The Nintendo Switch does double duty as both a mobile device for gaming on the go as well as a game console that connects to your TV. We love the Switch – our Nintendo Switch review says that it's "a fantastic console for all kinds of gamers." 

But it does have one downside, with the Switch Dock outputting only 1080p resolution to TVs. At a time when 4K gaming is not only possible, but becoming standard on other consoles, it's a bit disappointing to still be gaming like it's 2006. (And current speculation suggest that the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro with 4K may never arrive.) Those more powerful consoles aren't remotely portable, and the Switch offers a great gaming experience whether you're on the subway or on your living room couch.

Does that mean you should pick up a TV with full HD resolution to use with your Switch? Not necessarily. You can pick up some full HD TVs for dirt cheap – we have some full HD TVs you can get for less than $200, but we don't recommend going that route. That may be sufficient for gaming on your Switch, but everything else you want to watch will also be stuck using the lower resolution, and 4K is affordable enough that you should definitely go with a 4K smart TV. 

Best gaming TV for PS4 Pro

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.

Best gaming TVs for Xbox One X and Xbox One S

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 TV for PC gaming

Even in the PC world, gaming in full 8K 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 going 8K is still an impressive feat. The latest Nvidia 30-series cards can handle gaming in 4K and even 8K, as can current AMD Radeon RX 5000 and 6000 cards. But these cards can't sustain 8K play for long periods, and the dearth of 8K-enabled games makes it a tough sell, even when you have the gear to do it.

If you're really cooking with these latest cards, or older cards in an SLI or Crossfire configuration, then you'll want a good 4K 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.

Brian Westover
Brian Westover is an Editor at Tom's Guide, covering everything from TVs to the latest PCs. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.
  • bernastory
    Your wrong on the e765 input lag http://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/input-lag
    Reply
  • sstringer
    Your prices are wrong for the sizes listed. E.g. the 65 Samsung is $2499 at Best Buy, not $1499
    Reply