Samsung Q8FN QLED TV
The Samsung 65-inch Q8FN QLED TV is a premium 4K TV that not only offers great picture quality and superb 4.1 sound, it can even compete with OLED displays, thanks to the best black levels we've seen on an LCD display.
TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV
The TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV offers a 43-inch 4K TV that's packed with premium features, excellent performance and a sweet bargain price.
LG UK6300 43-Inch 4K TV
The 43-inch LG UK6300 is a pretty great 4K TV for under $400, with good picture quality, convenient smart TV features and decent sound.
If you've got a Sony PS4 Pro or Microsoft Xbox One X, you already know that 4K gaming has arrived. A few choice games deliver glorious 4K resolution and even support HDR and high frame rates, but all that eye candy is wasted on a subpar TV. Of the dozens of TVs we review each year, only a few are well-suited to gaming at 4K.
Our favorite 4K gaming TV is the Samsung Q8FN QLED TV. This $2,299 QLED set delivers eye-popping colors, rich blacks and amazing detail along with ultra-wide viewing angles.
For those on a budget, the TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV is a fine bargain at $299. It boasts a short lag time and produces 99 percent of the color gamut. We just wish it had an extra HDMI port.
Check out our other top TV picks below for 4K consoles as well as 4K-capable gaming PCs. Our picks include a small 40-inch 4K set that’s great for bedrooms (and dorm rooms) and Sony's gorgeous OLED TV.
For a premium 4K TV that offers excellent performance for gaming and everything else, look no farther than the Samsung Q8FN QLED TV, one of our favorite 2018 TVs and the best TV you can get for gaming. The 65-inch display offers superb color (Delta-E rating 2.5) and black levels that rival OLED, along with a polished smart TV experience, built-in voice assistant, and awesome sound quality with a built-in subwoofer.
But on the gaming front, it's got everything you want: Short lag times (28.2 milliseconds), an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, plenty of HDMI ports and robust HDR support. If you want the best TV for gaming, this is it.
Check out our full Samsung Q8FN QLED TV review.
The TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV is our recommendation if you want a 4K TV that doesn't cost several times what you paid for your gaming console. The 43-inch set offers 4K resolution, a 60Hz panel, and impressive performance, with a wide color gamut (99.8 percent) and excellent color accuracy, with a Delta-E rating of 1.7 (closer to zero is better).
Check out our full TCL 43S517 Roku Smart 4K TV review.
Fast Response Time
If lag time is your greatest enemy, then the LG UK6300 43-Inch 4K TV is your strongest ally. With blisteringly fast time of 11.2 milliseconds in our lab testing, the LG UK6300 is the fastest TV we've reviewed. The LG impressed us in lab tests, with a color gamut of 99.8 percent and reasonably precise color, a Delta-E rating of 3.6 (closer to zero is better).
But you'll give up a bit of extra functionality in your quest for speed. The 60Hz display supports HDR for most media, but not gaming. And the sets 3 HDMI ports may leave you feeling constrained if you try to hook up multiple gaming consoles alongside a Blu-Ray player or HDMI-connected cable box.
Check out our full LG UK6300 43-Inch 4K TV review.
If fantastic color and wide HDR support matter more to you than blistering response times, then the Sony Master Series A9F OLED TV is definitely the TV you'll want. The OLED looks fantastic, and delivers the widest color gamut of anything we've tested (130.8 percent), excellent 10-bit color support for gaming, along with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support for consoles.
On top of this, the Sony A9F has the latest version of Android TV, which includes a built-in Google Chromecast, broad support for HDR content, and a rich selection of apps from the Google Play store. It's also got incredible sound, thanks to Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ and a dedicated mode that's optimized for Netflix streaming cont3nt. And with a top notch OLED display, the Master Series A9F has some of the best picture quality you'll see on any current smart TV.
Check out our full Sony Master Series A9F OLED TV review.
Best for Small Rooms
If you want the best TV for gaming for a bedroom, dorm room or other small space, we recommend the Samsung 40-inch NU7100, which sells for less than $400. The 40-inch TV delivers 4K resolution and HDR support without costing more than the gaming hardware you're using it with.
Picture quality is good enough for 4K gaming, but HDR support is hampered by basic backlighting and the color gamut is slightly limited (98.5 percent). Color accuracy is pretty good (Delta-E rating 2.6), and wide viewing angles mean more than one person can enjoy what's on screen. The set's 60Hz panel is well-suited to gaming at 30 or 60 fps, and because it has three HDMI ports, you can connect your console and all of your other home theater equipment without any trouble.
Check out our full Samsung 40-inch NU7100 TV review.
Best Big Screen
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 for big-screen gaming. If you want to game on a view-filling 75-inch screen, it's one of the best options available.
Check out our full Sony X950G 75-inch Android TV review.
Quick tips for buying a great 4K gaming TV
- Look for game modes: In addition to 4K resolution, all of our top picks feature dedicated gaming modes, which prioritize speed over finely tuned image processing. That shaves milliseconds off the time between a frame being rendered and then displaying on the TV.
- The shorter the lag time, the better: These sets have been chosen because they have shorter lag times than competing sets, for faster-than-average responsiveness. When you press a button, the action shows up onscreen immediately.
- Bigger may actually be better: 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. Check out our guide to finding the right size TV to find your sweet spot.
- 4K is more important than HDR, but both are great: All of our top picks have 4K resolution, but support for high dynamic range (HDR) content varies by TV and console, so make sure your TV matches your console's capability. Ditching HDR is also a good way to save a few bucks, since not everyone wants to pay more for the richer color and depth that HDR provides.
- Watch those frame rates: While the current Xbox One X and PS4 Pro gaming consoles top out at 60 frames per second, upcoming systems will demand better. Current generation gaming is best on a TV with a 60Hz refresh rate, but 120Hz displays may be better suited to gaming in the coming years.
- Don't skimp on smart features: Make sure your set gives you everything you want for non-gaming use. 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.
- You don't have to spend more than the console itself to get a great set: We know that gaming can be expensive enough without dropping thousands on a premium 4K TV, so we’ve included budget-friendly options under $500 that will provide satisfying performance.
What You Need to Get Your 4K Game On
With your 4K TV and your choice of gaming platform, you'll need to get a few details straightened out before you can really enjoy the high-resolution gaming you're craving. 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 make sure your settings are right. On the console, you'll want to check that 4K and HDR content are enabled. 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 make sure that higher bit-rates are enabled. The specifics will vary from one TV to the next, but most manufacturers have instructions online for getting set up with a console.
Additionally, you'll want to switch to Game Mode on the TV if you want the best responsiveness. In Game Mode, the TV forgoes some of the image processing used to polish regular video content, instead prioritizing shorter lag times. The less processing done, the shorter the delay between the video source and the display. That means that your reaction time in-game won't be slowed any more than necessary.
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.
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.
Microsoft has recently updated the XBox One X with 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.
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.