What’s the best gaming monitor?
It’s been a great year for gaming hardware, with the Nvidia RTX 3080, AMD Big Navi, PS5 and the Xbox Series X and Series S all launching before the end of 2020. But you’ll be wasting the upgraded power if you don’t buy a new display to go with it. But what’s the best gaming monitor to buy?
We’ve assembled a list of gaming monitors catering too all sorts of gamers, whether you want an ultra-wide display, a television-sized panel or a high-performance screen to give you the edge in competitive play. We’ve included Full HD, Quad HD and 4K options, while also including a huge range of different refresh rates so you can find the perfect option.
We’ve ranked our top ten picks below, although you can see our quick summary just below to make it easier to find the perfect gaming monitor for you, with more in-depth details further down the page:
- Best overall gaming monitor: Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ
- Best mid-range gaming monitor: Razer Raptor
- Best widescreen gaming monitor: Samsung Odyssey G9
- Best value 27-inch gaming monitor: Acer Predator XB273UGS
- Best Quad HD gaming monitor: Samsung Odyssey G7
- Best budget gaming monitor: ViewSonic XG2401
- Best TV-sized gaming monitor: Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor
- Best value for Xbox Series S: MSI Optix MAG272CQR
- Best 43-inch gaming monitor: Asus ROG Strix XG438Q
- Best value HDR gaming monitor: AOC AGON AG322QC4
Related: Best Graphics Card 2020
1. Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ
Best overall gaming monitor
- Incredible, smooth gaming with 200Hz G-Sync and HDR
- Fantastic image quality
- Bold design with RGB LEDs
- Huge, curved screen with high resolution
- Not the best port selection
- Outrageously expensive
- Occasional blurring and haloing
The Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is our absolute favourite gaming monitor right now. It has everything you’ll want in a gaming panel, including 3440 x 1440 resolution, DisplayHDR 1000 compatibility, Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate and a 200Hz overclocked refresh rate.
That 35-inch curved screen is also an ideal size for a desktop, while the twisted stand design adds some snazzy flair.
Costing around £2500, this is a very expensive option. But with only niggling issues, such as a stingy port offering and a lack of integrated speakers, the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ is the closest you’re going to get to gaming monitor perfection.
2. Razer Raptor
Best mid-range gaming monitor
- Gorgeous Quad HD display
- 100% sRGB colour coverage
- Fantastic gaming performance
- Slick design and dazzling RGB lighting
- Pretty expensive
- Lacks integrated speakers
The Razer Raptor hits the sweet spot between price and performance, offering superb specs without seeing the price spiral into the thousands. You might not get 4K here, but the Quad HD IPS panel looks gorgeous with vivid colours and sharp detail.
It’s also loaded with gaming features, with a 144Hz refresh rate and support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. The only let down in this department is the 7ms response time, although you can push that all the way down to 1ms thanks to Razer’s clever software.
The Razer Raptor might not be the most extravagant gaming monitor then, but it has a really impressive spec sheet considering it only costs £699. It’s even more tempting to buy if you already own some Razer peripherals, so you can sync them all up for a mesmerising RGB light show.
3. Samsung Odyssey G9
Best widescreen gaming monitor
- Fantastic widescreen design
- Superb 240Hz AMD FreeSync
- Great image quality in SDR and HDR modes
- Super-wide design won’t suit everyone
- Needs some more ports
- Underwhelming lighting
The Samsung Odyssey G9 is the absolute best widescreen gaming monitor you can buy right now. With a 49-inch diagonal, 5120 x 1440 display you’re getting a highly detailed picture, while the high 240Hz refresh rate also ensures slick motion for fast-paced action blockbusters.
At £1280, it’s also got a very reasonable price considering the specs. The biggest issue is finding where to put it, as its super-long length makes impractical for many gamers.
It’s worth pointing out that the 32:9 form factor won’t suit every game, including first-person shooters where vertical space is important. Watching movies will also see huge black bars appear on the sides. But for grand strategy games and productivity tasks, the Samsung Odyssey G9 is a top-notch gaming monitor option.
4. Acer Predator XB273UGS
The best value 27-inch display we’ve tested
- Great colour depth
- Fast refresh panel
- Good motion quality, for IPS
- Contrast not as rich as a VA gaming monitor
- Anti-reflective layer leaves a slightly granular character
The Acer Predator XXB273UGS is arguably the best gaming monitor on this list for the majority of gamers. Its 27-inch screen size is small enough to easily fit on you desk, and the £499.99 price is very affordable when compared to some of its rivals.
A 1440p resolution also gives you a bump on Full HD, making it very good option for the incoming Xbox Series S. A 165Hz refresh rate also ensures a snappy performance, which is very important for competitive shooters and the like.
There are a couple of issues here, such as mediocre contrast and an underwhelming performance when you’re sat in the dark, but this is otherwise as superb Quad HD gaming monitor that’s well worth considering.
5. Samsung Odyssey G7
The best Quad HD gaming monitor
- Immersive curved design
- Great 240Hz AMD FreeSync
- Impressive image quality
- Loads of adjustment options
- Could do with some more ports
- Not the best HDR options
- Not cheap
If you want the best possible Quad HD gaming monitor – whether that’s for a gaming PC or the Xbox Series S – then Samsung Odyssey G7 is our top recommendation. It’s significantly more expensive than the Acer Predator monitor above, but you get a lot of improved features in return.
Firstly, the G7 boasts an incredibly high 240Hz, which will give you a higher performance ceiling for eSports titles such as Apex Legends and Fortnite. The curved design also helps to make it look pretty suave and helps to make the large 32-inch panel more accommodating.
It’s not perfect, with the odd omission of USB-C and the lack of speakers forcing you to buy your own audio setup, but these are issues worth compromising on considering the quality of the display.
6. ViewSonic XG2401
Best budget Full HD 144Hz gaming monitor
- Good gaming performance
- Decent overall image quality
- Plenty of features for the price
- Lacklustre design
- A touch expensive
The ViewSonic XG2401 is the cheapest gaming monitor on this list, despite completing a virtual checklist of all the essential features. Not only do you get a super-fast 144Hz panel with 1ms response times, you don’t have to compromise on practicality thanks to the fully adjustable stand. AMD’s FreeSync is also built in, so if you have an AMD graphics card you can enjoy tear-free gaming at super-smooth frame rates.
There are compromises; the monitor uses TN panel to get those super-fast refresh rates, so viewing angles and colours don’t quite match the best screens on this list. And we weren’t huge fans of the red highlights ViewSonic’s added as a form of go-faster stripe.
Still, for the money, it’s a great Full HD option if you’re not comfortable spending lots of cash.
7. Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor
Best TV-sized gaming monitor
- Incredible picture quality
- High 120Hz refresh rate
- Stylish sci-fi design
- Low input latency and fast response time
- Incredibly expensive
- Lacks HDR
The Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor may look like a television, but features such as a 120Hz refresh rate, 0.5m response time and AMD FreeSync technology leave no room for questions over its gaming credentials.
Thanks to that 4K OLED panel, you’re arguably getting the best picture quality on this list, while the 55-inch size makes this an ideal monitor for living room gaming. It’s got all the credentials to make it an excellent option for the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
But with prices hovering around an intimidating £3000 price, this gaming monitor is incredibly expensive, especially when you factor in the lack of HDR support. For that reason, we only recommend the buy if you want to play games on a blockbuster screen without comprising on the ultra-speedy performance.
8. MSI Optix MAG272CQR
Best value gaming monitor for Xbox Series S
- Impressive core image quality
- Smooth 165Hz refresh rate with AMD FreeSync 2
- Immersive, curved design
- Includes USB-C
- Poor gaming modes
- Minor, high-end ghosting issues
The MSI Optix MAG272CQR feels like the perfect gaming monitor for the Xbox Series S. It has a Quad HD resolution, a high 165Hz refresh rate to make the most of the console’s 120fps performance and is available at a relatively affordable £400.
There are of course better specced Quad HD monitors out there, but paying for a monitor with a higher refresh rate is a needless expense for the Series S. You could also make an argument that PC gamers that don’t play competively don’t really need higher refresh rate too.
We did notice some slight ghosting issues when testing the monitor, but it’s hard to find another flaw. It’s even got a USB-C port, making it easier to hook up your gaming laptop.
9. Asus ROG Strix XG438Q
Best 43-inch gaming monitor
- Huge, immersive 43in 4K screen
- Great core image quality
- Punchy, powerful speakers
- Good set of features
- Looks a little dated
- Size could not suit some situations
- Not big enough for some living rooms
- Middling HDR option
The Asus ROG Strix XG438Q looks close to perfection when judged by its specs sheet, with a 4K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, VESA DisplayHDR 600 support and AMD FreeSync 2.
The problem? That 43-inch screen size will be awkward for most, proving too big for a desk, but also too small for the living room when compared to most modern day televisions.
If you’ve a small living room or a massive desk though, and a 43-inch display is exactly what you want, then the Asus ROG Strix XG438Q gets our top recommendation. And not only will it be great for PC gaming, but a worthwhile option for the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
10. AOC AGON AG322QC4
Best value HDR
- Great contrast levels
- Solid colour accuracy
- Sturdy, feature-filled design
- HDR has limited impact
- Remote control is awful
The AOC AGON AG322QC4 is arguably ahead of its time, offering HDR support on an affordable mid-range gaming monitor.
You typically only see such a feature on high-end gaming monitors, but with AGON AG322QC4 only offering up entry-level HDR standard its picture isn’t going to look as good as those more expensive rivals.
If you’re really keen for HDR at an affordable price, this is still a good option, especially with awesome features such as a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync and an all-round terrific picture quality.
Those are our top picks of the best gaming monitors. If you want to know more about gaming monitors FreeSync and G-Sync technology read on.
What about FreeSync and G-Sync?
FreeSync and G-Sync are two technologies that aim to address the issues of tearing and stuttering. Both occur as a result of the fact that monitors normally run at a fixed refresh rate while graphics cards simply churn out frames as fast as they can.
You can read more about how the technologies work in our FreeSync review – but, essentially, they ensure the monitor keeps in sync with the speed at which the graphics card outputs each new frame. This eliminates tearing and stuttering, making games look better and run more smoothly.
As such, for those who are simply after a gaming monitor for pure competitive advantage neither is essential. But if you’re also concerned with having a more immersive, visually pleasing gaming experience, then either tech is well worth investing in.