Enjoy a true next-gen experience with the best gaming TVs of 2023
Video games are the biggest global entertainment industry and competition for the title of best TV for gaming is fiercer than ever.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have ushered in an era of console power and performance unlike anything we’ve seen before and you can now play certain games in 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 120Hz, if you own one of the best gaming TVs that is.
Even if you’ve not been lucky enough to get your hands on a next-gen console, now is still a great time to upgrade your gaming TV. The PS4 and Xbox One X are capable of outputting 4K and HDR content and price is no longer the barrier to entry to the world of 4K HDR TVs it once was.
READ NEXT: Check out our favourite gaming headsets
That doesn’t mean selecting a gaming TV is easy, however. To help you choose the right one, we’ve put together a list of the best TVs for gaming we’ve tested. There’s something for everyone no matter their budget but be aware that cheaper options typically lack the cutting-edge features of pricier alternatives.
How to choose the best TV for gaming
There are numerous factors to consider when buying a TV for gaming. Below, we’ll break down the key things to think about before making a purchase.
What type of TV panel is best for gaming?
There are two main types of modern TV panel – those that have a liquid-crystal display illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LCD LED) and those that use self-emissive organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). Both have pros and cons so which you choose will ultimately come down to your budget and which performance aspects you deem most important.
LCD LED: These are generally the cheaper option but tend to be bulkier as they require a backlight to illuminate the liquid crystals in their panel. This backlight allows LCD TVs to achieve higher peak brightness than OLEDs but comes at the cost of energy efficiency.
You’ll find a few LCD TV variants, all of which use an LED backlight. Quantum Dot LED TVs feature a layer of microscopic quantum dots that emit colour in reaction to light, enabling the panel to reach higher levels of peak brightness than normal LED panels. Similarly, LG’s NanoCell TVs add a layer of nanoparticles to filter out unwanted light wavelengths to improve the purity of certain colours.
In 2021, we started to see Mini LED TVs come to market. These use LEDs about one-fortieth the size of regular LEDs, enabling more of them to be squeezed into a panel of the same size. The increased number of LEDs allows for greater control over local dimming, which in turn results in better black levels, contrast and peak brightness.
Quantum Dot, Mini LED and NanoCell aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, premium LCD TVs like LG’s QNED90 incorporate all three technologies.
OLED: OLED panels use an organic material that emits light when a current is passed through it. Each pixel acts as its own light source, and pixels can also turn off completely to achieve perfect black. This means that OLEDs can achieve superior contrast compared to their LCD counterparts. They also offer better viewing angles, more vivid colours and are thinner and lighter. However, they cost a fair bit more than most of their LCD LED options.
OLEDs also run the risk of incurring permanent image burn-in. This happens when certain LEDs in a display are used more regularly than others and become dimmer faster, resulting in a “ghost image” that persists on the screen no matter what you’re watching
Burn-in only occurs when an image stays on the same part of the screen for long periods of time – we’re talking many hundreds of hours. In normal use, it shouldn’t be a concern, but if you don’t want to take the risk, you’re better off with an LCD option
What gaming-specific features should I look out for?
In recent years, we’ve started to see mid-range and premium televisions adding support for a number of exciting “next-gen” gaming features, and they’re well worth knowing about if you want to get the best out of your new console or high-end PC. Some of these are only available if your TV has an HDMI 2.1 port that supports them, which is why those ports are so sought after by gamers.
VRR: Unlike films and TV shows, gaming frame rates fluctuate depending on the amount of processing required by the GPU. That’s where variable refresh rate (VRR) comes in: it allows the TV to adjust its refresh rate to match that of the game’s, thus minimising judder, lag and frame-tearing for smoother, more fluid gameplay. AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are two well-known forms of VRR
ALLM: TVs supporting auto low-latency mode (ALLM) will automatically switch to a low-latency mode when compatible consoles are connected, helping the TV to deliver the fastest possible response times. Picture quality will take a small hit in low-latency modes because the TV has to dial back its picture processing to speed up response times
4K at 120Hz: The PS5 and Xbox Series X are able to output games at 4K resolution at up to 120Hz. Simply owning a 120Hz TV doesn’t guarantee you can take advantage of this – you’ll need to ensure it has an HDMI 2.1 port that supports 4K at 120Hz otherwise you’ll be limited to 4K at 60Hz.
READ NEXT: PS5 vs Xbox Series X
What is input lag and why is it important?
Input lag is the delay between executing an action (such as pressing a button) and the actual result manifesting itself on the TV screen. In terms of numbers, the higher the input lag, the more sluggish the game will feel. This obviously affects gameplay, especially for fast-paced games such as racing and first-person shooter titles.
Modern smart TVs come with complicated picture-processing algorithms that can increase input lag significantly, with everything from motion enhancement to deinterlacing having some impact. As a result, a lot of TV manufacturers now include a specific Game mode that minimises input lag.
How does Expert Reviews test TVs?
All of the televisions listed below have undergone rigorous testing using the Portrait Displays Calman colour calibration software. We test numerous aspects of SDR and HDR performance to bring you data-led reviews designed to help you make informed buying decisions when splashing out on your next TV.
The best TVs for gaming in 2023
1. LG C2: Best WRGB OLED for gaming
Price when reviewed: From £999 (42in) | Check price at Amazon
Improving on the sensational LG C1 – our favourite TV of 2021 – was always going to be a tough feat, but LG has managed it and the C2 is our pick if you’re after an OLED for gaming. The 42in model was introduced in 2022 to cater for gamers that want exceptional picture quality in an easier-to-accommodate package.
If you choose to go with the 42in or 48in variants you’ll miss out on the boost in brightness provided by the evo panel used on the larger options, but you’ll still be getting a TV sporting numerous next-gen gaming features. The four HDMI 2.1 ports all support 4K resolution at the TV’s native refresh rate of 120Hz, along with ALLM and VRR (Nvidia G-Sync/AMD Freesync).
LG’s Game Optimiser Hub has received a couple of upgrades, with the addition of a new picture mode designed for sports games, a Dark Room mode for late-night gaming and support for 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios. It remains an extremely effective way of optimising your gaming experience, which will already be fantastic thanks to the awesome picture quality delivered by the C2.
Read our full LG C2 review
Key specs – Display type: OLED; Screen sizes: 42in, 48in, 55in, 65in (tested), 77in and 83in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Input lag: 5ms (4K@120Hz); VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: webOS 22
2. Panasonic LZ2000: Best gaming TV for audio quality
Price when reviewed: £3,599 (77in) | Check price at Currys
With two HDMI 2.1 ports capable of supporting 4K gaming at 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode, the LZ2000 is very well-equipped to handle whatever next-gen titles you throw at it. Its picture quality is superb, too, and supremely accurate if you decide to use Filmmaker mode. There’s also a Game Control Board, which enables you to view and adjust key gaming metrics, which is very handy.
Exceptional image accuracy aside, the LZ2000’s biggest strength is its in-built audio system. Panasonic calls this 360° Soundscape Pro and it delivers a truly immersive gaming experience via up-firing and side-firing speakers working in combination with a forward-facing speaker array that runs along the length of the panel. You can adjust the sonic experience in all manner of ways, with the Stadium preset particularly great if you want to feel like you’re right in the middle of the onscreen action.
It’s a bit of a shame only two of the HDMI ports support 2.1 features, but this doesn’t stop the LZ2000 from being an OLED behemoth that’s capable of bringing out the best of your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
Read our full Panasonic LZ2000 review
Key specs – Display type: OLED; Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Input lag: 10ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: My Home Screen 7.0
3. TCL C745: Best-value TV for next-gen gaming
Price when reviewed: From £649 (55in) | Check price at Currys
The TCL C745 offers every gaming enhancement option imaginable and does so at an incredibly competitive price. Its quantum dot LED panel supports VRR up to 144Hz when connected to a PC and handles 4K@120Hz on next-gen consoles without breaking a sweat. Input lag in Game mode is extremely low and this, combined with effective local dimming and decent contrast ensures a smooth and easy-on-the-eye gaming experience.
TCL’s pop-up gaming hub provides key information on the TV’s gaming status, including frame rate data and whether ALLM and VRR are on, while also allowing users to easily take screenshots, adjust the shadow levels and even engage an aim assist for shooters.
If you can stretch your budget a little further, the TCL C845 offers better picture performance thanks to its brighter Mini LED backlight, but if funds are tight, the C745 is the best gaming TV available at its price point.
Read our full TCL C745 review
Key specs – Display type: QLED; Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, IMAX Enhanced; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0b; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Input lag: 5.7ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Google TV 11.0
4. Samsung S90C: Best quantum dot OLED for gaming
Price when reviewed: From £1,249 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
The S90C uses a combination of OLED and quantum dot panel technology and is able to deliver some absolutely exceptional pictures as a result. Colours are saturated but accurate, shadow detail is excellent and higher peak brightness than last year’s S95B allows the S90C to reproduce HDR content with real visual punch.
This all means that games look great on the S90C but a number of other factors contribute to making it a great gaming TV. The panel has a 144Hz refresh rate and all four of its HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM, allowing you to get the most out of your next-generation console or high-end gaming PC. Samsung’s Game Bar 3.0 provides a quick and easy way to access key gaming information while playing, while very low input lag ensures a smooth gaming experience no matter what platform you’re on.
Read our full Samsung S90C review
Key specs – Display type: Quantum dot OLED; Screen sizes: 55in, 65in (tested), 77in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Input lag: 9.2ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Tizen OS
5. Sony A80L: Perfect for PlayStation
Price when reviewed: From £1,599 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
We were big fans of both the Sony A80J and A80K and the 2023 model continues where its predecessors left off, delivering a combination of premium design, impressive SDR and HDR images and fantastic picture processing.
Sony is the manufacturer of the PlayStation 5 and few OLEDs are a better companion for that console than the A80 series. A pair of HDMI 2.1 ports facilitate 4K gaming at 120Hz and there are two “Perfect for PlayStation” features supported: Auto HDR Tone Mapping optimises HDR settings when you first connect your console, while Auto Genre Picture Mode detects whether you’re using your PlayStation for gaming or streaming and switches picture modes accordingly.
Sound quality is first-rate too, with Sony’s Acoustic Surface Pro+ technology transforming the TV’s panel into a centre audio channel with great success. Google Assistant is built-in, one of the many perks of the Google TV operating system that features all the key streaming applications like YouTube, Disney+, Prime Video and Netflix.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your Sony TV buck, we recommend picking up the 2021 A80J for £979 instead, but if you can afford it, the 2023 update offers an improved experience in just about every area.Read our full Sony A80L review
Key specs – Display type: OLED; Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in, 75in and 83in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Input lag: 16ms (4K@60Hz), 10ms (4K@120Hz); VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Google TV
6. Samsung QN95C: Best 4K Mini LED TV for gaming
Price when reviewed: From £1,799 (55in) | Check price at Samsung
If you’re concerned about the image retention that sometimes affects OLED screens, you’ll want to consider this Mini LED LCD TV from Samsung. It’s the brand’s flagship 4K Neo QLED for 2023 and the SDR and HDR images its quantum dot-powered panel is able to deliver are remarkable.
Like the S90C and QN900C, the QN95C benefits from the inclusion of a quartet of HDMI 2.1 ports, all of which support the latest and greatest gaming features. Game Bar 3.0 is present and correct too, as is support for Samsung’s Gaming Hub, a platform that lets you easily access streaming apps and services such as Amazon Luna and GeForce Now.
Gaming on the QN95C is incredibly fluid and responsive, with no tearing or other visual artefacts even when playing games at the highest refresh rate possible. The TV also looks very smart and sounds great, making it a tantalising prospect for gamers looking for a television that ticks just about every box.Read our full Samsung QN95C review
Key specs – Display type: Neo QLED; Screen sizes: 55in, 65in (tested), 75in, 85in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Input lag: 10ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Tizen OS
7. Philips 807: A unique visual gaming experience
Price when reviewed: From £1,400 (55in) | Check price at John Lewis
While the Philips 807 only possesses two HDMI 2.1 ports and doesn’t have as many granular gaming options as our favourite gaming TV, the LG C2, it delivers a unique next-gen gaming experience thanks to the incorporation of a four-sided Ambilight. Ambilight is a proprietary Philips technology that sees LEDs located on the rear of the panel project light against the wall behind the TV to add an extra level of immersion to your gaming experience.
You can choose to have the lights follow images on the screen, game audio or select from various hues of lounge light and each creates a very pleasant visual environment in which to enjoy your favourite games. Studies have found that Ambilight can help reduce the strain on your eyes while looking at your TV in a darker room – a big bonus given you’re likely to be doing a lot of your gaming in such conditions.
All the key next-gen gaming features are supported: VRR (Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium), ALLM and 4K/120Hz, input lag is low enough for all but the most demanding of gamers, while picture and audio quality are impressive, too. Ambilight might be the big draw here, but the Philips 807 has plenty of other traits that make it one of our favourite TVs to game on.
Read our Philips 807 OLED review
Key specs – Display type: OLED ex; Screen sizes: 48in, 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Input lag: 15ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Android TV 11
8. LG G3: Best gaming TV for wall mounting
Price when reviewed: From £1,499 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
Not many people choose to wall mount the TV they use for gaming but if you do plan to, the LG G3 is the TV to buy, as it was specifically designed for that purpose and doesn’t even come with a stand in the box. It does, however, sport a “One Wall” design that leaves virtually no gap between the panel and the wall it’s attached to, which ensures it fits seamlessly into your home decor.
Not only does the TV look great on a wall, but it delivers some of the best pictures of any OLED TV on the market. It’s the first TV we’ve reviewed that makes use of Micro Lens Array technology and this allows it to push brightness much higher than last year’s G2. Gaming provision is first-rate too, with four HDMI 2.1 ports all supporting key next-gen gaming features including 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM. Game Optimiser mode further strengthens the G3’s gaming credentials by offering a range of game genre presets and delivering input lag under 10ms at 60fps and under 5ms at 120fps.
Key specs – Display type: OLED; Screen sizes: 55in, 65in (tested), 75in and 83in; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Input lag: 4.7ms (4K@120fps), 9.2 (4K@60fps); VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: webOS 23
9. Samsung QN900C: Best 8K TV for gaming
Price when reviewed: From £4,499 (65in) | Check price at Samsung
There’s a distinct lack of native 8K resolution content at the moment but this pricey option from Samsung will ensure you’re futureproofed for years to come. It’s the zenith of modern TV technology and delivers some of the most detailed images we’ve ever seen from a consumer TV thanks to a highly advanced panel complete with a quantum dot layer and Mini LED backlight. Samsung’s AI-powered Neo Quantum HDR 8K Pro processor upscales content superbly, so you’re always getting a great picture regardless of the resolution of your source material.
Every gaming feature imaginable is supported, including FreeSync Premium, Samsung’s Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro 144Hz, 4K@120HZ and ALLM. Input lag is minimal, motion handling is first-rate, and those that like to tinker will find the Samsung Game Bar both handy and very easy to use. The true power of the QN900C remains untapped until 8K games become the norm, which is some years off, but this a TV that’s ready for whatever the future holds.
Read our full Samsung QN900C review
Key specs – Display type: Neo QLED; Screen sizes: 65in, 75in (tested), 85in; Resolution: 8K/UHD (7,680 x 4,320); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Input lag: 9ms; VRR: Yes; ALLM: Yes; Operating system: Tizen OS
Check price at Samsung