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The best gaming TVs for 2021

Best gaming TVs for 2021
Best gaming TVs for 2021 (Image credit: Future)

The best gaming TVs are looking better than ever in 2021 coming down in price. If you're looking to upgrade your set up with a contender for best gaming TV, there's basically never been a better time. And, generally, it's well worth investing in a quality gaming TV because, if it plays games well, it's almost guaranteed to do everything else well too. 

There are multiple tiers of best gaming TV, which scale in price and size depending on your budget and the dimensions of the room you want to put it in. It's worth knowing your limitations ahead of time as it can help make your decision on which of the best gaming TVs to buy a little easier. For example, if you're looking to upgrade solely because of the new-gen consoles, then maybe our best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X guide or best 120Hz 4K TV guide might be a little more focused and honed for you. 

If you're looking for the best TVs to make use of entertainment services like Disney Plus, the best TVs to watch movies on, and the best TVs for PS4 and Xbox One – or even next-gen gaming for those of you who aren't all that interested in features such as 120Hz, VRR, and aLLM – then we've got you covered here.

When it comes to picking the best gaming TV for you, there are several factors to take into consideration. First off, it's likely that the TV is not purely going to be used for gaming, so you need to make sure it's the right one for your home in terms of size, usability, and efficacy for movies, TV and every day use too, to mention but a few. Plus it really isn't just about picking the priciest or the shiniest: the range of quality 4K TVs now available now, you can now get a good gaming TV for far less money. Predictably, the scale is real and can climb to ridiculous amount with the premium panels; these will cost many thousands of your hard-earned bucks, and while a bunch of them won't be worth it, the higher-end models do provide a gaming panel that will take your experience to the next level visually offering extra detail and vibrancy that the cheaper models can't come close to matching. The upward trend of higher price means more and better TV, does apply here also in the realm of features and bells and whistles, too. 

It's relentlessly realistic and true to life, but you have to consider your budget and, concurrently, what size of television you ideally want. While, of course, you shouldn't spend more on a TV that just doesn't fit a wall or is way too big for a smaller room, we have also never heard anyone complain that their TV is 'too big'. Ever. You just have to have your sensible hat on a bit here and know where you're definitely putting it and then aim for the biggest appropriate size (budget depending).

Oh, and if you're on the lookout for something truly massive, you'll want to consider one of the best projectors, best projectors for PS5 and Xbox Series X, or best 4K projector going.

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Best gaming TVs for 2021

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best gaming tv LG OLED CX

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LG OLED CX Amazon Prime Day TV deals

1. LG CX OLED

The best-equipped for PS5 and Xbox Series X

Screen size: 48, 55, 65, or 77 inches | Resolution: 4K Ultra HD | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Reasonably-priced
Stunning image quality
Super slick response times
Bass performance is a little light

If you're picking up a PS5 or Xbox Series X soon then the LG CX OLED TVs are the ultimate next-gen option thanks to an exceptional 4K display running at a blisteringly fast 120Hz. It's pretty tasty for PC gaming too thanks to Nvidia G-Sync support.

That 120Hz refresh rate is perfectly-matched for fast-paced 4K gaming like first-person shooters and racing titles as you can make screen-tearing a thing of the past with LG's class-leading TV. And as you'd expect with OLED technology, the black levels are outstanding and LG has really nailed this with a design that sees the CX line completely shut off individual pixels for the darkest scenes. So if you're tired of black scenes merely looking like very dark gray, this is the gaming TV for you.

We're used to seeing most OLED TVs priced out of reach a wide audience, but the LG CX OLEDs are surprisingly affordable considering all the plaudits they've amassed around the world since release. The 65-inch is awesome, but we think the 55-inch model really nails that sweet spot of value and a great size for most homes too.

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2. Samsung Q70T

The best value QLED TV for home gamers

Screen size: 55-85 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: QLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Vibrant picture
Very fast panel
Solid HDR
Helpful smart features
Blacks not as deep as OLED
No Dolby Vision or Atmos support

An excellent choice for a mid-range QLED TV, the Samsung Q70T TV is a beautiful looking set with a clean design that can easily become a showpiece for any room. 

Offering the same features as it's pricier Q90 QLED sibling, the Q70T offers the same nearly bezel-less screen with decent HDR, and a nice range of rich colors just in time for watching all the colors pop on your fave Disney Plus shows. The Q70T does 4K at up to 120HZ, engages HDR10+ and uses a variable fresh rate. Console gamers will appreciate the 14ms input lag on this TV and take full advantage of the HDR glow up. 

The Q70T also comes loaded with everything to satisfying all your streaming needs. The Q70T even compiles a special watch list based on your viewing habits across all your apps. It also works with all your smart-home assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. It's definitely one of the smarter TVs on the market right now. 

Most importantly Samsung ditch the dreaded One Connect box that they use on the Q90, so all your connections hook up directly to the television's rear panel. I always appreciated what Samsung was trying to do but One Connect by plugging everything into a convenient cable hub. The only problem is that when it broke it essentially made your TV useless. The Q70T is a premium TV that won't totally bankrupt you. 

If budget is an issue, Samsung does a 43" version of this TV, but we'd recommend 55" or above. And we also like the Q60 model from Samsung which is a fine, ever-so-slightly older member of the QLED family to check out.

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3. Samsung TU8000

A superb Samsung with plenty of gaming features

Screen size: 43-85 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Tuned for gaming
A great panel with decent HDR
Not overly expensive...
...but only just cheaper than QLED
Voice control is poor

If you don't want to spend OLED or QLED prices, but still want a premium 4K TV for your gaming, the TU8000 series from Samsung is worth looking into. Samsung's panels are very good across their whole range, and these models have made big strides around viewing angles and the quality of upscaling non-4K pictures. What we like about the TU8000 series models is the Real Game Enhancer feature, which drops the response time of the panel to a super-low 6.8ms. Combined with Freesync, this makes the panel superb for faster-paced shooters and games that require reflexes as well as a handsome display. Just be aware that the 49" version doesn't have a number of these features, including Real Game Enhancer, so make sure you stick to 55" or above for this set.

This is a recent model too, so you get a bunch of Samsung's 'nice to have' features, like a universal remote (with built-in voice control - although this is very, very inconsistent), cable management around the back of the TV, and the Universal Guide with a whole bunch of streaming services already built in. It's a nice all-rounder. While the rest of Samsung's standard 4K TV range is cheaper, the TU8000 series is best for gaming, so it's worth spending a little extra on. 

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4. TCL R617

The best value 4K TV

Screen size: 55-75 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Unbeatable price for the features you’re getting
Great contrast levels deliver punchy images
Lightning fast input lag
Finish and build is less sturdy than Samsung and LG models

TCL’s 55-inch LED is ridiculously good value. If you love a bargain, this is the one for you. It's regularly less than $500, there’s no other TV in this price bracket that offers such a brilliant balance between price and performance. Thanks to this set’s decent blacks, punchy overall brightness, and winning contrast performance, it easily holds pace with a number of more expensive rivals from Samsung and Sony. 

Considering how cheap TCL is selling this display for, it’s super impressive the set boasts full array local dimming, rather than inferior edge-lit pictures. This system gives the R617’s convincing blacks, which stand out even more thanks to the TV’s wide colour gamut, brought about by what the manufacturer refers to as ‘Nano Band Phosphor’ tech. The panel becomes even more impressive when you consider its input lag measures in at a supremely speedy 17.9 ms when game mode is enabled, while the inclusion of HDR10 and Dolby Vision is borderline ridiculous for a TV at this price range. Looking for a new 4K television, and on a budget? Then you’d be a fool to overlook the R617. TCL55R617 - should you buy it? One word of warning: we wouldn't recommend TCL sets from earlier than 2018, as the company's panels have come a long, long way in the past few years.

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5. Samsung TU7000 series

A tremendous budget gaming TV

Screen size: 43-75 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Great gaming television
Automatic console detection 
Great value
Only 2 HDMI ports
Sound quality is poor at higher volume
HDR performance is lacking

It's hard to argue with the logic behind buying the Samsung TU7000: it's got 4K at 60Hz that reads beautifully for gaming and watching movies, and all the smart apps you need, along with a price tag that's hella wallet-friendly: in terms of sheer value it really is one of the best gaming TVs going. 

The Samsung TU7000 has good color quality (including really deep blacks thanks to a high contrast ratio) decent sound, and a fantastic little feature called automatic console detection - as soon as power on your console, the Samsung will automatically switch to from movie mode to game mode. It will also automatically turn on your console if you navigate to it in the source menu. It's a nifty little feature and one that ultimately ends up saving you a lot of time navigating with what is quite a clunky remote. 

The picture quality is solid, with a great contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity. Though you will need to do a bit of adjusting from time to time - our reviewer had to do a bit of adjusting when playing Call of Duty: Warzone because the game was too bright.  

The user interface is easy to navigate, even if the remote is clunky, which makes switching between gaming consoles and Samsung TV apps a breeze - although the apps themselves can be a little buggy at times. 

The one major downside is that the Samsung Series 7 only has two HDMI ports, which means you'll require a splitter if you have more than one gaming console and some type of streaming device like the Amazon Firestick (which, you'd think would be rendered useless by the Samsung TV apps, but isn't). 

Overall, the Samsung TU7000 is a great television for its price point, and one that's especially tempting for gamers, as the input lag is low, the blacks are deep, and its contrast ratio is fantastic.

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6. Sony Bravia X900F

A superb set oozing Sony's Bravia quality

Screen size: 49-85 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh rate: 120Hz (X-Motion Clarity) | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Strong picture clarity
Best black levels on an LED set
Much faster than OLED
Flat sound
Poor viewing angles
Sony premium included

Impressive contrast ratio, good black uniformity, strong local dimming, and a tremendous HDR experience are on the pro front. In general, this is a great set for gamers, given the excellent pixel response times. While the 8F (as an OLED) has almost 38 ms response times, which is a bit too slow for Rocket League, FIFA or Call of Duty, the X900F is faster with 24ms at 4K/60Hz (Though it also claims 120Hz refresh rate with the built-in X-Motion Clarity).

Sony has made a couple of very weird decisions about this TV, though: only 2 HDMI ports use the full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth and that’s not enough - most TV sets have 4 ports minimum. And while the sound gets pretty loud, it lacks clarity and depth. However Sony hasn’t done a perfect job with its 2018 models: the viewing angle is quite poor, and colors fade out heavily when you don’t play directly in front of it, but these ring true of TVs on the whole so shouldn't put you off this great set from Sony.

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7. LG UM7300PUA

A great LG offering for a low-mid budget

Screen size: 43-65 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Superb value
Sharp, colorful picture
Works with Alexa
43" is a small TV for games
Sound is fine, but not super

When it comes to 43" 4K TVs you've got plenty of choice. While you could drop in excess of $500 on a Sony set, or push yourself and get the Samsung Q60R in that size, our recommendation is the LG 7300PUA. The 2019 version of our favorite budget set, the 6200PUA, this 4K panel brings a few key improvements and still manages to offer itself for less than $300 for most of the year. That is exceptional value for this mighty TV.

It comes with an IPS screen, which means the picture stays great for anyone watching at an angle, and while the 60Hz refresh rate isn't the best for movies or games, the on-screen images are razer sharp. LG's panels are superb in this budget-category, and the processing power behind them is decent. While not as thin as an OLED, the 7300PUA is slender and neat, with a thinner bezel than previous models. It also comes with Alexa voice control compatibility and Google voice assistant which, while not 100% precise, is a neat extra and something that supplements LG's rather middling user interface. The sound quality is among the best for TVs in this sub-$500 range, although we'd recommend supplementing the built-in speaker with headphones or a surround sound system if you're serious about audio. In all, for sub-$300, it's tough to find anything better.

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8. Sony X950G

The best premium size and scale gaming TV - for a premium price

Screen size: 55-85 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No

Sleek design
Good cable management
Sony levels of premium picture quality
Built-in Chromecast
Excellent remote
Volume and bass are on the weak side
Backlighting doesn't match the premium-ness of the TV

If you're looking to go big with your gaming TV and go premium, then you can't get much better than this 75-inch monster from Sony. On top of the 'general' premium nature of Sony's panels, including awesome picture quality, look-at-it-from-anywhere viewing angles, and good features, there is a great Android TV system within, as well as a built-in Chromecast and loads of apps. If you want to play games on a wall-filling panel that oozes premium quality, then this is ane easy recommendation to make and easily one of the best gaming TVs going. It's near bezel-less design is quite nice too. The full package - on a monster scale - from Sony.

Jargon buster - here's what 4K TV tech actually does

4K

This is the resolution of the image that can be displayed by your TV. 4K refers to the resolution 3840x2160 pixels. It's also referred to as UHD or Ultra HD by some broadcasters or manufacturers. Basically, if a TV can display pictures in 3840x2160 it can be called a 4K TV or 4K ready TV. PS4 Pro and Xbox One X can both output a signal in 4K, and send it to your 4K TV. Almost all modern gaming TVs are 4K.

HDR

HDR means High Dynamic Range. The majority of 4K TVs come with HDR as standard, and it's a technology used to process colors within games, movies, and TV shows. HDR isn't strictly about contrast - it's a way of making the difference more noticeable between colors (and blacks), and HDR can actually be used by game makers and developers to pick out more details in their creations. Primarily, HDR is used to boost the color of a picture by making colors more vivid, thereby contrasting them further. If you can separate very similar shades of color, then you can create clearer images. The minimum standard for HDR is a brightness of 400 nits (the measure of brightness on a TV), although some TVs manage 2000 nits in 2019. 

OLED

This stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and it's a type of TV panel. Basically, while LCD and plasma panels require something called back-lighting or edge-lighting to create pictures on screen, OLED panels don't need it. With back-lit or edge-lit TVs, the LEDs in the panel are illuminated in groups or lines to create a picture. With OLED TVs, each LED on screen can be individually lit - switched on or off to create a picture. This is what allows for truer blacks in OLED sets. With the ability to completely switch off each individual LED, you get sharp edges on images and deep blacks because there is no backlight showing through at all.

QLED

This is Samsung's own technology, and it stands for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode. Quantum Dots are particles, which are lit to create a picture on the screen, and they can get much brighter than LEDs or QLEDs. This means QLED sets offer brighter colors and better contrasts than any other panel type. The panel is still either back-lit or edge-lit like traditional 4K TVs, and this can make a huge difference when it comes to black levels. Back-lit QLEDs can not only deliver vivid colors, but they can also produce sharp images and blacks that rival premium OLEDs. This makes them perfect for gaming.

Samsung's Q7 4K TV is a great example of QLED tech

Samsung's Q7 4K TV is a great example of QLED tech (Image credit: Samsung)

Response time

You'll hear a lot about the response time of a panel, especially when discussing gaming TVs. This is basically the speed at which a color can change on your TV (eg. from black to white to black again). Most 4K TVs have response times quicker than we can perceive them, so it makes no real difference to gameplay outside the twitchiest of shooters. However, purists will want a TV with the quickest response time possible.

Refresh rate

This is the speed at which an image can be refreshed on your TV (and shouldn't be confused with response time). Basically, most TVs offer 60Hz-120Hz, although no 4K TV has anything higher and if you want 144Hz or even 240Hz, you need one of the best gaming monitors. A 60Hz 4K TV, for example, refreshes the image on screen 60 times per second, which allows a certain level of smoothness to the image. If the TV refreshes at 120Hz, the image is twice as smooth, and you notice that in how slick the motion appears on screen. Many TVs 'game modes' will boost refresh rate artificially, usually by downgrading other display features (eg. reducing the brightness of your picture).

HDMI

This stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and it's the standard connection cable between your 4K TV and most devices. You need at least an HDMI 1.4 cable to carry a 4K signal, although most modern HDMIs are 2.0 cables, capable of carrying 4K signals at 60 frames per second. The majority of modern console games can't display at 4K 60fps, so as long as you have a 2.0 cable and 2.0 port on your TV, you're fine. And no, you don't need to buy expensive gold-plated HDMI cables to get a better picture - just the Amazon Basics will do just fine.

I'm one of the Hardware Editors for GamesRadar+, and I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer so do that in my spare time, and lean on it to write about games' landscapes and environments too.