What do you need to look for in a great gaming TV? Well, first you need to consider size. Anything smaller than 40 inches isn't going to show off 4K particularly well, so you really need to go bigger on that. 55 inch TVs are ideal, and you can pick them up for around $500-700 / £600 if you're getting a genuine bargain. You also need to consider whether or not the TV has HDR. Most 4K TVs have it, which is good, but some are better than others. The likes of Horizon Zero Dawn and Forza Motorsport 7 are transformed by good HDR, so you need a TV with a decent set-up here. Refresh rate (how smooth the picture flows on your TV) is important for fast games, and things like customisation options and backlighting can make a big difference.
As for sound? It's less important for many, as soundbars and headsets are the best ways to experience game audio, but it's worth considering. Sadly, most modern 4K TVs don't put sound quality first and foremost, as they expect gamers to use other methods of outputting sound.
And while we have you, check out our companion guide of the absolute best 4K TVs for gaming.
Best gaming TV for US viewers
TCL 55R617 - 55" 4K TV
One of the best value 4K TVs you’ll ever find
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1231(w) x 777(h) x 271(d)mm
TCL’s latest 55-inch LED is ridiculously good value. If you love a bargain, best prepare to wipe those sweaty beads of excitement from your brow. At less than $650, there’s no other TV in this price bracket that offers such a brilliant balance between price and performance. Thanks to this set’s deep blacks, punchy overall brightness, and winning contrast performance, it easily outguns 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 backlighting. 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 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.
Best gaming TV for UK viewers
Samsung UE55MU7000 - 55" 4K TV
One of the most well-balanced mid-range TVs around
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 710(h) x 54(d)mm
Unless you’ve recently robbed a bank, there’s a good chance you may not be able to afford Samsung’s premium QLED TVs. But fear not! This reasonably priced LED is a cracking mid-range performer. The MU7000 sports the sort of good looks that belie its aggressively set price point, while the 19ms input lag when hooked to a 4K source like a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X makes this Sammy more suitable for competitive gamers than many displays that cost twice as much. You get a lot of great TV for your money here.
Are there compromises? Of course. An edge-lit backlight means black levels can’t compete with OLED screens, though in the MU7000’s defence, general screen uniformity is very good, with few signs of clouding or the dreaded smudginess of dirty screen effect. Though it’s not quite a standout HDR performer, the fact this display supports HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) should be commended. HDR pictures never get bright enough to knock your socks off – peak brightness only measures in at around 560cd/m² – but luckily, the MU7000 is truly excellent in SDR mode. If you’re not overly fussed about class-leading HDR performance, and want a brilliant, fairly priced TV, this Samsung will delight.
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The best of the rest - US viewers
LG OLED55E8PUA - 55" OLED 4K TV
One of the best OLEDs money can buy, and perhaps the most attractive TV ever
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 777(h) x 50(d)mm
Those lucky enough to have a hefty bank balance should really consider treating themselves to this wonderful OLED. While the signature W8 and its ‘wallpaper-thin’ design feels gimmicky, and has more or less been designed exclusively for wall-hanging, the E8 is one of the most beautiful ‘traditional’ looking sets we’ve ever seen. It's clear, ultra skinny stand has been designed in such a way that it appears the picture is floating in mid-air, making it even easier to become immersed in gorgeous games like Forza 7 or God Of War.
LG’s 8 series also benefits from an impressive new Alpha 9 processor, helping make the TV’s HDR pictures brighter than previous OLEDs from the South Korean firm. In HDR10 mode, compatible games appear more dynamic, as long as you have Dynamic Tone Mapping switched on. Additionally, and unlike 7 series models, the E8 no longer dims the picture when set to HDR game mode, helping the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins and its lovely high dynamic range setting look even more alluring. Throw in predictably peerless blacks, and responsive input lag of just 21.4 ms, and this incredible OLED performs as well as it looks.
LG 49-SK8000 - 49" 4K TV
LG delivers a fabulously fast budget set
Screen size: 49 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1236(w) x 774(h) x 248(d)mm
If money is an issue – let’s be honest, for most of us it is – you should definitely check out this Samsung. While the SK8000’s black levels aren't as good as the $2000+ sets, its budget price point and excellent motion handling make it a brilliant 4K option for gamers on a budget. Though the set’s edge-lit dimming isn’t great, this won’t matter if you’re playing games in a reasonably well-lit room. Colour accuracy and grey uniformity are both far better than you’d expect from a sub-$1K television, too.
With excellent motion-handling features, the SK8000 is ideal for fast-paced games, like 2106’s Doom reboot. Indeed, input lag is about the lowest we’ve ever seen from a TV, let alone one at such a low price – 14.2 ms is insanely quick. If you want an edge in online shooters and aren’t overly concerned about your TV delivering deep black levels, the SK8000 is a great little set.
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Best of the rest - UK viewers
Philips 43PUS6262 - 43" 4K TV
The best budget bedroom TV you can buy
Screen size: 43 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 971(w) x 575(h) x 67(d)mm
Are you hard pressed for space? Are you looking to spend as little as possible to go 4K, but don't want to compromise on quality? Let us introduce you to this 43-inch budget hero. Considering it’s going for under £400, the pictures this Philips can produce are a minor miracle. Note that ‘can’ is the operative word. To get the most out of the 6262, you must first turn off the default, horribly dim Eco mode. Doing so brings the set’s punchy contrast performance to life, with the display’s naturally warm colours lending HDR games and movies a welcomingly inviting tone.
Considering Phillips is selling this brilliant budget TV for less than the price of an Xbox One X, the fact it delivers input lag of 27 ms is hugely respectable. Looking for an awesome sub-£500 4K TV? Your search is over.
Panasonic TX-55FZ802B - 55" 4K TV
Arguably the best OLED in existence
Screen size: 55 inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1230(w) x 777(h) x 300(d)mm
If you’re a night owl with deep pockets and a fondness for 4am sessions on Destiny 2, this Panny is the TV you’ve been having moist dreams about. Though LG has traditionally ruled the OLED roost since the technology’s inception, the Z802B is arguably better than any TV the South Korean giant has produced. Not only is this panel strikingly thin and admirably quick – input lag is a mere 21 ms – but Panasonic’s latest OLED produces the most detailed blacks you can buy.
Panny’s new ‘HCX’ processing system lends oodles of shadow detail to dark games, such as Resident Evil 7. The Z802B was built for night time gaming in a dark room, and the panel’s flawless blacks produces wonderfully contrast-rich images. If you’re fortunate enough to have the requisite funds, you won’t find a better gaming TV.
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