Best gaming monitor – the top monitors in 2021

We’ve tested the top 1080p, ultrawide, 144Hz, and 4K monitors to help you find the best gaming monitor

Best gaming monitor

The best gaming monitor might offer a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time at 1080p for a great price, or it might boast 4K resolution in an ultrawide format. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to monitors. Which genre of game you play the most, and what you really value in a screen, makes a massive difference. But a good monitor has an incredibly long lifespan compared to many other components and peripherals, making it a great investment for your gaming setup.

There are serious questions you need to ask yourself first to narrow down your selection. Do you favour image quality over lightning-fast pixel response? Do you need Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s FreeSync? Does it even matter now that Nvidia supports FreeSync?

Are you into the pro-gaming, competitive esports world and crave the super-high monitor refresh rates of TN tech rather than a quality panel? Do you want a traditional 16:9 screen or have you been seduced by the ultra widescreen beauty of a 21:9 aspect ratio? Do you need a monitor so wide you can almost see those Fortnite enemies standing behind you? Or does it absolutely, positively have to be the best 4K gaming monitor so you can spot each individual blade of grass in The Witcher 3? And, finally, how convinced are you by the prospect of high dynamic range gaming?

It’s important to make sure you get the best gaming monitor, because it’s likely to outlast even the best graphics card and best gaming CPU. As the technical options have grown it’s now harder to know what the best gaming monitor is for you. And that’s where we come in, with our expert eyes and obsessive hunger for the very best panels.

Here are the best monitors for gaming:

Check Prices

ViewSonic Elite XG270QG

The best gaming monitor is the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG.

This 27-inch panel from ViewSonic’s Elite range perfectly matches the definition of a gaming monitor with a 1ms response time and 165Hz refresh rate. Great image quality and a wide viewing angle come from the 1440p resolution and IPS panel. A number of features; such as a mouse bungee to remove cable drag on wired mice, sight shields to reduce unwanted reflections, and RGB ambient lighting, make it stand out from the crowd.

Nvidia G-Sync is supported if you have an Nvidia graphics card, letting you stay locked to that 165Hz refresh rate without screen tearing, but without the latency you’ll experience with conventional Vsync. To hit these frame rates in the latest titles, you’ll want to make sure you have the right graphics card to match. In terms of ports, you get two HDMI and one DisplayPort, as well as three USB inputs allowing your monitor to act as a USB hub for accessories.

What we like…
Tick Vivid colours
Tick Butter smooth 165Hz refresh rate
Tick RGB ambient lighting

Viewsonic Elite XG270QG specs
Panel size 27-inch
Native resolution 2560 x 1440
Max refresh rate 165Hz
Panel tech IPS
Product Image 1
$599.99
View

Read the PCGamesN ViewSonic Elite XG270QG review for our full verdict and score.

Check Prices

LG 27GL83A-B

The best G-Sync monitor is the LG 27GL83A-B.

This 27-inch, 1440p edge-to-edge IPS screen from LG is the best choice for a responsive, lag-free monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and LG’s own ‘Dynamic Action Sync’, which reduces input lag when enabled.

Not only has this monitor got a smooth picture – the display has outstanding visuals thanks to an HDR 10 support and a 99% sRGB colour gamut. If you do any kind of photo editing in addition to gaming then this is the perfect choice for you. Great ergonomics come from a fully adjustable stand for height and tilt.

What we like…
Tick G-sync support
Tick Colour accuracy
Tick HDR support

LG 27GL83A-B specs
Panel size 27-inch
Native resolution 2560 x 1440
Max refresh rate 144Hz
Panel tech IPS
Product Image 1
$379.99
View
Check Prices

Asus ROG Strix XG32VQR

The best FreeSync monitor is the Asus ROG Strix XG32VQR.

This here Asus Strix screen replaces one of the finest FreeSync gaming monitors we’ve ever tested, the Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ, so you can be damned sure it’s a fine pick by today’s standards. With a superior VA panel to its predecessor, it offers a bright and colourful 1440p, 144Hz picture enhanced by HDR.

With Nvidia giving in to the pressures of adaptive sync, AMD Freesync panels like this one are of even greater value to gamers nowadays – even if HDR is still a big mess on Windows. And not to worry, it’s still got all those lovely RGB LEDs on the rear of the monitor and shining brightly from underneath the stand.

What we like…
Tick Superb VA panel
Tick Responsive 144Hz refresh rate
Tick AMD FreeSync 2 HDR

Asus ROG Strix XG32VQR specs
Panel size 32-inch
Native resolution 2560 x 1440
Max refresh rate 144Hz
Panel tech VA
Product Image 1
$1,122.99
View

Read the PCGamesN Asus ROG Strix XG32VQR review for our full verdict and score.

Check Prices

BenQ EW3280U

The best 4K monitor is the BenQ EW3280U.

Nvidia’s 30 series and AMD’s Radeon 6000 line-up might be rolling out the red carpet for affordable 4K gaming, but it’s still a premium experience in the display space. Being four times the resolution of 1080p gaming, you’re going to need a larger screen size to take full advantage of the pixels, which is where this 32-inch IPS panel from BenQ comes in.

The usual suspects make an appearance on the EW3280U, such as HDR for high contrast imagery, support for AMD FreeSync for latency-free gaming, and space for you to manage cables for a clutter-free desk. It’s a slightly niche feature, granted, but BenQ amps up the cinematics by throwing in a remote control and built-in stereo speakers with a subwoofer, so you can take off the best gaming headset at the end of a long day and still enjoy the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

What we like…
Tick Cinematic visuals
Tick HDR support
Tick Quality inbuilt speakers

BenQ EW3280U specs
Panel size 32-inch
Native resolution 3840×2160
Max refresh rate 60Hz
Panel tech IPS
Product Image 1
$799.99
$699.99
View
Check Prices

Dell S3220DGF

The best HDR monitor is the Dell S3220DGF.

There’s nothing quite like HDR to brighten up your image and make the colours pop. If bright, vibrant living is your cup of the proverbial, then the 32-inch Dell S3220DGF might be the gaming monitor for you, with HDR combatting picture dullness and a VA panel for greater contrast. Immersion is the name of the game here, with crystal clear 1440p resolution and a nice 1800R curve to truly suck you into any game you play. If you’re running an AMD graphics card, you don’t need to worry about images falling apart, either, as FreeSync support prevents your screen from tearing.

It’s not just AMD users that can benefit from anti-screen tearing efforts, however, as G-Sync Compatibility even works without official Nvidia support. And despite all these features, none of them come at the expense of a low response time or the high 165Hz refresh rate, so you can still be at your competitive best.

What we like…
Tick Immersive with FreeSync 2 HDR on a curved panel
Tick High 165Hz refresh rate
Tick Near bezel-less display

Dell S3220DGF specs
Panel size 32-inch
Native resolution 2560×1440
Max refresh rate 165Hz
Panel tech VA
Product Image 1
$448.98
View
Check Prices

BenQ EX3501R

The best 1440p monitor is the BenQ EX3501R.

BenQ’s EX3501R is the perfect monitor for an immersive 1440p gaming experience, with its 1440p curved VA panel, support for HDR, and a 100Hz refresh rate. AMD FreeSync support for compatible graphics cards reduces screen tearing without any latency hit, and while the response time is not the best here, at 4ms, it’s still decent for the ultrawide market.

A VA panel does have some advantages over IPS, despite the reduced viewing angle. VA gives you a much higher contrast ratio than an IPS panel, with darker blacks. Connections include two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and a single USB C port that lets you easily hook up your laptop for display and charging with just one cable.

What we like…
Tick Eye-popping colours
Tick 100Hz refresh rate
Tick Near bezel-less display

BenQ EX3501R specs
Panel size 35-inch
Native resolution 3440×1440
Max refresh rate 100Hz
Panel tech VA
Product Image 1
$749.99
$649.99
View

Read the PCGamesN BenQ EX3501R review for our full verdict and score.

check prices

samsung crg9 curved gaming monitor

The best ultrawide monitor is the Samsung CRG9.

This monstrous curved 49-inch panel is great for a highly immersive experience in the latest open world games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

It’s got a 32:9 aspect ratio, and is basically the equivalent of two 27-inch 1440p monitors stuck together, with a high 5120×1440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate – you’ll want one of the best graphics cards to push the pixels here.  It’s got support for AMD FreeSync 2, and a stand that adjusts for height, tilt and swivel for maximum ergonomics.

What we like…
Tick Massive 49-inch panel
Tick 120Hz refresh rate
Tick AMD FreeSync support

Samsung CRG9 specs
Panel size 49-inch
Native resolution 5120×1440
Max refresh rate 120Hz
Panel tech VA
Product Image 1
$1,499.99
$1,099.99
View
Check Prices

Acer Nitro VG240Y

The best budget gaming monitor is the Acer Nitro VG240Y.

This is a bargainous monitor from Acer, but don’t think that makes it unsuitable for gaming. You’re getting a 1080p 24-inch display with a top-class 1ms response time, and its 75Hz refresh rate offers an increase of 25% over a standard 60Hz panel. IPS technology means you’ll get great viewing angles and the best colour reproduction available, which is pretty impressive at this price – not to mention AMD FreeSync support.

Despite its low price tag, there’s no compromise on design, with a near bezel-less edge-to-edge screen and a swanky red and black stand – which can be adjusted for tilt for improved ergonomics.

What we like…
Tick The price
Tick Edge-to-edge screen
Tick IPS viewing angles

Acer Nitro VG240Y specs
Panel size 24-inch
Native resolution 1920×1080
Max refresh rate 75Hz
Panel tech IPS
Product Image 1
$179.99
$129.99
View

How to enable FreeSync with a GeForce GPU

Here’s our handy video on how to enable Adaptive Sync with an Nvidia GeForce GPU. PCGamesN also has a full guide on how to run AMD’s screen tech with a GeForce GPU.

YouTube Thumbnail

Gaming monitor buying guide

It’s a lot to digest, which is quite amazing considering that monitor technology had been one of the slowest-moving sides of PC gaming hardware for many years. But now there are so many different options on offer, and some that are entirely dependent onwhat graphics card you happen to be running in your rig at the time.

For our money, the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG is one of the best gaming monitors out there with its value for money, closely followed by Dell’s S3220DGF, though there are other fantastic options too.

At the lower level, you can actually buy some stunning non-TN panels for less than $200 / £200 now, giving you fantastic 1080p visuals to go with your gaming PC, just like the Acer Nitro VG240Y.

As ever, spending money on your monitor is a worthy investment. It’s likely to outlast your current PC and graphics card, so take into account planning for your next rig, too.

Gaming monitor price list

Product Image 1
$599.99
View
Product Image 2
$379.99
View
Product Image 3
$1,122.99
View
Product Image 4
$799.99
$699.99
View
Product Image 5
$448.98
View
Product Image 6
$749.99
$649.99
View
Product Image 7
$179.99
$129.99
View
Product Image 8
$1,499.99
$1,099.99
View