These Are the Best Gaming Monitors For Every Gamer's Needs

Shopping for a gaming monitor used to be a simple affair. At one point every monitor was just rectangular-shaped and ran at 60Hz, so it was just a question of how big of a monitor could you afford and whether you wanted a 1440p display to be extra fancy. Those days are long gone now though.Today there are almost too many options when looking for a gaming monitor. Now you’ve got displays that offer high refresh rate, Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, 4K resolution, and high-dynamic-range (HDR) as basic features. It’s a lot to figure out, and that’s without mentioning curved gaming monitors or ultrawide displays, but I’m here to help.

IGN has reviewed a smorgasbord of gaming monitors, and with that data, I’ve created this list containing only the top-scoring monitors from each category for your easy consumption. Whether you’re looking for a 4K HDR screen to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in all its glory or a 240Hz display to help you win in Apex Legends, you’ll find the right gaming monitor for you here.

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Monitors:

1. MSI Optix MPG341CQR

Best Gaming Monitor

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Our Pick


On Amazon

While consoles have caught up with 4K HDR gaming one thing PC gaming simply does better is support for ultrawide gaming monitors. We think a 21:9 aspect ratio—or wider—is the best type of screen for PC gaming and the MSI Optix MPG341CQR (read our review) is the clear winner here. This 34-inch display offers up an enrapturing 3,440 x 1,440 resolution that wraps around you. Better yet you also get a 144Hz experience and the response time of this panel is 4ms, making it a tiny bit faster than your average IPS display.

It also supports HDR, albeit with only a 400-nit peak brightness and 8-bit color, so it’s not the absolute best high-dynamic range experience you’ll find out there. But for $800 this ultrawide gaming monitor offers a lot with one of the best-looking displays around plus plenty of ports to connect a variety of devices including a USB Type-C for your gaming laptop and gaming phones.

2. Acer Predator XB273K

Best 4K Gaming Monitor

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Acer Predator XB273K

On Amazon

The Acer Predator XB273K (read our review) is essentially the semi-HDR version of its older sibling, the Acer Predator X27. While it doesn’t hit a 1,000-nit peak brightness or feature Quantum Dot technology, it also doesn’t cost $2,000. Nope, instead, the Acer Predator XB273K is a refined 27-inch, 4K gaming monitor designed to give you the sharpest 144Hz gaming experience for a little more than a grand.

This monitor still meets the HDR400 specification (up to a 400-nit peak brightness), so it’s still a bit brighter than your typical gaming monitor. Colors are also on-point. The Acer Predator XB273K can tap into 100% of the sRGB and 90% of the DCI-P3 color spectrum. Just know that to get the best colors out of this display, you’ll have to select 98Hz as your maximum refresh rate due to the bandwidth limitations of the DisplayPort 1.4 standard.

3. LG 27GL850 UltraGear

Best 1440p Gaming Monitor

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LG 27GL850 UltraGear

On Best Buy

The LG 27GL850 UltraGear is one of the best all-around gaming monitors available right now. It’s gorgeous Nano IPS panel resolves a 2,560 x 1,440 picture that’s perfectly sharp for its 27-inch screen size. What’s more, the image is bright at 350-nits and richly colored thanks to its support for 10-bit color, which when put together makes this screen HDR10 ready.

Better yet the LG 27GL850 UltraGear delivers a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, so it overcomes the usual pitfalls of an IPS display. Lastly, this gaming monitor supports both FreeSync and G-Sync, so you’ll get a smooth tear-free experience with any gaming PC or gaming laptop.

4. Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor

Best 1080p Gaming Monitor

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Alienware 27 Gaming

On Amazon

It might seem strange that people are still buying 1080p gaming monitors when 4K gaming is all the rage, but this old-school resolution still has something to offer. The best Full HD gaming monitors these days offer are still useful for attaining ridiculously high frame rates and they’re just starting to support HDR picture modes.

The Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor is a perfect example of what you can get from a modern day 1080p gaming monitor. It features a “Fast IPS” panel that achieves a quick 1ms response time while delivering the wide viewing angles and rich color accuracy you’d expect from this type of display technology. To sweeten this deal even more, the Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor supports both FreeSync and G-Sync.

5. AOC C27G1 Curved Gaming Monitor

Best Budget Gaming Monitor

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AOC C27G1 Curved Gaming Monitor

On Amazon

AOC has been building solid budget-range monitors for years and the AOC C27G1 Curved Gaming Monitor (read our review) is one of its best offerings yet. This monitor’s 27-inch curved panel serves up a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, and AMD FreeSync to eliminate screen tearing. As it uses an excellent Vertical Alignment (VA) panel you can expect a balanced experience with great colors and quick response time.

The only thing I find a little lacking is it’s a bit dimmer than other monitors—brightness maxes out at only 250-nits. But its shortcomings are easy to overlook thanks to this monitor’s sub $300 sticker price and pretty great specs. The AOC C27G1 isn’t going to blow your mind, but it’s an affordable gaming monitor that all PC gamers should consider.

6. Viotek GFT27D

Best Budget 1440p Gaming Monitor

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Viotek GFT27DB

On Amazon

The Viotek GFT27DB (read our review) is the perfect cheap monitor to go with if you want a 1440p that’ll stick to your budget. Priced at just $300, this QHD monitor also delivers a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time (with Overdrive) thanks to its TN panel. Colors and contrast on this display are surprisingly not half bad despite its TN panel.

It also supports FreeSync for the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. as well as AMD-powered gaming PCs and gaming laptops. What’s more, I can confirm that the Viotek GFT27DB is G-Sync Compatible even if it technically isn’t on the list of supported gaming monitors.

7. Acer Nitro XV273K

Best Budget 4K Gaming Monitor

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Acer Nitro XV273K

On Amazon

The Acer Nitro XV273K (read our review) is one of the few 4K gaming monitors you can find for less than a grand and what a gaming monitor it is. It’s tack sharp with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution and it meets the HDR 400 specification to produce colors that pop and inky blacks.

Just be sure to game with HDR enabled on this gaming monitor as colors and grays can look dull in standard dynamic range mode. Overall, this is a great 4K gaming monitor that costs only $900.

8. AOC AG322QC4 Curved Gaming Monitor

Best Curved Gaming Monitor

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AOC AG322QC4 Curved Gaming Monitor

On Amazon

If you want a monitor larger than 27-inches, you should start looking at curved gaming monitors. Curved gaming monitors like the 32-inch AOC AG322QC4 (read our review) are a bit easier on the eyes. Rather than having to keep looking away to the edges of a large screen, they come to you as a curved screen is designed to wrap itself around your peripheral vision.

Beyond the novelty of its curved panel, the AOC AG322QC4 is one of the best displays I’ve seen. It offers up a QHD (2,560 x 1,400) resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync2 HDR support. There’s also a decent selection of ports here including two DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0, and one VGA—just know that only the HDMI ports support HDR. Not too shabby overall for a monitor that costs less than $600.

9. Samsung CRG90 Curved Gaming Monitor

Best Super Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

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Samsung CRG90

On Amazon

Samsung was the first to market with a super ultrawide curved gaming monitor and while there’ve been plenty of copycats, it still leads the market. The Samsung CRG90 is a step up over all the other 49-inch ultrawide monitor thanks to its 5,120 x 1,440 resolution, which essentially gives you two QHD ultrawide monitors packed into a single display. What’s more, this 32:9 screen offers up a 120Hz refresh rate and 600-nit peak brightness, making it uniquely qualified for HDR gaming thanks to its use of Quantum Dot technology.

It caters to productivity as much as gaming as the screen can act as two completely separate Full HD displays for two different systems. Alternatively, you could have the majority of the screen act as a 21:9 display for games and movies, while reserving the rest of the monitor for work or email.

10. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

Best HDR Gaming Monitor

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Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

On Amazon

Ever since 4K gaming came onto the scene people have been waiting for the “next level” of performance, and the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ (read our review) is it. It was the first monitors to combine a 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, G-Sync, and HDR up to an insane peak brightness of 1,000nits. Under the hood, it uses a 27-inch vertical alignment panel enhanced with quantum dots and 384 individual backlight zones. It is the Holy Grail of gaming monitors (for Nvidia GPU owners, at least).

There are some drawbacks though, namely with its $2,000 price. Secondly, it can’t do everything it promises at 144Hz because DisplayPort can’t handle the combined load of 4K resolution and 10-bit HDR color streaming at 144Hz. Expect to drop down your refresh rate to 98Hz for the true HDR experience. If you find the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ’s starship aesthetic a little overbearing, you may want to consider the more practical-looking Acer Predator X27, which offers all the same specs, plus slightly better colors and an included display hood.

11. Asus ROG Strix XG279Q

Best G-Sync Gaming Monitor

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Asus ROG Strix XG279Q

On Amazon

Variable refresh rate technology makes modern PC gaming smoother, and if you have an Nvidia graphics card you really should take advantage of it with a G-Sync display. And while you’re doing that why not get one of the best all-around G-Sync Gaming Monitors? The Asus ROG Strix XG279Q isn’t particularly mind-blowing for any reason but it’s got great all-around specs and at a fairly unoffensive price to boot.

This 27-inch gaming monitor offers up a QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440) tied to an IPS panel that puts out 400-nits and a maximum refresh rate of 170Hz when overclocked. You also get a 1ms response time that’s becoming ever more prevalant on IPS displays. All together, the Asus ROG Strix XG279Q is a great option for under $700.

12. Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q Tactical Gaming Display

Best FreeSync Gaming Monitor

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Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q Tactical Gaming Monitor

On Amazon

The Aorus AD27QD (read our review) was one of our favorite gaming monitors of last year and now Aorus has made it even better with the Aorus FI27Q Tactical Gaming Display. The biggest changes you’ll notice on this QHD gaming monitor is it now refreshes at an even faster 165Hz for high-speed action.

Aside from that 27-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 display offers up a lot with HDR 400 support, 10-bit colors, and a 1ms response time—which is impressive from an IPS monitor. The Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q Tactical Gaming Display is also G-Sync Compatible on top of its native support for FreeSync Premium. You even get some bonus features focused on gaming such as a microphone to add active noise canceling for your microphone setup, plus a few on-screen tricks like a frame rate counter and crosshair overlay.

13. Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

Best G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor

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Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

On Amazon

The days of having to choose between G-Sync or FreeSync are coming to a close thanks to G-Sync compatible gaming monitors and the best of them is the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ. Whether you’re plugging in an Nvidia- or AMD-powered gaming PC or even an Xbox One console, you’ll be able to enjoy the silky smooth gameplay you can only get through variable frame rate display such as this.

Of course, it also helps the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ delivers an amazing QHD gaming experience all on its own. You get perfectly accurate colors from this gaming monitor thanks to its IPS panel, which is a cut above most with a 155Hz refresh rate 4ms response time. This display also offers HDR10 support, but don’t expect the effect to be that strong given peak brightness is rated at 350-nits and color support is only 8-bit.

14. Gigabyte Aorus KD25F Tactical Gaming Monitor

Best Esports Gaming Monitor

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Our Pick

Gigabyte Aorus KD25F Tactical Gaming Monitor

On Amazon

Those playing twitchy shooters like Overwatch, click-heavy arena battle games, and other Esports games are best played on high-refresh rate monitors and there’s almost nothing faster than the Gigabyte Aorus KD25F (read our review). Offering a blisteringly fast 240Hz refresh rate, this 24.5-inch monitor focuses on being as responsive as possible with a 0.5ms response time.

Sure its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution panel seems a bit pedestrian compared to the other 1440p and 2160p models I’ve picked out, but Full HD looks plenty sharp on a monitor this small. It’s also pretty affordable considering this display renders a bright picture with exceptional contrast, and it even certified as a G-Sync Compatible gaming monitor, so it’ll give you a tear-free experience no matter which graphics card you have.

15. HP Omen X Emperium 65

Best Large Gaming Monitor

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HP Omen X Emperium 65

On Best Buy

Although the HP Omen X Emperium 65 (read our review) is technically a gaming monitor, it’s actually a 65-inch gaming TV that costs $5,000. It’s terribly expensive, but for your money, you get a fully loaded 4K gaming display with full support for HDR, G-Sync, up to a 144Hz frame rate, along with an integrated Nvidia Shield – so it can act as a standalone SmartTV. It even comes with a massive soundbar, which can simulate the wide dynamic range of a multi-speaker sound system.

This oversized, full-featured display is pretty much the end-all, be-all of gaming monitors. If you have the scratch to afford the HP Omen X Emperium 65, there isn’t another gaming monitor as awesome as this.

What’s next for gaming monitors

Gaming monitors keep getting faster, and while the upgrade to 144Hz might seem like a leap for anyone coming from a 60Hz panel, there are monitors coming out well in excess of even 240Hz. We saw 300Hz monitors come to laptops at IFA 2019 with the unveiling of the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 and Acer Predator Triton 500.

However hot those laptop monitors seemed at the time, they’re just a bit slower now next to the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz announced in early January. It was announced alongside a 4K 144Hz monitor from Asus, the ROG Swift PG32UQX, which uses 1152 mini-LEDs to create tiny local dimming zones and deliver a staggering brightness level of 1400 nits. Between the two, you can expect some super smooth visuals or fluid HDR later in 2020. The second monitor to meet the DisplayHDR1400 specification was Acer’s own version of a 32-inch 4K 144Hz gaming monitor called the Predator X32.

In 2020, you’ll also have more technologies to look out for. At CES this year, AMD announced new tiers of FreeSync. The first is FreeSync Premium, which indicates a display will have at least a 120Hz refresh rate at 1080p or higher and low frame rate compensation (LFC). The next higher tier, FreeSync Premium Pro, offers those same features while also ensuring HDR is supported. You may even see TVs show up with these certifications.

What to look for in a gaming monitor

Below I go over the three essential things you should consider before buying a gaming monitor including screen size, resolution, and aspect ratio. I’ve also briefly explained a few of the more technical aspects of computer display such as panel types, refresh rate, and the variable refresh rate technologies available today.

Screen size: “How big?” Will probably be the first thing you’ll ask yourself when you go about buying a gaming monitor, and the answer really comes down to your unique situation. Are you in a tiny dorm with barely any room or are you looking to get a 43-inch gaming monitor to replace your TV?

How you answer that question will ultimately determine the display size you need. But if you’re looking for some basic guidelines on screen sizes, 24- to 27-inch gaming monitors will satisfy most gamers. Those looking for a more immersive experience might be interested in a 32-inch or larger screen. As with most things, gaming monitors will usually become more expensive as you go up in size, so think with your budget as much as your ambition.

Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of your monitor is closely related to its size because it determines which form factor your display will have. The majority of monitors fall into the widescreen category with their 16:9 aspect ratio. Ultrawide displays have been rising in popularity recently and these screens often feature the 21:9 aspect ratio you would typically see at the movie theater. If you can believe it modern gaming monitors have only been getting even wider and there’s a growing crop of 32:9 displays as well.

Screen resolution: This determines how sharp your gaming monitor will be and, for the most part, there are three choices: Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440), and Ultra HD or 4K (3,840 x 2,160). Like screen size, as the numbers go up so does the price, plus they’ll require a higher-end graphics card if you hope to maintain a high frame rate.

Think with your budget as much as your ambition

Panel type: Although most monitors might look the same on the surface, there are a few different panel types that offer specific benefits and shortcomings. Twisted Nematic (TN) panels are the most basic and common panel you’ll come across as they deliver the fastest response times of 1ms often at the cost of duller colors, grayer black levels, and poor viewing angles.

In-Plane Switching (IPS) is the next most prevalent type of display and it’s basically the opposite of a TN panel. Rather than focusing on speed, IPS panels are known for rendering excellent colors and contrast while offering wider viewing angles in exchange for slightly slower response time, usually hovering around 3-5ms.

Lastly, Vertical Alignment (VA) panels are becoming increasingly common and they essentially split the difference between TN and IPS panels. They offer great image quality with decently quick response times. VA panels aren’t perfect, though, as sometimes fast-moving objects will give off ghosting effects due to the slower response time.

If you want a responsive gaming monitor, it’s best to pick one with a fast response time, which is a measure of how quickly a pixel can change from the brightest to the darkest (white to black) color.

Response time: Competitive shooters and MoBAs demand the quickest response times, so it’s best to play these types of games on monitors that offer a 1ms response time. Playing Indie games and most single-player experiences shouldn’t be a problem on a display with a response time between 3-5ms – and it’s pretty much impossible to find a gaming monitor that is slower than this.

Refresh rate: This is another important measure of how responsive a gaming monitor is, and it defines how often your screen can display a completely new image — so it essentially dictates your frame rate. 60Hz is the standard refresh rate for silky smooth PC gaming, but there’s a long list of gaming monitors that feature even higher refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, and, so far, up to 240Hz.

Basically, the higher the refresh rates the more times the image on your screen will update every second, resulting in a smoother gameplay experience. Beyond the visual appeal of high refresh rate displays, they can be useful for gamers who need to keep up with the rapid movements competitive games demand. Generally, you’ll be at an advantage if you see your opponents and react before they do.

G-Sync vs FreeSync: Variable refresh rate (VRR) technology is a fairly recent invention and it ensures you have a consistently smooth and responsive gaming experience. Currently, there are two flavors of VRR, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, and they’ll require a prerequisite that you own a compatible graphics card from the corresponding brand. Nvidia GeForce cards do allow you to enable VRR on any FreeSync monitor, but your results will vary.

At the most basic level, VRR syncs your monitor’s refresh rate with the number of frames your GPU outputs. This prevents screen tearing caused by the graphics card feeding your display multiple frames while it’s is in the middle of refreshing its picture. If your graphics card is running your game at 60 fps, you’ll see your monitor refresh at exactly 60Hz with wonderfully smooth gameplay.

My only other piece of advice when buying a gaming monitor is to make sure your video card can handle the resolution and refresh rate of the display you’re considering. It would be a waste of money to buy a 4K gaming monitor when your GPU can only handle 1080p gaming.

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Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

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