Best gaming monitors 2021: from budget to premium

The best gaming monitors get you high refresh rates, low response times, and advanced features like HDR

best gaming monitors 2021
(Image credit: LG)

The best gaming monitors aren't like other monitors, such as the best 4K monitors or the best monitors for the MacBook Pro. That's because gaming is much more demanding than office work or general browsing: a little lag isn't going to do much damage in your spreadsheet, but it's fatal in a fast-paced frag-fest. Serious games need serious gaming monitors, and that's what you'll find here.

The market for dedicated gaming monitors is incredibly diverse. There are premium gaming monitors that deliver 144Hz or higher refresh rates, ghost-killing response times such as 0.5ms and incredible, eye-popping HDR that delivers unprecedented immersion. But there are also budget gaming monitors that do a better job than ordinary monitors without costing an absolute fortune.

When we're testing gaming monitors we use a rig equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU so we can test high resolutions, high frame rates and all the next-gen eye candy, such as real-time ray tracing and DLSS 2.0.

At T3 we aren't slaves to specs, though: while higher resolutions are of course nice to have, they're only part of the picture. Higher frame rates, refresh rates and lighting effects such as real-time ray tracing and HDR have a much bigger impact on immersion, and we'd rather have those features than some more pixels. That's reflected in some of our choices here: while we've included some of the highest specification gaming monitors you can buy, we've also included more affordable options that deliver a superb gaming experience.

Lastly, remember that T3 also has a comprehensive guides to everything you need to create a super sweet gaming setup, such as to the best gaming laptops, best gaming chairs and best gaming headsets.

We've also got authoritative roundups of the best gaming mice and best gaming keyboards, too, so make sure that you upgrade to better speed and precision in more than just your gaming monitor. For better connectivity while gaming you should also consider one of the best mesh networks.

The best gaming monitors you can buy today

LG UltraGear 27GL850 best gaming monitors 2021

The best gaming monitor to buy for most gamers? We'd recommend the LG UltraGear 27GL850.

(Image credit: LG)

1. LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

The best gaming monitor for most people

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Panel technology: IPS LCD
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1
Reasons to buy
+144Hz refresh rate+Excellent, crisp colours+AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync support+1ms response time

If you're in the market for one of the best gaming monitors around, then you want superb colour and contrast, top-of-the-range response times, a high refresh rate and as many extras as you can throw in – and the LG UltraGear 27GL850 excels in all the areas that matter. You'll struggle to find a better gaming monitor on the market right now.

The 27-inch IPS LCD panel runs at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. It supports both the AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync standards, and comes with a 1ms response time that really shines in practice. HDR 10 is also supported, with details remaining clear in dark and light parts of the frame.

While you might quibble with the rather plain design, it's the display itself that matters, and that shines – lag times are imperceptible, details are clear and crisp, and scenes come across with plenty of range in brightness and contrast. You're not going to notice any motion blur here, whether you're gaming or watching movies.

With two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort socket on the back, you shouldn't be short of places to plug in your various boxes, and the LG UltraGear is absolutely worth a look whether you're gaming on PC or console. It's one of the best gaming monitors available at the moment, especially if you're most concerned with lag and response times.

To see how this gaming monitor compares to our best premium choice check out T3's LG UltraGear 27GL850-B vs MSI Optix MPG341CQR comparison feature. While to see how this monitor stacks up against our top budget pick, scope out LG UltraGear 27GL850-B vs ViewSonic Elite XG240R.

gaming monitors 2021 MSI Optix MPG341CQR

MSI's Optix MPG341CQR delivers a super-wide panel that doesn't skimp on quality or features.

(Image credit: MSI)

2. MSI Optix MPG341CQR

The best premium gaming monitor

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 1ms
Reasons to buy
+Vibrant VA screen+Top-tier features+Super-wide aspect ratio

What a monitor this is! The MSI Optix MPG341CQR not only delivers a gaming monitor that looks like it has been sent back from the future, but one that delivers big in terms of screen tech and features.

A 34-inch VA panel begins its assault, which delivers incredibly punchy and vibrant colours with excellent contrast. Then it adds in a peak brightness of 400 nits, top viewing angles of 178/178, a 21:9 aspect ratio and a very welcome 144Hz refresh rate.

That super-wide ratio partnered with a 1440p resolution makes this a great gaming monitor choice for the mid-range and the high-end, while its gentle curve helps draw you into the screen, making games more immersive.

It is not the cheapest gaming monitor in our guide by quite a way, however considering the amount of top tech loaded into it, and it stunning build quality and aesthetics, we think it is absolutely worth the investment.

To see how this monitor stacks up against a top-rated ultra-wide offering, be sure to scope out T3's MSI Optix MPG341CQR vs Samsung CRG9 comparison feature.

ViewSonic Elite XG240R best gaming monitors 2021

With a low price and a 144Hz refresh rate, the ViewSonic Elite XG240R is a great 1080p gaming monitor.

3. ViewSonic Elite XG240R

The best budget gaming monitor

Reasons to buy
+1ms response time+Tons of customisable picture modes

When it comes to 1080p 144Hz gaming monitors, ViewSonic has already made plenty of noise with the already impressive XG2402. But, in true monitor manufacturing form, the American firm is back at it again with an even better display offering - the Elite XG240R. It's not a huge overhaul, with much of the same features as the previous model in residence, but the additions are welcome ones and serve to make an already impressive formula that bit better.

Which is interesting in itself considering this is a TN model, rather than an IPS or VA panel. Even without the colour depth or contrast of a VA, the XG240R has a super swift 1ms response time so your on-screen gaming is always going to have the best technical experience. When coupled with Adaptic-Sync, that 144Hz refresh rate and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, this 24-inch display really performs really well. Colours are rich, blacks are deep and with a selection of viewing modes to choose from, it's often incredibly easy to get the best out of your current setup and game.

Some of the biggest changes comes in the XG240R's physical design. ViewSonic has gone for more of a 'stealthy' look this time around, replacing the red of the XG2402 with an all-black look that helps the thick bezels blend in with the rest of the monitor. The mixture of matte black plastic and brushed-effect plastic make for a decent if not particularly striking combo, but the overall design is elevated by the two arrowhead LEDs at the rear of the model.

The in-built menu system has also been given an overhaul of sorts, and it's a much more intuitive experience than the one shipped with the XG2402. Flitting between picture modes and adjusting image quality to suit the game you're playing and the console/PC you're playing on is so much easier. Again, the display itself isn't that far removed from the previous model, but with an adjusted responsiveness and an improved build quality, the XG240R is a quality and reliable display.

To see how this gaming monitor compares to another similarly-priced screen be sure to check out T3's ViewSonic Elite XG240R vs BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 comparison feature.

best gaming monitors Samsung Odyssey G9

If you want to go ultra-wide with your gaming monitor, then the Samsung Odyssey G9 is an elite choice.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Odyssey G9

An outstanding ultrawide gaming monitor for serious gamers

Screen size: 49-inch
Aspect ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
Brightness: 1,000 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Response time: 4ms
Weight: 16.7 kg
Features: HDR10+
Reasons to buy
+Puts you right in the game+Excellent colour and brightness+Premium build quality

Say hello to the simply gigantic 49-inch Samsung Odyssey G9, which is the biggest display in our best gaming monitor round-up, and which will give you a hugely immersive gaming experience (as long as you're playing games that can work with a monitor this wide of course – otherwise you'll have black edges on the left and right of your screen).

Besides its size – which is gigantic, in case you had forgotten – the monitor offers some very competitive specs: a 5,120 x 1,440 pixel resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a maximum brightness of 1,000 cd/m2 (the same as 1,000 nits). This isn't a monitor that's going to let you down in any major department.

When it comes to gaming, the Samsung Odyssey G9 is more than capable of keeping up with the action, reducing lag and handling motion very well. Games look fantastic on this, with something like Red Dead Redemption 2 really enveloping you (and your peripheral vision) in the fantastic landscapes of the Wild West.

If you're using the monitor for more everyday tasks, then the Samsung CRG9 scores highly here too, with text and images crisp and sharp thanks to that resolution. Colour reproduction is excellent and it's also one of the brightest monitors around. There's HDR and FreeSync support, and you get one HDMI and two DisplayPort ports for connecting everything up.

BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 best gaming monitors 2021

The BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 delivers top gaming features at a very affordable price point.

(Image credit: BenQ)

5. BenQ Mobiuz EX2710

A brilliant budget gaming monitor with plenty of features

Scree size: 27 inches
Dimensions: 597.6x 336.15 mm
Panel type: IPS
Brightness: 400 nits
Resolution: 1920x1080
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 1ms
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+Fast 144Hz refresh rate+1ms response time

As we note in our BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 review, this monitor is a budget gamer's dream screen, as it delivers top gaming tech like a 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR for a low price point.

Indeed, many other monitors that cost hundreds more only deliver the same ballpark package, so the fact that this screen is so cheap new really does mean it will be ideal for many gamers.

Indeed, the only real things to consider before ringing it up is whether or not you are happy with a resolution limit of FHD, as this monitor cannot go higher that 1,920 x 1,080. Equally, this screen does not come with a curve, and is a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio affair as well.

Honestly, though, apart from those caveats it's a great gaming monitor – so unless you need more or have a markedly bigger budget to spend, then the BenQ Mobiuz EX2710 should be one of the first screens you consider.

Dell Curved Gaming Monitor S2721HGF review

Want a curved gaming monitor and have a small budget? Then the Dell S2721HGF is a great buy.

(Image credit: Dell)

6. Dell S2721HGF

The best budget curved gaming monitor

Size: 27-inch
Curved: Yes
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Panel type: VA
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD (1080p)
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 1ms
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Ports: 2xHDMI, DisplayPort
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly affordable+144Hz refresh rate+1ms response time

As T3 notes in its Dell Curved Gaming Monitor S2721HGF review, this a super affordable panel that packs powerful gaming performance. In short, you really do get a lot of monitor for your money here, with the S2721HGF offering up a Full HD panel with 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, two things that are music to gamer ears.

It's not a large monitor, but at 27 inches it sits in that sweet spot for many gamers, which is something backed up by its Full HD resolution – this is a monitor that will be ideal for anyone with a medium-spec gaming rig. If you've got a powerhouse PC loaded with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, then you've probably got pockets deep enough to shop above this monitor's price bracket.

This is really a gaming monitor that nails the basics really well, but doesn't offer much in terms of fancy features like RGB lighting or mad adjustability. It is curved, though, which helps immersion, and there are both HDMI and DisplayPort connections on offer.

Overall, then, the Dell S2721HGF is easily makes a claim to be the best budget curved gaming monitor on the market today, and is an easy recommend for gamers looking for an upgrade at this price point.

best gaming monitors MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

(Image credit: MSI)

7. MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

A great gaming monitor with great motion and tearing protections

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (WQHD)
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 1ms
Brightness: 300 nits
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Weight: 6.05kg / 8.7kg
Reasons to buy
+1ms response rate+Quantum Dot display+Strong adjustability

As T3 notes in its MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD review, this monitor wows thanks to its Quantum Dot panel and rapid 1ms response time and 165Hz refresh rate. It also delivers a very gamer friendly 2560x1440 resolution and support for G-SYNC and FreeSync capabilities, too.

Elsewhere, the monitor is quite the looker, too, with a modern minimal-bezel design and angular, futuristic stand and base pairing well together. The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is also very adjustable, with it able to be lowered or raised from 0-100mm, swivelled at 75-degrees either way, tilted between 5-degrees (down) and 20-degrees (up) and also pivoted to 90 degrees.

Throw in a bucket of ports including HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 and USB Type-C, as well as a very firmly mid-range price point, and you've got a gaming monitor that will suit many gamers down to the ground.

best gaming monitors Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ

You get a lot of gaming monitor for your money with the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ.

(Image credit: Asus)

8. Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ

An exceptional display for an exceptional price

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Panel: IPS LCD
Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, earphone jack
Reasons to buy
+Up there with the very best+Considerably cheaper than the very best+144Hz, 4K, 1ms

The U in this monitor’s name stands for Ultra HD: where the similarly named XG27VQ (which is also in our best gaming monitors guide) offers full HD, the UQ is a 4K display with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, a 144Hz refresh rate and DisplayHDR 400. That’s an incredible specification for a monitor with a street price of around £900: similarly specified 4K displays can cost two or three times as much.

It doesn’t have the full array local dimming (FALD) backlight of the Acer Predator X27, but you could buy two Asuses for one Acer and its HDR is very good. It’s officially a Freesync monitor but multiple sites have tutorials showing how to enable G-Sync on it.

This monitor is overkill for a more modest gaming rig, but if you’ve got a heavyweight PC with a powerful graphics card it delivers incredible detail with good, deep contrast and vibrant colours even in SDR games. In HDR it delivers the kind of image quality that you’ll only top if you buy a much more expensive FALD display or OLED panel.

Best gaming monitors AOC AGON AG273QZ

Hardcore gamers who play a lot of fast-paced games will love the AGON AG273QZ.

(Image credit: AOC)


A superb gaming-focused monitor with that will delight FPS nuts

Dimensions: 22.3 x 67.5 x 52.3 cm
Weight: 8.4 kg
Size: 27 inches
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 240 Hz
Response time: 0.5ms
Brightness: 400cd/m2
Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
Reasons to buy
+240Hz refresh rate+0.5ms response time+Plenty of ports+Built-in headphone hooks
Reasons to avoid
-There's no USB-C connectivity-You'll need a wide desk to fit the base 

AOC is one of T3's new favourite gaming monitor makers, and the AOC AGON AG273QZ is a great example as to why. Loaded with a set of specs and features guaranteed to make even the most serious eSports champion drool, the AG273QZ is one of the most gamer-focussed screens we've ever tested.

You know things are serious when the refresh rate is not just 144Hz but a remarkable 240Hz, which when combined with the monitor's equally impressive 0.5ms response time, means that ghosting and lag even in the most fast, twitch action games is not an issue.

Indeed, FPS fans will get on very well with this panel, although thanks to a bounty of ports (including a brace of HDMI and DP each, as well as FOUR USB 3.2 ports) and neat extras like built-in headphone hooks and AMD FreeSync Pro adaptive sync support, we think this monitor would suit any gamer very well indeed.

This thought is backed up by an easy to use and versatile on-display menu system (great for making tweaks on the fly to image, lighting and more), as well as its excellent adjustability that even extends to orientating the screen in profile mode.

This monitor has come down in price recently, too, placing it firmly in the mid-range in terms of pricing. As such, we find it very easy to recommend to gamers and specifically those who play a lot of competitive online titles.

ViewSonic XG270QG best gaming monitors 2021T3 Awards 2020 - Highly Commended

(Image credit: ViewSonic)

10. ViewSonic Elite XG270QG

The best gaming monitor for premium 1440p visuals

Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Panel: IPS Nano Colour
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 1ms
Reasons to buy
+Stunning 1440p QHD display+165Hz refresh rate

If your graphics card setup does not include a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, then chances are you aren't going to be capable of gaming at a 4K resolution without watching the action crawl to a framerate halt. But just because you aren't gaming at 4K doesn't mean you don't want a premium gaming monitor experience.

Enter the ViewSonic XG270QG, a stunning, high-tech gaming monitor that prioritise delivering the absolute best picture quality capable at a QHD, 1440p, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution.

It does this, largely, thanks to the sheer quality of its 27-inch IPS Nano Color, 98 per cent DCI-P3 colour space core panel, which also boasts a rapid 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and Nvidia G-Sync adaptive sync. And, let us tell you, these combine to deliver a truly excellent PC gaming experience, no matter whether you're playing Red Dead Redemption 2 or Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.

In terms of styling, the XG270QG appeals thanks to its three-sided narrow bezel frame and future-industrial lines.

The only thing the ViewSonic doesn't deliver is the ability to display HDR content, with a peak brightness of 350cd/m2 impressive but definitely short of the level needed. Does this make a difference in terms of gaming on PC? In our opinion, no, not at all — the monitor looks very punchy and games really pop on it.

Simply put, if you're looking for a premium gaming monitor and are rocking something like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super or AMD Radeon RX 5700, then this is one of the absolute best gaming monitors on the market today that you should consider. It's a PC gaming specialist, partnering a sharp, modern look with top gaming monitor tech.

The ViewSonic Elite XG270QG just bagged the Best Gaming Monitor award at the T3 Awards 2020, too, so we honestly can't recommend this panel higher.

HP Omen 27i best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: HP)

11. HP Omen 27i

Well built, stylish, and with plenty of useful features

Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 1ms
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x 1, DisplayPort 1.4 x 1
Reasons to buy
+Excellent performance+Cool backlighting effects+Affordable price

The HP Omen 27i isn't flashy in terms of its looks, but we rather like its angular, subtle design – there's lighting around the back and along the bottom lip of the monitor, which you can tweak as required using the accompanying software for Windows. It's not quite as huge as some of the other screens here of course, but then again it is more affordable.

The 27-inch panel offers a 165Hz refresh rate and a response time of as little as 1ms with the right connections, and those are impressive specs that translate into excellent real world performance. This is a display that looks great for everything from gaming to movie watching, with a thin bezel design that ensures the focus is always on what's being shown on screen.

It's worth noting that there's no HDR support here, although it doesn't make a massive difference to the quality of the picture, and you're limited to one HDMI and one DisplayPort input (though there are USB connections for your peripherals). HP has been in the electronics game for a long time, and that shows through in the quality of the HP Omen 27i.

best gaming monitors 2021 1ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q

(Image credit: Asus)

12. ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q

A high-quality, feature-filled gaming monitor

Screen size: 31.9-inch
Resolution: 2560 x 1440p
Panel type: IPS
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Brightness: 600 cd/m2
HDR: DisplayHDR 600
Viewing angles: 178 degrees
Response time: 1ms
Refresh rate: 175Hz
Reasons to buy
+Rapid 1ms response time+Buttery smooth 175Hz refresh rate+ELMB-sync

Asus' ROG range frequently delivers superb all-round premium gaming monitors, and when it comes to the ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q it is very much business as usual – this monitor doesn't come cheap, but it does deliver 5-star performance.

Indeed, the specs and feature list of this panel read like a dream shopping list for a gamer looking for a gaming monitor upgrade, with a rapid 1ms response time, 175Hz refresh rate and Asus' ELMB-sync tech (this allows for simultaneous motion blur reduction and variable refresh rate usage) combining wonderfully.

On top of those specs the monitor also delivers a strong 32-inch IPS panel size with a QHD resolution, while the screen's contrast ratio is a rock solid 1000:1, which means it delivers HDR10 support, too.

For the price you pay here you can get a 4K resolution from other makers, but unless you've got the rig to back it up then QHD will probably be a better fit for most gamers. As such, as a premium gaming monitor choice, the ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q is a great option and easy to recommend.

BenQ EX2780Q best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: BenQ)

13. BenQ EX2780Q

A strong 1440p gaming monitor that delivers great bang for your buck

Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 5ms
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, USB-C (DP Alt mode)
Reasons to buy
+Solid, understated, metal-trimmed design+Superb, vibrant HDR picture

The BenQ EX2780Q is absolutely packed with features that gamers are going to love – like that 144Hz refresh rate for super-smooth action, the HDRi (basically HDR with BenQ's own tweaks), FreeSync support, 5ms response rate, and the extensive 27 inches (maximum resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels) of screen space. It's immediately one of the best gaming monitors we've ever tried.

Design-wise, the monitor manages to be elegant without really blowing you away: we like the polished metal frame, though the buttons and control system take a few minutes of working out (you get a remote bundled with the package too). The two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort port, and one USB-C port are a little awkward to get to, but that's par for the course with monitors like this.

The QHD picture is superb, with strong, vibrant colours, excellent viewing angles, and sharp, well-defined contrast. That HDRi we mentioned – which essentially adapts HDR to suit the ambient light – makes games and other content really stand out. The integrated 2.1 audio system is punchy and clear too, making this an excellent all-round package if you want your sound integrated with your visuals.

With the 10-bit panel capable of showing more than a billion colours across 95 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, the BenQ EX2780Q impresses on paper, but it's also a monitor that impresses in reality too – a combination you don't always get. It's a little on the expensive side, and there's no 4K of course, but we're happy to recommend it as one of our top choices for gamers and pros alike.

LG UltraGear 34GN850 best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: LG)

14. LG UltraGear 34GN850

An ultrawide champion that does gaming and more besides

Screen size: 34 inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 160Hz
Response time: 1ms
Inputs: HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 1, USB-A
Reasons to buy
+Speedy response times+Does very well with games+Setup is done in minutes

We've been very impressed with what the LG UltraGear 34GN850 has shown us during our testing: it has fantastic response times and refresh rates, very decent colour, brightness and contrast levels, and a respectable HDR mode that keeps the darkest and the lightest areas of a picture in view.

The main reason that you're going to get this monitor, however, is that it's a 34-inch ultrawide monster that will dominate your gaming centre (or your office desk). You get nearly 5 million pixels on show here, as well as coverage of 98 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, so this is a display that isn't messing around (and the price you'll have to pay reflects that).

We also like the broad array of ports you get with the LG UltraGear 34GN850, and how easily those ports can be accessed around the back (though a little more cable management wouldn't go amiss). All in all, one of the best gaming monitors around, especially if you need to use it for other stuff as well.

Lenovo Legion Y44W-10 best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: Lenovo)

15. Lenovo Legion Y44W-10

A fine gaming monitor for going ultrawide

Screen size: 43.4-inch
Aspect ratio: 32:10
Resolution: 3,840 x 1,200
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 4ms
Reasons to buy
+A fully immersive experience+Really appealing design
Reasons to avoid
-Not all games will support 32:10 aspect ratio

Whichever way you look at it, the Lenovo Legion Y44W-10 is a seriously impressive piece of kit: It's one of the best-looking monitors we've come across in a while, with its huge 43.4 inches of curved screen space, 32:10 aspect ratio, and subtle blue trim at the bottom of the stand. Have no doubt about it, this is a beautiful beast.

In use, the display – 3,840 x 1,200 pixels – looks really good, with both games and more mundane apps like web browsers and spreadsheet programs appearing vibrant (the viewing angles are more than decent too). It's really like having a dual monitor setup and both Windows and macOS make it easy enough to get your programs up side by side.

As far as gaming goes, the cutting edge 144Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time and AMD FreeSync 2 certification are all going to make gamers sit up and take note, and we noticed very little lag in use, as well as excellent colour reproduction. You do need to find games that support that ultra, ultrawide 32:10 aspect ratio of course, otherwise you'll get black bars down the side.

What you get with ports are one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, two USB-C and four standard USB-A 3.0 for connecting up and charging peripherals. That means you can have, for example, one computer and two consoles hooked up if you need to – it's another tick in the positives column for the Legion Y44W-10.

The only real downside of the Lenovo Legion Y44W-10 is the price, which is quite substantial, but you do get a lot of gaming monitor for your money. It's going to be too much for some people, but if you want the flexibility and room of an ultrawide gaming display, then get this somewhere on your shortlist.

Acer Predator XB3 best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: Acer)

16. Acer Predator XB3

Delivering silky smooth gaming and excellent build quality

Screen size: 24.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Response time: 1ms
Reasons to buy
+Works with Nvidia G-Sync/AMD FreeSync+Up to 240Hz refresh rate panel

Offering excellent gaming performance and from a line with excellent heritage, the 24.-5-inch Acer Predator XB3 works with both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, smoothing out your gaming experience by syncing the monitor's refresh rate with the GPU in real time.

There's plenty more to like here, even if this isn't the biggest, sharpest or brightest gaming monitor that you're ever going to come across. With a 240Hz maximum refresh rate, a 1ms minimum response time, and plenty of connectivity options, it might just be one of the best-value options for a gaming monitor out there on the market at the moment.

During our testing of the monitor, we found that it excelled in both gaming and everything else we tried, from watching movies to browsing the web.  It's all available at a very reasonable price too, which is another reason we recommend it.

BenQ EX3501R best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: BenQ)

17. BenQ EX3501R

HDR goes ultra-wide, and with awesome gaming monitor results

Screen size: 35-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 2,500:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Weight: 23 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Crisp, clear display+Ultra-wide and HDR is a great pairing

BenQ has established itself as one of the go-to names in gaming displays, with the excellent EX3203R offering a 2560 x 1440 resolution with a lovely 1800R curve, so it's no surprise to see the Taiwanese manufacturer is making more waves with the release of the EX3501R. Combining an ultra-wide display ans support for HDR, this monitor is poised to upgrade your gaming setup for the better.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a feature that's really taken off in console gaming and regular TVs, but it's been less prevalent in gaming monitors. BenQ has included the utility in the EX3501R, giving colours and tones a sense of vibrancy and depth they simply didn't possess before. Add in that impressive curve and you've got one powerful, if slightly fiddly, gaming monitor.

Philips 346B1C best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: Philips)

18. Philips 346B1C

It does gaming and it does productivity

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: sRGB 119%
Weight: 11.49 kg (25 pounds)
Reasons to buy
+Clean, sturdy design+Packed with features+Relatively cheap

While the Philips 346B1C is built primarily for productivity, it can also turn its hand to gaming – helped out by impressive response times, refresh rates, and contrast ratios. While you can find other monitors that beat this one in terms of raw specs, the Philips 346B1C brings everything together well in one cohesive whole.

What you're paying most of your money for is that 34-inch, 3440 x 1440 pixel display, which makes everything from games to spreadsheets look clear and immersive (there's a 1500R curvature as well, if you're into that). Despite the size and specs of the display, it's actually available at a very reasonable price – check the widgets on this page for the latest online deals.

The Philips 346B1C comes packed with ports and connectivity options too: you can even charge your laptop from this monitor, or connect up a keyboard and mouse and use them with the display to switch between two different computers. All you need for productivity and for gaming.

Dell UltraSharp UP3218K best gaming monitors 2021

19. Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

The best gaming monitor for 8K action

Reasons to buy
+Jaw-dropping 8K resolution+Excellent build quality

At over £3,000 the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is quite insanely expensive, but when you look at what it delivers, that price suddenly seems more apt. That's because the UP3218K is a 8K resolution monitor that not only delivers jaw-dropping fidelity and crispness, but also some of the highest quality colour reproduction available on any monitor.

Naturally, because it is Dell, build quality is also superb. Obviously it isn't for everyone, the price largely sees to that, but if you've got the cash and the gaming setup to deal with outputting games at a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, then this is the monitor for you.

ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ best gaming monitors 2021

20. ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ

Big gaming performance for an attractive price point

Reasons to buy
+27-inch panel with 1800R curve+RGB lighting system

Asides from the Asus ROG Strix XG27VQ gaming monitor only delivering a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution rather than something a little higher and more exotic (see the PG27UQ for that), there really isn't anything else to dislike.

You get a rock solid 27 inches of screen to play on, which boasts a lush 1800R curve too, a high 144Hz refresh rate with Adaptive Sync and Free Sync for a super smooth gaming experience, and a varied selection of ports including DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI, too.

As it is a monitor geared towards gamers, you also get a pretty darn powerful LED lightning system, including a very bright downward firing base projection. A really futuristic and weighty stand with swivel, tilt, and height adjustability complete a very attractive package.

Eizo CG319X best gaming monitors 2021

21. Eizo CG319X

The cutting ColourEdge is a post-production monitor with serious gaming credentials

Reasons to buy
+HDR gamma support+Stunning DCI-4K resolution

The successor model to the CG318-4K, Eizo's CG319X takes an already incredible DCI-4K package to an even higher level by adding in even more features to the mix.

That 4096 x 2160 DCI-4K resolution comes with HDR gamma support as standard, so its 31-inch display as well a providing a very crisp and visually-arresting gaming experience, can also provide a cutting edge canvas for those working in professional video editing. It includes PQ (perceptual quantization) and HLG (hyper-log gamma), which work with those optimised gamma curves to render a true image on-screen.

Ideal for those editing HDR video content in a post-production setting, the CG319X comes with a set of sensor wings as well, which fit around the top and side of the display, and it can self-optimise in order to create the truest representation of your footage.

It's a very high-end model for very high-end use, hence the eye-wateringly high price point. But if video post-production is your bread and butter, and you also are a keen PC gamer, too, then this model is the best gaming monitor you can buy today.

BenQ EX3203R best gaming monitors 2021

22. BenQ EX3203R

A HDR-ready curved display packed with loads of top features

Reasons to buy
+2560 x 1440 (with 1800R curve)+144 Hz refresh rate

BenQ continues its run of good form in the world of gaming focused monitors with the EX3203R, which packs in a high refresh rate, a curved display and support for HDR. The latter ensures your gaming exploits have the brightest of colours and the deepest of contrasts for a vivid display on-screen. 

That 144Hz refresh rate offers a fluid performance, too, while the use of AMD FreeSync 2 technology eliminates choppy tearing and broken frames and ensures silky smooth gameplay. The EX3203R is also a looker, too, with a clean and minimalist aesthetic delivering a welcome dose of class.

The BenQ EX3203R also comes with support for USB-C, enabling SuperSpeed USB data transfer and 2K video delivery on one cable. Regardless of your game of choice, this robust 32-inch display will ensure you're doing it justice, as well as deliver for you in terms of general use, too.

Alienware AW3418DW best gaming monitors 2021

23. Alienware AW3418DW

Alienware quality in ultra-wide display form

Reasons to buy
+Amazing refresh rate+Customisable lighting zones

Alienware may be one of the biggest and most formidable names in gaming laptops, but it’s also proving a brand to be reckoned with in the world of gaming-focused monitors. 

The AW3418DW features a powerful 120Hz refresh rate, the highest you can get right now in the ultra-wide range, and with a lightning-fast 4ms response time this 21:9 display makes for one powerful monitor for all your PC gaming needs.

It comes with NVidia G-Sync as standard, which helps reduce screen-tearing, and four customisable lighting zones for that extra layer personalisation (this is Alienware after all).

How to choose the best gaming monitor for you

PCs do most of the pioneering when it comes to gaming graphics, but it doesn't matter how packed with power your graphics card is if you don't have a monitor that can keep up with all that pixel-pushing.

And be under no illusion, if you want to get serious about your gaming you need more than just a beefed up hard drive. You need a good a screen – after all, that's what you'll be staring at during your extended gaming sessions.

Naturally, a great gaming monitor has to look good, but most importantly it has to give you the specs that can give you a jump on your opponents: quick refresh rates, high picture quality and those all-important slick response times. The monitors that follow have these qualities and plenty more besides.

Do make sure you get a gaming monitor that comes with ports, modes, and connectivity options that you'll ideally want to use. It's no good spending money on a quality gaming monitor only to find out it doesn't have a specific input or auxiliary function you need.

Every game rig and every gamer is different, and that means the choice of gaming monitor will be different for different people too. Some monitors have ultra-wide and/or curved displays for extra immersion; others, incredible HDR so you don't miss the smallest details. There are FHD displays, QHD and Ultra HD 4K displays, and there are gaming monitors to suit every genre of game and every size of budget. 

It's easy to get carried away with the tech on offer, but it's important to tailor your monitor to your current system and any upgrading you plan to do. If you're currently rocking something like an RTX 3060Ti, there's no real need to get a 4K display: if you upgrade your card later, the cost of those displays will have dropped so you'll get more bang for your buck if you wait. Whereas if you've dropped big bucks on a RTX 3080, you need to give it a suitable canvas to work its wonders. You wouldn't ask Picasso to paint on a Post-It note.

Overall, when picking an upgrade be sure to identify your budget and intended usage scenario first, and then start narrowing down your range of options based on clutch or unwanted features.

Best gaming monitors 2021

(Image credit: LG)

How we test gaming monitors

We're looking for a variety of things when we test a gaming monitor. Firstly, we look at basic things like build quality and design. We want to know if the monitor looks good and has a things like a stable, adjustable base. In addition, we are looking at what sorts of ports and connectivity it offers, as too if it has any lighting systems or extra features like headphone hooks and cable management systems.

When these basics have been ascertained, we move onto picture quality, which involves evaluating the gaming monitor's screens specs and capabilities. We're looking at its response time (lower is better), refresh rate (higher is better) and resolution (lower and higher can be better depending on the price and the gaming rig powering it).

In terms of actual picture quality, we're looking at if the monitor comes with HDR (high dynamic range), and what tier of HDR that is, along with things like color gamut, black levels, contrast ratio, and viewing angles. If a gaming monitor comes with advanced features like FreeSync, we're testing them out here, too.

To test these things, we use the gaming monitor to play a range of titles across genres, including FPS and MMORPG, as well as stream movies and TV shows, edit photos in Photoshop and undertake everyday tasks like browsing the internet. We do this because a gaming monitor needs to do much more than just game.

We're looking out for things like unwanted lag and ghosting, blown out images, grey blacks, inconsistent color reproduction, syncing problems and more.

Finally, we test out the monitor's software menu system, and see what sorts of modes and options it delivers. The gaming monitor is then compared against the market in terms of what it offers in value for money.

Once this is all achieved we bestow a star score on the panel, with five stars the best and one star the worst. If a screen has performed well, it is then considered for T3's best gaming monitors buying guide.

Are gaming monitors better than TVs for gaming?

Honestly, until just a few years ago the answer to this would of been a decisive and conclusive yes. However, thanks to a brand new trend of quality new TVs coming with dedicated gaming features, as evidenced by our best gaming TVs buying guide, that answer is still a yes, but it is nowhere near as clear cut. Crucially, not all gamers will now be best served by one of the best gaming monitors, and some gamers might actually be better served with a gamer-focussed TV.

The big changes have been TVs coming with higher refresh rates (typically now up to 120Hz) as well as lower response times. The LG G1 for example has a response time of  9.4ms, and while that isn't as low as most gaming monitors, it is low enough to play games really, really well. Well enough in fact that most people won't even see the difference. That TV also delivers state of the art 'OLED evo' screen tech and full support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync Premium.

There's also Dolby Vision HDR onboard, too, and as the LG G1 is a TV it comes with its own sound system there's also Dolby Atmos audio delivered as well. And, of course, because the unit is a TV it delivers excellent image quality when streaming movies and TV shows from services such as Disney Plus.

So when you start ticking off the boxes that gamers look for when buying a gaming monitor (low response time, high refresh rate, HDR, high resolution etc) you can see how this new breed of gaming TVs deliver that. Yes, with their sizes starting normally around 48-inches, they're not going to be ideal for a lot of desk setups, but if the screen is going to be wall-mounted or used at distance, they can be a better buy.

Obviously, though, for PC gamers who are gaming at their desk then a dedicated gaming monitor is often the best option. Gaming monitors still lead the way in terms of gaming technology and also tend to come in more sizes and aspect ratios than gaming TVs. For example, you won't find a gaming TV that can match the Samsung Odyssey G9.

As such, each gamer needs to weigh up exactly what their needs are before making a purchasing decision.