Best gaming TVs 2020: the best OLED and LED TVs for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (and current consoles)

The best gaming TVs for console or PC offer amazing detail and HDR performance with instant response times, plus features ready for next-gen

Best gaming TVs
(Image credit: LG)

All of the world’s best TVs offer laser-sharp detail and spectacular HDR dynamics, but you have to look beyond the surface to work out which makes for the best gaming TV. 

There’s no shortage of top TVs for console or PC gamers, but pick the wrong picture preset and your experience will start to feel off immediately. That’s because there can be as significant a gulf between image presets when it comes to input lag – that’s time between when you push a button and see the results on-screen.

So why does selecting a dedicated Game mode make such a huge difference?  Simply put, Game mode bypasses a lot of the picture processing used when you’re binging The Simpsons on Disney+, and picture processing really slows down response time. By disabling it, you can gain valuable microseconds, which in turn plays to your advantage in fast moving games.

To help give you the edge when battling online or off, we put some of the UK’s most popular screens though their gaming paces, measuring input lag to discover which models reward hardcore gamers and which are probably best suited to spare room retro arcade duties.

Of course, there’s an obvious price to pay when engaging low latency Game mode: picture quality suffers. Images can look less sharp, there’s more obvious noise and banding, contrast can also take a hit. 

For this reason, we advise you don’t engage Game mode for all gameplay – some TV brands will prompt you to select game mode when it recognises a console, so ignore this. Animal Crossing really doesn’t benefit from Game mode, nor does Minecraft. It’s most useful for high octane shooters, racing sims and the like, where the winning edge can be measured in milliseconds.

Of course, we’re still going to be using these as TVs, so how good they are for watching movies is still a big factor.

Which is the best gaming TV?

Last year’s T3 Award-winning Samsung Q90R 4K TV wasn’t just content with being a superior screen for movies and sports, but is also a fantastic gaming screen, thanks to its extremely low input lag. It also supports auto low-latency mode (ALLM) and variable refresh rates (VRR) through one of its HDMI ports – these are options made to automatically tune the TV to a game-friendly mode when you start playing. ALLM is for minimal input lag, while VRR is designed to keep games looking smooth even when the frame-rate isn’t quite consistent.

The best OLED TV for gaming is LG’s scintillating C9 or E9 range, which runs the Samsung QLED a close second as our overall pick. With jaw-dropping image quality, ALLM and VRR support, plus 4K at 120 frames per second support on all four HDMI ports, it should serve gamers well into the next generation of consoles. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X are both set to support all three of these technologies, and this is the only screen here that’s fully future-proofed for them.

• OLED vs QLED: what they are, and which is right for you

If the Q90R and C9/E9 are both too rich for your blood, then there’s some genuine competition at the lower end of the price spectrum. Our favourite mid-ranger is the Panasonic GX800. Not only is this a fabulous 4K screen in its own right, but it really holds its own for responsiveness.

How we tested our gaming TVs

To take our chosen TVs through their paces, we played on the three big platforms, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 and an Xbox One X, to see how they performed with regular HD and 4K HDR sources. 

But before we allowed ourselves to become too distracted, we also measured them using the industry standard Leo Bodnar video input lag sensor, which measures latency at a median 1080p/60 signal. 

The Leo Bodnar calculates the delay between a video signal passing from input to display. The lower the latency figure, the better. As a rule of thumb, 30ms or less can be considered a solid performance for consumer TVs, but our sets do much better than that (with one exception, but its value makes up for that).

The best gaming TVs

Best gaming TVs: Samsung Q90R

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Q90R

The best gaming TV overall – while it lasts!

Specifications
Screen sizes:: 55, 65, 75 inches
Display technology:: QLED
Game mode response time:: 14.3ms
Reasons to buy
+Dazzling HDR+Really low input lag+Bright screen can be played in sunlight
Reasons to avoid
-Need to get the right game mode

• Read our full Samsung Q90R review

The Samsung Q90R was our top-rated TV for 2019 for a host of reasons, but just how does it fare as a serious gaming display? In short, it’s class leading, with caveats… 

Samsung actually offers a Game Enhancer mode. You might think this will improve your gaming performance, but that’s not the case. In Game mode with Game Enhancer On, image lag was measured at a tardy 80ms. However, turning Game Enhancer Off brought image lag down to a far more impressive 14.3ms.

By way of comparison, a dedicated gaming monitor will comfortably offer less than 10ms, while the cream of the monitor crop will be less than 1ms. But such displays can’t compete with a huge Ultra HD model like the Q90R when it comes to size and immersion, and they don’t even come close to comparable HDR performance. We know what we’d rather play Doom Eternal on. 

For less twitchy games, we advise you don’t engage Game mode at all. Instead play using the Standard preset to enjoy maximum black level performance and colour volume. 

This also allows Samsung’s Quantum 4K image processor to really strut its stuff.  HDR performance is the best in our group, at least when it comes to the brightness of highlights. 

The other big advantage of this Samsung QLED, at least compared to OLED, is an immunity from screen burn. This could be a big deal, depending on the game you're playing.

Burn-in, as well as transitory image retention, has been a hot potato since the early days of plasma TV, and there’s no doubt that it can be an issue on modern OLED screens if a game image contains static elements – if a graphic is on the screen for a really long time without changing, it can leave a faint image of itself permanently. 

However, while this is rarely an issue for most OLED owners – seriously, you'd have to be playing something with an unchanging HUD for a really long time, repeatedly – having a burn-in avoidance guarantee from QLED is a welcome bonus, particularly if you plan on racking up the hours.

If you want even better pure gaming performance than the Q90R offers, look to the Samsung Q80T below. Its image quality isn't quite as strong as the Q90R, but it excels at responsiveness. One thing to know, though, is that the Q90R is a 2019 model that will be phased out soon – it's already had big price drops, which is why it's such a strong choice now. 

Best gaming TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Q80T

Huge gaming optimisations meet bright HDR-friendly image quality

Specifications
Screen sizes:: 49, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Display technology:: QLED
Game mode response time:: 8.7ms
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly low lag+Features ready for next-gen consoles+Bright and colourful images
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer dimming zones and lower brightness than the Q90R-Not as good with dark areas as OLED

• Read our full Samsung Q80T review

Samsung's 2020 Q80T TV has basically every fancy bit of software technology the brand currently offers, but with a 4K panel that's not quite as fancy as what's in the more expensive 8K models. And that's all good with us – it makes it a fantastic balance for gaming.

You've got support for loads of features that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will work with, including Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and 120Hz playback. These make it future-proofed for the next console generation.

But one of the real keys to its success is its astoundingly low levels of lag – when fully optimised, it responds in just 8.7ms, which is incredible for a TV. Even with just the TVs auto game mode, lag is still a respectable 19.7ms, and that still packs in loats of image improvements, so it's ideal for anything where instant response is less important. For Assassin's Creed Valhalla and its big sweeping landscapes, it's going to look just amazing.

That's party thanks to this being a QLED, with all of QLED's standard strengths: it's intensely colourful, and it's bright in ways that produce dazzling HDR, with localised dimming of the backlight helping to enrich dark scenes. It doesn't have as many dimming zones as the Q90R above (and isn't as bright), so when you have bright and dark next to each other there can be some blooming. And it means it's not as good for nuance in darker games as an OLED set would be.

It comes in a wide range of sizes too, from a more bedroom/office-friendly 49 inches right up to a giant 85-inch gaming super-screen.

Best gaming TV: LG C9

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG C9 or E9

The best OLED gaming TVs

Specifications
Screen size:: 55, 65, 77 inches
Display technology:: OLED
Game mode response time:: 12.8ms
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful rich OLED HDR+Incredibly low input lag +Future-proofed gaming features
Reasons to avoid
-Need to be aware of burn-in issue

• Read our full LG C9 review

We've mentioned two TVs here, because they have the same OLED panel, processing features and connectivity – it's only the design and speakers that differ between them. The LG C9 is one of the best-value OLED TVs you can buy, putting top-level screen quality in an affordable package. The E9 takes that same superb platform and makes it more luxurious. 

The two TVs look sublime with consoles and high spec PC rigs alike. When it comes to image lag, we tested the E9, and it also excels. We measured latency at just 12.8ms, and significantly there’s no obvious penalty visually between its regular image presets and the dedicated Gaming mode, so you need sacrifice very little of the image quality for quick responsiveness. And though we measured that on the E9, as we said, the C9 is effectively identical for visual elements.

Adding cherries to the gaming cake, the C9 and E9 use their four(!) HDMI 2.1 inputs to offer ALLM and VRR support –  great for next-gen consoles, but also supported on PC and Xbox now. On top that, both models support Nvidia G-Sync for smoother play from Nvidia graphics cards on PC.

As we mentioned, there is a small chance of burn in from OLED screens, but if you just play in average bursts on games that don't have the exact displays on-screen all the time, you'll be fine. It's all-day sessions in sim games with non-changing interface you'd need to worry about.

Best gaming TV: Panasonic GX800

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. Panasonic GX800

The best mid-range gaming TV

Specifications
Screen size:: 50, 58, 65 inches
Display technology:: LED
Game mode response time:: 10.2ms
Reasons to buy
+Complete HDR support+Phenomenally low input lag +Future-proofed gaming features
Reasons to avoid
-Less impactful HDR performance-No future-proofed gaming features

Offering universal HDR (HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and HDR10+) support, along with all the connected apps you might want to watch when thumbs are aching, and most importantly, a blisteringly fast gaming performance, Panasonic’s GX800 LED LCD is arguably the best-value TV for gamers right now.

Panasonic has long made much of its cinematic credentials, enlisting the help of noted Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnenfeld to fine tune colour performance, as well as perfecting its HCX image processor to replicate the performance of Hollywood Studios (as best it can on a budget). But it turns out this screen has some serious gaming chops as well.

We measured a sharp 10.2ms response time in its dedicated Game mode, which is a terrific performance for a large-screen TV. The good news is HDR games also look reasonably good, although unsurprisingly the more expensive TVs outperform it.

That said, you could probably buy this and pre-order an Xbox Series X for the price of the fancier TVs, and still have some change left over for tortilla chips and salsa.

Best gaming TV: Philips 6 Series

(Image credit: Philips)

4. Philips PUS6814

The best budget gaming TV

Specifications
Screen size:: 43, 50, 55, 65 inches
Display technology:: LED
Game mode response time:: 19.1ms
Reasons to buy
+Complete HDR support+Good input lag 
Reasons to avoid
-Not as bright as other screens here-No future-proofed gaming features

There’s no doubt that gaming with Ambilight (Philips' built-in LED mood lighting technology) is a sensory delight, and this Series 6 Philips 4K model offers that and a good deal more besides – including both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ HDR, plus Amazon Alexa voice support – at a frighteningly attractive price. 

But how does the 55PUS6814 shape up when it’s time for a Fortnite marathon? Depends... If you carelessly play using the Standard image preset, you’ll flop on the leaderboard. Image lag is a woeful 123.7ms. However, with Game mode engaged, you can expect your scores to soar, as latency drops to 19.1ms, one of the best figures we’ve ever recorded for a Philips LED LCD TV.

Philips' panels tend to be colourful and rich, leading to great HDR images for the price, with solid image processing.

Best gaming TV: Hisense B7500

(Image credit: Hisense)

5. Hisense Series 7 B7500

The best entry-level gaming TV

Specifications
Screen size:: 43, 50, 55, 65 inches
Display technology:: ULED
Game mode response time:: 27.4ms
Reasons to buy
+Complete HDR support+Good input lag 
Reasons to avoid
-Not as bright as other screens here-No future-proofed gaming features

A 4K TV with Dolby Vision support, wide colour gamut and well stocked smart platform with Amazon Alexa support, for little more than chump change? Surely this Hisense looks too good to be true? 

Well, the shocking news is that this budget buster could actually prove to be a bargain display for gamers too…

That’s because this 7-series set is more premium than the price tag indicates. It offers a trio of 4K HDMI inputs, and  looks great with native 4K HDR sources. 

But we don’t just want to watch TV – and this Hisense remains up to the gaming job, too. We measured input lag at 27.4ms, with Game Mode engaged. That’s not too slouchy given what you get for your cash. As long as you’re not a hyper competitive FPS addict, you’ll not feel disadvantaged playing against your self-isolating mates.