Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or you only get to fire your console up a few times a month, you deserve a great gaming experience. And some TVs are simply better for playing video games than others. If gaming is an important consideration when you shop for a TV, well, I have a list of the models you want to be looking at.
If you’re team Xbox, team Playstation, team PC, or team all of the above, these are my picks for the best TVs for gaming in 2022. I’m going to run them down for you and along the way explain which TVs do which stuff best so you can home in on the TV that will best suit your needs. I’ve got picks from budget-friendly to sky’s the limit here, so there’s a little something for everyone.
Choosing your loadout
Before I get to my first pick, I want to explain my criteria and how I weigh them to arrive at the choices I’m about to run down.
The first thing I look for is low input lag. Because if there’s too much delay between the action of your thumbs and the action on screen, well, that’s just a frustration nobody needs. Plus, it can be a huge disadvantage in competitive gameplay, where a few milliseconds literally can be the difference between a win or a loss.
Next, I look for solid picture quality in the TV’s game mode preset, which is what you’ll want to use for the lowest input lag. The picture quality doesn’t have to be videophile-grade awesome, but it can’t be trash, either. Today’s game graphics are gorgeous, and you deserve all that gorgeousness, so we seek to find the best balance between low input lag and awesome picture.
Then we need to see great motion resolution. We don’t have to have 120Hz native panels for good motion resolution. A 60Hz TV can look good, but, not all of them do, so we want to make sure we see as little blurring and stutter as possible for the best clarity during fast-moving gameplay.
But since I mentioned 120Hz, that definitely is nice to have, along with some other advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate (VRR), auto-game mode, Dolby Vision gaming, and maybe even up to a 144Hz refresh rate in some cases. Now, for some of you, these are essentials, not nice-to-haves, so I’ll definitely be pointing these out for you.
I’ll also give bonus points for extra-impressive HDR and/or Dolby Vision performance, as well as add-on features like a gaming dashboard or gaming hub.
There are a lot of other great TVs out there for gaming, but that’s kind of the problem. It’s hard to narrow it down when you’re shopping — which is why I’m just highlighting my favorites here.
So with that, let’s run down the list, starting with some budget-friendly options and working our way to the best of the best.
My top pick for a budget-friendly gaming TV is the TCL 5-Series. This is a TV that has local dimming for better black levels and decent contrast, HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, and very low input lag, between 12 milliseconds and 15 milliseconds. It’s a 60Hz panel, but it does offer variable refresh rate between 48Hz and 60Hz, which is rarely seen at this price. It’s got reasonably good motion resolution and a Black Frame Insertion feature that can reduce blurring, if you like that sort of thing. Best of all, though, the picture quality is outstanding at this price. This really is one of the best deals out there, though I have to also give a shout-out to the Hisense U6H for being very competitive at about the same price.
Next up on the list at the budget tier is actually a tie. These are two excellent TVs in general, both great for gaming and both ridiculously well-priced for their picture quality: the Hisense U8H and the TCL 6-Series.
Both offer impressive picture quality with solid motion resolution, both use mini-LED backlighting and have a bunch of dimming zones for great contrast and HDR performance, both offer very low input lag and support generic VRR and FreeSync, and both have 120Hz panels, although PC gamers may prefer the TCL since it can ramp up to 144Hz in VRR. The Hisense U8H does get a bit brighter than the TCL 6-Series, but the TCL tends to upscale a touch better than the Hisense. In the end, the deciding factor may come down to which Smart TV interface you prefer, as the TCL 6-Series is a Roku TV, while the Hisense U8H uses the Google TV platform. Either way, these are definitely the two best bang-for-your-buck options on this list.
Next up is a TV that makes the list for no other reason than because it is a Sony. With PlayStation 5-friendly features that you won’t find on any non-Sony TV, check out the Sony X90K. It features auto-HDR tone mapping, which ensures that you get the best HDR image quality without having to manually adjust anything on the PS5. It also has auto-genre detection, which knows the difference between any game you’re playing versus a movie you’re streaming and adjusts the picture mode automatically. It supports 4K 120Hz gaming with VRR and input lag as low as 8.5ms. With mini-LED backlighting and some of the most accurate color in game mode at or around this price point, the Sony X90K is an excellent choice for gaming in general, but an especially good one for PlayStation 5 lovers.
We have now arrived at the Samsung QN90B TV. Now, I could have put the slightly less expensive QN85B here, but I think the QN90B makes the most sense because, for a little more money, you get a lot more picture quality. And the gaming-friendly features just pile on from there. This mode; features mini-LED backlighting, some of the best backlight control on the market for minimal blooming and amazing black levels, some of the best glare reduction, four full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports for 4K 120Hz, VRR, auto-game mode, and auto console detection – it will actually name your input automatically. But what may set this TV apart from the others most is that you don’t need a game console or PC at all, since Samsung supports the widest array of cloud gaming apps, including Xbox Game Pass. Really, the only thing this TV can’t do is Dolby Vision.
OK, we’ve worked our way to the best of the best here, and my last pick is, without a doubt, the absolute best gaming TV you can buy … but finishing a very close second is another Samsung TV, one that has the best overall picture quality on this list: I’m talking about the Samsung S95B QD-OLED TV.
Now, QD-OLED is a new type of OLED display that can produce more colors and brighter colors than any other TV on this list. In fact, only the Sony A95K QD-OLED can match it. But the Samsung S95B has all the amazing gaming features I mentioned before with the QN90B. Low input lag, great motion resolution, cloud gaming options, 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, 4K 120Hz, VRR, a gaming hub – the only thing it can’t do is Dolby Vision. But with picture quality like this, I’m not sure you’d care about that.
And finally, we’ve arrived at the best gaming TV you can buy in 2022. Drumroll, please. It’s the LG C2 OLED.
This TV has everything. It is the only TV on this list with every gaming feature under the sun — 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, 4K 120Hz with G-sync VRR in Dolby Vision — all at the same time, if you can find the content. Plus, it has a fun gaming dashboard for nerdy performance stats, as well as incredible picture quality, instant response time, and ultra-low input lag. The LG C2 is the total package, and there’s just nothing else like it – except maybe the LG C1 OLED, and if you can find one of those, snatch IT up and save some money.
Either way, you’re not only getting what I think is the best gaming TV out there, but one of the best TVs you can buy right now, period. That makes it a universally great option for anything you want to watch. You’re gonna LOVE it.
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