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The best TVs for gaming

The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are fast arriving, but if you’re like us, you’re having trouble waiting for the big, yet-to-be-officially-announced releases. Luckily, there are several things you can do before the unveiling of the next big gaming consoles. Like, for instance, investing in a TV that takes full advantage of these next-gen consoles’ advanced capabilities.

For our money, the best new TV for these upcoming game consoles is the LG CX 65-inch 4K OLED TV, thanks to its impeccable picture and several gaming-centric features. However, it’s not the only screen capable of getting the job done when it comes to gaming — far from it, in fact.

Here are the best TVs available right now for your future PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. Keep in mind that many of these models are also just as suitable for the current lineup of consoles, even if they’re more apt for next-gen hardware.

Looking to pick up a great TV at a discount? Fortunately for you, we’ve curated a list of the best Cyber Monday TV deals and the best Cyber Monday sales going on now.

The best TVs for gaming at a glance:

The best TV for gaming: LG CX OLED

LG 2020 TV promo shot
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: This TV has incredible picture quality and a great lineup of features geared specifically for gaming.

Who it’s for: Those searching for a great gaming TV with all the added benefits of an OLED display.

Why we picked the LG CX OLED TV:

Our own Caleb Denison was thoroughly impressed with the picture quality of the LG GX series, though it came in an expensive package. The CX provides that same level of quality, without the aesthetic and the price point of the former. A $2,800 price tag for a 65-inch TV is still a lot, but it offers $700 in savings over the GX Series, and as such many would see that lower price for these features as a bargain.

Outside of being yet another stunning LG OLED display, the CX comes with both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync compatibility, thanks to a recent software update. Both technologies are aimed at making gameplay as smooth as possible, which projects to pair well with the black levels and colors built into an OLED picture. Toss in the fact that all four HDMI ports meet the latest HDMI 2.1 specifications — with features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and eARC — a 120 Hz native panel, and this TV offers everything expected — and required — for gaming.

We had previously picked the LG C9 as our preferred TV for gaming, and the 2019 model still holds up well for a cheaper price than the new CX. But, with the news that LG’s 2019 OLED models won’t get a software update to add FreeSync support, the LG CX OLED TV becomes the better overall buy for the new consoles headed our way.

The best QLED TV for gaming: Samsung Q80T QLED

Samsung

Why you should buy this: It packs a lot of the same gaming value, without the heftier price tag found in the LG CX.

Who it’s for: Those looking for a high-quality display to game on, without spending OLED-level money.

Why we picked the Samsung Q80T QLED:

Admittedly, Samsung’s Q90T is the better QLED TV of the bunch, but there’s a reason we opted for the Q80T instead. The Q90T has better HDR and a higher impact picture, but otherwise, these two displays share a lot of features that make them ideal for gaming. You’re getting at least a PS5’s worth of savings by going with the $1,800 Q80T.

To start, the Q80T has that Quantum Dot technology quality that we’ve grown accustomed to, with Samsung boasting that its displays can deliver more than a billion shades of color. It also has a powerful 4K picture processor and compelling HDR technology, which Samsung says will help create deeper contrast between those billion colors. It may not be Samsung’s flagship 4K model, but the Q80T is no slouch when it comes to picture quality.

Then we get to gaming, an area that Samsung has seemingly devoted a lot of energy toward in recent years. The Q80T boasts an HDMI 2.1 input, 10ms input lag, 120Hz panel, Variable Refresh Rate, and an ultra-wide viewing angle that lets you game from multiple locations in a room with little degradation to the picture (which comes in especially handy for split-screen applications). It also has Auto Game Mode, which optimizes your TV’s settings for your specific console, and enables features like Game Motion Plus, Dynamic Black Equalizer, and FreeSync Premium that are all meant to create the smoothest gaming experience possible.

Essentially, if you wanted the most premium QLED TV out there, you could turn to the Q90T and have a great experience. But if you wanted to save a few bucks, you won’t be disappointed with Samsung’s next best thing, the Q80T QLED.

The best 8K TV for gaming: Sony Z8H

Sony z8H 8K TV
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: It’s a huge display with larger-than-life quality to match.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to leapfrog 4K TVs and move into the next big thing, no matter the cost.

Why we picked the Sony Z8H:

The Z8H is not currently our favorite 8K TV — that honor belongs to the LG Z9 88-inch OLED, which comes in at a whopping $30,000 for an 88-inch display. If you aren’t willing to spend a new car’s worth of cash on a TV, however, we suggest the Z8H, a still-pricey but comparatively better alternative at $6,000 for a 75-inch model.

Offering a Full-Array LED panel with local dimming plus a powerful XI Ultimate processor that can upscale any content to 8K, the Z8H is indeed one powerful machine. And that’s before you mention the display’s 8k X-tended Dynamic Range Pro — which Sony says adjusts brightness for higher peaks in situations where you’re dealing with glare and deeper blacks in darker environments — or its Object-based HDR remastering technology, where the contrast adjusts to the color in individual objects on the screen.

Sony gets the benefit of being the TV company that’s also behind the PlayStation 5, so it has the luxury of building compatibility specifically between its consoles and displays. For example, both the PlayStation 5 and the Z8 and x900H models — which each have HDM1 2.1 inputs — support 4K/120fps gaming, meant to provide gamers with smoother movements and more responsive gameplay. Of course, 8K output is available with both the PS5 and the Z8H, though we’re still waiting for content to catch up with the technology there. The Z8H will also recognize a console when it’s connected via HDMI, and automatically switch to game mode to optimize the display for gameplay, according to Sony.

The Sony Z8H is the most expensive TV on this list, and for many, a $6,000 display is a lot for any television, even with the added benefits designed for gaming. Those who can justify it, though, are in for quite a treat when they finally pair this behemoth with a shiny new PS5.

The best budget TV for gaming: Vizio P-Series

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: It’s a very capable gaming TV at a very comfortable price point.

Who it’s for: Gamers who don’t want (or need) to spend an arm or a leg to enjoy quality gameplay on their TV.

Why we picked the Vizio P-Series:

Time and time again, Vizio just seems to know how to cram the most value into a product without inflating its price. That rings true with the P-Series, which has a Full-Array LED panel, support for Dolby Vision, HDR10/HDR10+, and HLG, and a Spatial Scaling Engine to help round out what projects to be solid picture quality.

In addition to Vizio’s ProGaming Engine, which combines features like Variable Refresh Rate, AMD Free Sync, and an Auto Game Mode, the P Series has HDMI 2.1 inputs and a 120 Hz native panel. This isn’t going to make for the hands-down best gaming experience compared to other TVs on this list, but you might just get the most enjoyment per dollar out of the P-Series. At least, if that were a unit you could actually measure.

You could, if you were so inclined, go for Vizio’s P-Series Quantum X models, which are designed to have a brighter picture and more local dimming zones than the standard Vizio P-Series. There’s a $200 difference between the two models, and we’re just not sure the Quantum X series does enough to justify the average gamer spending the extra money over the $1,100 you’d fork over for a standard 65-inch P Series.

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Woodard
Former Digital Trends Contributor
  As an A/V Staff Writer at Digital Trends, Nick Woodard covers topics that include 4K HDR TVs, headphones…
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