Let’s face it: the more time you spend on quality on your Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, the more important it is to do it with quality control. Of course, you can connect your game console to any old 720p or 1080p monitor, but any gamer who is worth his salt knows that one of the best 4K TVs for gaming makes the difference.
When the current generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles was first launched, the HD-ready machines had everything they needed to showcase your games in their best light. Fast forward to of 2021, when mid-cycle hardware upgrades gave us consoles capable of performing both 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for all your video and gaming needs.
Although this is all great news for the quality of our gaming experiences, it is putting more and more pressure on your TV to connect it to the output of your slot machine. A console can have all the power of the world, but it makes little sense if it is connected to a TV that cannot use that improved power. So What’s exactly makes a TV, one of the Best 4K TVs For Gaming? Let’s discuss:
List of the best 4K TVs for gaming
LG C1 OLED
The best 4k TV for gaming with an OLED panel is the LG C1 OLED. It’s one of the best gaming TVs we’ve tested, with a ton of gaming features. For example, it comes with four HDMI 2.1 ports, which is great if you have both a PS5 and an Xbox Series X, and it supports all resolutions up to 4k @ 120Hz. In addition, the OLED panel has self-lighting pixels, giving it an almost infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks for unparalleled picture quality.
The 120Hz panel has near-instantaneous response time, so fast-moving images are rendered exceptionally crisp with very little smearing or motion blur. It also has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce blur. New to 2021 is the input lag ‘Boost’ setting, which also gives you incredibly low input lag. Finally, it supports FreeSync and HDMI Forum variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing and is NVIDIA certified to be G-SYNC compatible. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
Samsung QN90A QLED
The best TV for gaming in the LED category is the Samsung QN90A QLED. It is a high-end TV from Samsung’s 2021 lineup that is packed with features and delivers exceptional picture quality while offering excellent gaming performance. It is very well built and comes with a stylish center-mounted stand that should look good in any setup. What sets this TV apart is the Mini LED backlight, which allows it to get extra bright so visibility shouldn’t be a problem even in the brightest settings, and it has fantastic reflection handling.
It also makes highlights really stand out with HDR content, and it supports the HDR10+ HDR format, but not Dolby Vision. As for gaming, it has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, so you can play 4k games in 120fps from the Xbox Series X or PS5. It has VRR support, low input lag and fast response times for a smooth and responsive gaming experience. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
Vizio M7 Series Quantum
The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020 is the best budget 4k TV for gaming we’ve tested. It sits next to the Vizio M8 Series Quantum 2020 in the 2020 lineup, which has a few more localized dimming zones, but it’s harder to find. It offers a few gaming features, which is a nice touch for a budget-friendly option, and it offers very good gaming performance. The native 60Hz refresh rate is lower than other high-end TVs in this recommendation, but fortunately it has native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing.
The TV has a good response time with a Black Frame Insertion feature to make movements look better. Input lag is low and the TV has no problems displaying content up to 4k @ 60Hz with the PS5 or Xbox Series X. The TV’s VA panel has a high native contrast ratio to display deep blacks; there is a local dimming feature, but it is mediocre and does not improve contrast. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
If you want a cheaper TV, check out the Hisense U8G. It doesn’t have Mini LED backlighting like the Samsung QN90A QLED, but it still gets very bright and has all the gaming features that gaming is looking for. It has HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR support in the form of FreeSync, HDMI Forum VRR, and G-SYNC compatibility. Movements look fluid thanks to fast response times, and input lag is very low.
It has a VA panel with a fantastic contrast ratio and great local dimming in ‘Game Mode’ for deep blacks. Unfortunately, there are some issues with enabling local dimming when VRR is enabled on Xbox, and it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate when viewed from the side. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
If you want something that gets even brighter, check out the Hisense H8G. While it doesn’t have FreeSync support like the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020, most people should be satisfied with its gaming performance, especially considering its price. It has a fast response time that makes movements look smooth, and input lag is very low.
HDR brightness is okay, enough to bring out some highlights, contrast ratio is excellent, and the full-array local dimming feature decently improves image quality in dark scenes. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which we expect for a VA panel, but that means it’s not recommended for wide sitting angles, as you’ll lose image accuracy if you look at the sides. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
If you think you don’t need or won’t notice the move to advanced display technologies like Neo QLED or OLED, a large 65-inch TV is much easier to come by. Sony’s 65-inch X90J costs just $1800, making it close in price to numerous competing 55-inch models. But you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality, as the X90J boasts a host of high-end features that justify the price.
With the Sony X90J, you get a bright picture with full-array backlighting and Triluminos Display for excellent color and contrast. And Sony’s powerful new Cognitive Processor XR is built in to control images and audio for a more life-like presentation. The display can also run at 4K/120Hz for smooth images in games, and it supports Auto Low Latency Mode with additional support for variable refresh rates coming in an update. Overall, this is one of the best 4k TVs for gaming.
Features Of the best 4K TVs for gaming
The Xbox One S performs all games in 4K, achieved via surprisingly well-built-up scaling. The PS4 Pro also delivers games in 4K, using a combination of upscaling and in-game enhancements. The Xbox One X has now been designed with sufficient power to control more games than ever before with native 4K support integrated into the game engine.
Yes, you can still get non-4K Xbox One and PS4 consoles, and the Nintendo Switch is not interested in 4K either. And yes, non-4K games need to be scaled up by a 4K TV, so they will not be completely ‘pure’. Upscaling is now remarkably good on The Best 4K TVs for gaming and can be done without adding a significant delay to the time a TV needs to display photos.
Sitting right next to the 4K in today’s video world is the high dynamic range (HDR) technology. This produces photos with a much wider range of light than the standard photos with dynamic range with which we live for decades, the photos we see on our screens closer to the way our eyes see the real world. The Xbox One S supports HDR in some of its games and through some of its streaming apps. The same situation applies to both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro and of course the Xbox One X also delivers HDR. Most people would say that HDR has done well yields more impact than 4K, especially on small screens.
One of the most important elements of good HDR performance is clarity. Many movies and games focus on 1000 nits or more for the brightest elements, so if you have a TV that is less clear, the full potential of HDR is not unlocked. Especially in an environment with video games, where graphics images in contrast terms can be stronger than ‘real-life’ often seems to be.
It is perfectly possible for TVs to make great HDR photos without reaching 1000 nits and more clarity. This is especially true for OLED screens. But the darker a screen, the harder its processing will have to work to try to figure out how image information can be solved in HDR areas above its capabilities.
If you are really a serious gamer – especially when it comes to response-based online games – you should consider input lag: the time a certain TV needs to receive image data received at its inputs. You are of course looking for low numbers if you do not want to be shot by an opponent in your face, your TV can not even be seen! Again, manufacturers do not have a tendency to provide input lag figures in their specifications provided. In general, we measure the input lag on the TVs that we test. We have also provided the input lag measurements for all our recommended TVs.
Sound design has always played an integral part in a great gaming experience. With the advent of surround sound games, however, it is still a step up today. In fact, the Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles even support the Dolby Atmos: Dolby’s most advanced sound system to date, which introduces a height channel and ‘object-based’ precision for the sound image.
With impressively good timing, LG is at the point of extending support for Dolby Atmos via HDMI to its OLED TVs of 2021 (some of which feature integrated soundbars). Although integrated Atmos support is not yet found elsewhere, a sharp rise in televisions has taken place this year with really powerful sound systems. So unless you are considering investing in an external sound system, it will certainly pay you to have both sound and image quality in mind when you buy your gaming TV.
The best 4K TVs for gaming compensates a number of factors. Regardless of the price range or feature set you are looking for, if you are buying a new television now, you might want something that best shows games in 4K – even if you’re still stuck in the 1080 era, 4K is fast-moving to become the basis, so you will want to prove yourself in the future. Our list of the best 4K gaming TVs represents the 4k TVs you can buy right now to enjoy your games on PS4, PS5, PC, and Xbox One S.