Having the right TV can make all the difference if you want to get the most out of your PS5 or Xbox series X, whether that’s giving you an edge in your FPS or providing a more immersive experience as you quest through the latest RPG.
So, we went on a quest of our own to find the most playable panels, seeking out 4K 120Hz TVs as a jumping-off point to ensure they would optimise the consoles’ abilities to run at 120 frames per second (FPS), which translates to smoother visuals.
The 4K 120Hz capabilities also meant that the products we tested were equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports that deliver smoother gaming at higher frame rates, thanks to two further technologies, variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM).
For the uninitiated, the former allows a TV to automatically adjust its refresh rate in real-time to sync with the console’s frame rate. That’s important because if a game outputs at 120 frames per second but occasionally drops due to highly technical scenes, a TV without VRR might suffer from image tearing or stuttering graphics. Similarly, ALLM switches your TV to the most appropriate picture mode available and is also a must-have for next-gen gamers.
A millisecond can make all the difference in fast twitch gameplay, which is why we looked at the TV’s input lag or latency – a measure of how long it will take a button press on a controller to register with a character or weapon on screen.
And as important as enhancing gameplay is, if the visuals themselves aren’t sufficiently rendered, the whole experience will be limited. When you buy a 4K TV, it will also feature high dynamic range (HDR), which enhances picture quality by significantly expanding the contrast ratio (the difference between light and dark) and the colour palette itself.
We were always looking at how the TV processed the image, looking for rich, pure, realistic visuals with good contrast and an ability to handle both bright, flashy images and deep black levels so that you can see plenty of detail, even the shadows.
How we tested
We hooked each TV to a PS5 and Xbox series X to see how they coped with various first-person shooters and role-playing games, so we could test criteria such as input lag, fluid motion, detailed imagery and how each TV rendered the images.
The best TVs for gaming for 2022 are:
- Best overall – LG OLED evo C2: £1,299.98, Lg.com
- Best TV for PS5 – Sony X90J: £699, Sony.co.uk
- Best TV for bright gaming areas – Samsung QN95B: £5,999, Samsung.com
- Best budget TV – HiSense U8G: £799, Currys.co.uk
- Best mid-range gaming TV – LG C1: £999.98, Lg.com
- Best value for money – Samsung Q80A: £1,099, Samsung.com
- Best image quality – LG QNED91: £1,499, Currys.co.uk
- Best value for money – Sony X85J: £579, Sony.co.uk
- Best colours – Panasonic TX-55JZ2000B: £1,999, Johnlewis.com
- Best wide-angle gaming TV – Samsung QN85B: £1,599, Samsung.com
- Best for atmosphere – Philips 55OLED806: £1,099, Currys.co.uk