A TV that can support all the features of the newer gaming consoles is going to cost a lot. However, if you’re willing to compromise on a few features, you can find some solid gaming TVs that won’t devastate your wallet.
Just because you’re shopping in the budget bracket doesn’t mean you need to settle for a bad TV, and there are a few things you’d definitely want to have in a gaming TV, no matter the price.
- Resolution: The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S proudly boast running many titles at 4K, so let’s make sure your TV can say the same. While 4K does increase the price, it’s still readily available on relatively affordable TVs. All the TVs on this list feature 4K, so you can fully take advantage of these powerful new consoles.
- Refresh Rate: Higher frame rates require higher refresh rates, but unfortunately, this is something harder to come across on affordable TVs. All of the models here are 60 Hz (which means they can display up to 60 FPS), but if you were looking to play titles at higher frame rates, you’d need to spend a bit more. It’s also important to look out for “motion rate,” a common advertising trick TV manufacturers use to make it seem like their displays can handle higher frame rates. It’s basically your TV faking a higher refresh rate, and frankly, the results usually aren’t convincing.
- Display Type: Most TVs today use LED displays, but the type of LED is important. For example, OLED displays are renowned for their improved color accuracy compared to standard LED screens. Meanwhile, QLED displays (or Quantum Color displays) can deliver similar (but more limited) benefits at lower prices. We’ll be sure to mention what type of display each TV here uses; just be aware some manufacturers have their own names for different screen types.
- HDR: If you’re a console gamer, then it’s important to know what HDR formats your TV and console supports. HDR is a feature 4K TVs use to generally make things look nicer, but there are many different formats out there that different manufacturers will use. The two most common are Dolby Vision and HDR10, with the Xbox Series X/S supporting both, while the PS5 only supports HDR10. We’ll make a special note which of these two each TV on this list supports.
- Gaming Features: Stuff like variable refresh rates (which help ensure smooth visuals while playing games) and lower latency can improve your gaming experience a lot. Not every TV on this list features stuff like this, but obviously, those who do get some major bonus points.
- Smart Features: While these were once reserved for premium models, most modern TVs come with smart features nowadays. This can range from featuring full operating systems (OS), which allows you to download apps like Netflix, to supporting voice assistants like Amazon Alexa. We’ll give brief rundowns of what each TV has to offer in this category, but it’s worth remembering that either the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S can function as makeshift streaming devices if you need them to.
Let’s start with a TV that covers all the bases. The MQ-Series from VIZIO comes with many features, including variable refresh rates for gaming and HDR10 or Dolby Vision. The “Quantum Color” LED display helps ensure your games look as good as possible and runs at 4K, 60 Hz. The TV uses SmartCast as its operating system, so you can easily access all your favorite streaming services (if you won’t be doing that on your console).
Overall, the MQ-Series includes all of the features you’d be looking for in the price range while also sporting a high-end display.
This model from Hisense comes with a lot of the same features as VIZIO’s, but all of them have Hisense’s own twist. It uses a ULED (basically QLED) display that still guarantees excellent colors; it runs AndroidTV with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support. It features both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. While it lacks any gaming-specific features, it still runs at 4K, 60 Hz and provides an excellent value for the money.
If you want to save even more, the Hisense A6G series TV offers most of the same features for less with a standard LED screen.
Hisense QLED Smart TV
An all-around solid 4K, 60 Hz TV with a great display.
This TCL TV is a bit more expensive than the other models discussed here, but it packs in many desirable features to make that worth it. It’s still a 4K, 60 Hz display, but it features a QLED panel for greater color accuracy, Dolby Vision, and a fairly complete “Gaming” mode. This automatically triggers when you boot up a game and includes lower latency and variable refresh rate. The TV also runs GoogleTV for its OS, which makes watching stuff when you’re not gaming a snap.
TCL Class 5-Series
If you're primarily interested in gaming-specific features, the 5-Series is well-equipped in that regard.
Coming back around to VIZIO, the V-Series offers a compelling deal for those after a larger display. Obviously, with any of the models we’ve covered, you can save or spend more by getting a smaller or larger screen respectively. But if you want something larger than most budget TVs allow, the V-Series has a 70″ model for a good price. It also runs SmartCast as its operating system, and the 4K, 60 Hz, ULED display paired with Dolby Vision will make your games look excellent.
While TVs have dropped in price significantly over the years, they still need to pay for those large screens somehow. On the other hand, computer monitors have the advantage of being smaller displays, so they can give you a lot more bang for the buck. For the same price you’d pay for most of the TVs here, you can get an excellent monitor with 4K, higher refresh rates, and gaming-oriented features (maybe even a little bit of RGB for good measure).
Obviously, this isn’t for everyone, as most people want to play games on a TV for comfort reasons—you can’t really sit on your couch and play on a monitor across the room. However, it’s still an option worth considering if your primary concern is getting the best image quality possible.
If you want a quick recommendation for a gaming monitor, then the Acer Predator XB273K has many features we’ve been talking about. It includes variable refresh rate, runs at 4K, 144 Hz, comes with a 27-inch screen, and costs around the same price as most TVs we’ve discussed.
Acer Predator XB273K
With a smaller screen this monitor can pack-in more high-end features than a TV of the same price.