Best gaming laptops in 2023 – our latest top picks
If you’re looking for the best gaming laptops on the market today, we’ve got you covered right here.
Gaming laptops have surged in popularity recently, and the options are plentiful. In fact, there’s almost too much choice available today, from laptops that pack the very latest 40-series GPUs and powerful 13th-Gen processors to excellent budget picks that are great for FHD gaming on the go.
Add that to seemingly every major brand throwing their hat into the ring and producing their own take on the gaming laptop, and you’ve got a huge sea of choices before you that can be challenging to narrow down – but that’s where we can help.
We’ve used our knowledge, expertise, and passion for all things tech to select what we think are the best gaming laptops on the market available today, so you can kick off your search in the best way possible. These are all the latest releases, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting something that’s as future-proof as possible.
On top of that, we’ve put together the ultimate buyers’ guide to finding the best gaming laptop for you, we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions, and included links to other gaming laptop buying guides so you can explore more options should something catch your eye.
So let’s get straight to it! Here are what we think are the best gaming laptops right now.
Early Christmas laptop deals
Before we continue, we’ve spotted these early Christmas laptop deals, which could be good options if you want to save some money on your new purchase.
- MSI GF63 15.6″ 144 Hz Gaming Laptop – $608 (Save $391)
- Lenovo LOQ Gaming Laptop, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 – $1,379 (Save $360)
- ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2022) Gaming Laptop – $879 (Save $120)
Products at a Glance
How we picked
We’ve selected these gaming laptops based on a number of factors, including price, value for money, specs, features, and anything else that we thought made them stand out from the crowd. We’re constantly on the lookout for new releases and update our selections to reflect options with the latest technology, to ensure you’re seeing the very best of the market.
Best gaming laptops in 2023 – our latest top picks
- RTX 4090 and 13th Gen Intel Processor
- 144hz refresh rate
- UHD, mini-LED screen
- DDR5 RAM
- Heavy and somewhat basic design
- One of the most expensive laptops around
- Overkill for FHD gaming
We think one of the very best gaming laptops on the market today is the MSI Titan GT77HX.
It features a powerful Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU with an Intel Core i9-13980HX processor for seriously impressive performance on even the most graphically demanding AAA titles. The screen itself is a stunning 17.3-inch 4K, mini-LED display, with an impressive 144hz refresh rate. We think this makes for the perfect combination for those who want to switch between more immersive, atmospheric games to fast-paced, competitive titles like Warzone or Fortnite.
As usual, each version of this gaming laptop has different sizes of SSD and RAM, but we think this model ticks all the right boxes with its hefty 64GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB SSD. That’s more than enough to keep this laptop feeling fast and responsive when opening and running multiple applications, and the SSD will be big enough to store a huge amount of data too.
This gaming laptop is really all about performance and makes short work of any game you can throw at it. Where it may slightly disappoint is the weight of the laptop itself and the slightly uninspired design, which we think could have done with a little more flair to match its prowess.
It’s pricey, but if you’ve got the budget for it this is the type of gaming laptop that will deliver best-in-class performance on the go.
- Super affordable for a gaming laptop
- 30-series GPU
- 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
- FHD, IPS display
- 144hz refresh rate
- Quite heavy
- Thick bezel screen
If you’re looking for a good budget gaming laptop, we’d say the Acer Nitro 5 stands out from the crowd.
At this price range, you’re not going to get the very latest components and the build quality may be a little less premium, but what you are going to get is something that’s great for FHD gaming on the go that doesn’t break the bank.
This laptop features an RTX 3050 GPU with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which should deliver solid performance across a wide variety of different games. It’s slightly thin on the ground when it comes to RAM having only 8GB and it does have a smaller SSD of only 512GB too, so you’ll want to be mindful of how many applications you’re running on this laptop and how big your gaming library is getting.
That being said it does look like Acer has gone some way to improve the cooling of the machine should it start running hot. You’ll find dual-fan cooling, dual intakes, and a quad-exhaust port design to keep your laptop running efficiently and protect your components from damage.
Add this to literally every type of port you can think of, a 15.6″ FHD, IPS display with a 144hz refresh rate, and WiFi 6 and we think you have a real winner for the lower price point.
For more budget options, check out our top picks for the best gaming laptops under $800.
- Powerful RTX 4050 GPU
- 13th Gen Intel processor
- 144hz refresh rate
- FHD, IPS display
- Battery life could be better
If you’re looking for a mid-range gaming laptop, we’d say the MSI Cyborg is the way to go.
Mid-range gaming laptops are a great way to go if you’re looking for excellent performance, some of the latest components, and a reasonable price point. Case in point, this laptop features one of the latest 40-series Nvidia GPUs and a powerful 13th Gen Intel processor to boot. While this may not be able to play some titles at the absolute highest setting, it will still be able to handle them with ease, especially if you’re gaming in FHD.
And on the subject of the resolution, this gaming laptop’s screen is 1080p, 144hz, and has an IPS panel – which makes it great for wider viewing angles, superior color, and brightness. It’s also sized to fit easily into most bags and rucksacks, unlike some of the beefier options in this guide.
There are other options that tip the price either way, but we think this model with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD hits the sweet spot for most people. It’s more than enough to store and play even the heftiest AAA titles.
- RTX 4060 GPU
- 500 nit, HDR screen with 100% DCI-P3 color
- Tasteful RGB lighting
- Arguably could be thinner
Gaming laptops can be bulky, making them difficult to take on the go. If you’re looking for a thin and lightweight gaming laptop we’d you should head towards the Lenovo Legion 5 Slim.
Weighing in at just over 5 lbs, this gaming laptop is actually one of the more lightweight options on the market, making it super portable. It’s also a 14″ gaming laptop, so you’re it can be fitted into most laptop bags and rucksacks with ease too.
In terms of what you’re getting, this model comes with an RTX 4060 GPU with 32GB DDR5 RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a powerful i7-12700H processor. It’s also got some RGB thrown into the mix, which we think looks pretty tasteful compared to some of the more full-on designs on the market.
When it comes to the screen, you’re getting a whopping 500 nits of brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color, HDR, and a 120 refresh rate – all of which add up to one of the best types of screens you can get for all types of gaming.
Overall, it’s a cracking option if you’re looking for a truly portable gaming laptop that won’t weigh you down and can easily be used in smaller spaces or traveling.
Buyers’ guide to finding the best gaming laptop
When it comes to finding the best gaming laptop for you, there’s a lot to consider – and that’s even if you know what to look for. Here, we’ve put together a straight-talking, easy-to-understand guide to what to look for and expect when searching for a new gaming laptop. Let’s dive in.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the brain and beating heart of any gaming laptop. Unless you are buying a very low-end model, it is typical for a gaming laptop to have two, or even four processing units. The amount of processing units you have will increase the speed and stability of the laptop, although there are more factors that influence a laptop’s speed than just the amount or quality of processors that you are using. Like an engine, each brand and model of CPU has their own pros and cons, including different speeds, memory and buffer sizes, bus sizes, and many more features. For the best CPUs in laptops, we’d recommend looking at our picks for the best Intel 13th Gen laptops to start with.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
For most games, we’ve started to notice that the minimum requirements for most systems demand at least eight gigabytes of RAM (8 GB) for a stable and enjoyable experience. More RAM entails faster performance, especially for resource-hungry applications such as video editing, software development, and yes, gaming. If your gaming laptop lacks a sufficient quantity or quality of RAM, then this may become a bottleneck for your computer’s performance.
Additionally, the lack of virtual memory is often the number one reason for frequent system stalls, crashes, and the ubiquitous ‘blue screen of death’ experienced by Windows machines. The bottom line is that more RAM is almost always better, but there is a point of diminishing returns with random access memory when adding more won’t always reflect better performance or frame rates.
Video Card (GPU)
Your choice of video card or graphical processor unit is where the rubber hits the road in terms of your gaming performance. In combination with your RAM and CPU, your choice of video card will determine what resolutions you can use, your detail and quality settings, as well as a variety of niche video options. Although any component of your gaming laptop can become a bottleneck if they are behind the curve relative to other parts, the quality and speed of your video card will arguably have the largest impact on your gaming experience.
For this reason, it’s always best to prioritize at least some of your budget in order to get the best video card that you can afford, even if that means you sacrifice some non-essential features such as having a larger screen or not buying from a premium brand. Below, you’ll find our gaming laptop guides based on the type of GPU they have:
- Best RTX 4090 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 4080 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 4070 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 4060 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 4050 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 3080 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 3070 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 3060 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 3050 gaming laptops
- Best RTX 2080 gaming laptops
SSDs are important for storage in your gaming laptop, and the bigger they are, the better. Ideally, you should be looking for around 2TB for your gaming laptop, which will allow you to build a large game library without your system slowing to a halt. Be prepared though, as this is where you usually see the price spike between models, much like with smartphones.
There are three types of screens you can get in a gaming laptop – 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Higher resolution isn’t always needed though, especially as with smaller screen sizes even 1080p can look great due to pixel density (which basically means that fewer pixels on a small screen look clearer). We’d recommend a 1440p or QHD display for a gaming laptop for a good balance.
Refresh rate is how quickly a monitor can ‘refresh’ per second – which essentially means how many frames per second can be shown. Higher refresh rates mean higher frames per second.
Gaming laptops usually fall into 60hz, 120hz, 144hz, 165hz, 240hz, 360hz, and on rare occasions higher than that. We’d always recommend at least 120hz so you can play at higher frames per second with faster-paced games.
There are loads of brands to choose from, each with its own signature style and all worthy of consideration if you’re looking for a new gaming laptop. For full-on gaming performance, we’d recommend the likes of ASUS, Acer, MSI, and Alienware gaming laptops. For stylish hybrid options, Razer, Lenovo, and HP are worth investigating. Below you’ll find our buying guides for each brand.
- Best MSI gaming laptops
- Best Acer gaming laptops
- Best ASUS gaming laptops
- Best Razer gaming laptops
- Best Lenovo gaming laptops
- Best HP gaming laptops
- Best Gigabyte gaming laptops
Of course, gaming laptops can vary wildly in price. Typically speaking, they don’t come cheap, but you can find decent options between $650 – $850 if you look hard enough. At around $1200 – $1500, you’ll start finding some more powerful gaming laptops that are great for 1080p gaming. Anywhere above $1500 and you’re moving into the most powerful machines on the market, featuring the latest processors, GPUs, RAM, big SSDs, and either QHD or 4K high refresh rate screens.
We’ve got loads of guides based purely on budget for gaming laptops, which we’ve shared below so you can browse some of our selections.
- Best gaming laptop under $3000
- Best gaming laptop under $2000
- Best gaming laptop under $1500
- Best gaming laptop under $1000
- Best gaming laptop under $800
- Best gaming laptop under $700
Frequently asked questions
Now let’s take a look at some of your most frequently asked questions about gaming laptops and see if we can give you a hand.
Do I need a gaming laptop to play games?
In most cases, yes. There are some games you can play on non-gaming laptops, but we’re talking very basic stuff. Go for a gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU for gaming.
Are gaming laptops worth it?
In short, yes, if you want to game on the go. No, if you’re not planning on taking it anywhere, as gaming PCs are almost always more powerful and more cost-effective.
We think the best gaming laptop on the market right now is the MSI Titan GT77HX. It’s an absolute powerhouse of a machine and offers seriously impressive performance thanks to its RTX 4090 GPU and 13th Gen Intel Processor. Combine that with a stunning UHD mini-LED screen with a 144hz refresh rate, and you’ve got a laptop that’ll handle anything from graphically demanding AAA games to 3D rendering with ease. It may not be the lightest laptop on the market, but if you’re for the best of the best for your gaming sessions, this is the laptop for you.