The best gaming laptop doesn't necessarily have to be the most kitted-out or the priciest one. PC gaming is graphically demanding, especially if you want to play the top AAA games, and you need a discrete GPU and enough RAM to deliver an immersive experience. However, if you're on a tighter budget, know that there are affordable options out there that won't empty out your bank account.
That's because gaming laptops come in all sizes, specs, and designs. This means that the best laptop you're using to play PC games can cover the gambit between more expensive options with better specs or something more budget-minded with lower-end specs. Even the best cheap gaming laptops are sure to be able to handle the top PC games, so long as you are ok with playing them at lower settings.
Of course, if you have a bit more flexibility in your budget, you should also consider one of the best thin and light gaming laptops if you value portability or one of the desktop replacement laptops are more powerful. You can also purchase laptops based on the manufacturer like the best Asus gaming laptops and the best MSI gaming laptops, if you're particular about the brand.
We’ve been testing and reviewing gaming laptops for years now, and we can best tell you which ones are worth considering. We put together a list of some of the top choices, all of which have been thoroughly tested to guarantee their quality and performance. No matter what you need in a laptop for gaming, we have options that best fit your needs below.
And, if you're not completely sold on whether or not a gaming laptop is right for you, it’s important to compare the pros and cons. After all, the best gaming PCs have their own advantages as well. Our gaming PC versus a gaming laptop should help you decide.
The quick list
Want to cut to the chase and find out what the best gaming laptops are? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our choices, and you can jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.
Best of the best
The best overall
The definitive gaming laptop has it all: it's high-performing, with a robust chassis, stylish design and legendary battery life, but still competitively priced.
The best budget
If you're on a budget, go for the GF63 Thin. It offers excellent gaming performance, a solid build, and a good range of ports, while costing a lot less than its rivals.
The best value
Despite its thin and svelte nature, the Gigabyte G5 is the best value option if you're ok with not having current-gen specs in your device.
The best lightweight
This isn't just a durable and powerful gaming laptop - it's also one of the most lightweight options on the market. Just be ready to pay a premium for it.
Best AMD option
The best AMD laptop
Powered by both an AMD chip and GPU, this Alienware has tons of power. You also get effective ventilation, a 120Hz 4K screen, and decent battery life.
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Best desktop replacement
The best desktop replacement
At over seven pounds, this behemoth is definitely not portable. But who cares - it's super powerful and has a stunning 4K display with144Hz refresh rate.
Best with OLED display
The best with OLED display
Though the MSI Raider GE67 HX is a true all rounder, where it really stands out is with its 15.6-inch OLED display that makes any PC game absolutely shine.
Best RTX 4000 laptop
The best RTX 4000 laptop
One of the first Nvidia RTX 4000 gaming laptops we've tested, the Pro 7i pairs incredible performance with a stunning and fast display.
The best gaming laptops in 2023
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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best gaming laptop in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
The best gaming laptop overall
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want a great value: While the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 isn't a budget laptop by any means, it's performance for the price is phenomenal.
✅ You want to be mobile with your gaming laptop: The excellent battery life on the ROG Zephyrus G15 means that you can actually, truly game on the go, rather than game wherever there's an outlet handy.
❌ You need a webcam: The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 doesn't have a built in webcam.
❌ You want a budget gaming laptop: While the price of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is phenomenal given its hardware, that hardware still isn't cheap, and neither is this laptop.
It's not quite so new and shiny anymore, but the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is still the best of the best. The Asus 'Republic of Gamers' brand has produced some truly excellent gaming laptops (you'll see a few more if you keep scrolling) but this is the definitive pick.
A high-end AMD Ryzen processor, choice of Nvidia RTX 3000 GPU, a great screen, and generally fantastic design mark the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 as a top-notch gaming laptop that can comfortably power through all the latest games. It also packs some truly legendary battery life, lasting about eight to nine hours during our rigorous testing process, which puts it up alongside the long-lasting Asus TUF Dash F15.
All this great performance is wrapped up in a robust chassis with a stylish design, an aesthetic that manages to look good and doesn't scream 'I'm a gamer!' to everyone within a ten-mile radius. To cap it all off, while this isn't a budget machine, it offers an absolutely stellar price-to-performance ratio. So if you want a high-performing gaming laptop that’s competitively priced to boot, nothing beats this one.
Read the full Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 review
The best budget gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want to game on a budget: The MSI GF63 Thin walks the line between value and performance expertly.
✅ You need a multi-purpose laptop: Decent performance in just about every area and a reserved design means that the GF63 Thin can happily double as a laptop for work or study.
❌ You need good battery life: The battery life on offer here is far from dismal, but it’s not what we’d call impressive.
❌ You want ray tracing: While it’s technically capable, the RTX 3050 Ti just isn’t really able to run games with ray-tracing settings turned on,
MSI's laptops and desktops run the gauntlet from impressive to lackluster, but the GF63 Thin definitely sits in the former category. It's far from the most powerful gaming laptop on this list, but with some very competitive pricing, it's an excellent choice for any gamer on a budget.
That price is kept low by wisely employing some slightly older components, like the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and the PCIe 3.0 SSD, but these are paired with an Nvidia RTX 3000 GPU that still offers excellent gaming performance. When we reviewed it, we found that it also feels quite well-constructed, despite the sensible price tag.
It's not quite as flexible a laptop as some of those found on this list (many of which can easily pull double duty for demanding content creation work). However, if you're just looking for a straightforward 1080p gaming system, this is the one for you.
Read the full MSI GF63 Thin (2022) review
The best value gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want to game on the go: The Gigabyte G5 is incredibly portable. You can whack this bad boy into any backpack and roam (and shoulder strength) for more.
✅ You plan to use the laptop as a mini TV: With the clarity and vividness of the display any game gets a breath of new life on the Gigabyte G5, it would be a shame to relegate it to just gaming.
❌ You're planning on doing anything creative: If you're planning on doing some serious video editing, 3D modeling, or animation work, the older CPU means this may not be the laptop for you.
❌ You want an office laptop: Ultimately, this is a gaming laptop and should really be kept that way.
For those wanting the full gaming experience without breaking the bank or breaking your back in the process, the Gigabyte G5 is an excellent budget alternative that’s also ridiculously portable. Its starting price is downright svelt, a price point that the vast majority of gaming laptops can’t hope to match, especially in this generation of bulky gaming behemoths.
Its specs include an Intel Core i5-10500H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, and we found through extensive testing that it’s more than a match for any PC game on high settings, though you may have to hold off on the ray-tracing for Cyberpunk 2077. The display is a solid FHD one that won’t blow your mind with a crazy high refresh rate or HDR but still offers a clear and clean picture quality.
On the downside, due to the very portable nature of this laptop, its port selection suffers drastically. It only has two USB Type-A 3.2, one USB Type-A 2.0, one HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4, and one Mini DisplayPort 1.2. No ethernet port or miniSD card reader in sight. Also, the Core i5-10500H is a bit dated, and we found it struggles a bit with more advanced productivity work.
Read the full Gigabyte G5 review
The best lightweight gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want a thin and light gaming laptop: This laptop weighs surprisingly little for its specs and can fit into most bags and be carried around with ease.
✅ You want top performance: For its size, the performance is great, scoring high on every benchmark as well as offering solid frame rates at even the highest settings.
❌ You’re on a budget: Razer laptops are not meant for those without excess cash flow and this model is no exception.
❌ You want a better battery life: For gaming purposes, the battery life is not good in the slightest – keep this laptop plugged in unless you’re doing office work.
Sure, it might be very expensive, but the new Razer Blade 14 is just a thing of beauty; a compact, quiet, durable, and powerful gaming laptop that ticks just about every box. Top-notch internal components are joined by an incredibly bright and vivid screen, with the classic machined metal chassis that has come to define the aesthetic of the Blade laptop line.
What's even better here is that despite its thin and light chassis, it boasts excellent gaming performance that's comparable to similarly-specced yet less portable gaming laptops. During our usual round of testing and benchmarking, it felt like its CPU and GPU worked better in tandem, surpassing other laptops in performance with something like Cyberpunk 2077 on high settings. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, its framerate didn't even dip below 75fps even under the highest possible settings.
Also for a thin laptop, it's got impressive cooling. That is, even though it did heat up during intense gaming sessions in our testing, it never suffered noticeable stuttering, freezing, or slowing down, meaning that you can push it like you would other laptops without getting frustrated. You might be disappointed by the battery life, though. Rated at 10 hours, it typically hovers around the eight-hour mark when used for productivity work. Sadly, that is cut down to at most half when you're gaming on it.
Read the full Razer Blade 14 (2023) review
The best AMD-powered gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You’re a hardcore gamer: You’ll have to be hardcore to reach as deep into your pocket as you’ll need to, but this has both the looks and the AMD performance to suit those who need the full experience on the move.
✅ You’ll appreciate a big, high-res screen: The higher-spec tiers of the Alienware m17 probably offer more pixels than your games truly need - but whatever the resolution, this is a bold, beautiful panel that refreshes fast.
❌ You value portability: Although the m17 isn’t over-heavy it’s most at home in the home.
❌ You’re wary of AMD: You shouldn’t be, but if you’re dead set on an Nvidia card, though, a different spec of the m17 would suit you better.
The Alienware m17 R5 AMD Advantage is an excellent gaming laptop that delivers on every front. The 17-inch display is a ridiculous 120Hz 4K screen, further enhanced with Dolby Vision support. During our testing, we found that the gorgeous crystal clear image paired well with a smooth enough refresh rate for most gamers.
Its performance during our own benchmark testing was even more impressive, with eye-watering high scores on every GPU test. And when it came to testing out general gameplay performance, most games hit the highest highs in terms of framerate and more. Not only is its performance top-notch, but it also has a gorgeous design befitting the Alienware line.
The clamshell design is not only aesthetically pleasing but keeps the main vent clear and more effective at proper ventilation, something absolutely vital when it comes to high-power gaming sessions. It's a bit heavy and bulky with a somewhat decent battery life of about six hours, but if you're getting a desktop replacement gaming laptop then you know the deal.
Read the full Alienware m17 R5 AMD Advantage review
The best gaming laptop with fast refresh rate
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You’re a streamer: With the touch bar, 1080p webcam, and streaming-focused software pre-installed, the Corsair Voyager feels like it’s perfectly suited to Twitch streamers
✅ You appreciate a high refresh rate: The speedy 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time will endear it to hardcore gamers.
❌ You want good value for money: It’s undeniably a very expensive purchase that we simply can’t recommend to anyone shopping on a budget.
❌ You need some peace and quiet: They’re not the loudest we’ve ever heard on a gaming laptop, but the Corsair Voyager does have some pretty noisy fans.
Corsair only broke into the gaming laptop space this August, and we have to say we're seriously impressed with the manufacturer's first attempt. The Corsair Voyager a1600 is a laptop that stands out from the crowd, from its big, beautiful 16:10 screen to the bar of touch buttons (and a tiny LCD display) that rests above the keyboard.
That keyboard is great too - it uses Cherry MX Ultra-Low Profile mechanical key switches, a rare sight in gaming laptops, which feel absolutely incredible to play games with. This is a fully AMD-powered gaming laptop too, with the excellent Radeon RX 6800M graphics card and a powerful Ryzen 9 6900HS processor.
One other nifty feature is seamless 'Slipstream' connectivity, which allows you to instantly connect compatible Corsair peripherals (say, a wireless headset or mouse) without the need for a plug-in dongle. The touch bar and included software are also geared towards streamers, so if you're waiting for your big break on Twitch, this could be the laptop for you.
Read the full Corsair Voyager a1600 review
The best desktop replacement gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want the best gaming performance around: With an Intel Core i9-13980HX and an Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile GPU and DLSS 3, no game will put up much of a fight here, even at 4K.
✅ You want lots of customization options: With per-key, lid-logo, and accent RGB, you can really get that gamer twinkly light look exactly to your liking.
❌ You want something affordable: The price of this laptop puts it out of reach of just about everyone reading this review.
❌ You want something portable: Better get a donkey if you want to cart this one around.
If you’re looking for a contender for the most powerful gaming laptop, the MSI GT77 Titan (2023) has the competition beat so far. It comes with the latest in specs, including a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU and an Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB Laptop GPU. During our extensive testing, we found that it managed to beat out the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i in most of our benchmark scoring when it came to GPU performance.
Its display is a ridiculous 4K resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, and as we tested this behemoth we found that PC games never looked and moved better. The cherries on top are that this laptop comes with a Mini DisplayPort output and, according to our tests, the battery life is okay for a gaming laptop four and a half hours. It does charge fast, so that’s another positive to add.
There are some caveats we found, however. The biggest one is the sheer size of this behemoth, which weighs over seven pounds. You will never move this laptop off your desk, it’s the truest form of desktop replacement. And thanks to its size, it sounds like a jet engine. Cost is also an issue, but if money isn’t a problem then you can’t go wrong investing in this exceptionally powerful laptop.
Read the full MSI GT77 Titan (2023) review
The best gaming laptop with OLED display
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want to play esports games: That powerful GPU and snappy 240Hz OLED display mean you'll never have to worry about frame drops or input latency again.
✅ You're a gamer and a creative: A tonne of ports including an SD card reader and a high-quality display make this a good choice for photographers and video enthusiasts.
❌ You want a laptop for the office: There are plenty of minimalist gaming laptops that won't look out of place in a professional office environment - this isn't one of them.
❌ You're on a budget: The GE67 HX isn't ludicrously expensive for its components, but it's certainly on the pricier end of the gaming laptop scale.
The MSI Raider GE67 HX is a great choice for gamers who want a well-performing gaming laptop. Despite the specs coming from last-gen — a 12th-gen Intel Core i9-12900HX CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU —, we found after extensive testing that it’s able to keep up with the likes of the current-gen Lenovo Legion Pro 7i in terms of pure performance. Not to mention its meaty 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, which sweetens the deal.
It has a solid 15.6-inch display with a 2560x1440 resolution, meaning it can game comfortably at either 1080p or 1440p. It also sports an incredibly high 240Hz refresh rate, and an OLED screen that we found makes any PC game absolutely shine in crystal clarity. It also features a 1080p webcam. The build quality is also nice and sturdy thanks to that extra bulk, and the keyboard is SteelSeries, which has pleasant key travel and no sponginess or real input latency. We wish the touchpad was as high quality, as it’s a little flimsy.
Unfortunately, its battery life is its downfall. We found that, after testing, the battery lasts for an abysmal two hours max and less than six with normal productivity work. And if you plan on carrying this behemoth around, it’s heavy and bulky so you’ll be in for a bad time. The fans are very, very loud so be prepared for the sound of jet engines as you use this laptop.
Read the full MSI Raider GE67 HX review
The best RTX 4000 gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You want a powerful gaming machine: The performance on this machine is beyond outstanding, able to play any PC game on its highest settings and maintain incredibly high frame rates.
✅ You want an excellent port selection: This laptop has one of the best port selections around, with four USB Type-A ports, two Type-C ports, and nearly anything else you could want.
❌ You want a long lasting battery: The battery life on this machine is atrocious. If you need a laptop that lasts well over two hours, this is not the product for you.
❌ You need a portable laptop: This laptop is over six pounds, an extremely hefty machine to lug around.
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is one of the most powerful gaming laptops we’ve tested so far, thanks to its RTX 4080 mobile GPU. When we tested it out, it delivered some incredible gaming performance, absolutely smoking through every one of our graphics-based benchmark tests with flying colors, and nearly matched our scores for the Alienware Aurora R15 gaming PC. This level of power also translates to gaming performance, with titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered looking its best.
Its display is an absolutely ridiculous 16-inch WQXGA, 240Hz, 500nits screen, which means that when we took it for a gaming test drive, we found the refresh rate to be butter smooth enough for professional gamers. The screen is extremely bright with a high-definition resolution, and it also features an RGB-lit keyboard with an excellent port selection to boot.
The chassis is very bulky and heavy, as befitting of a desktop replacement laptop, with an abysmal two-and-a-half-hour battery life. This laptop was made purely for performance, with not a thought to its aesthetics, but for the performance it’s worth it.
Read the full Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review
The best dual-screen gaming laptop
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✅ You need a super-flexible system: The ScreenPad Plus is a nifty feature that some users will get more mileage out of.
✅ You want the best in gaming audio: The speaker array on this bad boy is powerful and the surround sound works great.
❌ You’re aiming to game at 4K Ultra: Although some models of the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 do come with a 4K primary display, the internal configuration maxed out at the RTX 3080 Ti.
❌ You want good value for money: While it might be awesome in almost every way, it’s impossible to deny that this is a premium product that comes with a premium price tag.
If you're after something a bit different — or you're a content creator who wants a laptop for gaming too — then the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is an incredible (if expensive) choice. The 16:10 main display is joined by the delightful ScreenPad Plus, a secondary touchscreen that elevates out of the chassis when you open the lid, creating a laptop that's reminiscent of a certain beloved handheld console.
Nintendo DS references aside, the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is also an absolute monster of a system thanks to its Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, backed up by a whopping 64GB of DDR5 RAM. It's great for gaming and watching movies, in no small part due to a set of powerhouse speakers that provide shockingly good room-filling audio.
Read the full Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 review
How to choose the best gaming laptop for you
Choosing the best gaming laptop is easy when you’ve got deep pockets or have a couple of thousand dollars to spare. It’s when your budget is more limited that getting a great gaming laptop becomes trickier.
Lucky for us, we’re getting plenty of more affordably-priced CPUs and GPUs that don’t compromise on power. The latest internals are more capable yet also cheaper than ever. That means that gaming notebooks under $1000 can be just as capable as any gaming PC while keeping things portable and space-saving.
Still, some components are more powerful or cheaper than others. While it’s no longer a hard and fast rule, AMD’s offerings are generally more affordable, which means that AMD Ryzen-powered laptops tend to be slightly cheaper.
In terms of graphics cards, Nvidia is still king when it comes to performance, although which RTX card you should go for depends on the type of gaming experience you want. The RTX 3060, for example, is a terrific mid-range contender with lots of power for 1080p gaming. However, if you want that 4K goodness, an RTX 3070 or higher is the way to go.
Consider the RAM as well. Other things to look at are the amount of storage, type of display, and type and variety of ports. Take a look at the battery life as well, especially if you plan on gaming on the go. Know that just because something is premium doesn’t automatically mean it’ll deliver a long battery life – the Alienware laptops are a cautionary tale. And, of course, since you do have to like how your gaming notebook looks, think about the design and whether or not you want RGB lighting.
Whichever one you pick however, we guarantee one of our picks below will let you dive into your favorite games, from the best cheap PC games to the best laptop games and the best PC games – all without tethering you to a desk.
Which laptop is best for gaming?
At a base level, you’re going to need a gaming laptop that runs the newest game releases, whether they’re AAA or games that require lower graphics settings. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a gaming laptop with a decent graphics card - it doesn’t have to be as advanced as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, which can play even the most graphically intense games at the highest settings, but you’ll want something that can play any and every game you might play.
RAM is crucial in the best gaming laptops as well, as it makes sure there aren’t performance issues within the laptop. The last thing you want is for your game to sputter or freeze in the middle of important action sequences or cutscenes, so you’ll want a gaming laptop with plenty of RAM to tackle those high-intensity games.
Screen size should also factor into your gaming laptop decision. If you’re someone who likes having the biggest screen to see as much as possible of your game, you’re going to want a bigger screen, ideally something from 16- to 17.3-inches. If you’re okay with having a standard size screen, you may be able to get away with getting a gaming laptop with a screen anywhere from 14 to 15.6 inches.
If you travel a lot you’re going to want to consider how heavy the gaming laptop is, as well as any necessary accessories you’ll need to pack. Travelling often will also mean you need to make sure your gaming laptop has a decent battery life, otherwise you’ll be trekking from outlet to outlet on your journey.
How much RAM do I need for gaming?
There are many gaming laptops that start you off with an 8GB DDR4 memory, which is the minimum these days. However, that might not be enough for a speedy performance.
If you play a lot of demanding AAA titles, at least 16GB is recommended for the smoothest experience. If you can afford to splurge, a 32GB memory will give you the smoothest, most immersive experience.
Is it worth it to get a gaming laptop?
Absolutely. Gaming PCs are no longer incomparable, thanks to mobile devices getting smaller yet also more powerful. If you need something that's space-saving and/or portable yet powerful enough to tackle your favorite games, no matter if those are not-so-demanding games or the most graphically-intensive titles, one of the best gaming laptops is worth considering.
What is a good thin gaming laptop?
There aren't a lot of thin and light gaming laptops out there, but that doesn't mean you can't find several options to choose from.
The best ones are impressively portable without sacrificing power or battery life. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 sits at the top of that pile, with MSI GS65 Stealth and the Razer Blade Stealth following closely behind.
How we tested these gaming laptops
Testing a gaming laptop isn’t as easy as you might think. But, then again, neither is narrowing down your options and choosing the best one for you, which is why we take our job seriously. Even if that means gaming for hours on end – hey, someone’s gotta make the sacrifice, right?
In all seriousness, we put every gaming laptop we test through its paces to make sure it delivers as promised and is worth your hard-earned case. That means that on top of playing the latest and hottest games on it, noting things like gaming and thermal performance, we also run synthetic benchmarks like PCMark 10, 3DMark and Geekbench 5 as well as battery tests.
Because a gaming laptop is only as good as its peripherals, we take a look at how smooth and fast the display is, how comfortable and responsive its keyboard is, whether or not there are enough ports on hand, and how good its overall design is. We also test its webcam, in case users want to utilize it for game streaming.
We then take everything we’ve learned about the gaming laptop and compare it to its price – whether or not it’s performance and features are worth that price tag, and whether or not it offers the best value to customers.