Why Graphics Matter in 2017

Whether gamers want to admit it, graphics are perceived as crucial to a good game these days. So let's explore that argument to see if it's valid.

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Apocalypse Shadow427d ago (Edited 427d ago )

Gameplay matters in 2017.

It is why we play. It is why games like Zelda, Horizon and Forza Horizon are played. Graphics is great but it's just a bonus. Last couple of days I've been playing Nintendo and Genesis games. That's way off from the current level of graphics.

In my 35+ years of gaming, I ran into and avoided many a game with great graphics but shoddy gameplay. Just recently, games like Ryse and The Order were lauded for their graphics, blasted for their gameplay (I enjoyed 1886 though for $10)

Graphics don't make great reviews. Graphics don't give a game good replay value. Gameplay does. Gamers need to keep this in mind.

426d ago
KuroKiko426d ago

And thats why Nintendo people will always be easily satisfied.. Nothings wrong with that, its just that they're afraid to set the bar higher and stay at their safety zone. Why else would you make multiple Pokemon, Mario and Zelda games?

426d ago
cemelc426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

I have a gaming PC

i7 6700k
16 gb ddr4 ram
ssd 700gb

The best games i played recently on pc are: salt and sanctuary, owlboy, hiper light drifter, hollow knight, ori, stardew

All those games set a standar, all those games didnt have or needed graphics, all those games are worth more than many big name releases.

Games are good cos they have something special, graphics will only carry you in the begining of the game, 10 hours in you only have gameplay/story to carry you.

Dan_scruggs426d ago

Why else would you make multiple Pokemon, Mario and Zelda games?

Remember that when you salivate over Call of Duty 16 (honestly I lost count), God of War 7 (Yes there have been 7 God of War games), the 15 (yes 15 NOT counting spin offs) Crash Bandicoot games and Uncharted 4.5 The Lost Tomb or what ever it's called. With a statement like that it seems that the concept of a franchise is completely lost on you.

But to stay on topic all I have to say on the matter of graphics VS game-play can be said in these videos right here.

But I will let history decide because when Horizon 2 rolls around I can pretty much guarantee that all the interaction absent from the first game will adopt the environmental game play of BotW's approach.

ShadowKnight426d ago

Owlboy is amazing!!!! You should check out Quake graphics on your PC

Mr Pumblechook426d ago

It doesn't have to be, either / or. Of course gameplay is paramount but that doesn't mean graphics don't matter. It's a big part of the reason we upgrade with every console generation - because we want games that look better, that are animated better. The truth is that beautiful graphics add immensely to our enjoyment of a game.

DanteVFenris666426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

What's wrong with being easily satisfied when playing a game? This isn't a problem. the more you can enjoy the simple stuff the more you'll enjoy gaming.

Pretty sure Zelda set the bar for all open world games.

While there are multiple Mario and Zelda games they can be vastly different from each other. Just look at the difference between wind waker and twighlight princess which released after each other. They almost play like different games. Same as Mario Galaxy vs paper mario vs Mario 64.

Utalkin2me426d ago

Graphics are not the be all end all. But i believe power is very important in moving forward. Not just from a graphics standpoint, but from AI to particles or even polygons for character models and such. Then you have features then benefit from power.

Istolla426d ago

The N64 was graphically superior to the PS2 and yet the PS2 dominated. It's not about safety and that Nintendo fans are easily satisfied, Nintendo games are just really really good. What Nintendo games lack in graphical power (even though I personally don't think it's a very drastic difference from competitors) they make up for in gameplay and story (mostly gameplay).

As a PC, PS4, and Nintendo gamer, in my opinion, Nintendo games are just way more polished than their competitor's offerings. Yes PC games (and some PS4) games have these amazing graphics and amazing gameplay experiences but if I could only afford one gaming machine it would be the Switch (PC coming a very close second).

candystop426d ago

Graphics and gameplay go hand and hand. All we've been hearing about year after year is graphics and yes gameplay yet all of a sudden it doesn't matter anymore smh. If it were just about gameplay there would never be a reason to buy new consoles.

Kingthrash360426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Graphics and resolution are 2 very different things. Gameplay is most important period. Graphics has always mattered but people enjoy games that are lacking in that department.
This gen has been more focused on resolution than graphics and that is a shame.
Games dominate like minecraft or persona 5...yes persona 5 isn't graphic heavy.'s art style is so perfect tho that you'd think it is....but it isnt. Horizon is top of the line graphic heavy so is gears, uncharted 4 and FH3.
So while graphics are important gameplay far out weighs it.

DevilOgreFish426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Graphics being super realistic is a given for the future. in fact I'll be willing to bet there will be a time when we'll look back and miss when games were artistic and not so realistic. right now we all gloat over anything pushing graphics boundaries but it will be a dime a dozen in the next gen and after.

indysurfn426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Nintendo people!? You take every opportunity to put down Nintendo don't you? At least Nintendo people don't flip flop about graphics mattering depending on how hard their butt hurts.

Lets take xbox360 all xboers did was brag about it having better looking 3rd party games than PS3(because then graphics mattered).

Then Xbox one, and PS4 came. And Microsoft was BACK in 3rd place again. Fantoys was shouting 1080p does not matter I'd take 900P at 60 FPS any day over 1080p at 50fps!

And BEHOLD PS4 PRO came, and put the smack down, and exboxers started saying Graphics don't matter! You can decern past 900p can't see past this amount of detail. "we'd take [email protected] over [email protected] with HDR any day of the week'.

Now that Scorpio has been detailed, LOW AND BEHOLD praise masterChief graphics matter again. Oh yeah now we can magically see the detail beyond 900p and it therefor matters Lordy be!

We feel pretty again at 4k, let us take our torches, and Let's us go and tell Nintendo they are ugly and we are the fairest ones of all! Because NOW we can once again see the pixels!

ShwaaMan426d ago (Edited 426d ago )


The PS2 went head to head with The Nintendo GameCube, The N64 was released 6 months after PlayStation 1.
Both of those Nintendo systems were "graphically superior" to Sony's counterparts.
Just thought you'd appreciate some clarification.

ps. Sony dominated both of those generations(even though I really loved my '64' and 'Cube', Nintendo has been pretty much owned by Sony since they decided to be in the video game business. No offense Nintendo fanboys but as a Nintendo fan myself, if you disagree you're just flat out ignorant.

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bluefox755426d ago

The idea that we have to choose between one or the other is the real problem. You CAN have both, and if we're paying $60 for a game, we should expect both.

DanteVFenris666426d ago

60$ mind you isn't even worth 1 hour of some of those artists time. So 60$ is nothing to be bragging about or to expect a lot. Games are dirt cheap compared to production value

slappy508425d ago

@Dante Games are cheap? And maybe you would be OK with $100 movie tickets because their production value is millions of dollars,you corporate shill.

IGiveHugs2NakedWomen426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Of course graphics matter. The presentation is part of the immersion. However, graphics are absolutely worthless if the gameplay mechanics and story are weak, terrible, or nonexistent.

See EVOLVE, Mass Effect Andromeda, Kill Strain, ect, ect, ect.

nitus10426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

It's "etc" not "ect" but nitpicking aside I do agree with you.

One of my pet peeves with modern games occurs when the developer makes the artwork pixellated to give it a so-called "retro look". I personally don't mind old games that unfortunately are pixelated mainly due to the hardware and display systems of the day but this is now 2017 and displays can be 8K (look it up there are monitors of this ilk available now).

Basically, if a developer want's my money then please give me the option of playing the game in at least smoother graphics and for those that like the so-called "retro look" then provide an option to toggle the graphics. Obviously, it should go without saying graphics aside good gameplay is more important.

BTW. It would be interesting to collect statistics on do gamers like the retro look new games compared to hi-resolution (ie. smoothed) graphics assuming gameplay is identical.

TheCommentator426d ago

Gameplay first, always.
Gameplay + graphics is an asthetic bonus.
Graphics - gameplay is totally worthless (unless it's a movie).

That's why I like to go back play older games that have great gameplay (like Resident Evil, Turok, or Freedom Fighters). To prove my point, look at what happened to COD BO2 when it launched on XB1 BC; its player count is about the same now as Battlefield 1's because gameplay matters more than graphics.

JackBNimble426d ago

Well it's 2017 and we have the tech to make great graphics as a standard. If dev's can't do that then maybe they are in the wrong industry.

Rachel_Alucard426d ago


The only reason so many indie devs do the retro look is because they are incapable of making a good 3D game and good 2D sprite work on the level of Metal Slug, so they opt to do this really piss poor 16 pixel character work instead. The only artist I know that is capable of making really good 2D sprites and animations is Paul Robertson who you may know from Scott Pilgrim: The game and Mercenary Kings.

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RufusvonBalsac426d ago

So many dislikes. Mayority on this site don't like to have fun, it seems.

KwietStorm426d ago

Nah they probably just recognize that graphics are just as important in every single game's design as gameplay. It's always the graphics don't matter crowd who doesn't realize what graphic and artistic design actually mean to a game, never mind not realizing that a game having "good" graphics doesn't take away from it being fun to play, not in the least. Way too many people in these topics think that a game is better gameplay-wise just because it doesn't have realistic graphics .

johndoe11211426d ago

I'm just gonna leave this here and I'll have nothing more to say on the matter.


Nightmar3Demom426d ago

I agree. Although I think that I'll add that most gamers probably feel that way too. It's the PR, hype machines, certain areas of the press, etc. that either don't get it or are too lazy to actually play a game.

Coincidentally I've been gaming for 40+ years.

pleasuretokill426d ago

I have also been gaming for a long time. Since 1984, to be exact. I have seen graphics go from literal blocks on a screen to huge, open, beautiful worlds. Boundaries ALWAYS need to be pushed. These are called VIDEO games for a reason. Visuals and immersion are a huge part of quality and the very reason we play the games. Are certain games good without cutting edge graphics? Sure. But, companies that push the boundaries with immersion are what drives this industry forward and are the reason you can play Uncharted 4 or Horizon Zero Dawn or GTA 5 or whatever these days. Gameplay vs. Graphics is a completely STUPID argument. Smart gamers want BOTH and will settle for nothing less for their hard earned money.

VoiceMale426d ago

like u i as well have been pkaying games since the 80's and i am with ur opinion.....the art section of any developing AAA game is where the most money is spent....that tells u a lot...

boomtube1987426d ago

Graphics do matter. Dont like it then dont buy console and AAA games. Stick to non AAA indies which by the way should be banned on consoles

JackBNimble426d ago

Just curious why you think indies should be banned on consoles?

KwietStorm426d ago

Indies should be banned? Please delete your account.

LordJamar426d ago

disagree those games you mention have great graphics and graphic styles it owuld not be the same without them god graphics adds to the game no takes away like he said you ppl are scared to admit it graphic matter


I would argue that gameplay will always be above graphics, the again I would never go near games like minecraft that hurt my eyes just by looking at those ugly models!

rainslacker426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Some of the most fun I have with games is the lego games. not exactly graphics showcases. I enjoy having good graphics as much as the next guy, but realistically, if you're going to invest time in a game, it should be enjoyable. So long as the graphics are good enough for the game itself, I'm fine with it. It's nice when the graphics are good enough that it just makes you stop and take in the eye candy, but when playing most games, we tend to focus in on the task at hand, and play, not look.

Anyhow, graphics don't make a game a game good or bad. Graphics help sell a game to the mass market, because people do like eye candy.

Gantrfaxx426d ago

Agreed, graphics as a priority matters to graphic whores.

Africa4ps4426d ago

"The N64 was graphically superior to the ps2".
What type of hard drugs did you smoke?

KwietStorm426d ago

Saying graphics are a "bonus" completely takes away from their importance in a game that is meant to look and feel realistic and believable. Zelda works because it's Zelda. Horizon works because it's Horizon. Horizon would not be Horizon if it didn't look how it does. It's not a bonus, it's an entire part of the whole, just like gameplay, sound design, controls, and so forth. People who have said graphics don't matter for all these years are very nearsighted.

hiredhelp426d ago

33 years gaming here 1985 I say visuals are as important for obvious reasons.

Gaz_KnightofNylrac426d ago

There's not much I can add to your excellent statement, because while of course visuals are important in a visual medium like video games, focusing only on visuals will not keep you timeless compared to gameplay.

I'm merely here voicing support for what should be common sense despite those insane disagrees. Preferring solid gameplay over graphics doesn't mean someone doesn't care about graphics. C'mon guys, it should be simple logic: amazing graphics doesn't excuse bad gameplay, while at the same time wanting a good-playing game doesn't mean someone only wants 8-Bit graphics.

fr0sty426d ago

Once in a while a game like Horizon comes along that nails every element just right... those are the classics.

ShwaaMan426d ago

Why did so many people downvote you? What's to disagree with? They don't like good gameplay, are they dim/slow/babies? Anyone who downvoted Apocalypse Shadow's comment downvote me too. Because Fuck You that's why.

ShwaaMan426d ago


Don't you mean Zelda 43?

Dan_scruggs425d ago

When Call of Duty is a 30 year old franchise how many do you think there will be?

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Sonyslave3427d ago

lol for the beginning of this gen I always hear people say Graphics and Frames per second was the only thing that matter, why change the tone now.

Apocalypse Shadow426d ago

Because it doesn't matter. Good games with good gameplay matter.

426d ago
candystop426d ago

Graphics effect gameplay but gameplay doesn't effect graphics. Realistic games immerse you and make the gameplay feel better and realistic as well. They'reequally needed.

andrewsquall426d ago

@candystop Nail on the head. The animations of Horizon Zero Dawn, i.e graphics, are what makes the gameplay so incredible and flow so smoothly.

@Sonyslave3 That's hilarious because after the meh looking games at the start of this gen like Battlefield 4 at 720p, Dead Rising 3 at 720p 22fps and linear QTE game Ryse at 900p, it was DEFINITELY all about the "gameplay" back then.

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ThatGuyDart426d ago

Only people I honestly hear that from the most are PC gamers. That's the literal reason they build PC's is because of graphics. Anyone buying a console did not do so because they thought graphics made or broke their experience.

specialguest426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

You gotta be kidding lol! The main group of people are Sony fanboys. They were the ones bashing the Switch for its subpar graphics and tech, and still continue to. Just read the comments on any Switch article. They were also the ones bashing the XB1 for below 1080p graphics.

We PC gamers know we are at the pinnacle of graphics powerhouse, so there's hardly a need to get involved.

Rude-ro426d ago

Are these people the ones that were playing award winning games?
Are these people the ones that was charged less for more power?

"Graphics matter"... logs into h1z1.
The fankid wars is the only thing caught up in the argument.

Legion21426d ago

Graphics and more so framerate can contribute to good gameplay. Having a poor framerate can definitely detract from an experience

Eonjay426d ago

No you didn't because Xbox never had neither.

vega275426d ago

@ sonyslave

It changed because the narritive changed with one group. Why you think you don't see "RESOLUTIONGATE" articles anymore. Cause now its about games.

LordJamar426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

2 words

sony ponys

also moveing the goal post


The only thing that matters? who ever said that? what matter is the games, if they have great graphics then its better, but I feel sorry for x bots because they have no great exclusives not because they have an underpowered system.

lolosgolos426d ago

You are on to something here Lol

darthv72426d ago

Frames rate, yes. Graphics, not as much as people think.

JasonKCK426d ago

Go back before the Scorpio announcement on this site and read all the PS fan comments about how graphics were important, how 1080p made you a better gamer. 99% of all those saying it's 'not important' sang a different tune then. In those same articles you see Xbox gamers talking mostly about framerate, and PS gamers res and graphics.

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Apocalypse Shadow426d ago

So, games like way of the warrior on 3DO
China warrior on TurboGrafx
And rise of the robots on PC

Were better than kung fu,mortal kombat and street fighter 2 because of their amazing graphics? Lol! Okay.

Lynx0207426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Of course they do. On 3DO graphics were extremely important, too. I remember that graphics mattered even in the first Prince of Persia or Shadow of the Beast (I was playing it on C64 and in 1990 we all were talking about how good the game was looking). Keep in mind that great graphics doesn't mean photorealistic, just check how much great graphics do for games like Persona, Zelda or Darkest Dungeon.
Of course gameplay is important, but VIDEO games are all about doing a perfect mix of graphics, sound and gameplay.

Derceto426d ago

In what reality does "Graphics always matter" translate into "These games were all better than kung fu,mortal kombat and street fighter 2" ?

You may want to seek help. Your comprehension skills are frighteningly warped.

PhoenixUp426d ago

Way to take a comment and twist it to fit your agenda.

I said graphics matter, not that they will always make one title better than the other.

Apocalypse Shadow426d ago (Edited 426d ago )

Graphics help convey what the artists want to display and help create that world they built. But it's not the be all and end all of games.

I'll take an average looking game with awesome gameplay over a shallow game with great graphics.

PhoenixUp426d ago

I didn't say graphics were the end all be all, I said that they'll always matter.

Way to continue taking such a simple statement and twisting it to fit your agenda.