Most of the gamers I know say that graphics don’t influence at all while they play. They say it’s all about skill and imagination, that “graphics just enhance the experience a bit”. I’m pretty sure that in the videogaming industry, there are 2 different sections (at least) that separate the graphics work from programming but in the end they are still part of the same team, so is gameplay actually a consecuence of graphics?
Weak or unpolished graphics can distract from the gameplay in many cases. Likewise, attention to detail in the graphics can improve gameplay by drawing the player in and offering more variety in how elements are displayed. Compare shooting at red blobs with a frowny face to shooting at a noticeably frightening monster.
A game can look very pretty, but if i try to walk forward and get stuck on an invisable skybox or the camrea focuses on a wall, no matter how pretty that wall is i will get pretty fed up pretty quickly if the contoles don't work. This is an example of poor gameplay, theres many others but if i want to look at somthing pretty i watch a film. If i want to play PC games i want to feel in control, and i want it to do what i want to do, not what the designer wants me to see.
Note: Before reading below, please note that I'm no longer a Console Gamer. These are opinions based on my previous experiences with games on different platforms.
Keep that in mind before an attempt to flame.
I'd play Goldeneye 007 or Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 over Halo3 on XBox 360 (or any Halo) because the gameplay in Goldeneye/Perfect Dark is much better (and sometimes "better" means simpler), though this is a hard point to prove without being seemingly biased towards a console.
I also prefer Smash Brothers (regular) over Smash Brothers melee (which has better graphics), which also has crappy controls IMO and the creators went overboard with the implementation of playable characters (major redundancy... why do you need Dr. Mario, AND Mario for example?).
One major comparison, that I know I will most likely end up getting majorly flamed, is FF7 over FF8 (or FF7 compared to all other supposedly better FF's due to graphics).
FF7 is far, far more superior than most FF's after it due to its gameplay, storyline and music.
Why would I want to play FF8 with every hero from the same orphanage, craptacular music and with the potential of leveling to 99 by killing monsters in the same exact area over and over at the near-beginning of the game?
FF8 did yield better graphics, but look at the cost. Crappy gameplay was definitely one of the major costs.
Why do I want to play FF9 as some hero that turns pink during "trance" vs FF7's comprehensible Limit Breaks per hero where an action is performed without "the graphical enhancement" of the actual character?
Another good example is FFT vs many other FF's after it. Though the graphics were VERY simple, the gameplay was phenomenal and allowed you to expand your team with different responsibilities throughout the game. The storyline needed work, but I'd play this game over many of the FF's that are out now.
The list goes on...
The best video game is the playlist I have playing right now. Rachmaninov Op. 1, 18, 30, 40, and 43. The storyline can't be beat!
I think that gameplay is the most important thing for a game. In fact, graphics can help to improve game immersion but if I remind FF7 and FF 8 they were not great graphics games but the gameplay is one of the best.
For an other example, I played to flatout 2 and flatout 3 ( a game like destruction derby ) and I thought flatout 2 is the better game.
In fact, adding some details is interesting but adding too much details id disturbing and even more : I don't like it !
As per my experience gameplay is one of the best. Last week I played flatout 2 I felt good.
I'll have to agree with what pretty much everyone else is saying. I much prefer the gameplay to graphics. Fighting a red blob with a smily-face? Sounds like PacMan. Who hates that game? Most of us have spent hours playing that. Yes, graphics can enhance a game, but they aren't going to make a crappy game good simply because it's beautiful. Castlevania:SOTN is one of my favorite games ever. It doesn't look all that great. The dialog stinks for the most part. The game play is awesome. Compare that to Castlevania:Curse of Darkness, which was pretty good looking, but total balls when it came to the rest of the game.
There's my bit.
my two cents...
gameplay is the most important thing about a game. graphics may be cool but they won't make a game good on their own, but i don't think that better graphics could ever hurt a game.