Does/Should Graphics or Gameplay matter heavily in a video game?


I recently played through a game that did not have great graphics and its Gameplay was clunky. When I tried to get my friend to play it, he did not get past the character creation screen before he quit due to ‘bad graphics’. In my opinion graphics should not matter, nor Gameplay, unless it breaks the game. In my opinion the only thing that should matter is the story. If the story is good enough it drives me to complete a game, even if it has.many faults. Something like outdated graphics or clunky Gameplay should not stop someone from enjoying the story that the writer is trying to convey through the medium that is video games. Then again everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I respect them, although I don’t agree with all of them.


Most of my favorite games are rather lacking in the graphical department. =)

I don’t think graphics should be what makes a game great at all. It’s a nice bonus to have something that looks awesome, but if it’s not fun or interesting, what’s the point of playing?

Honestly, I think commercial video games are getting worse about sacrificing storyline and game play for visual quality. The movie industry seems to be doing the same thing and just throwing special effects in your face, hoping you won’t notice that that’s all their production budget went into.

Marketing-formula-generated-nonsense is not my idea of a good game.


@CS_Closet Could not agree with you more. I know often find myself buying older games that are technically way outdated because their stories are far more intriguing than “here’s a gun, go and kill stuff.” Not that I am bashing on modern shooters, I loved the action packed levels in MW2’s single player, but after a while, it gets repetitive and old, especially when multiplayer is more of a concern than the single player. I feel that multiplayer shouldn’t be tacked-on, but also should not be a top priority, unless it is based solely around that. An example of this I’d say would be Assassins Creed take on multiplayer.


I quite agree with you, I also find that clunky controls can often work for a horror game, due to their ability to make the player feel helpless.

One example I find uses the medium superbly is the game Pathologic. The controls are clunky, the graphics outdated even at its release, and the English translation is horrible, but it uses these things to its advantage to create what I found to be one of the most emotionally ravaging experiences in videogames. Although it could just be due to the fact that I’m in the “art does not have to incite happiness” camp.


@13ventrm The Resident Evil games also used clunky controls to their advantage, which added to the survival horror aspect of them. I also don’t mind the mindset that not all has to end with a happy ending. If it does good, but I don’t want games to gloss over stuff or go an overly complicated way just to have the protagonist live a happy life. SPOILERS: Take, for example, the end of Saints Row. At the end, the saints rule the city and everyones happy for the time being, but then comes a power hungry mayor who will do anything to get what he wants, and the game ends with an explosion which both the player and the mayor are caught in. It is not a happy ending, but it shows the cruel reality and the dark side that many humans have and what they are willing to do to get what they want.


I’m not really talking about just a happy ending as I am happy experience, I can understand why people say that videogames should be fun, but I’m of the opinion that like any other medium, something you gain no enjoyment from is still just as valid a form of art as any other, and can be quite effective. Sort of like the movie Schindler’s List, there’s no denying it’s an effective work of art, but most are not going to get a sense of enjoyment out of it.


The game “Catherine” does a pretty good job of being unenjoyable (for me at least). It’s an interesting game, but the controls make me want to throw my controller at my TV. The game will actually further screw with you by reversing the controls from time to time. It has to be one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever played, and I hate it, but I’ll still play it. Go figure. =/


The only times I have had a major complaints about a game is because of the obsessive spamming of grenades by the enemies, especially on higher difficulties. Also when you start the game and there is no tutorial or when entering a context sensitive sequence and not being told what the button is.(The first is mostly COD games, but also Mass Effect 3.) Never had much problems with controls as most of the time it only took pausing the screen and then looking at the controls, and in the rare cases that dint work I used trial and error.


@CS_Closet The thing is that games like Catherine aren’t intended to be fun in the modern concepts of huge explosions and feeling like a god, but instead in that satisfaction of just completing the damn thing. Nintendo hard games are good and fun in that they force you to work for your victory.

@QondasDyablo As for the whole Graphics vs Gameplay, I think most people are going to say Gameplay, obviously, but then how often do you buy games for Graphics? It’s difficult recognizing those gems that actually have good gameplay, let alone those that appeal to everyone. As for story, well you’re not going to get an impartial answer here. Most of us are, of course, going to be heavily invested in the stories of games, and that’s natural consider what these forums are for.

For me personally? I’ve always been an armchair strategist. Loved chess even before I was a gamer. I still play X-Com (although I actually prefer the rather panned third installment, Apocalypse) and Jagged Alliance 2. I play Paradox games on and off all time time. The thing about stories in games, for me at least, is that, if they aren’t interactive, I can’t really enjoy them. Loved Planescape: Torment for that. I like Dragon Age Origins for that feeling too.


That was the ending of saints row because us law states that any media based around crime cannot end well for the criminal


I’m not going to lie, what’s the point? Yes, I like good graphics, who doesn’t, really?
However, I do believe many games today take the idea a little too far. Good graphics are great, fantastic, but not at the expense of gameplay or story.

I DO NOT agree that I’d play a game just for the story, I like my stories, but if I wanted only a story, I’d read a good book. A game has to have good gameplay - that only seems logical to me.

Gameplay > Story > Graphics

I also don’t see the big deal with people hating on multiplayer, I for one think multiplayer is the future of gaming, you can socialize (like a human being!) and it adds YEARS of life to the game, single-player scripted events can only be entertaining so many times, whereas other humans may never cease to surprise :slight_smile:


I agree 100% with what CJW said. Good graphics are nice, but gameplay rules as far as games go. I’ve recently downloaded a lot of old Amiga games including Sensible World of Soccer as to this day, despite the improvement in graphics, I haven’t ever seen a better football game!

I believe I’m one of the first generation of computer kids - my dad bought a Dragon 32k computer (google it) back in 1983 when I was four and I’ve never looked back since. Despite the improvement in graphics year by year, modern games just don’t grab me with the intensity that those old games could.



I’d put story + gameplay together

If I like a story but can’t play a game I don’t enjoy it but likewise if I can play a game but the story is boring.

I think it depends on the genre. But remember when the old games were out they had ‘great graphics’

1983… I was born that year makes me feel old lol


Story needs a huge chunk, about the same as gameplay. Sound/music and graphics, not so much.
But it seems that The Last of Us has all of it. DARN YOU, NAUGHTY DOG!!!


@Reapora I was not trying to set up a comparison between the two, I was just wondering: should they matter heavily enough that they will make you completely avoid the game? By the way, I also love X-com and Dragon Age: Origins, they are great games both in story and gameplay.

@CJW I was not hating on multiplayer, I was simply saying that I don’t want it to be the main priority in a game that will also have single player. Although it has to have some attention, so it does not end up feeling tacked on.

@andymwhy My first game was Metal Slug for the arcade cabinet.

@Shintaro Ahh Naughty Dog, such a great game dev team. I personally love their Jak and Daxter series.


As Someone who wouldnt enjoy a game like that, I will say that the reason people (including my self) don’t play those games is because we don’t really pay much attention to the storyline, usually people just look at the game and how to play and go on and play it if it looks good.


i like how true crime does the ending on how well you played


Graphics dont matter in my opinion gameplay does but not as much as the story


I feel graphics and gamplay are important not as important as the story but the gameplay helps the story along while creating a way to take you into the story so you feel as the character would graphics are last and least but help flush out the story to make it feel real instead of just another pixel rehash making a game is art if you put to much into story it’s just that might as well call it a book to much graphic means it’s just a movie to much focus on gameplay leaves little story to base it on leaving ppl to roam thinking what to do next


I think all three things(story, graphics and gameplay) are important. For me, I won’t play a game with bad graphics unless I’ve been assured of good gameplay and story. But vice versa, I won’t play a game that has great graphics if it’s lacking in gameplay or story.

I’ll agree that out of the three, graphics is the least important, but I think
gameplay = story as far as a good game goes. I think for a game to be ‘good’ it needs to have both a decent story and decent gameplay, relative to the genre of the game.