Updated: June 23, 2021 - New entries added

Looks aren't everything, goes the platitude. When it comes to video games, there's a certain type of purist who will go even further and claim that looks mean nothing - gameplay is everything.

It's as if a core part of this inherently visual medium is mere surface fluff, only useful for enticing casuals and half-wits. Rubbish, we say.

A game's graphics are how it invites you into its world, tells you a story, and sells its gameplay mechanics. It is true, however, that those graphics don't have to be opulent. The appropriate effects can be achieved with a handful of pixels.

Which raises the next question: what are 'good graphics'? It's not something we can answer in a brief intro, but hopefully the following list will go some way to explaining.

The best looking games on iPhone and iPad are a varied bunch. We've got epic 3D adventures, hand-drawn oddities, abstract puzzlers, and loads more besides. All they share in common is that when we play them our eyes feel as happy as our thumbs.

Have we missed any other gorgeous gaming specimens? Let us know in the comments section below.

Original list by Jon Mundy, updated by Cristina Mesesan