Updated January 21, 2020: New entries added
Graphics don't matter - only gameplay counts. You've probably heard people saying worlds to that effect before.
It's a load of rubbish, of course. Video gaming is an inherently visual medium (except in a handful of very rare audio-only games) that relies on your interaction with collections of sprites and polygons.
That's not to say that the relationship between graphics and fun is directly proportional, of course. There are plenty of great-looking games that play awfully, and lots of games that look terrible but are an absolute hoot to play.
But to discount the visual side of the equation altogether would be foolish. Great graphics can greatly enhance your experience, immersing you more fully in the world and the mood the developer is trying to create.
That said, it's pretty much impossible to pin down what 'good graphics' are, because the concept varies so widely from game to game. The following list of the best looking iPhone and iPad games reflects that.
Some of our selections pursue a photorealistic path, seeking to render familiar objects as faithfully as possible. Others take a more abstract approach, bearing closer resemblance to something you might find in a modern art gallery than any real life object.
Whatever the case, all of our picks are joined by a couple of common factors: they all serve their respective game worlds to brilliant effect, and they all make our eyes happy.
Much of this is subjective, of course, just like art. So do let us know about your own personal picks in the comments section below.