"Is it wrong, one wonders, to covet someone for their toned abs more so than their mental acuity? Some moralistic person will likely tell you so; the same way holier-than-thou gamers have historically chastened any who would openly show interest in a game, thanks only to its polygonal beauty." Tim Stevens explains why graphics matter.
I definitely agree with this article. Graphics, like it or not, are a big part of what makes a game successful, marketable, and (in some cases) good.
Graphics are a vital part of gaming. While not as important as gameplay, how the gameplay is illustrated onscreen can make an experience that much more worthwhile. We've come a long way from text adventures, and for that we should be glad - because of the amazing graphics games now have, the public is finally taking notice.
Yeah I hate when people don't take this into consideration, everyone always has to try and sound smart by saying "you need gameplay not graphics" - well no shit sherlock, but we need graphics more than you think.
Heck a comparison of Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando Rearmed can really show you what a new coat of paint can do. Now, you still get new weapons and the ability to throw people and such, but I'm just trying to use an example of "before and after".