This is not true at all. Have you played the game recently?
You did in fact read that I said "from a modern graphics perspective", right? I play the hell out of that game on an emulator all the time! I even have some third-party graphics upgrades for the game (de-interlacing does wonders) but if you think that it's not garbage from a graphics perspective, compare it to Far Cry 6 or Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.
It was the GOAT when it was newer and I played the hell out of it.
Yes, when it was newer, it was amazing (It was never the GOAT to me though) and I do still play it. I specifically love doing the Facility and Bunker 2 levels using only mines. My favourite level overall though, is Caverns.
In 2004 I deployed to Iraq and with nothing to do someone had sent over a big screen tv, N64 and Goldeneye. I was so stoked and there were plenty of people to play.
I had already been playing CS, CoD and MoH a lot before deploying. When we fired up Goldeneye, the magic of that game---in 2004---was completely gone. It was not even fun to play anymore. We played for a few days before we found pirated copies of CoD and MoH on a shared drive then our entire squadron was addicted to those games like crack. No one played Goldeneye after the first few days of trying to enjoy it again.
So game play is always the most important thing, but making things look even more realistic also adds a lot to the game. Goldeneye has been fully surpassed over 20 years ago by other games in both game play and graphics.
I just hate it when people like to justify their low tier hardware purchases because they think they are more pure because somehow if a game has great graphics then it means it came at the cost of game play. That is completely false.
You're preaching to the choir here in a lot of respects because my friends and I used to be up all night in multiplayer mode. However, you're never going to convince me that it's even remotely close to modern
(that means TODAY'S) graphics. It is garbage compared to it and you know that's true so try being objective. I've been PC gaming since 1986 and the games that I think are the greatest of all-time are Starflight and Starflight II - Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula. Both of those games are from the 80s and their graphics are garbage compared to N64. It doesn't mean that I don't love them to death, I just am able to immerse myself in games that aren't graphical masterpieces.