I don't know if it's the best looking game on the system, in my opinion that title still belongs to Breath of the Wild, but it's close enough. It manages to look reasonably detailed while still maintaining a crisp image, it looks very sharp on docked mode. There are games that surely manage higher polygon counts (I think), like the DOOM games and Wolfenstein II, but look bad because they're blurry as hell.
We'd also have to disagree on BotW lol... Mind you, I gave the game a 9.5/10 also, but that game is one of THE defining "artstyle to mask graphical shortcomings" games on the Switch. Put it side-by-side with MHRise and the difference in level of detail becomes super obvious. Even though MHRise's textures are blurry up-close, they're often near non-existent in BotW. BotW is beautiful because of its aesthetic and superior artistic design, but graphically speaking, it just has better grass... xD
And yea, you already said it: those games that pushed harder had such a blurry appearance that, and I might sound repetitive now, they were obviously parred back very hard to get it to run. That's why I will die on this hill that MHRise is the best looking game on the Switch, even if people prefer the artistic design or artstyles presented by other games, or that other games contain certain superior rendering pipelines.
You didn't ask, so this is more for curl, but the game I think comes the next closest is Astral Chain. But even Astral Chain uses artstyle techniques and has major shortcomings in both resolution and open area detail in an effort to support its graphical targets. MHRise is the first game where I don't see obvious "we dialed this wayyy the hell back to make this work" details. The Witcher 3 looks terribad on the Switch, and I was MORE shocked when I saw Nintendo fans saying how good it looks for being on the Switch. I... I just couldn't... lol
I do plan on getting an Xbox Series X if games like Halo Infinite and Hellblade II turn out to be good, but for the moment I have too much to play on Switch still to need another system. And I know what better graphics than Switch look like, I've seen plenty of PS4/5/PC etc games both online and in person, even played some at friend's places and such.
The main thing that looks "rough" in MHR to me is some of the low polygon environments, where rocks or the general landscape has obvious angular corners. I realize its a necessary sacrifice for a game to be both this open and this nice looking on a 2017 mobile device, it just makes the game look less polished than some others to me.
I mean, unless you specifically say you've seen PS5 Demon's Souls in cinematic mode on a 4K HDR TV... ... ;P Though DS does lack ray-tracing, some scenes looked downright CG, it was absolutely bonkers!
Well, we agree that close inspection in MHRise definitely doesn't stand up, but as I said above: I'll die on this hill. I've played just about every exclusive on the Switch, and each game has obvious "methods" used to accommodate the Switch even if they use graphically superior rendering (aka TLoZ:Link's Awakening as mentioned earlier). MHRise instead looks built from the ground up for the system (despite it running on RE Engine) in which "we pushed the Switch, and we didn't miss a beat".