Due to high computational load of ideal realization of fractional order elements, fractional order transfer functions are commonly implemented via integer-order, limited-band approximate models. An important side effect of such a non-ideal fractional order controller function realization for control applications is that the approximate fractional order models may deteriorate practical performance of optimal control tuning methods. Two major concerns come out for approximate realization in fractional-order control. These are stability preservation and model response matching properties. This study revisits four fundamental fractional order approximation methods, which are Oustaloup's method, CFE method, Matsuda's method and SBL fitting method, and considers stability preservation, time and frequency response matching performances. The study firstly presents a detailed review of Oustaloup's method, CFE method, Matsuda's method. Then, a modified version of SBL fitting method is presented. The stability preservation properties of approximation methods are investigated according to critical root placements of corresponding approximation method. Stability issue is highly significant for control applications. For this reason, a detailed analysis and comparision of stability preservation properties of these four approximation methods are investigated. Moreover, approximate implementations of an optimally tuned FOPID controller function are performed according to these four methods and compared for closed loop control of a large time delay system. Findings of this study indicate a fact that approximate models can considerably influence practical performance of optimally tuned FOPID control systems and ignorance of limitations of approximation methods in optimal tuning solutions can significantly affect real world performances. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.