Amazing. The only way to describe this series. Incredible and original storyline which new games just don't come close to matching in terms of quality.
Don't buy these games if you are looking for intricate fighting detail. The graphics of moving characters (particularly for BG1) are rather poor. That said, it doesn't matter once you get into the game. You get so immersed into the complex storyline that the graphics fall into nothingness. It's very easy to lose 4 or 5 hours of your day playing BG because you just don't realise so much time is going by and because you just really want to carry on playing to find out "what happens next."
BG2 was an enormous improvement on BG1, both graphically and in terms of game playability. Characters actually have "real" personalities which you have to deal with. Throughout the whole series you choose if you want to be good or evil. You can import your character from BG1 into BG2 to improve the continuity of your game or you can simply create a brand new character from scratch.
As a rough estimate, the first time you play BG1, expect to take anything from 50 - 200 hours to complete, depending on whether you do all the side quests or not and on how fast YOU want to play the game. For BG2, I'd say perhaps 200 - 300 hours + about 30 - 35 for the expansion pack.
Despite the fact that the games are so long, they are still very replayable. For instance, you may complete the game as a good fighter, but then start again as an evil mage. Whilst the main plot will essentially be the same, all side quests will be affected by this difference. Playing as different character classes in BG2 also enables one to try out all the strongholds in the game. Play as priest and become part of a temple for example. Play as a thief and join the local thieves' guild.
At the price of £9.99 this is an absolute bargain. These are classic games which set standards for all RPGs to come after them. The general consensus is that the BG series was and still is the best set of RPGs to ever be made. If you are a fan of the RPG genre then you should play these games just to understand how the rest of the RPG world works. To this day new RPGs take influence from Baldur's Gate 1 + 2. This is quite spectacular given that BG1 will celebrate its 10th birthday next year. In the world of PC gaming this is half an eternity.
It is worth considering that if you wish to play these games on very modern equipment (XP home or pro/Vista) some bugs may interfere with gameplay. The patches available from the Bioware website sort 99% of these out, so it is worth getting them. It may be possible that these DVD-rom editions come with the patches already on them.
If you encounter difficulty in the games (and it is likely you will) do not hesitate to perhaps either ask friends who have already played them or even consult the online fan-made guides which you can find by simply using any good search engine. There are fans who have written better FREE walkthroughs than the official ones (now out of print). They will offer invaluable advice on how to get past a particular battle or puzzle.
So, if you are looking for games which combine adventure, a great storyline and puzzle solving then these are the games for you. If you are looking for something nearer the world of Hack-n-Slash then don't waste your time here. Although it is possible to try and kill everything you meet, it somewhat destroys the point of the game.
With you lies the decision and if you do buy them...Good luck!!!