My favorite thing about Magic is that it is a game with literally thousands of pieces, all capable of interacting with each other in amazing and surprising ways; this fact allows a player to truly "play their personality" like no other game does. Magic does an incredible job of evoking its theme—wizards duelling with magic spells—by having you first craft a library of spells (your deck) and then "remembering" them (drawing cards during a game). There is a big HOWEVER, however: the game is best when played in a controlled environment where all players have access to the same number of cards, e.g., limiting card purchases to a predetermined number of decks and boosters. Magic breaks down horribly when the arms race spirals out of control and then the rich kid wins. The very assets that make the game like no other are also the problems that plague and break it... And yet I've played it constantly since 1994, and will continue to do so.
PS. This is the only Collectible Card Game that actually makes sense as a CCG, that is, the mechanical act of drawing and playing cards is akin to flipping through the pages of a spellbook.
PPS. The hands-down best way to play if you don't want to get into the collecting aspect is to buy a couple of pre-constructed decks.
A great classic game I used to play. The rules are simple, easy, and intuitive and the game is very deep, but it was too expensive to keep up with other players. If you and your opponent are on the same level though, it's a blast.
I want to try a Winston draft with someone; could be a cheap way to get back into the game.