I wrote this little response, including my recent thoughts on Baldur's Gate as a result of my current play-through:
With the upcoming release of Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition getting my nostalgia going, I started playing through my original copy of the game recently for the first time since the late 90's. Despite the pixelated graphics, horrific journal system, maddening pathfinding, and (in my view) primitive 2e DnD rules, it holds up remarkably well. It's hard to put my finger on why. Most of the quests so far are of the "fetch" or "clear out the basement/dungeon/encampment" variety. But they're all done well, with nice twists that make them memorable. The ogre with a belt fetish was a memorable favorite. And the sheer sense of adventure is still unmatched. There are so few games that allow you to explore an entire region like this, clearing out map after map that often have no other reason to exist aside from adding to the richness of the world (e.g. the Xvart village).
Bioware really was amazing. Between the Infinity Engine games and Neverwinter Nights, they've given me more hours of fun and entertainment than any other company...and it's really not even close.