Homeworld - Story trumps Gameplay
I'm sure that it's written elsewhere how Homeworld functions as a quality strategy game. I've decided to let those who genuinely appreciate the game for that reason do the talking on that subject; for my part, I don't think the RTS aspects of the game have too much to do with the grand level of entertainment that Homeworld delivers. First and foremost, the Homeworld experience is a powerful story. All other facets the game, high quality as they may be, are simply peripheral.
You can tell a good game by the way it actually makes you *feel* the emotions it tries to produce... It's incredible how rare it is for a game to do that. Actually the player is limited in this case to feeling two emotions: awe and fear, but oh, how well they are done. Awe takes you when the mothership undocks, when it jumps into the nebula, when it approaches the ghost ship... Fear hits you like a ton of bricks every course, from the absolutely glorious "OH S***" factor that strikes you in level two, all the way throughout the game.
Homeworld does this better than most games on the market, past and present. It's nailed that perfect blend of mysticism and romantic destiny hunting. Either element can ruin a game if overdone (...Homeworld 2), and here the absolute maximum has been achieved without making the game contrived. Homeworld is a new age videogame epic poem. Think The Odyssey, but in space and with giant spaceships instead of islands. Also, Odysseus is a girl and he's cybernetically bonded himself into a kilometer-long electronic space banana.
There are control flaws (these have been dealt with in Cataclysm and HW2), there are glitches, there are poorly designed ships, and resourcing is about the most painful experience you'll find in any game. Keep this in mind when you make the purchase: This game is difficult, and not very balanced, and graphically it can't stand up to the newer games. Also keep this in mind - that's all immaterial. What matters is the emotional titillation you get while playing, and believe me, Homeworld delivers like a clunky, but truly gorgeous epic space sonnet.