Play for the story
The game is great for the story. The story is told through the game is very entertaining and has enough in it to keep it interesting. The original game of course can not be compared to the new ones of today (2008), but it is great in terms of gameplay and units and overall creativity shown in it.
Upgrades that are reflected in the game in units is a very nice touch for an early game such as this. The overall music and the sounds are also nicely done. Commenting on graphics is useless as one could not compare, however as I said the sound part of the game could be comparable to the modern games.
The game manual is also a well done piece of work. It tells the interesting story from both sides and has good descriptions of the units and buildings. Too bad the upgrades for the units are not described here.
The intro and end animation sequences are also interesting in terms of design. However, I can not comment on graphics.
Also the amount of units and buildings and resource development for the game of such age is worth admiration and the struggle it take to play the game through despite the modern RTS that are available.
There are of course the negative parts to any game. The first is cumbersome user interface that is present in the game. The movement of units overall is hard and the game proceeds to slow. This of course could be the observations of the person who is used to modern RTS games.
Another problem is computer AI. It does throw an interesting move on you once a in a while but it ends at that. After a while it is possible to counteract the computer and I found that there a one strategy that works for all maps (except where it is limited force) in both campaigns . This is of course a let down of the game. However, back than nobody could boast about a really smart AI. For this reason a lot of complaints might not be applicable to the game since they come from a person used to modern RTS.
The Bottom Line
If you are a WarCraft fan and want to play the whole story you should play both campaigns of this game. If you are able to play this game continuously after that in skirmish mode and etc. Well you are a hero and I will shake your hand. Myself, I was never able to bring myself to replay the game, yet due to the interface issue, slowness and dull AI.
If you are however coming to see what WarCraft is all about well then I would suggest starting with the second one or even the third one and working the way back.