I love third ed Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Still do to this very day. It's great strengths, to me, have always been the magic system (before they brought out all that colour of magic rubbish) and the ability to create any darn army you like, armed how you like, allied to the hell you like.. How is this possible? Because, while recent additions of the game provide an Army list where the points for each figure is already worked out for you (to which you can add options), in WFB 3rd, you are given the mechanism's needed to create each unit itself. You know how much the model costs with just a hand weapon, you know much extra equipment costs to buy and you know how much it costs to improve his profile in a certain way. You want to field the Army of an evil human wizard complete with Orc, Goblin, Undead and Demonic servants all in the one Army? With WFB 3rd ed you can do it. You want pikemen in your Empire army. Go for it. The rules are all there.
For an example about versatility: My current WFB 3rd ed Army uses War of
the Roses figures from Perry Miniatures. It's designed to represent the
combined forces of Daradja and the Middle Kingdoms from the Artesia
comic books, with the addition of a smaller mercenary contingent based
on the Lion Azure company from Mary Gentle's Ash.
general is Artesia herself, a level 25 wizard who wears heavy armour and
is accompanied into battle by four bound ghosts and three good-aligned
lesser demons. She carries a magical sword and wears Dragonscale armour.
She's also one of the good guys, yet that combination of races (yet
alone alignments) would be completely illegal and impossible to
recreate/ in a later edition of Warhammer.]
It says a lot that, even now, twenty years on, there are gamers out there younger than the rules themselves who still prefer to play third ed. And not just for games in the Warhammer Old World either. I've seen these rules for Glen Cook's Black Company, Lord of the Rings, Sword of Shannara and just about every other fantasy series you can think of.
But don't take my word for it. Here's my (adopted) WFB 3rd ed Manifesto -as written by Zhu Bajiee if the most excellent blog, The Realm of Bajiee . Go check out his blog to read up on the Oldhammer Contract, essentially a WFB 3rd ed Primer in the vein of the Old School Primer, and lots more incredible stuff.