Honestly, I would've picked VII, but he had already played it, and it wouldn't be the easiest RPG to get into anyway (If you hadn't imported data from the previous game, you're left to fend for yourself with a level one party in a world full of of monsters ready to tear your shit up). But Wizardry 8, as blasphemous as it may sound, it something I'd probably rather play then VII anyway.
Wizardry 8 is a direct continuation of VII-- depending on the ending you got in that, your game gets a different into, and you start in a different location on the world map. There's also a starting location if you're just starting a new game, which honestly is something 99% of people probably had to do, because I think it only lets you import data from the Windows version of Wiz VII, which wasn't all that common.
Wizardry 8, like the rest of the trilogy, is pretty long. I've never actually beat the whole thing without resorting to cheating, to be honest. The difficulty is frustratingly uneven for big chunks of the game-- you can be walking down a forest road totally raping everything in sight, until the game spawns a party of Pit Demons twice your party's level. Certain maps definitely seem more guilty of this then others, and the swamp that spawns shit that delevels your party permanently was a test of how many times I could quickload an RPG.
All in all, Wizardry 8 is a great game if you're ever nostalgic for old dungeon crawling RPGS, or if you like a game with a pretty robust set of character creation. It's definitely not perfect-- sometimes it can be a little frustrating to know what to do next, especially if you hadn't imported data from VII. Also, without a manual, some commands aren't the most intuitive. However, it's still one of my favorite RPGs of all time, it's totally worth picking up if you ever find a copy. However, actually scoring a decent copy is pretty rough-- I'm still playing a burned copy (My ex wouldn't let me keep his copy, the bastard) because I can't see myself spending 40 bucks on a disc only copy of a game.