Yes, airsoft is cool and if you are even considering playing then I'm sure you would love it. You get to use realistic looking weapons and the mil-sim (military simulation) situations are fun. But in order to join an airsoft game, or just twiddle around in your backyard, you need something: a gun.
That brings up the question, what is the best airsoft gun for a beginner? Well, there is no definitive answer since everyone is different. But I will try to give some pointers and ideas for choosing a gun, and then I will give some personal recommendations that will work for most people.
First of all you need to set a budget. Airsoft guns range from $5 all the way to $500, so choose wisely. But keep in mind that cheap guns will not work as well and may break very quickly. Try to get the best you can afford.
Secondly, think of your playing style. If you think you would be more interested in long range airsoft fights, get a sniper rifle or an automatic electric gun (AEG) with good range. If you are more of a gung-ho person, then get a good AEG that is more suitable for close quarters combat.
Speed is another factor. There are three types of airsoft guns: spring powered, gas powered, and electric. Spring guns are nice but must be cocked before each shot so they are too slow to be effective at close range against gas and electric guns which can be fired on full-auto.
There are tons of weapons available so take a look around, but here are some of my personal thoughts. For a sidearm I would recommend either the UTG M3 shotgun ($40) or the UHC 1911 handgun ($20). They are both reliable weapons and are both spring powered and cheap.
For a main weapon I would recommend a Jing Gong G36C or M4. These are excellent weapons that have many metal parts and can be upgraded and have accessories. They are electric rifles, so they can fire fast and hard and work great in any situation. They have hi-capacity magazines that store around 300 BB's so you won't worry much about ammo. They are also only around $120, which may sound like a lot for some....but these are great weapons that you won't need to worry about replacing for better guns later on.
I personally think these are some of the best airsoft guns available for the price. Even more experienced players I know with $300 guns still use the G36c regularly since it is so reliable. But personal choice will affect your decision more than anything when you buy your first airsoft guns.
I personally enjoy "pistols only" matches and have a fondness for accurate spring powered handguns. For more advice on finding the best airsoft pistols without breaking the bank, then visit my blog. Good luck and happy hunting!