Of the later games, my favourite is MM6. I fully accept that in some ways MM7 is a better game, but the fact that you can't get a party with access to both Light and Dark magic killed it for me. But I still consider that the assault on The Pit with a Light Path party is probably the best single battle in the whole of the MM games.
I always preferred magic-heavy parties. For MM7, APCS for the Light Path, and ACSS for Dark. For MM6, ACSS or occasionally ADSS with a modified druid — I still play the v1.0 MM6 game, and there are some "features" ( ) in that which allow the druid to learn the Mirrored Path magics, and indeed for a sorcerer to learn spear & sword etc. for that matter. For MM8, I usually start with either a necro or a cleric, and finish up with NCDVDe. Occasionally I'll start with a dragon — Ice provided two dragon-based starting positions years ago.