The D&D 5th edition Starter Set. I've gifted two people with it. It has everything you need to play and it contains a really nifty mini-campaign that I've run two groups through. And it can be nicely complemented by things like the free Basic Rules to expand the options slightly. It's really cheap too -- excellent value for money!
25) What makes for a good character?
A good motivation that will lead to adventure, coupled with the ability to work together with the characters of the other players.