In the early days Maya was known for having advanced features, which in recent times in common among competing 3D animation software.
Learning this software package is what gets people into this industry, it is known to be the most recommended application to learn if you are planning to get into any of these industries.
The question I get asked often is what version is the best? Maya as of today is being released in the yearly cycle, which means a new version of Maya is released by the end of the year, for example, the end of 2017, was the release period of Maya 2018 Update 5, which at the time of writing this post is current latest.
Autodesk starts shipping update or service packs to fix massive bugs or to introduce new tools or features to an existing release.
The most stable version I have used is Maya 2018.1 and Maya 2020.2.
Autodesk offers two versions Maya and Maya LT.
Maya LT is stripped down version of Maya, designed for Indie Game Makers and costs lesser than the full-blown version.
I compiled a list of software and services that I use to improve my workflow, here is the link to the list.