I was a bit late in discovering them, also. It was after the Lord of the Rings films at any rate. Maybe they just weren’t that big outside of the UK.
For all that they feel like a Napoleonic version of a Robin Hood story, and a bit cheap at times, they’re fairly representative of the way I want to game historicals: As adventure yarns rather than simulations of reality.
Gods, but I wish Hollywood would drop all the superhero stuff and make more historical adventure films instead.