Hughes signed the England midfielder for £12million from Aston Villa early in the summer.
He went on to then land the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Joleon Lescott in a £120million signing spree.
Hughes believes capturing a player of Barry's stature helped convince the other top performers to come, although the club can not offer them UEFA Champions League football - yet.
He said: "Gareth was always a player I had admired from afar.
"He has a huge range of passing and is able to be constructive and destructive in midfield.
"When you also take into account the amount of quality games he is able to produce over a long period of time, I just felt he was a player we needed to bring to the club.
Helped others"To a certain extent it helped other players to come as well.
"The fact we were able to get one of the key men in the England set-up under Fabio Capello helped our strategy in terms of acquisitions of players."
Barry is set to face his former club for the first time on Monday and Hughes is delighted with the consistent way he has performed so far.
Hughes added: "Those type of players are invaluable.
"He just comes in and gets the job done.
"You look for players who are able to produce nothing less than a seven every week. Invariably his mark is higher than that but you can hang your hat on Gareth Barry because he is able to produce consistent performances."
After five victories in their opening six Premier League games, a win against Villa would complete the best-ever top-flight start for the Blues.
But the City boss is not interested in making history - just getting points.
Not awareHe said: "I am not aware of the record.
"It would show that we are playing well and trying to be good at what we do.
"But really, it is not about making points in history. It is about making sure we are moving in the right direction and everybody understands that we are."
He added: "Everyone is enjoying what we are producing at the moment.
"The expectation will always be there but we are dealing with it well and the fans are too.
"Being in this situation is new to everybody. But if it means our fans are walking around town with a smile on their faces, that is no bad thing."