First off I will say that my hour count is not correct, I played this for hundreds more hours on the disc version of the game. I caved in for the Steam version so I don't need my optical drive installed.
This game is my all time favorite game, nothing has come close to beating it. This game released more than 10 years ago still holds up very well thanks to the modders and the community of this game. If you don't like something about the game then search Simtropolis for a mod to fix it.
As a beginner the modding might seem a bit scary. Tons of dependencies! What do I do?!? I started by installing the mods slowly. First the NAM mod which is essential, then other things such as added trees, buildings, etc. You don't need to install every mod at once to have fun in this game. Just be sure you install all the dependencies to the mods your installing, or else you'll get dreaded brown boxes all over your city (no fun!).
If you need to compare this to modern city builders such as Cities Skylines or Simcity 5 I still think that it beats it. Maybe it's just because I have a great nostalgia about this game. Cities Skylines is an excellent successor to this, but it just can't replace this game in my heart. Compared to Simcity 5, this game is amazing. Bigger cities, doesn't need Origin, and no major "Agent" problems.
Whether you want to build an uber realistic city or just a casual city this game is definitely for you. It goes on sale for $5 during the sales, so if you can wait then I would recommend it. If you want a 3D city builder with easy to install mods Cities Skylines is probably for you.
Also, before running this game check out the guides on Steam on how to run this on modern hardware. My system only needed some tweaks, but yours might need more. My system specs: AMD FX 6300, 8gb DDR3 RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7870, MSI 970a-g43 AM3+ motherboard.
Get ready to waste hours of your life creating the perfect interchange!